Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 21, 2017

Early Season Flowers At The Regional Parks Botanic Garden

Today I went to the Regional Parks Botanic Garden to see Fetid Adder’s Tongue  or Slinkpod (Scoliopus bigelovii).

The name Bigelovii honors John Milton Bigelow, a surgeon and botanist from Ohio, who did a botanical collecting trip in Marin County in the spring of 1854 that made a significant contribution to the Marin flora.  Scoliopus means crooked foot and refers to the curving stalk of the flower. When the plant first appears in the spring, the flower stalks stand up straight, holding the flower above the two leaves which are still quite small. After the flower has been pollinated, the fruit or seed pod begins to swell and the flower parts fall off. The weight of the growing pod causes the slender stalk to bend over and touch the ground, thus the common name “slink pod”  The name “adder’s tongue”refers to the mottled leaves that have grown quite large after the flowers have fallen off and are visible  for months.  The “fetid” part of the name coming from the odor of the fresh flower which  is thought to attract pollinators. (source for information was Marin CNPS).

In addition to the Slinkpods I looked at Manzanitas, Slinkpods and Fungus. There are also a few early blooming wallflowers and strawberries.

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