Plant of the day: California bluebell

Asyneuma prenathoides

Delicate pale purple flowers grow in a low mat of green leaves on the forest floor. It’s worth stopping and getting close to check out the lovely little blooms. Five narrow, pointed petals curve backwards, away from a long slim purple-dusted pistil. As the flower matures, the pistil opens into three parts for receiving pollen.

Other names for this Asyneuma prenathoides include California harebell and slender bluebell, but I have always known it by the name found in the Peterson Guide. It once was in the Campanula genus along with the more traditional-looking bluebells but somewhere along the line it was re-assigned to a different group (something that happens a lot in botany as new features, genetic analysis, or other information comes to light).

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Filed under Good for gardens, Native, Plant of the day

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