Today’s photograph is from Galiano Island. On Saturday, I went on the Native Plant Society of BC‘s field trip to the island’s Bluff Park and Bellhouse Provincial Park in search of wildflowers and other interesting plants. In all, our list of identified plants in bloom neared thirty, including this one, Lithophragma parviflorum.
Smallflower woodland-star is a member of the saxifrage family. Its genus, Lithophragma, is exclusively distributed in western North America. Nine (to 12) species are recognized, with the centre of diversity in California. Only three species are found outside of California and Oregon: Lithophragma glabrum, Lithophragma tenellum, and Lithophragma parviflorum. These three can be found throughout western North America. Calphotos provides photographs of most species within the genus.
The Jepson Manual provides a description of Lithophragma parviflorum, as does Montana Plant Life: Lithophragma parviflorum. I’m partial to the species because it grows in a broad range of habitats (e.g., sagebrush desert, open forests, prairies) and it is like seeing a cheery old friend when visiting somewhere new on my travels in the west.