Grindelia integrifolia

Let’s get back into the swing of things. Before we do, though, thank you to all of you who sent kind wishes over the holidays. That was very much appreciated. For those of you who, for whatever reason made sense to you, sent snark and rudeness, I hope your new year’s resolution is to be kinder to both other people and yourself.

Today’s photographs and write-up are thanks to Jackie Chambers. For local folks, Jackie is presenting this Thursday night at the Native Plant Society of BC‘s monthly south coast meeting. I know a lot of folks have been staying inside these past few weeks with the exceptional weather we’ve been having (I know I have), so it’ll be a good opportunity to venture out of your home and see some colour instead of snow-white and slush-blue-grey. Jackie writes:

The yellow flowers of Grindelia integrifolia, speak of summer and sunshine, two things to look forward to in the New Year. Native to western North America, this herbaceous perennial can range in height from 15-80 cm and can be found in coastal habitats along the shoreline of British Columbia, Oregon and Washington.

Like many members of the Asteraceae, the flower is composed of ray and disk florets (in this case, both yellow). The unopened flower buds tend to be covered in “gum” which makes them sticky to the touch (see photos of the flowers in bud). The involucral bracts — the green bracts at the base of the flower head — are also covered in gum, adding to the sticky reputation of the plant.

The gummy feature is shared by many members of this genus and has given rise to the common name gumweed or resinweed as a collective term. This particular gumweed is sometimes called Puget Sound gumweed, a reference to its distribution. It is also called entire-leaved gumweed, but the species is quite variable and the leaves may be entire or serrated.

Basal leaves are lance-shaped and can reach 40 cm in length. Stem leaves are found in alternate arrangement clasping the stem. Leaves produce resin and the odour of plant is sometimes likened to Retsina.

The genus Grindelia is named after Russian botanist David Grindel (1776 – 1836), and the species integrifolia is a reference to the entire leaves exhibited by many individuals of the species.

Grindelia integrifolia is a late-summer or fall flowering plant. This specimen was photographed in September in the Garry Oak Meadow at the UBC Botanical Garden, part of our new Garry Oak planting. To learn more about this unique and threatened landscape see the site of the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team.

Botany resource link (from Daniel): Check out the intriguing Burmanniaceae web site. This family consists mostly of “tiny and extremely rare beauties of the tropical rain-forests”. I spent a little time on the site today after browsing through the garden’s newest library acquisition, Illustrated Book of Taiwan Endemic Rare Plants Vol. 2 and encountering a species of Thismia for the first time. A little online searching led to this intriguing story about the possibly-extinct Thismia americana (Thismia americana in Flora of North America), known only from a single location near Chicago and last seen in 1916.

Grindelia integrifolia
Grindelia integrifolia

33 responses to “Grindelia integrifolia”

  1. Ginny (in Maine)

    Daniel and Jackie: So great to see BPOTD in my Inbox today. Many thanks and Happy New Year!

  2. Claire B (Saskatoon)

    Happy New Year and great to have you back posting. I hope you had a great break over the Holidays. Lovely yellow flower helps mitigate the horrible record-breaking cold we just had!

  3. Rose

    I am sorry to read that you had rude comments sent. I enjoy your emails very much and find the flowers or plants always fascinating! Keep up the great work and Happy New Year!

  4. Suzi

    thanks for the ray of sunshine on a cloudy day 😀

  5. Mary

    Thanks very much for my New year botany email!
    I missed the beauty over the holidays!!
    I look forward to a great new year with you and your photos!!

  6. Lynne

    Such a beautiful yellow flower, a refreshing sight in the dead of winter (as it is here in North America).
    I was very disappointed to learn about your receiving rude or snarky emails. What’s up with that? I can’t understand why anyone would do that. You provide a educational service with beautiful pictures, for free. What’s there to complain about?!

  7. Eric in SF

    Welcome back folks at UBC!
    Lynne – the Blogosphere can be a cruel and heartless place – if you don’t publish blog entries every day there are a subset of people who get very upset. Unfortunately an epidemic of entitlement is ravaging much of the world today. One symptom of that epidemic are people who send rude and snarky emails to those they’ve never met.
    Looking forward to many wondrous plants and allies here during 2009!

  8. Christie

    Yay for plants! Great to have you back! Happy New Year!

  9. Eric in SF

    PS. Here is another species of Grindelia showing the ‘gum’ in its common name.

  10. Daniel Mosquin

    It was the holidays, and it’s been my experience that some people get very stressed or are perhaps keenly feeling a loss. That’s not to excuse it, but c’est la vie. I hope that things will be better for them soon.

  11. Beverley

    Grindelia integrifolia – Z7 – RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
    Grindelia integrifolia – Z7-9 – A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, Brickell, Cole, Zuk
    Grindelia grin-del-ee-a Dictionary of Plant Names, Coombes

  12. annie morgan

    So cheery! But does it have a common name, like ‘yellow daisy’, or? The Latin names are fine, but are meaningless to those of us who just know the regular common everyday name. This kind of flower is my favourite – any daisy-like bloom pleases me no end.

  13. Daniel Mosquin

    Hi Annie,
    It was in the middle of the write-up: “This particular gumweed is sometimes called Puget Sound gumweed, a reference to its distribution. It is also called entire-leaved gumweed”

  14. John Murtaugh

    After all this early winter weather, a most cheerful sight, or is it site?
    I will resolve to continue enjoying your pictures and informative writeups for 2009, and do much appreciate that you are back into “the swing of things” after a good holiday.
    Thanks to all of you for the great work

  15. Hollis

    I admit that I did miss BPotD over the holidays. I rely on it for a daily fix of beauty and information, especially in the winter. But even so … rude emails??? weird. Happy New Year Daniel, Jackie and everyone, and thanks for the bright sunny gumweed photos.

  16. George Vaughan

    I am so sorry to hear that those rude folks felt it necessary to send the comments. I can’t imagine what this world is going to end up like. I enjoy the pics you send and even though I am not into botany, I also enjoy reading the fascinating comments that follow the pics. Thanks for being there, and I wish for you tht 2009 will be the best year you will have had doing this work for our benefit. Thanks my friend.
    George Vaughan

  17. Ed Bergen

    Hi Daniel
    It always makes me wonder why someone would make negative, nasty, or rude comments about a website. If they don’t like it–just unsubscribe!!
    I look forward to every photo and write-up and my wife, (her grandfather was a gardener by profession), likes them even more than me.
    Thanks for your time and keep up the good work.

  18. D

    It was great to see your email today. And the joyful yellow flower was a bright spot in my day. Thanks.
    To the rude people, get a life!

  19. Chungii V

    Why you dirty, whinging rotten… Whoops
    I’d dare say those who were so rude have bigger problems than just figuring out what’s going on in their gardens. I am glad that all I have found on this site is friendly, helpful people with a vast range of knowledge and experience amongst them.
    Good to see this page alive and kicking again for the new year.

  20. Lanie

    sometimes the human race and it’s rudeness shocks me beyond beleif. I figured you deserved a nice holiday vacation like every one else. I hope you enjoyed. I save your pictures many times to have them as my background, I love them so much. My mom and I talk about the plants and flowers often. thank you for your daily newsletter we love it and keep up the great work

  21. Equisetum

    Annie, CalFlora says it’s OK to call it Gum Plant, which I prefer because I’ve never seen one that wasn’t pretty, and though it’s often a plant of disturbed places (like road shoulders) it doesn’t seem to be invasive. In fact it seems pretty picky — so far I haven’t been able to grow it and it’s common within a half mile of me.
    Daniel, this was an exciting, fascinating story and I’m so glad you were here to find it for us.
    Given the unpredictable way that non-chlorophyll plants seem to flower, the size of the flower, and the rigorousness of the search program, I’m pretty hopeful that there may be some Thismia around.
    And what a marvelous undertaking the whole project was. With luck there may be a reprieve for a larger area than the little pocket grudgingly granted by the Airport boosters, given the current spotlight on how things get done in Illinois, possible second thoughts on the probable viability of yet another airport, and the general economic climate.

  22. Carla D'Anna

    Funny, I’m not sure if you usually put “latest” in your email but today I read that at “last” and had a moment of sadness until I realized my mistake.
    Thank you for all you do.

  23. elizabeth a airhart

    greetings so good to have you back
    and sunshine on the page
    2008 was a very rude year just simply was
    since some plants it would seem
    need darkness -this is the internatinal
    year of astromony 2009 -i also look
    at astromony a page day its awesome
    the night time pictures are so good
    thank you to every one good to have
    you all back thank you daniel and jackie

  24. Renee in Texas

    I enjoy these photos so much that they almost outnumber family photos in my screen saver rotation. Thanks for the beauty and knowledge you provide. Wish I had a camera on my drive today so I could share all the frozen Texas trees. Quite a site in Central Texas.

  25. phillip

    yes…i remember that flower well….sub-tropical….-14 or something….snarkibicious rudeemintis…it looked like a crossed eyed pansy with its tongue stuck out….it didn’t smell pleasant either…..
    ……..HAPPY NEW YEAR……..

  26. jan phillips

    Is this a perennial? it would make a nice change in the Uk from sunflowers and Inula for late summer colour.

  27. Deb Christmas

    HAPPY NEW YEAR and especially, THANKS!!!

  28. charlene Pidgeon

    Happy New Year! I subscribed in 2008 and looked forward to your photographs and descriptions every morning.. I’m glad you’re back. Thank you, Charlene in Santa Barbara

  29. bev

    Yes, my brother from Spokane is not looking forward to returning to the 5 feet of snow at his house after being here on the east coast for the holidays! So I sympathize with your plight and hope the new year brings better gardening weather for you. I continue to enjoy your blog very much and wish the best for 2009!

  30. Ed Alverson

    Taxonomy of Grindelia is notoriously difficult, but a case has been made that there are two different taxa in the maritime NW under the name Grindelia integrifolia.
    Grindelia integrifolia in the strict sense is a prairie species occurring in non-maritime habitats; it is particularly common in the Willamette Valley. The plant that Flora of the Pacific Northwest calls G. integrifolia var. macrophylla is generally a maritime species, occurring on shores, salt marshes, and coastal bluffs. At the species level it is called G. stricta. George Douglas, in the Illustrated Flora of British Columbia, took a conservative approach and chose not to distinguish these two taxa. However, Flora of North America does distinguish these two taxa as separate species, though G. stricta is synonymized with the widespread species, Grindelia hirsutula.
    It is all quite complicated, but the taxonomy does have important implications for conservation and ecological restoration. Quite likely G. integrifolia in the strict sense (the non-maritime prairie form) is a rare species in British Columbia and Canada, while the maritime plant, var. macrophylla, G. stricta, or G. hirsutula (whatever you want to call it) is probably common in BC. If one is planning a prairie restoration project, and wishes to include Grindelia “integrifolia” in the planting list, they should make sure that the form of grindelia they use is the appropriate form for the site.

  31. Equisetum

    Jan in the UK:
    CalFlora lists all 22 of the species of Grindelia found here as “Perennial Herbs” (some of the ones I’ve seen are pretty woody at the base & they all have stiff stems). Many of them have ranges way to the north and east, into cold territory. You might check the B&T World Seed catalogue, or even T&M.

    CalFlora has wonderful pictures of a great many wild plants that are now used as or could be tried as garden subjects. We have more species of plants than almost any other state, and many have been adopted by gardeners — Monterey Pine and California Poppy, for instance — and there are also pictures of garden plants that have naturalized. You can search by common or scientific names and by habitat and other tweaks: I find it very handy almost no matter what state I’m in.


  32. Shanda

    Hooray for Flowers in my mailbox! Thanks! And Happy New Year!

  33. jan

    Hi ‘Calfora’ and thanks for the heads up.
    I will look out for it in the local nurseries.
    Monterey Pine is fairly common here in the SW of the UK due to it’s coastal abilities! It is one of the few sizeable trees that will put up with our conditions when they are mimicking your west coast, but our cliffs and west coast landscapes are physically so much smaller than yours but can be very similar in appearance

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