Plectritis congesta

Despite it not showing up in any additional entries, I have been working on BPotD quite a bit the past couple weeks. I’ve applied the security patches for the software that runs the weblog, and with that came a bunch of work in updating templates. Unfortunately, this didn’t resolve the issue of the absurdly-long comment publishing times, and I’ve been exploring other options to address this. The most direct option has involved a lot of bureaucratic waiting. Still waiting, but I can’t forestall new entries any longer.

Today’s entry was written and photographed by Taisha, who (in a bit of good news) will be staying with BPotD over the duration of the summer. She writes:

Plectritis congesta, or seablush, is a common wildflower in southwestern British Columbia. Its range extends south to southern California. This species, now in the Caprifoliaceae (formerly Valerianaceae), tends to grow on coastal bluffs in partly shaded spring-wet slopes from coastline to mid elevations. Seablush is a species associated in part with what Canadians call the Garry oak ecosystem. It often forms large showy patches–which we can see in today’s photograph taken here at UBC Botanical Garden a couple weeks ago. An annual, Plectris congesta blooms in late spring with a cluster of small pink flowers sitting atop a fleshy square stem. The flowers provide nectar for native bees including bumblebees, but can also attract butterflies such as (in Oregon) the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly (Plebejus icarioides fenderi) or (from Vancouver Island to Oregon) the rare Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly (Euphydras editha taylori).

Plectritis congesta

5 responses to “Plectritis congesta”

  1. Wendy Cutler

    No need to apologize for making us look at that cheery strip of four photos in yellow and blue. I loved those, would have enjoyed seeing them for at least another month.
    I like these too, and we enjoyed seeing them in the garden last Tuesday. Very good news that we get to keep Taisha for the summer. I was a little worried that there had been no new entries because she had left, so thanks for telling us.

  2. Betty Bahn

    We have this little beauty at Cape Perpetua, on the Oregon coast.

  3. Carl Wishner

    The information about the transfer of this genus from Valerianaceae to Caprifoliaceae is new to me. California’s Jepson Interchange does not reflect this, however. Could someone please provide more information about this new family assignment of the genus?
    Carl Wishner

  4. Daniel Mosquin

    As you know, we follow the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group’s latest and greatest for assignment of genera to families.
    All of Valerianaceae has been subsumed into Caprifoliaceae according to the APG web site. Read the classification notes on Caprifoliaceae for more.

  5. Carl Wishner

    Daniel, Thank you so much for clarifying this new assignment according to APG’s website. I’ll have to pay attention to this in the future. I’m not sure if the Jepson Interchange folks have caught this one yet!

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