Slinkpod. California fetid adder’s tongue. Brownies. All are common names for this early spring bloomer of coastal California. This photograph by Sandy Steinman was taken in early February of this year; by now, this plant has likely set its seed and perhaps even gone dormant until next winter.
I monitor a few discussion forums and mailing lists on California wildflowers. Without fail, there are travel reports on journeys to see Scoliopus in January & early February by those who are eager for the wildflower season to start in northern California. If you ever plan to do this, be aware that this close-up image is somewhat deceiving. Flowers of Scoliopus bigelovii are approximately 2.5cm (1 in.) in diameter; it is not a big flower. The same holds true for the other member of Scoliopus, Oregon fetid adder’s tongue.
Additional photographs are available from CalPhotos: Scoliopus bigelovii, while travel reports are available from the Conifer Country weblog and the Left Coast Naturalist’s Plant of the Month. The latter article goes into detail about the etymology of the name (“curved foot”), pollinators (fungus gnats), and seed dispersal (slugs, ants, and other forest floor critters).