12 responses to “Scoliopus bigelovii”

  1. michael aman

    Is it available in the trade? Will it grow on the East Coast, Zone 5?

    1. Jerry Murray
  2. Sandy Steinman

    Thanks for posting this one. It is one of my favorites early season flowers to see and photograph. You are correct in that the bloom is finished and they have gone to seed. The attractive spotted leaves can still be seen.

    Here is some more information on Scoliopus bigelovii:
    The name Bigelovii honors John Milton Bigelow, a surgeon and botanist from Ohio, who did a botanical collecting trip in Marin County in the spring of 1854 that made a significant contribution to the Marin flora. Scoliopus means crooked foot and refers to the curving stalk of the flower. When the plant first appears in the spring, the flower stalks stand up straight, holding the flower above the two leaves which are still quite small. After the flower has been pollinated, the fruit or seed pod begins to swell and the flower parts fall off. The weight of the growing pod causes the slender stalk to bend over and touch the ground, thus the common name “slink pod” The name “adder’s tongue”refers to the mottled leaves that have grown quite large after the flowers have fallen off and are visible for months. The “fetid” part of the name coming from the odor of the fresh flower which is thought to attract pollinators. (source for information was Marin CNPS)

  3. Dianne M Saichek

    Thank you, Daniel and Sandy for this intriguing photo and synopsis of what it is. I live in San Jose, CA and love to see our California wildflowers raised up for many to appreciate.

  4. Nadia

    Very interesting flower

  5. Kathleen Harrison

    Really nice photo. They grow all around where I live (60 miles north of San Francisco), in acidic soil beneath redwood and Douglas Fir trees. In my small, hilly community, slinkpods naturally grow most numerously on the moist cut banks of our narrow lanes, in total shade. The temp under the redwoods never quite freezes, just down to about 34F, or Zone 9a (for the fellow in Zone 5 who asked). But they are perennial and may do okay in other environments. It’s just that their flowering period is so early in our absurdly short winter. The round, ribbed fruits do endure longer and are almost as charming as the flower. The leaves are unique, with their deep purple spots. Native people here used to whip them on their lower legs in the early spring, to keep the rattlesnakes at bay as they emerged from hibernation. This may add to the meaning of “adder’s tongue,” although it may be the divided styles. I’ve tried to smell them but never discovered their fetidness. The reported smell signifies that they are pollinated by gnats.

    1. michael aman

      Thanks, Kathleen

  6. Susan Gustavson

    Great photo with the mottled foliage in the background.

  7. Quin Ellis

    One of the best! The odor always reminds me of minnows – you know, the big tanks where live bait is sold. That’s what I get.

  8. Silvina Mercado

    Nice photo!!! I found this article on The Guardian. I leave you the link. This plant its really magic 😉

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