Plant of the day: pussy ears

Here’s another Calochortus to go with yesterday’s star tulip. You can see there is a very strong family resemblance! You also can see where this flower got its name, with such heavily furred ear-shaped petals.

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Pussy ears (Calochortus tolmiei) is the only pale-colored Calochortus (cream or pinkish) in Marin that is NOT listed as a rare species. It is a beloved woodland sight, growing under mixed the spreading boughs of oaks or in redwood forest or even among the small scrubby trunks of chaparral. Even though it is more common, it’s always a treat because of its delicate and distinctive look. You can tell it’s in the lily family, since its petals are in groups of three. Plus, the three broad petals alternate with very long and very narrow sepals, which is the signature look of  most Calochortus.

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