Glen Ellen Regional Park, Sonoma County, California
A WELCOME SIGHT
Cardamine californica var. californica is the first native wildflower to bloom in our area. Also known as milkmaids, its four petals are arranged in a cross shape for which the former family Cruciferae was named (related words: English cross, Spanish cruz, Latin crux).
More recently the family was named Brassicaceae for the genus Brassica, a huge family that includes mustards, radishes and cresses. Cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts kale and kohlrabi are all horticultural varieties of a single species, Brassica oleracea.
Cardamine are delightful to behold up close or en masse; dotting the woodland hills in mid-winter, they are harbingers of all the flowers to come.
© Hannah Aclufi and viridiplantae.com, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.