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The Locals Have Arrived

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cistanthetweedyie

One of my very favorite plants in the entire world is this rock loving succulent- Cistanthe tweedyi. Previously thought to be a Lewisia, it's common name is still Tweedy's lewisia. It is only found in North Central Washington and a small portion of British Columbia, most often on rocky outcrops in Ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forests at middle elevations. Crevices between rocks is the preferred home of this plant- the rocks provide cooler conditions during the summer for the roots, and funnel water directly to the plant. Peachy! Few plants are this color- which I just love. Not quite a pink or orange. To find out more about Tweedy's lewisia visit this page on it from the USFS Celebrating Wildflowers site.

Another Central Washington local endemic whose range extends into B.C. is this lily- Lyall's mariposa lily, Calochortus lyallii. Another common name is cat's ear- because of the hairy tepals which are similar to a cat's ear. It is found on dry slopes of ponderosa pine forests, up to middle elevations.

Southern British Columbia and the Okanogan and Central Washington share very similar environments, and have many species that are endemic to just this region. One of the best picture books out there for identifying plants of this region is Plants of the Southern Interior British Columbia and the Inland Northwest by Parish, Couple and Lloyd- which originally started out as a book on just southern British Columbia. I highly recommend this book, as it has many of our common species, is well organized, and includes many useful facts about specific plants.

So much is in bloom currently out the Icicle, that my dogs grew a little impatient with me taking photos... This is them leashed to a rock thinking, "Why can't I just dig a little hole in the meadow?"