— Or — Small, Smaller, Smallest
You have to look pretty quick to catch the spring blooms here, and every month has a new and different crop. So let me show you what beauties I found last month.
First, one of the Fairy Dusters (Calliandra eriophylla):
I’m not fond of the fairy dusters; they’re small, woody plants that sprout up like weeds everywhere, mostly in the middle of my paths, and they’re hard to remove — you have to get the whole root. Here where it’s dry, the flowers are mostly inconspicuous among the sticks that make up the body of the plant. Probably if they had more water, they’d be prettier.
Next, I have some very pretty California Poppies (Eschscholzia californica ssp. mexicana):
The flowers are a little over an inch across, and have a distinct orange square in the center.
They love the sunshine, and they grow anywhere they can find all-day sun.
I walk around the yard, staring at the ground, hoping that I’ll become more familiar with my climate, my dirt and the native plants and animals that live here. It must look odd to the neighbors, but there are so many things to see here and it’s all new to me.
And at some point, I noticed that I was surrounded by tiny yellow flowers:
These are Golden Linanthus (Leptosiphon aureus). They are very, very small: less than a centimeter across. Once I saw them, I found them everywhere. They also like the sunny spots.
I wanted to get a really good, close-up picture of this one, and saw even tinier flowers behind it:
Behind the linanthus, you can see Cryptantha pterocarya, the “Winged-nut Forget-me-not”. Those tiny, tiny white flowers (maybe a millimeter across!) grow on a little weed that has hairy stems that irritate my hands when I pull them out of the stones in the front yard — a task I should be doing right now…