Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Texas toad-flax

Texas toadflax (Linaria texana)
Along RR 1431 westward to Kingsland, you'll see two fenced pastures on both sides of the road carpeted in lilac-y purple. I wanted so much last week to stop, shoot a photo and pick a specimen. But I didn't. For one thing, the traffic's busy on that well-traveled highway. 

Today, on our way home from our chapter meeting of Highland Lakes Master Naturalists, driver Ann Cook graciously (and bravely) veered across the highway and parked in a ranch caliche entrance so Joanne Fischer and I could jump out and grab some specimens. In the front seat, Marcy Westcott cheered us on. I picked several before we jumped back in the car, and Ann took off. At traffic lights in Marble Falls, I shot a series of images of the flowers before they wilted. 

Earlier at the meeting, Jerry Stacy identified a similar species as toadflax. So that gave us a hint as to where in our wildflower field guide to look...Texas toad-flax (Linaria texana).

And I think I know how the species got its name. Tonight, I sniffed the wilted flowers and leaves....EWWWWWWW!

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