Mystery Flora: Delicate Beauties

Yep, we’re having a Mystery Flora post on a Monday. Seattle suffered another heatwave over the weekend, my uterus is gleefully torturing me, and I’m very much looking forward to more unconsciousness. Therefore, we are doing something fun and easy that doesn’t require Dana to expend precious brain energy.

Besides, you’ll love these fetching little things. They’re so delicate! A barely-there filigree against the gray volcanic ash on the Cowlitz River banks.

Image shows a delicate, sprawling green plant with itty-bitty pink flowers growing in the volcanic sands of the Cowlitz River.
Mystery Flora I

I’ve given you a clue up there. What rhymes with fetch? Also, you have identified a close cousin of these little delights in the past.

This next photo will make it even easier:

Image shows an orchid-like pink flower and a pea-like seed pod.
Mystery Flora II

Oh, yes, that’s a member of the legume family! No doubt about it. I was actually squeeing too hard over the wee pink flowers to notice the long seed pod thingy at the time, but my camera sees all, knows all.

Image shows the same flower with more of the vine.
Mystery Flora III

There were a few of these lovely little plants scattered in an area of mostly-bare volcanic sand. You’d barely notice them: they’re so airy they’re rather hard to see, even though they’re long.

Image shows one of the vines, hard to distinguish against the background.
Mystery Flora IV

Do you want to know how tiny? Here’s a flower with my thumb for scale.

Image shows one of the wee flowers with my thumb beside it. It's maybe about a fifth of the size of my thumbnail.
Mystery Flora V

It’s amazing how pretty the members of the legume family are. There were some lovely pink pea flowers closer to the park, about the only things still alive on that drought-stricken bank.

Image shows a bunch of pea flowers blooming a faded pink among dead brown brambles.
Pink peas.

It wasn’t a great trip for flowers, due to our not having more than a few drops of rain since the spring. It’s been unbelievably dry for western Washington. But a few hardy little plants put out their blooms, and you get some pretties, whilst Dana goes and collapses from heat exhaustion. Enjoy!

Mystery Flora: Delicate Beauties
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7 thoughts on “Mystery Flora: Delicate Beauties

  1. 7

    I agree with eskered. It looks like a bird’s foot trefoil (genus Lotus), not a vetch (genus Vicia). The latter has pinnately compound leaves, not trifoliate leaves. It does seem to be closest to Lotus unifoliolatus.

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