[The Popcorn Flowers of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]
Rusty Plagiobothrys, Rusty Popcornflower, Rusty Popcorn Flower
The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of rusty popcorn flower found along the 3 Bench
Loop (above Doug's Beach), Columbia River Gorge, WA............March 24, 2008.
at right shows the basal rosette of leaves of rusty popcorn flower as found along the 3 Bench Loop (above
Doug's Beach), Columbia River Gorge, WA......March 24, 2008. The similar Cryptanths lack this feature in the Gorge during flowering time.
Rusty popcorn flower is a taprooted annual with
one to several stems arising from the base. The herbage is spreading-hairy
with the hairs of the stem shorter, softer, more curled and somewhat stickier
than those of the leaves. The leaves are all alternate with a basal tuft of
persistent leaves and a few progressively reduce leaves scattered on the stems.
The basal leaves range from 2-10 cm long and 5-20 mm wide, and they are largely
the same width through much of their length.
The racemes are often paired, beginning as a
tight coil and then elongating. The white flowers are relatively large and
showy, with individual petals ranging from 5-9 mm wide. The calyx is covered
with stiff yellowish, tawny hairs.
Rusty popcorn flower may be found on open slopes,
in fields and along roadsides.
Rusty popcorn flower is common in the Columbia
River Gorge and found west of the Cascade Mts. occasionally from western Oregon
south to northern Baja California.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found
between the elevations of 100'-1400' from Dog Mt. east to near the Dalles,
The photo above shows a close-up of the hairs on the calyx and upper stem of rusty popcorn flower...................March 24, 2008.
The photo above shows rusty popcorn flower as seen along the Three Bench Loop above Doug's Beach in the Columbia River Gorge.....................March 24, 2008. Plants are often similar in form to this individual, although some may be branched into several inflorescences on the upper half of the plant.
Rusty popcorn flower as seen on thin, drying lithosol soils at Catherine Creek in the Columbia River Gorge..................April 9, 2009.
Close-ups of the maturing nutlets and calyces (post-flowering) of rusty popcornflower as seen in upland grasslands near Murrays Addition to the northwest of The Dalles, Oregon...........May 14, 2012.
Rusty popcornflower blooming on the northwest side of Chenoweth Table near The Dalles, Oregon............March 28, 2013. The photo at right was taken on USFS propertyat a rocky hill about one-quarter mile northeast of the junction of Highway 30 and Marsh Cutoff Road at Memaloose in the Columbia River Gorge on the same day.