[The Genus Plectritis in the
Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]
Longhorn Plectritis, Longspur White Plectritis, White Plectritis
Synonyms: Plectritis macrocera ssp. grayi, Plectritis macrocera ssp. macrocera, Plectritis macrocera var. collina, Plectritis macrocera var. grayi, Plectritis macrocera var. macrocera, Plectritis macrocera var. macroptera, Plectritis macrocera var. mamillata
The photo above shows the compact flower
head of white plectritis as seen from the crest of the Columbia Hills.........May
14, 2006. The tubular spur can be seen at the ventral
base of each flower.
White Plectritis is a small, early blooming annual
with slender to stout stems from 5-15 cm tall. The herbage is generally smooth,
although it maybe finely glandular in the inflorescence. The stems are single
with one to several pair of clasping leaves rising from a basal rosette of tiny,
oval leaves. The basal leaves often turn yellow very quickly. They are obovate
and short petiolate while the stem leaves are oblong or elliptic and sessile.
The leaves range from 1-4.5 cm long and 3-18 mm wide.
The inflorescence is clusters of cylindrical flowers
at the apex of the stem. The flowers are 5-petalled and white or pinkish. The
corolla is 2-6 mm long with a short, thick spur.
White Plectritis may be found on streambanks and
on seasonally moist slopes.
White Plectritis may be found from southern British
Columbia south on both sides of the Cascades to southern California and east
to Montana and Utah.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between
the elevations of 100'-2600' from just west of the White Salmon River east to
looks like (minus the roots). Note the opposite leaves and side branches or
smaller flower heads which are axillary. Photographed at the crest of the Columbia
Hills..........May 14, 2006.
photographed at left with filaree (Erodium cicutarium) on south-facing slopes of Sevenmile Hill several miles northwest of The Dalles, Oregon.........March 30, 2015. The photo at right shows white plectritis in bloom along the first half mile of the Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail.........March 16, 2017.
White plectritis as seen at left along the Cherry Orchard Trail about one-half mile east of Lyle, Washington..........April 2, 2014. The photo at center is from near the same location..........March 11, 2016, while that at right is from near the same location..........March 4, 2018.