Limnanthes douglasii

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Limnanthes douglasii
Limnanthes douglasii1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Limnanthaceae
Genus: Limnanthes
Species: L. douglasii
Binomial name
Limnanthes douglasii
R. Br.
Limnanthes douglasii ssp. rosea

Limnanthes douglasii is a species of annual flowering plant in the family Limnanthaceae (meadowfoam) commonly known as poached egg plant or Douglas' meadowfoam. It is native to California and Oregon, where it grows in wet, grassy habitat, such as vernal pools and spring meadows. It can grow in poorly drained clay soils. The plant was collected by the Scottish explorer and botanist David Douglas, who worked on the west coast of America in the 1820s.

The plant usually bears white flowers with yellow centers, hence the name "poached egg plant", but flower color can vary across subspecies. It is a popular ornamental plant. It attracts hoverflies to the garden to eat the aphids and is well loved by bees. It is self-seeding, and gardeners are often careful as to where the seeds fall as it will quite happily grow in a lawn.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[1]

There are five subspecies:

  • L. douglasii ssp. douglasii R. Br., is native to the coastal mountains and valleys of southwestern Oregon south to the San Francisco Bay Area
  • L. douglasii ssp. nivea (C.T. Mason)C.T. Mason, with mostly white flowers, grows in the coastal mountains of northern California
  • L. douglasii ssp. rosea (Benth.)C.T. Mason, found in California's Central Valley and adjacent hills, often has pink veining on its petals
  • L. douglasii ssp. sulphurea (C.T. Mason)C.T. Mason, is a rare yellow-petaled subspecies endemic to the Bay Area
  • L. douglasii ssp. striata (Jeps.)Morin, has recently been subsumed into this species; it occurs in the Klamath range and the north and central Sierra Nevada

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