San Rafael Valley, AZ ~~ Photo by Bill Haas

Monday, June 13, 2011


I love finding and photographing wild flowers, especially "new finds" where I have to dig into reference books and the Web to learn its name.  But what truly stumps me is finding similarities in a wildflower (a native) and a commercially grown non native.

The first photo below is a wild Prickly Poppy indigenous to the high desert biome on the Eastern slopes of the Sierras.  These were photographed at the height of their blooming period, July, 2010.
In March, 2011, I came across this amazing, cultivated look-alike.  It is a Camellia that thrives in foggy, moist Pacific Coastal zones.  At first I thought it was a "Katie Wootton."  Alas..."Katie Wootton," while similar in appearance, is a double Japonica Camellia; the name of this one, photographed in Morro Bay, remains a mystery.
While their crepe-paper petals appear almost identical, each flower's leaves, pistils and stamens are decidedly unique.  You can see the differences easier when you click to enlarge the photos.