I’ve seen this plant with beautiful, spiky purple flowers growing around Monterey Bay for many years. I took photos a few months ago when they were in full bloom.
The flower photo above is from a shrub growing in the wild, near the Salinas river, where the river merges with the Pacific Ocean. I spotted it while taking photographs for a post about my watershed.
I’ve always found these flowers attractive — and also photographed some in bloom at the entrance of Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey.
I read on one of the blogs I follow that Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge theme this week was purple, and remembered these flowers. I have wanted to take part for a while, and thought the flowers were perfect to post for the theme.
Not knowing the name, I did an image search and learned that they are called Pride of Maidera (Echium candicans). It is a perennial shrub native to the island of Maidera in Portugal, much loved by bees and butterflies for its nectar. It is drought tolerant, and a popular ornamental plant in coastal California.
And so… I’m also linking this post to Just Another Nature Enthusiast’s challenge — Earth-Friendly Chroniclers #9 — focused on invasive plants.
Here is another beautiful purple flower from a plant that I know is not native to California. Right now, it is growing all over our landscape, from fields, to the side of the roads and embankments.
Do you know what it is?
The flowers are from a wild radish. Most wild radish have white flowers, but sometimes, they also have purple flowers.
From the CalFlora website:
I pulled out one of the plants and sure enough, I get that it is a wild radish… It is tiny, but the root smells like, and looks like a radish. A miniature of the “daikon” types I see at Asian stores.
Some more purple flowers for the theme… and I’m pretty certain these are not invasive here in my little part of the world.
My favorite purple flower shot thus far are the wisteria at the Pacific House Memory Garden, posted for the changing season photo challenge.
And lastly, a non-flower related (but these young girls are pretty as flowers!) photo of Baile Folklorico dance group members, performing for a community celebration on the occasion of Cesar Chavez Day.