Saturday, January 15, 2011

Crooked Foot Lily: aka Foetid adders tongue, later Slink Pods

Scoliopus bigelovii

In flower, the common name Fetid Adders tongue is used, whereas in fruit Slink Pod applies, one of the very few plants who changes its common name through the year. This coastal lily is endemic to California, ranging from Humboldt County southward. Etymology: Greek skolios (crooked) and pous (foot). Sciopolis bigelovii flowers very early in coastal central California. The photograph shown is at Aptos, Nisene Marks SP, January 14, 2011.

One of the interesting aspects of flowering progression through the season in S. bigelovii is the delayed development of leaf area, and the sequential, progressive production of flowers from within a basal vase formed by the developing leaves. At flowering, the vase is often filled with water.

The southerly distributional record for this lily is uncertain: there is no CCH specimen record for Monterey County. Moreover, both Matthews (1997) and Yadon (1995) fail to list it for their region. Ostensible, the southerly limit thus may be the large colony along Aptos Creek in the Forest of Nisene Marks state park. However, one CCH specimen is labeled from San Luis Obispo, but this lily was not known to Hoover (1970). Field verification of any record south of Santa Cruz County along the Big Sur Coast and southward is thus worthy of mention.

Hoover, R.F. 1970. Vascular Plants of San Luis Obispo County, California. UC Press.

Matthews, M.A. 1997. An illustrated field key to the Flowering Plants of Monterey County. CNPS, 401 p.

Yadon, V. 1995. A Checklist of the vascular plants of Monterey County, California. Monterey Bay Chapter, CNPS. 85 pp.

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