Last week while at the ATA I learned that there is an endangered plant that we need to pay attention to. It is the Baker's globe-mallow, aka Iliamna bakeri. My picture of it is to the left. See the Wikipedia article about this plant:
It is native to northern California and southern Oregon, where it grows in mountain forests and woodland on volcanic soils.
"woodland on volcanic soils" exactly describes the ground the ATA is built upon.
Here is a picture someone took of the same plants one month ago as they were starting to dry out:
I have seen this plant around, but I never knew what it was until someone pointed it out this week. To be honest, it looks like a weed, one of the first I'l pull up or mow over if I didn't know any better. Here is a picture from Wikipedia (this picture is in the public domain):
What is this plant?
Maybe someone can tell me what this plane is? (see Jill Tarter's correct identification below...) It is about 6 feet (2 meters) high. Some have gorgeous deformed tops that are about the size of oven mitts. I assume this signifies the sex of the plant?
-Update - Sept 17, 2011 - Jill Tarter correctly identified this plant as a Mullein.
Now the question is - what exact type of Mullein? Can anybody identify the exact type?
I found a lovely blog where a woman describes the mullein in her area, with pictures. She sort-of lives in the same area as the Allen Telescope Array, in the Sierra Nevada Mountain area of California. This is one of her pictures:
See http://goldcountrygirls.blogspot.com/2010/11/plants-i-know-and-love-10-mullein.html for the interesting blog and some great mullein pictures.