Plants at the Allen Telescope Array

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:

This pic taken in August 2011 at the ATA - Baker's globe-mallow

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):

Picture from Wikipedia...


When the ATA was built several of these plants were marked with wooden stakes in the ground so we would not accidentally disturb them, either by weeding, mowing, or building an antenna on top of it. Soon the marked plants died, but more grew up in other spots. As you can see from the picture I took, the plant is dying for the winter and it is ready to drop seeds.
Another interesting plant, I assume not endangered, has been growing this year in abundance because the ATA grounds have not been maintained and mowed as usual. These plants were given the chance to flourish:

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?

See the tops of the stalks?

-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 for the interesting blog and some great mullein pictures.


first time i've seen plants 'holding hands'

Jon - i think Mullein is your answer