Serpentine Linanthus

Leptosiphon ambiguus (Serpentine Linanthus); Photo by Kathy Korbholz

Scientific Name: Leptosiphon ambiguusLepto means slender; siphon means tube.  Linanthus comes from linon, meaning flax, and anthos, meaning flower.

Family Name: Polemoniaceae (Phlox)

Description:  Linanthus is an annual that grows upright up to 20 cm (8 in) tall. Linanthus flowers are long and tube-like, with five petals that range in color from blue to purple to pink. For more, see Jepson’s eFlora description.

Finding it at Edgewood:  Linanthus is an obligate serpentine endemic – it will only grow on serpentine soil.  Look for it at the junction of the Clarkia Trail and the lower Serpentine Loop, or on the Edgewood Trail between Canada Road and I-280.  It blooms from March to June.  See map below.

Serpentine Linanthus (Leptosiphon ambiguus) distribution at Edgewood
Leptosiphon ambiguus distribution at Edgewood

Edgewood photos
Jepson Flora Project

Corelli, T. Flowering Plants of Edgewood Natural Preserve. Half Moon Bay, CA: Monocot Press, 2004.

Information compiled by Diana Quon and Anna Lee