Scientific Name

Leptosyne gigantea Kellogg         

Older Name 

Coreopsis gigantea (Kellogg) H.M. Hall

Family

Asteraceae

General

     An odd-looking perennial with stout stems and branches, topped with shaggy tufts of green foliage during the winter and Spring.  It looks like a plant that Dr. Seuss might have drawn.  Bright yellow flowers rise above this foliage.  A species typical that of the Channel Islands flora and the bluffs overlooking the ocean, but less common encountered inland (such as at CI).  This species grows easily from seeds and it an interesting addition to a native plant garden.  A little added water can keep them green into the Summer, but eventually the plants will shut down for their Summer dormancy.      

CI

    Beautiful stands of this eccentric and distinctive plant are found around CI, primarily on north-facing or east-facing slopes.  Scattered flowers may be observed as early as mid-December.  The CI plants had largely turned brown by time of the Springs Fire in May of 2013.  The foliage was burnt away by the fire, and with 2 weeks fresh green foliage had emerged on handful of plants.   However, most of these plants later died, leaving blackened skeletons scattered across the hillsides.  In fact, the only plants that survived the fire were those growing in places where the fire either did not reach or burn as intensely - such among fields of boulders or stone.

 

References

      More on this species at CalFlora.

      The Jepson Manual (2012:  373).

      Dale (2000:  59).

      McAuley (1996:  210).

 leptosyne-gigant…mar2006-anacapaslandLeptosyne gigantea at Frenchy's Cove, West Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park (28 March 2006).

 leptosyne-gigantea-28mar2008Leptosyne gigantea on hillside to the south of University Glen, CI (28 March 2008).

 leptosyne--gigantea-19feb2005-8Leptosyne gigantea on rocky hillside to the south of University Glen, CI (19 February 2005).

 leptosyne-gigantea-28mar2008-1Leptosyne gigantea on crest of hill to west of Aliso Hall, CI (28 March 2008).

 leptosyne-gigantea-29feb2008-1Leptosyne gigantea on hillside to south of University Glen, CI, looking East.  Note the Primula clevelandii (purple flowers) in foreground (29 February 2008).

 leptosyne-gigantea-29jan2013-1Leptosyne gigantea seedling, hillside above (south) of Mailibu Hall, CI (29 January 2013).

 leptosyne-gigantea-5mar2013-2Leptosyne gigantea on hillside above (south) of Malibu Hall, CI (5 March 2013).

 leptosyne-gigantea-7feb2013-1Leptosyne gigantea on hillside above (south) of Malibu Hall, CI (7 Februrary 2013).

 leptosyne-gigantea-7mar2013-3Leptosyne gigantea on hillside above (south) of Malibu Hall, CI (7 March 2013).

 

leptosyne-gigantea-19mar2016-2leptosyne-gigantea-19mar2016-2Leptosyne gigantea on slope to west of University Glen, above Santa Cruz Island Drive, CI campus (19 March 2016).

leptosyne-gigantea-20mar2016-1Leptosyne gigantea on slope to south of University Park Entrance area, CI campus (20 March 2016).

leptosyne-gigantea-20may2014-1Leptosyne gigantea a forest of fire killed plants on the slope to the south of the model airplane field, University Park, CI campus (20 May 2014).

leptosyne-gigantea-20may2014-5Leptosyne gigantea seedlings sprout on the slope to the south of the model airplane field, University Park, CI campus (20 May 2014).

leptosyne-gigantea-20may2014-3Leptosyne gigantea seedly on the slope to the south of the model airplane field, University Park, CI campus.  Effects of fire on rocks and soil still evident (20 May 2014).

leptosyne-gigantea-26apr2014-2

Leptosyne gigantea a fire survivor growing among bed of rocks, on year following the fire (26 April 2014).

 

leptosyne-gigantea-2may2014-1Leptosyne gigantea another forest of dead plants, on year following the fire, here on the slope to south of university power plant, CI campus (2 May 2014).

leptosyne-gigantea-4mar2014-1Leptosyne gigantea a young fire survivor spouts new grown, on rock face (above) to south of Malibu Hall, CI campus (4 March 2014).

 

leptosyne-gigantea-9apr2016-1Leptosyne gigantea on north face of hill to north of Scary Dairy, CI campus (9 April 2016).

leptosyne-gigantea-9apr2016-3Leptosyne gigantea on north face of hill to north of Scary Dairy, CI campus (9 April 2016).

leptosyne-gigantea-9apr2016-6Leptosyne gigantea on north face of hill to north of Scary Dairy, CI campus (9 April 2016).