Phacelia corymbosa is another lovely perennial phacelia, but is covered with short glandular hairs in contrast to the long stinging hairs of Phacelia nemoralis. There can still be stabby hairs occasionally, so care is always a good idea – on this or any perennial phacelia. The glandular exudate stains newspapers when specimens are pressed, and can cause contact dermatitis. Maybe. The glandular trichomes haven’t been tested in this species – but it seems reasonable [see anything by Gary Reynolds - Reynolds and Rodriguez 1979, Reynolds et al. 1980, Reynolds 1981, Reynolds and Rodriguez 1981a, Reynolds and Rodriguez 1981b, Reynolds et al. 1986, Reynolds and Rodriguez 1986]. I get the itchies.
Corollas are white or fade cream and are readily dehiscent, with the typical long exserted stamens of the perennial phacelia group. Leaves are nicely green, and basal leaves usually dissected or lobed, but distal leaves can be simple and entire. There are usually many flowering stems. Jepson recombined this as a variety, if looking for the taxon in the 1943 flora.
The plants form mats on serpentine slopes or banks, and I found groupings on a riverbank. The previous year['s] accumulated basal leaves mound up underneath the new year’s basal rosette.
At the Disability office at SFSU, there was a bookmark that calmly recommended ‘One thing at a time.’ Dr. Baldwin talked with me about preparation for oral qualifying exams and the scope of my thesis prospectus, and recommended his version. “One crisis at a time.”
Some ideas have been developing since my master’s thesis, and feel like a logical progression toward the goal of being able to answer questions of evolution in this group. Others are somewhat of a departure from systematics, and are less well articulated at this stage. I don’t know how other people write, but every potential thesis chapter definitely does not spring fully formed from my brain, it comes out as odd misshapes. Sentences that include notes to myself, find and insert citation here, random marginalia. Sometimes I write in notebooks in the field and later transfer it all together inside a larger structure, and sometimes I close my eyes and type everything listening to dubstep.
I am reading on edaphic endemism and serpentine for a committee meeting this week. The books have been sharing the window sill with my pet serpentine rocks. The state rock of California, yo. The button was given to me by Dr. Judy Jernstedt, my academic advisor at UC Davis, who signed all the paperwork that let me stay in school. The debts I owe and can never repay.
That gratitude includes my debts to Dr. Ellen Dean, who gave me botany training and a job at the Davis herbarium, and took me out in the field to show me what serpentine looked like at Payne Ranch. And she still gives the best advice ever.