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Lasthenia maritima facts for kids

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Lasthenia maritima
Lastheniamaritimafarallon.jpg
Farallon Islands, California: a hillside covered in L. maritima
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
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Order:
Family:
Tribe:
Genus:
Lasthenia
Species:
L. maritima
Binomial name
Lasthenia maritima
(A.Gray) Ornduff
Synonyms

Baeria maritima

Lasthenia maritima is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common names maritime goldfields and seaside goldfields.

Distribution

It is native to the coastline of western North America, where it is found almost exclusively on small rocky, coastal islands in the Pacific Ocean between Vancouver Island in British Columbia to the Farallon Islands off the coast of the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

This species probably evolved from Lasthenia minor, and it is adapted to the unique conditions on these maritime islands: high winds, saline sea spray, and thin soils that are often disturbed by the activities of the seabirds that roost and nest on these rocks and made acidic and nitrogen-rich from their droppings.

Though limited in distribution, this is one of the more common plants on the Farallon Islands of California, where it is an important part of the ecology of seabirds and where it is locally known as Farallon weed.

Description

Lasthenia maritima is an annual herb with short, decumbent to prostrate stems lined with fleshy lobed or unlobed leaves up to 9 centimeters long.

The inflorescence bears flower heads lined with hairy phyllaries and ringed with 7 to 12 gold ray florets each about 3 millimeters long.

The fruit is a small, hairy achene often topped with a brownish pappus.

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