One Botanical Mystery Solved, Another Emerges
Thanks to Great Basin Wildflowers, and some helpful internet resources confirming it, I was able to identify my mystery plant as Hydrophyllum capitatum Douglas ex Benth, or Ballhead waterleaf. I was correct that it was in the Borage family – looks like I’m starting to get my ID skills back. It’s such a relief to know what it is. I kept seeing it everywhere, and it was like it was mocking me! Turns out it’s a common mid-elevation plant in our area, loving moist shady woods and trailsides. The young greens are apparently quite tasty when cooked. Here’s a better picture of a not-dead one:
So now, a new mystery. This one I have only a truly terrible picture for – the iphone doesn’t like to do macro, especially in bright sun. But I haven’t found any flowers that match this. Idaho blue-eyed grass is close, but no yellow center to these flowers. Bunch of flowers borne on a long stalk with basal, grass-like leaves. Almost certainly Liliacae.
Any guesses? It was really pretty but I only saw this one so didn’t want to pick it.