Appreciating the magic of Sonoma County’s vernal pools 

A rare and showy plant is blooming right now. Its name is “Sonoma Sunshine” (Blennosperma bakeri), and it is aptly labeled, as it beams a brilliant shade of yellow. What makes this plant so special is that the world’s entire population is right here in Sonoma County, and it occupies a unique and often overlooked habitat in our region: vernal pools.
Vernal pools are places on the landscape that hold water in spring but dry up completely in summer. If you think about it, that’s a hard place to be a plant, so vernal pools are home to plants with innovative strategies for survival. Most of them are annuals, meaning they go through their entire life cycle in one season and survive the hot, dry summer season as seeds.
Sonoma Sunshine is one of these.
In the early spring the seeds germinate in the shallow saturated waters of the vernal pool and send roots down and leaves upward. The plant grows quickly in full knowledge that its time is limited. It reaches up toward the sky and develops its showy daisy-like flower. And then it waits.
Read more at: Appreciating the magic of Sonoma County’s vernal pools | The Press Democrat