Astrida and I are going to do some indigo dyeing today. I realized that I know nothing about the indigo plant, so did some research (thank you, internet).
True indigo is a legume with pink or violet flowers. It has been naturalized to tropical and temperate Asia, as well as parts of Africa, but its native habitat is unknown since it has been in cultivation worldwide for many centuries.
Dye is obtained from the processing of the plant’s leaves. Today most dye is synthetic, but natural dye from I. tinctoria is still available, and that’s what we’re going to be using today.
Dudleya, commonly known as liveforevers, is a genus of succulent plants endemic to southwestern North America and Guadalupe Island.
They do not, in fact, live forever. In the wild, many species of Dudleya are vulnerable, as poachers and habitat loss threaten their populations. Poached plants are often shipped to Asia, especially South Korea.
We have one little plant (obtained from CNPS), and it’s starting to flower! Go forth and multiply, little Dudleya!
I joined the Urban Sketchers in Redondo Beach this morning, and while most of them were painting the historic library building in Veterans Park, I wandered down to Redondo Landing to sketch the fisherpeople.
The Matilija (ma-TILL-uh-hah) Poppy, often called the Fried Egg poppy, has the largest flower of any native California species, 6+ inches (15+ cm) across. It’s native to dry, sunny areas from California to Baja. These ones were growing by Serrano Road and had probably escaped from a garden, as I don’t see them growing natively in this part of the SM Mountains. But it’s always such a treat to come across them.
For the past few months, we flower-hikers have been avidly watching the growth of the Humboldt lilies in select locations throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. Yesterday V. and I were delighted to spot our first blooms of the season. Happy dance!