Osmadenia tenella

I never noticed these pretty but really tiny annual wildflowers until about a month ago, when I took a walk at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Osmadenia tenella (also called False rosinweed or simply Osmadenia) is native to California, but Calflora has no recorded observations further north than Los Angeles County, so they’re really limited to Southern California (and probably Baja California).

I made a couple of photos in June, but didn’t really get that much “into” them – on that day I primarily went to see Indian Pink and Nutall’s snapdragons. When I focus on a specific plant or flower, I do tune out the rest a bit, in order to not get completely sidetracked… :-)

I had the one good photo from that day in my May/June wildflower gallery until now, and two weeks ago finally saw more of them on an evening hike with friends. I took the opportunity to get a more complete picture, so to say, and this is the result. I had forgotten just how tiny these flowers are – the entire flower in the first photo probably has a diameter of just 10mm (it is cropped from a larger frame; my macro lens doesn’t have magnification beyond 1:1).

They grow in patches that appear a bit messy because their stems are spindly, and the leaves sparse – so, not that easy to photograph in a compelling way. :-) It’s really worth getting up close to them though – the flowers, tiny as they may be, are quite complex and beautiful as you can see. I hope that the four photos below give you a good idea what to look for. Cheers!

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4 Responses

  1. Lovely – the detail is impressive for such a tiny flower! I especially like #2 and 4.

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