After the Mendocino Wildflower Show this weekend I was inspired to hike the redwood forest to look for some of my favorite forest dwelling wildflowers and plants. Today we feature the Trail Plant (also called Pathfinder Plant), or Adenocaulon bicolor. When their dark green, triangular leaves are disturbed or turned over their bright, white under-leaf is displayed and one can easily follow the trail of another passing through the woods or mark their own way with it's leaves. How cool is that??
The trail plant is a perennial that regenerates each year, forming what appears to be a low hovering mat of leaves in the shadowed areas under trees and along fallen logs or trails. Their big leaves allow moisture to collect under them along the forest floor and duff which helps to decompose organic matter. In addition to their leaves, there is a single slender stem that shoots up to about three feet tall that extends out to tiny white flowers that make their appearance from June to September. The tiny fruit that grows at the end of the stem have tiny hairs that cling to pant legs to be transported through the forests.
Madge Malone in her blogging zone!