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Results tagged “december-21”

Dec 21, 2012: Lewisia oppositifolia

Lewisia oppositifolia

Well, the busiest four month-stint of my life since 2007 concluded today. The amount of work required of an instructor (especially those who have to develop new course material) has given me an appreciation for what my professors used to accomplish. Combining the teaching load with some personal bumps has been challenging, so I'll hope you'll forgive the absence of recent posts (in fact, the neglect of almost all of my regular work duties, for those of you who have tried corresponding with me).

Anyway, I can now turn my attention back to some state of pre-teaching normal, though there's much catching up to be done. There's also planning to do, for things like potential trips to the Siskiyou Mountains of Oregon throughout 2013, where (upon approval) we'll be running some trips to appreciate the unique flora, followed by subsequent seed and herbarium specimen collecting expeditions. One of the many species endemic to the area is Lewisia oppositifolia, or opposite-leaved lewisia. It is found only in southwest Oregon and northwest California, where it tends to prefer spring-wet sites. Often, it is associated with conifers, though one would not make that conclusion based on where today's photograph was made: an open, rocky flat with severe serpentine soils (it is also associated with these).

Additional photographs are available via CalPhotos: Lewisia oppositifolia.

Dec 21, 2011: Agave tequilana

Agave tequilana

Today's photographs, from a couple different sites in Mexico, are courtesy of retired UBC Botanical Garden staff member, David Tarrant. I sent a request to David for images of Agave tequilana for the "Botany and Spirits" series, and he was glad to share. Thanks again, mi amigo--I wish I could have made a longer entry today from your photographs, but have run out of time today.

Unsurprisingly (given the scientific name), these blue agave (or agave azul) plants are being grown for the production of tequila. This gives us a presumptive clue as to the location of the photographs, as only plants harvested from the Mexican states of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas can be used to generate the spirit marketed under that moniker. Tequila is a specific type of mezcal, and if I have misidentified these plants or identified them correctly but the plants are being grown elsewhere, then they are being used for the production of a different mezcal instead.

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