View Full Version : Identity Help Needed

09-16-2003, 04:37 AM
I would appreciate help in identifying a native plant that has fascinated me.

This plant was found growing among cattle-grazed, low grass in a mixed oak/grassland setting between the Parkfield Grade and Parkfield, Monterey County, CA. I was first attracted to it by an almost overwhelming pungent smell, best described as close to the smell of turpentine or an oil-based product. It is low-growing, with small, narrow, ribbed 8mm long leaves. Flowers are blue-purple.

I apologize for my lack of botanical skills, I`d do much better with birds or reptiles. I`d be hopeless at an attempt to key out this plant!

The most telling attribute of this plant is the pungent smell. Standing in the midst of this field, the sense was almost overwhelming. Two months later, you can still smell my specimen from five feet away. Rubbing your fingers along the leaves/stem imparts a very strong smell to them that lingers for hours if not washed off.

Any help would be appreciated. Please email me!

Matthew O`Brien

09-18-2003, 04:30 AM
Your plant is Trichostema lanceolatum [Vinegar Weed]. Amazing smell to those guys, and amazing that they can bloom in the blistering dry late summer heat in the most barren places. It is an annual in the Mint family and is the same genus as the perennial/woody Trichostema lanatum [Wooly Blue-curls] Here`s some photos:

09-19-2003, 08:31 AM
Sounds like maybe vinegar weed? look here http://www.calflora.net/bloomingplants/vinegarweed.html</p>