Lasthenia glabrata, Yellowray Goldfields
Tiny bright-yellow annual flowers form golden pools that make an excellent foil for the larger spring bloomers. It is one of the primary nectar food sources for the endangered Checkerspot butterfly. With a wide distribution throughout California, in southern California it still covers many miles in the spring, often blooming with tidy tips. Together, they make the flower field look like rich cream.
Goldfields inhabits a number of different situations, from vernal pools to serpentine soil. In the sandy soil of the desert, it still can be found, only more widely spaced, and sometimes seeking out the shade of desert shrubs.
Though the fragrance of the individual flower is imperceptible, in masses it emanates a faint, heavenly scent. It attracts goldfinches to its very fine seed, which was also a valued seed food for indigenous peoples, particularly the southern tribes.
We recommend the ounce size for effective mass plantings of this species with its small flowers, rather than packet size sowings.