Whispering Bellls (Emmenanthe penduliflora) - TheBackCountry

Emmenanthe is a monotypic genus which contains only one species, Emmenanthe penduliflora, known by the common name whispering bells. This grassland wildflower is native to California, though it can also be found in other locations within western North America.

It is an annual plant with fleshy foliage which exudes a sticky juice with a light medicinal odor. The plant comes up from a weedy-looking basal rosette of sharply lobed leaves. Inflorescence is a terminal cluster of flowers, borne on slender pedicels less than 1 inch long. Blooms have five sepals and five yellow or pinkish petals in a bell-shaped. Flowers dry and become light and papery. The dry hanging flowers make a rustling sound when a breeze comes through, giving the whispering bells its common name. The dry flower also contains a fruit about a centimeter wide.

This flower is most common in dry, recently burned areas; germination of the seeds may be triggered by the presence of burned plant material. It is a common plant of the chaparral ecosystem, which is prone to wildfire.

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