Just as the fervid glow of the sun is beginning to transform the green
of our southern hill-slopes to soft browns, the still vividly green lowland
meadows suddenly bring forth myriads of white stars, which in their
green setting become grateful resting-points for the eye.
(Parsons, 1914 )
First published in 1895, Parsons 399 may have been the first book on California wildflowers written for the general public. Today there are a multitude of such books.They have become more terse, packed with information on distribution and ecology and systematics. But the plants haven’t changed. Parsons and Buck often let the plants speak for themselves; their language is a bit old-fashioned now, their prose more leisurely, but the imagery is poetic, and no less accurate.
These are the blossoms of the famous yerba mansa of the Spanish-Californians.
Among these people the plant is an infallible remedy for many disorders,
and so highly do they prize it that they often travel or send long distances for it.