Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

So why is it called marsh gumplant?

with 14 comments


Grindelia stricta var. angustifolia is called marsh gumplant because it grows in marshes and is gummy (I’d have said gooey). You can see that second feature in this closeup that I took, like the previous photograph, in the wetlands of California’s Martinez Regional Shoreline on November 2nd of last year.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 3, 2017 at 5:04 AM

14 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I really appreciate this, because I couldn’t quite imagine what the gummy buds looked like. I think your “gooey” is better.

    It seems the plant is useful for more than easing poison ivy. I’m not sure I’d try this, but then again, I’ve had one of those lingering coughs. If it works, it might be worth it. (On the other hand, taking the vodka straight and not messing with the gumweed might work, too.)


    March 3, 2017 at 10:30 PM

    • If you’ll permit a French-English play on words: Chacun à son goût (where the last word is pronounced the same as English goo), which means “Each to his own taste,” or, as I like to say, “Each to his own goo.” I’ve yet to learn what benefit all that goo provides to the plant, but according to your link it can help people with lingering coughs. Wish I had some gumweed here in New Zealand because I happen to have a bit of a cough left over from a cold and sore throat that caught up to me here last week. Vodka is available, but I’ll just ride out the remains of the cough.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 4, 2017 at 12:46 PM

  2. After a too-long lapse, I got myself over here to see where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to. WOW! Thank you for a wonderful way to spend part of my Sunday morning. Now I might be ready to brave the freezing cold here for a visit to the Vassar Arts Museum for a look at “The Art of Devastation.” (Some title, right? Here’s a link, if you’re curious: http://fllac.vassar.edu/exhibitions/2017/art-of-devastation.html)

    Susan Scheid

    March 5, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    • Hi, Susan. I’ve been up to even more, and half-way around the world, at that: this message comes to you from Rotorua, New Zealand. Your Art of Devastation exhibit would fit right in over here, where every mid-size town seems to have its Great War memorial. I read the other day that 17,000 New Zealand soldiers died in that war; I just checked and found that the population of the whole country then was only about one million. In contrast, the United States lost about 116,000 at a time when its population was 103 million, so you can see how much higher the death rate was for New Zealand.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 5, 2017 at 11:52 AM

  3. Excellent close-up of this interesting looking plant, Steve.

    Jane Lurie

    March 5, 2017 at 5:42 PM

  4. Great photo Steve .. very gooey


    March 8, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    • Goo is good.

      We hoped to see you again, but we got stranded on the Coromandel Peninsula when they had the most rain in 10 years and we were trapped and couldn’t get out till this morning. We wondered if we would even make our flight today, but here we are in the airport now waiting to return to Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 8, 2017 at 9:48 PM

  5. Nature in her infinite variety! Beautiful and interesting photo, Steve. 🙂

    Lavinia Ross

    March 11, 2017 at 5:25 PM

    • We have species of gumweed in Austin, so I was already familiar with the goo. That’s how I recognized that these wildflowers in California must be in that genus.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 11, 2017 at 5:55 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: