Limnanthes douglasii

Limnanthes douglasii is a species of annual flowering plant in the family Limnanthaceae (meadowfoam) commonly known as Douglas' meadowfoam[1] or poached egg plant. It is native to California and Oregon, where it grows in wet, grassy habitat, such as vernal pools and spring meadows. It can grow in poorly drained clay soils. The plant was collected by the Scottish explorer and botanist David Douglas, who worked on the west coast of America in the 1820s.

Limnanthes douglasii
Limnanthes douglasii1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Limnanthaceae
Genus: Limnanthes
Section: Limnanthes sect. Limnanthes
L. douglasii
Binomial name
Limnanthes douglasii
Limnanthes douglasii subsp. rosea

The plant usually bears white flowers with yellow centers, hence the name "poached egg plant", but flower color can vary across subspecies. It is a popular ornamental plant. It attracts hoverflies and is pollinated by bees. It is self-seeding, even in a lawn.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[2][3]

There are six subspecies:

  • L. douglasii subsp. douglasii R. Br., is native to the coastal mountains and valleys of southwestern Oregon south to the San Francisco Bay Area
  • L. douglasii subsp. nivea (C.T. Mason) C.T. Mason, with mostly white flowers, grows in the coastal mountains of northern California
  • L. douglasii subsp. ornduffii (E. G. Buxton), with 4 petals instead of 5, is endemic to California's San Mateo County[4]
  • L. douglasii subsp. rosea (Benth.) C.T. Mason, found in California's Central Valley and adjacent hills, often has pink veining on its petals
  • L. douglasii subsp. sulphurea (C.T. Mason) C.T. Mason, is a rare yellow-petaled subspecies endemic to the Bay Area
  • L. douglasii subsp. striata (Jeps.) Morin, has recently been subsumed into this species; it occurs in the Klamath range and the north and central Sierra Nevada


  1. ^ "Limnanthes douglasii". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  2. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Limnanthes douglasii". Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  3. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 60. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  4. ^ "A New Subspecies of Limnanthes (Limnanthaceae) from San Mateo County, California". Retrieved 8 May 2020.

External linksEdit