The Quantum Pontiff

Yreka Phlox

Yreka Phlox (phlox hirsuta) is a endangered perennial subshrub with small beautiful purple flowers native to my hometown of Yreka, California. And now, it’s Yreka’s’ official flower. The official resolution from the city council:

“WHEREAS the Yreka Phlox is a hardy, enduring plant that grows in poor soils with little water and is known also as Phlox hirsuta; and
WHEREAS, its flower is a lovely and cheerful harbinger of spring; and
WHEREAS, the Yreka phlox is unique to our hometown; and
WHEREAS, the late City Attorney Larry Bacon had a vision for conservation of the Yreka Phlox which resulted in the Recovery Plan for Phlox hirsute, United States Fish and Wildlife Service in 2006, which was dedicated in honor of Larry Bacon; and
WHEREAS it is a rare honor to have a flower named after a city; we support the adoption of the Yreka Phlox as the City of Yreka’s official flower.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Yreka that the Yreka Phlox is named as the City of Yreka’s official flower.”

My father loved the outdoors, loved the city of Yreka, and loved wildflowers. The resolution would have made him very happy.


  1. #1 D. Eppstein
    September 14, 2009

    Your post inspired me to add something about this to Wikipedia. Expansion welcome. If we can get it past 1500 characters of actual content (not counting references etc) we can probably get it onto the Wikipedia front page through their “Did You Know” program.

  2. #2 John Sidles
    September 15, 2009

    Dave, Seattle has a hidden grove of (exceedingly rare) American chestnut trees … that have never been infected with the blight that killed them in the East.

    If you would like some American chestnuts to plant in Yreka (where they would prosper, I’m sure), please let me know.

    Here’s a chestnut sapling in my front yard, that my sons and I grew from such a seed … “”.

    Will the blight end the chestnut?

    The farmers rather guess not.
    It keeps smoldering at the roots
    and sending up new shoots
    till another parasite
    shall come to end the blight.

    -Robert Frost

    A chestnut tree can live for up to three centuries … which that would be an enduring memorial for your dad … and supply many generations of kids with tasty chestnuts!

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