Gordon’s Ivesia (Ivesia gordonii)
From a distance, one might assume it to be Oregon Sunshine, given its bright yellow color and tendency to grow amid dry rock and shale near the top of mountains like central Oregon’s Cone Peak and Iron Mountain. A closer look reveals clusters of 5-petaled flowers and unusual, basal leaves. This plant grows in scattered locations throughout the west.
The genus is named after Eli Ives (1779-1861), a Yale University pharmacologist and professor who also taught Botany and established a botanical garden while at Yale. The species is named after an English horticulturist Alexander Gordon who lived around the same time in Rochester, New York and later in South Carolina and Georgia. He may have come across these plants during his 1845 trip along the Oregon Trail.
Also known as Gordon’s Mousetail.