Blue as Blue Can Be

Clintonia andrewsiana bearing blue fruits at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
Clintonia andrewsiana bearing blue fruits at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

Redwoods are red,
Red clintonia is now blue,
It’s fall in the forest,
Bearing fruits of a brilliant hue.

The large shiny green leaves of red clintonia, or Andrew’s clintonia, grow in moist sandy soil in the redwood forest. This native lily blooms in the summer, displaying reddish-purple flowers on a tall stalk. Over the summer the fruits develop, and  in the fall the ripe fruits look like brilliant blue candy.

Often catching hikers’ eyes, these fruits are by far the bluest thing in the woods. It’s not uncommon for deer to eat the growing fruits before we get to see the beautiful blue, so it always feels special when I do see red clintonia showing its bright blue fruits to the world.

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About Emily Burns

Emily Burns, the League’s former Director of Science, led the research program that includes the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative. She holds a PhD in Integrative Biology on the impacts of fog on coast redwood forest flora from the University of California, Berkeley.

Majestic coast redwood tree.

Calling on the Wisdom of a Redwood Tree


The bark on our redwood tree was especially soft this morning.  The ground was squishy beneath my feet.  It was drippy as I stood underneath the tree in the morning fog, and newly fallen redwood leaves littered the ground. I Continued

Alerce. Photo by andrea ugarte, Flickr Creative Commons

80 Degrees of Separation


If you leave Redwood National Park and journey 80 degrees south you will arrive at the coastal town of Valdivia, Chile.  These two areas—equidistant from the equator, north and south—are about to be united through a sister park relationship that Continued

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