Showy, fragrant, late-season blooms!
While other annual flowers are busy blooming in the spring and early summer, Common Madia is growing and sending down a deep taproot to search for water during the summer drought. It waits until the middle of summer to bloom, opening its bright yellow flowers high above many of the other meadow plants. Multiple branches carry large flowers across the whole plant.
The petals open in the early morning, and close towards the middle of the day to conserve water. While they are open, the flowers are a favorite of butterflies and bees. They are very fragrant, and have been described as having a pineapple smell. After the flowers lose their petals, the seeds are a favorite for birds, especially finches, larks, and other songbirds.
Common Madia also has a lot of value to humans, especially southern Pacific Coast tribes. Common Madia seeds have long been ground for pinole by the Miwok, Hupa, Cahuilla, Digueno, Chumash, Costanoan, Kawaiisu, and Maidu tribes.
Photo Credit: By Calibas - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2824057
Photo Credit: By Dick Culbert from Gibsons, B.C., Canada - Madia elegans, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50051535