Monday, July 12, 2010

Those Amazing California Natives

At the end of June, I finally got a chance to hike in Oak Canyon again. Since we have not had significant rain since May, I was expecting to see the plants dried up and dormant for the summer. Imagine my surprise to see the canyon still bursting with blooms! And plants that were not blooming were putting out colorful berries like the Holly-leaf Buckthorn, Rhamnus ilicifolia above. Other plants had leaf color like this Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry, Ribes speciosum below.

It was good to find Fringed Indian Pink, Silene laciniata blooming just where I found it last year only it seemed like there were many more flowers this year.

A new plant for me was this Heart-leaved Bush-penstemon, Keckiella cordifolia, although I don't know how I could have missed it before. Whole hillsides were covered with it!

Another new plant I found was this Sacapellote, Acourtia microcephala. There was only one of those, so I am not surprised I haven't seen it before. Sacapellote is the Spanish name for this plant and a concoction made from the roots has been used as a treatment for asthma. It is in the daisy family.

But the star of the day was the Toyon, Heteromeles arbutifolia. Toyon was everywhere and in full bloom. In December, all those white flowers will have turned into red berries. Spectacular!

1 comment:

  1. From all of this it looks like you will have a lot of options for your back yard but the weather may differ on how well they will grow. - MK