Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 14, 2017

Marin County Wildflowers Homestead Valley Land Trust 2/14/17

Homestead Valley Land Trust reports

– Blue dicks, a soft blue cluster at the end of a long stem is bobbing blue on the way to Homestead Hill. There are many patches of it yet to bloom on the ridge trail and down in the brighter places along the Homestead Trail.
– Spring gold, a bright yellow low cluster, is blooming just down the face of the Ridgewood Rock. We can look forward to lots more as the blooms come where it carpets the lower part of the rock.
– Woodland strawberry is common at the forest edges where it is starting to bloom.
– Wood sweet cicely is abundant along all the woodland paths. Its small white blooms are appearing now. Once it goes to seed, the tender pods make a delicious trail snack.

– Fairy Bells will bloom for months. The plants are up and fresh but only a few have blooms. Flower bells hang under the leaves and are usually impossible to see from our vantage, so turn over the leaves and peak underneath.
– Forget-me-not* the familiar pretty little blue flower, a European native, is starting to bloom now. This is one of our most successful invasives covering the forest floor and crowding out native species.
– Oso berry is flowering in the seep along the Homestead Trail East. Also know as Indian plum, this shrub produces edible fruit.
– Fetid adder’s tongue, one of our most exotic and earliest spring wildflowers is blooming in its woodland locations. It grows in patches so, if you see one, look for more.
– Green wattle with its heady scent, is blooming with its yellow puff flowers. This native of Eastern Australia blooms after the first rains.
– Trillium, with its white flower in the center of three heart shaped leaves is blooming in the forest.

Forest Edges
– Checker lily is blooming along the Eagle Trail, going up, 8 steps past the little creek below 9e on the right.
– Douglas iris is blooming with purple and white blooms near the large Indian warrior patch at 9k.
– Ground iris is blooming white on the oak knoll after you cross the creek above 9d.
– Manroots or Wild cucumber is a native vine with white flowers that will soon be blooming all over.
– Milkmaids, are just starting. This is a member of the mustard/radish family (edible).
– Shooting star is blooming below the sign post at 9e with lots of buds nearby.
– Pacific hounds tongue with its small blue flowers and large leaves is popping up all over and blooming at the edges of the forest and in shaded meadows.

– Chickweed, a native of Europe, is edible and nutritious, and is used as a leaf vegetable, often raw in salads.
– Footsteps of spring is blooming up on the ridge and in open meadows.
– Death camus is blooming in woodland meadows, the whole plant is poisonous, hence the name.
– Greene’s saxifrage, one of the flowers in Homestead found only on the Ridgewood Rock is blooming there now. These tiny blooms stand atop long stems and bloom on the mossy shelves of the rock.
– Indian warrior is popping up in many locations but is only showing bright color at the large patch at 9k.
– White flowered onion*, native to the Mediterranean basin, is blooming in gutters and wet places. All parts of the plant from the bulb to the flower are edible.

See photos and map at: February 14, 2017 – Homestead Valley Land Trust

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