Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 24, 2017

Homestead Valley Land Trust Wildflowers 6/23/17

Homestead Valley Land Trust reports on June 23

– Bigelow’s sneezeweed with its tall yellow flower and backward facing petals is blooming beside the creek that pasess the Ridgewood Rock.
– Bluff lettuce, a red-tipped succulent’s yellow flowers are blooming on the Ridgewood Rock.
– Chamise, a staple of the chaparral shrubland plant community, is blooming on a wooded hill in Homestead.
– Coyote mint with its bright purple heads are blooming in meadows up on the ridge.
– Pincusion flower, a garden escapee, native of Eurasia, is blooming in Cowboy Rock meadow.
– Skunkweed, with purple flowers surrounded by spikes is blooming on the trail to 4-corners.
– Toyon, a small tree, is blooming white in the forests.

– California spikenard, one of the largest herbaceous plants in North America, grows to 3-9′ each season. Its white firework-shaped flowers are blooming now along creeks in the forests.
– Silverleaf cotoneaster, native to China, a large shrub with white flowers that will become bright red berries is blooming at forest edges.
– American trailplant, Adenocaulon bicolor, is blooming with small white flowers at the top of a stalk. The bicolor in the Latin name refers to the arrow-shaped leaves that are green on top and whiter underneath. Turn one over to mark your way on the trail.
– California coffee berry is one of our forest shrubs. It has waxy leaves and clusters of small white star flowers.
– Cleavers has a very small white flower. The plant creeps and has small cleaving barbs.
– Coralroot is blooming above the trail in the big Indian warrior patch. Look for it in the woods along the Homestead Trail.
– Featherweed is blooming ochre along the forest trails.
– Forget-me-not* the familiar pretty little blue flower, is a European native. This is one of our most successful invasives covering the forest floor and crowding out native species.
– Hedge nettle with its tall stalk and purple flowers is blooming in the forests.
– Hellebore, an orchid, is native to Eurasia. The greenish pink flowers climb a 1′ stalk.
– Ocean spray is a forest shrub with soft lobed leaves. The white cone-shaped cluster of frothy flowers are blooming.
– Thimbleberry, in the rose family, with its white flower and lobed leaves, is a forest shrub. The raspberry looking fruit is edible and is fruiting now.
– White hawksweed has white feathery flowers and soft leaves. It’s blooming up on the Eagle Trail.
– Woodland madia has bright yellow flowers and is blooming on the Eagle Trail.
– Yellow coralroot, another yellow spike, is blooming at the indian warrior patch, 15.

Forest Edges
– Tansy ragwort, native to Eurasia, is blooming with its bright yellow flowers along Laverne. The plant contains alkaloids that catepillars absorb, making them distasteful to predators. As with other alkaloid containing plants like poison hemlock and euphorbia, it can be toxic to people.
– California honeysuckle has long pink finger flowers. It is a vine that climbs trees and shrubs to reach sun.
– Alum root, with geranium-shaped leaves and a white foamy flower is blooming along the creek near the Meadow rue on the Upper Eagle Trail.
– Buckeye trees are almost finished blooming. See them along Laverne.
– Common California aster is blooming on the Homestead trail.
– Figwort, with its small maroon flower is blooming in forest edges. This plant is a favorite of butterflies.
– Hedge parsley, native to Europe, has 3-lobed leaves like a marijuana leaf. Its small white flowers are blooming now. When these fade, there will be small burrs that attach to passerbys and spread this invasive plant along the trails.
– Milkwort has purple winglike flowers on a low plant.- Cow parsnip, this tall plant with large white umbels is blooming at the forest edge.
– Wavyleaf soap plant, only blooms at dawn and evening. It grows from a bulb covered in thick fibers and the flowers are borne on a tall stalk.
– 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.
– Yerba buena is a rambling, aromatic mint, delicious and plentiful in Homestead. Its small, white, butterfly-shaped flowers are blooming now.

– California everlasting is blooming with its paper-like white blooms up on the ridge.
– Common vetch, a native of the Mediterranean, is the purple pea blooming in the meadows
– Common Yarrow is a white flowered umbel with feathery leaves. It’s a sun lover and is blooming on the ridge now but will be out it all the meadows soon.
– Euphorbia, native of Eurasia, is blooming in Pixie and Cowboy Rock meadows.
– Harvest brodiaea, an elegant blue star flower is blooming now above junction 13.
– Ithuriel’s spear, a bright blue funnel is blooming up on the ridge now and will show up in lower meadows soon.
– Lance leaf selfheal, a velvety tower of purple is blooming along the trail below 7 and near 11.
– Naked buckwheat is blooming up in ridge meadows now.
– Poison hemlock, native to Europe, has white umbel flowers. Its stalk is mottled red hinting at the toxicity of this plant.
– Sticky monkeyflower is blooming on Cowboy Rock. This is a sun loving plant that will bloom through the summer.
– California poppy is showing its orange bell flower in the meadows.
– Flax, native to the Mediterranean region, is a pale blue flower at the end of a long stalk.
– Pineappleweed with its pincushion yellow flowers, smells like chamomile when crushed, is edible and medicinal.
– Purple western morning glory is blooming in meadows up on the ridge and on Kerouac Hill.
– Scarlet pimpernel, native to the Mediterranean basin, is a common little orange splash in the meadow grasses.
– Sky lupine, a bright blue and white lupine, grows in single stalks close to the ground.
– Wild radish, native to Asia, is blooming with purple flowers in the meadows on the ridge.
– Wild mustard, a Mediterranean native, is a tall yellow flower in meadows up on the ridge. The flowers are edible.

See map and photos at Homestead Valley Land Trust

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