Friday, January 10, 2020

The Wildflower Hill trail...

Yes this is my final post from the Theodore Payne Foundation. I didn't mean to stretch it out over four just happened that way. Today I'll share the rest of what I saw as I walked the ¾ mile trail up and down through chaparral and coastal sage scrub. I started at the entrance to the fire management demo garden...

Pellaea mucronata, aka bird foot fern. Hardy in Zones 5 -10.

Rhus ovata, aka sugarbush. Hardy in Zones 6 -10

The skies were threatening that day, but luckily they didn't unleash, at least not while I was outside.

Hesperoyucca whipplei, I believe.

And it's bloomspike with seed pods.

I broke one open, that's a lot of seeds! This guy is pollinated by the California yucca moth (Tegeticula maculata—more info here) I didn't see any holes where the moth larvae bored out.

Birds kept circling and landing on other yucca blooms, I managed to catch a pair in position.

I had said there were no wildflowers blooming. I was wrong...

But the green hills and yucca (plus a few opuntia) were the real attractions.

This yucca bloom had seed pods with eyelashes.

See what I mean?

Ah, the end of the trail, top of the hill...

Nobody brought me a picnic though.

Once I was up top the skies cleared a bit.

Salvia some-something...

The leaves look like those on my Salvia clevelandii.

And these more like Salvia apiana.

Almost back down to the nursery now, I wonder what animal made that flattened spot in the spring-green grass?

This scene begs a great caption.

I wonder if there's a screen (TV, computer) in the locked box?

Ah, leave it to me to end the trail at the beginning, oh well. At least I made it out before 4:00.

Weather Diary, Jan 9: Hi 42, Low 36/ Precip trace

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Ah! I enjoyed this post very much. Sometimes it's so refreshing and different to visit wild places rather than a well groomed garden.

  2. Ah ... nice pix! Another funny nickname for a plant is "taco bush" for sugarbush because of the shape of the leaf. The wildflowers (if anyone cares) are deerweed (the yellow one),
    Sphaeralcea ambigua - Apricot Mallow (an absolutely gorgeous plant in a couple of months, covered all over orange blossoms) and the white and rust one is California buckwheat. Most likely it was deer that made the flattened spot. I used to work there writing the wildflower hotsheet.

    1. Thanks for all the info Jane, much appreciated!

  3. Would love to go back there when the wildflowers are in bloom! Thanks again for giving the Theodore Payne Foundation a much-deserved boost in recognition!

    1. Dear Gerhard, there aren't many more wildflowers blooming there than what Loree has shown you except the sages would be blooming. Chaparral and coastal sage scrub are not spectacular wildflower locations. In the Los Angeles Basin only the alluvial fan scrub habitat has great displays. You can find these at Santa Fe Dam Nature Center in mid-April. If you are planning a trip down to San Diego to see your daughter check the Theodore Payne Wildflower Hotline first. It is updated weekly from March to May. Many of the locations are just a bit off the freeway. It will be a good year.

    2. "Wildflower Hotline" this!

  4. Nice even in the "off" season. Rhus grows wild in my area too, including along the area along the entrance to our neighborhood - or it did anyway, before one of the neighbors took it upon himself to hack the hillside back within an inch of its life. I'm hoping it's resilient enough to spring back.

  5. A lovely day for photos and a hike. If this were your own gardening show there would have been a fully laid out picnic for you at the top of your climb. Alas! Do you know what the spikey plant with the deerbush is?

    1. Wouldn't that have been nice! (#goals) I believe the plant you ask about is another Hesperoyucca whipplei, they were all over that hillside.

  6. So relaxing to hike along with you! And I'm glad it stayed dry for you.

    1. Me too, there was plenty of rain on that trip and yet I stayed out of it for the most part.

  7. Cool place! And it's awesome to see all the yucca seed pods and seeds. Looks like a great place to hike.

  8. So much green grass! The seedpods are cool.

  9. I want that fern. Sean has one in a container and I've long lusted after it. Sugarbush sounds like a polite substitute for an expletive. "Oh, sugarbush!"


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