[fosc] New seed-species, and a brand new plant-find

Karen Paulsell kpaulsell@pacbell.net
Wed, 09 Jul 2003 19:15:10 -0700


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Today's seed-hike was a series of short seed-hikes at 3 spots, with one
Orchid stop along the way.<br><br>
First, we headed up to Skyline, near Chabot. We were headed for a big
patch of Blue Wild Rye, <i>Elymus glaucus</i> -- got a lot of it -- and
scored a few seeds from a tiny annual lupine, the purple banner had a
white &quot;stripe&quot; in the center.&nbsp; We also wanted to collect
seeds for Douglas Iris, there's a bunch of small patches in the shade
near the Redwood Bowl parking lot, and a really big patch on Skyline
below Chabot, plus a bunch of smaller stands across Skyline. We got only
a few seeds from the iris -- most of the brown pods have withered seeds,
most of the big fat pods are still too green. Got to try again. As usual,
we couldn't resist the temptation do kill or severely maul several broom
plants, yellow star thistles, and poison hemlocks. And we kept plucking
extra bits of blue wild rye to toss into bare spots along the
road.<br><br>
We solved one mystery -- I had found a few Tanoaks (<i>Lithocarpus
densiflorus</i>) in the understory by the parking lot just before Chabot,
and wondered how they got there. Well, duh, when finding tiny oaks, look
for a source of tiny acorns...right by Skyline, a mighty Tanoak, right
now dangling its big white catkins for eager insects. Duh, that's where
little trees come from, Karen. This tree is a native Californian, but not
found in Alameda or Contra Costa counties -- Marin, San Mateo, Santa
Clara, and north and south along the coast, in the Sierras -- but not
here. <br><br>
We stopped at the Pallid Manzanita (<i>Arcostaphylos pallida</i>) patch
on the West side of Skyline -- said hello to our federally-listed
resident.<br><br>
Next stop is the trailhead on Skyline that's close to Joaquin Miller Road
-- to go see if the Trillium ovatum seed pods were ripe. Ooops, a bit
lat. Just a couple of seeds&nbsp; -- most of the pods had popped and
gone, there were a couple of too-green ones. And some Wild Ginger
(<i>Asarum caudautum</i>) from that giant patch of ginger near the
trailhead on Skyline near the JM Road intersection. I think this wet year
was a good one for the wild ginger -- both this patch and the one on
Cinderella Trail had lots of seedlings.&nbsp; We find a few more seeds on
the <i>Trientalis latifolia</i> -- Star Flower. Would be good to see some
of these in our revegetated area in the canyon. And there was a big sword
fern, in a falling-down trail bank, we decided it had a better chance at
life in a pot in the nursery than flopping onto the trail.<br><br>
Next, we went to Sanborn Road in JM Park, to a spot near Lookout Point.
On the way, we got a few seeds from Squirreltail grass, <i>Elymus
multisetus</i> -- they're so sproingy, they're hard to stuff into an
envelope!<br><br>
We got a few more seeds from another annual lupine, a bigger lupine
growing near Lookout Point -- we think it's <i>Lupinus succulentus</i>,
Arroyo lupine.&nbsp; think the same one is -- er, was, growing in
Shepherd Canyon Park. (The fire crew whacked it -- and the Silver bush
lupine -- and the Golden Yarrow -- and, and and.)<br><br>
We wanted to check out the Yampah (<i>Perideridia kelloggii</i>) and the
<i>Clarkia rubicunda</i> (farewell-to-spring) -- first, just to enjoy
them, and second, so we'd be able to find them when they're in seed. And
near the Clarkia --- wow, a gorgeous new find, <i>Silene californica</i>,
California Indian Pink. Pink, shmink, this is a gorgeous red beauty! A
new one for the list!<br><br>
Martha Lowe included a long list of natives and exotics in her thesis --
and we've been adding to that as we made new plant-finds.&nbsp; We're on
the brink of being able to say &quot;FoSC has identified over 200 species
native to the watershed.&quot; So it's exciting to find a new one --
especially a gorgeous one that's easy to ID. <br><br>
Good day, a tad hot, but worth all the sweat to find seeds for things we
haven't grown before -- Trillium, Star Flower, the tiny Lupine, and Wild
Ginger (we've got Gingers from root cuttings, but now we get to try from
seed.)<br>
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