Plants in San Diego Canyons

 

Below are several photos of plants in Manzanita Canyon. Visit again soon as I will be adding new plants as the seasons progress. To read an article about our local canyons, Click Here.

For recommended books on Chaparral plants and plants of California in general, Click Here

A hillside with the white Wart-Stemmed Ceanothus (Ceanothus verrucosus). This is a rare plant found only in the coastal sage scrub and chaparral ecosystem and nowhere else in the world. It is easily identified by its abundant white flowers and dark bumps (warts) on the stems.


Wart-Stemmed Ceanothus and Ceanothus oliganthus. Ceanothus oliganthus is commonly called the Mountain Lilac or Chaparral Lilac, although it is not at all related to the true lilac.


Parish's Nightshade (Solanum parishii)

This is a beautiful member of the tomato and potato family (Solanaceae) common in our canyons.


Slender Sunflower (Helianthus gracilentus)

This is a low, shrubby perennial sunflower.


Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon crassifolium var. crassifolium)

The large fuzzy gray-green leaves makes this plant easy to identify. Plants of this genus has been used medicinally for lung ailments.


Mojave Yucca (Yucca shidigera). One of two yucca species in San Diego County.


Chaparral Lilac (Ceanothus oliganthus)


Coast Monkey flower (Mimulus aurantiacus). This species lives throughout California and ranges in color from a creamy white, to bright orange, to scarlet.


Pipestems (Clematis lasianthus)

This is a close relative of the garden variety of Clematis. The flowers of this California species are somewhat less dramatic, but the fluffy cluster of seed at the end of summer are quite noticeable.


Wild Cucumber (Marah macrocarpus)

This is a plant common in California. The tendril covered vines sprout each spring from a large underground root. After making flowers and a spiny fruit, all the above ground parts die back and whither by mid summer. The Kumeyaay would use the ground-up roots to stun fish.


San Diego Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus minutiflorus)

A common component of the chaparral, this plant is known for its amazingly dense wood that will sink in water.


Mulefat (Baccarus salicifolia)

Called mulefat because apparently it was a favorite food of mules, this riparian plant is found in seasonal and perennial streams throughout the County.


Scrub Oak (Quercus dumosa)

This unassuming shrub is actually an oak. Although is a very rare plant in California, it can abundant where it is found, as it is in our canyons.


Lemonadeberry (Rhus integrifolia)

This plant, a relative of both mangos and poison oak (Anacardiaceae), produces sticky berries that were used by indigenous people to make a tart drink.

 

 


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