Hillside walk, 14 June 2013
Because of other commitments, this week's walk was on Friday rather than Saturday.
On the old road leading up the hillside west of our house is a shrub I've been watching for a few months. It looks like a Rhamnus, but the leaves are much larger and the stems much less rigid and not spiny compared to the Rhamnus crocea up on the steep east hillside. It's a very open shrub, not dense. I missed the flowers earlier in the year, and have been watching the fruit develop. This week the fruits are a beautiful bright red. My conclusion is that this is Rhamnus ilicifollia, the holly leaf redberry. The margins of the leaves are not as spiny as I see in references, but spines are nevertheless visible, although much reduced.
Some flowers that seemingly completed their blooming earlier in the year continue to reappear, especially the Mirabilis. New in that regard this week was a re-bloominig of Phacelia minor.
Sapphire woolly star (Eriastrum sapphirinum) and narrow leaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis), seen last week for the first time this year, continue in bloom, with the Eriastrum spread more extensively than last week. Both are growing in the protection of laurel sumac trees/bushes. The laurel sumac itself continues in full bloom.
The Acourtia continues to bloom although it's now in its final stages, with the leaves and stems now dying away as summer approaches.