Hillside walk, 08 September 2014
The weekly count of flowering native species has changed little over the past six weeks. Saw toothed goldenbush (Hazardia squarrosa) and twiggy wreath plant (Stephanomeria sp.) are again the most notable species at their peak of bloom. One other species, coyote brush (Baccharis pulilaris), is also at its peak. The cliff aster (Malacothrix sacatilis var. tenuifolia), seems to come and go at various times during the years; at present it has good blooms along one part of Lida Street, but none elsewhere.
All of the other blooming species are essentially in a remnant state. For example, bush monkey flower (Diplacus longiflorus), is represented by a single flower, as it was last week (the same flower), and that flower has been mostly eaten by something. Back sage (Salvia mellifera) finished its bloom long ago, except for one plant that continues with a small number of flowers. last year that plant continue to have a few flowers all the way through the winter and into spring. Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) is finished its major bloom, but has just a few flowers on one plant, with a few flowers on a second plant this week. Several weeks ago laurel sumac (Malosma lurina) was in mass bloom all over the north hillside; but flowers continued in small numbers on a few plants, and this week there were even a few more flowers that last week. The California mugwort (Atermisia californica) has bloomed for several weeks, and now is almost gone. California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) will continue to bloom all the way through the winter, and although it's widespread and noticeable, it's well beyond the peak of bloom.
Overall, the hillsides look dry and uninviting; but we do have some flowers!