Hillside walk, 23 November 2015
Overall this week saw a significant drop in the number of flowering species.
The saw toothed goldenbush (Hazardia squarrosa) continues flowering, as does the California sagebrush (Artemisia californica) and California brickellbush (Brickellia californica), with all of these approaching the end of their annual flowering cycle.
Other species continue to provide an unusual combination of behaviors. On the one hand, the continued dry weather, perhaps coupled with warm days of the past week (mid 80s F), saw the complete absence of four o'clock flowers (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia), compared with the masses of flowers last week. Also, some species look tired, i.e. they are withering, such as rattlesnake week (Chamaesyce sp.), despite having plenty of flowers.
On the other hand, some species, continuing to flower out of season, have even more flowers this week. Such is the case with bush monkeyflower (Diplacus longiflorus) and toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia). The monkeyflower is flowering in at least four different places on the west hillside. the toyon, in one instance, has a couple of large specimens covered in fresh flowers. Maybe these plants think spring has arrived! Or maybe they feel a need to make up for the supremely dry weather by reproducing.