Hillside walk, 29 February 2016

The hillsides are probably at their peak of bloom. The showing is good, even though not as prolific as it was in April 2014. The north hillside is especially attractive, with masses of four o'clock (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia) and a growing number of California bluebells (Phacelia minor) in the lower areas, and a delightful sprinkling of strigos lotus (Acmispon strigosus) and popcorn flower (Cryptantha sp.) in the middle hillside, along with heavy flowering of spiny redberry (Rhamnus crocea) and two-color everlasting (Pseudognaphalium biolettii).

The one remaining coffeeberry tree (Frangula californica) is in heavy bud with just a few flowers. (The other tree, also on the north hillside, died during the 2015 summer.) Several plants of common muilla (Muilla maritima) on the north hillside are in bud. Another species in heavy bud is the holly leaf cherry (Prunus ilicifolia ssp. ilicifolia) in Canyon 2.

The shaded parts of Canyon 3B are looking damp again, although they aren't exactly wet, and hare a few flowers of bitter cress (Cardamine oligosperma), as does Canyon 5.

This week the birch leaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides) is in spectacular bloom in several places on the west hillside.

One could describe many other flowering species, too. It's a great time to visit the hillside.

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