Hillside walk, 24 September 2016

Once again the hot weather is with us.

This week's count is one less than last week because of the absence of cliff aster (Malcothrix saxatilis var. tenuifolia). This very common plant, probably regarded as a weed in a typical garden setting, has so far defied my attempts to deduce what causes it to flower. Of course, it responds to rain, like everything else. But it also blooms on and off throughout the year, even in the dry months. One of those cycles has just completed, where there was a burst of bloom that gradually died away until now, when we have no more flowers. Before long it might start blooming again for reasons that aren't apparent.

Other items of note from today's walk: The brickellbush (Brickellia californica) along Lida Street is full of bud. This plant is a good indicator that autumn has arrived. The mulefat (Baccharis saxifolia) continues to bloom in lower Canyon 3, but only the male flowers, on a limited number of plants. So far we have no female plants flowering.

Sawtoothed goldenbush



Laurel sumac

Mid north hillside


Leafy California buckwheat

Western ragweed



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