Hillside walk, 05 December 2016

Another hillside species has met its demise. I know of only one specimen of coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) anywhere on the hillside. It should have bloomed in the autumn, but instead it is completely dead. I always wondered whether this plant was an escapee from someone's garden. It is located on the lower north hillside, right behind houses although none of those houses has a native garden (except ours, which is on the opposite side of the street).

This raises the question of what else might disappear in the near future. The saw toothed goldenbush (Hazardia squarrosa), which grows on the mid and upper north hillside and also on the west hillside, has in previous years been fully green at this time of the year. Now most plants appear largely dead except for isolated branches, or some green at the end of the branches. They will survive this year, but maybe not another similar year.

Also in decline is the mulefat (Baccharis salicifolia), which now grows only in lower Canyon 3, where current flowering is significantly less than in previous years. This species has always been prominent within the Lida Street horseshoe bend, where all plants now appear to be dead.

High on the north hillside the telegraph weed (Heterotheca grandiflora) looks completely done, as it has been for several weeks, except for one small, struggling flower this week.

Meanwhile signs of the new season are evident, such as fresh shoots on the chaparral currant (Ribes malvaceum). It's not clear whether these are new leaves or buds.

It's December, and the black cottonwood trees (Populus trichocarpa) in Canyon 6 still have green leaves, albeit many of them are yellowing. We've not yet had any really cold winter.



Goldenback fern

Black cottonwood

Chaparral currant

Mt. Wilson

Leafy California buckwheat

California brickellbush



Twiggy wreath plant


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