Friday, May 7, 2010

Orange County Native Plant Information (Part 1)

Here is some information about Native Plants that you may encounter on the trails while hiking in Orange County and Southern California.

Lemonadeberry plant (Rhus integrifolia sumac family). It is an Evergreen, aromatic shrub that has small, pinkish white flowers in compact clusters on stem ends. It blooms usually from February to April with reddish Berries. The berries are sticky and have a lemony taste! Native Americans used to use their berries as a thirst quencher. For more information about this plant click Here.

California Buckwheat (Erigonum fasciculatum). This is a small dense shrub which is highly characteristic of coastal sage scrub habitat and chaparral. It has many small, narrow leaves along the stems and dense pinkish white flower clusters on the ends of their stems in spring. It is found mostly in drier areas. It is an important food source for bees, native Harvester ants and makes excellent honey. For more information about this plant click Here.

California or Western Sycamore (Plantanus racemosa). This is a deciduous tree which grows straight and tall or bent and crooked with branches almost touching the ground.  The leaves on the tree resemble maple lead, are covered with fine hair, and feel soft. They generally grow on slops, along banks of streams, and other wet areas. For more information about this tree click Here.

Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia). They are part of the oak family and grow up to 50 feet. They are easily identified by the holly - like, convex leaves with prickly edges and fine hairs on the underside. Thick moist bark protects the tree from wildfires. It grows along streams, in woodlands and chaparral.  The live oak played an important role in the lives of Native Americans. Its slender acorns provide food for deer, quail, woodpeckers, squirrels and other animals.  For more information about this tree click Here.

Orange County Native Plant Information (Part 1) (This Post)

1 comment:

  1. I took the family to Riley Wilderness last weekend based on your recommendation and we had a great time. Thanks for putting together such a great blog on local SC hikes. We tend to get stuck in a rut, doing the same three or four trails, and I look forward to checking out your other recommendations.


Ashley and I encourage and welcome our readers to submit comments about their experiences on the trails we have posted on our blog or about their own hiking experiences in general.