Upland Plants

Upland Plants

In general, the trail and the areas near the trail have been “disturbed” for many years: graded as a road, dug and chewed up by vehicles, with plant seeds and pieces brought in from elsewhere. Therefore, the plants near the trail now are mostly fast-growing non-natives (that is, “weeds”), and the native plants that have survived are away from the trail. The upland natives being usually grow on the side of the trail that is farther from the water, that is, higher and drier.

Coyote Brush

Coyote Brush

Common Name: Coyote Brush

Scientific Name: Baccharis pilularis

Size/Location: 4 – 12 feet, often in previously disturbed areas (grows fast, for a native shrub that is)

Native? yes

Comments: Small toothed leaves that are aromatic and resinous. The separate male and female plants bloom in the late summer and early winter producing beautiful fluffy white female flowers and yellowish male flowers. Since they bloom late, these plants remain bright green when most others around them are brown and dead-looking.

Goldenbush

Goldenbush

Common Name: Goldenbush

Scientific Name: Isocoma menziesii

Size/Location: Grows by side of trail; 2 – 3 feet tall

Native? yes

Comments: Blooms yellow late in summer, flowers similar to dandelion; in this picture there is an invader in the middle: Pampas Grass.

 

Mulefat

Mulefat

Common Name: Mulefat

Scientific Name:Baccharis salicifolia

Size/Location: Up to 12 feet tall. Grows in moist places (fresh water), especially to the northeast of the lagoon.

Native? yes

Comments: Often mistaken for willow.

 

 

 

 

California (or Coastal) Sagebrush

California Sagebrush

Common Name: Sagebrush

Scientific Name:Artemesia californica

Size/Location: Usually less than four feet tall. The most common chaparral bush/plant of the dry slopes around the Lagoon (coastal sage scrub) but not common along the disturbed edges of the trail.

Native? yes

Comments: The feathery gray-green leaves grow from the woody stems and have a strong pleasant sagelike smell. These plants turn brown and appear dead by midsummer, but the leaves reappear with the rains in winter and spring.

 

Deer Weed

Deer Weed

Common Name: Deer Weed

Scientific Name:Lotus scoparius

Size/Location:About 3 feet tall. Not common near disturbed areas of trail.  A big clump above trail on upland side near the pump station.

Native? yes

Comments: Yellow, pea-like flowers which turn orange-red.

 

Lemonadeberry

Lemonadeberry

Common Name: Lemonadeberry

Scientific Name:Rhus integrifolia

Size/Location: Fast growing shrub of coastal areas. Grows to 10 feet high but sprawls to 10 feet wide as well. Near trail in Aviara Cove.

Native? yes

Comments: Leathery evergreen leaves. Pink or white flowers. Fruits (see inset) have tart lemon-flavored coating. Provides rich green color on dry sage-scrub slopes. Valued by wildlife for food and cover -larger mammals as well as birds.

 

Wild Hyacinth or Blue Dicks

Wild Hyacinth or Blue Dicks

Common Name: Blue Dick

Scientific Name:Dichelostemma pulchellum

Size/Location: 1- or 2-foot stem with purple cluster flower in spring seen to upland side of trail. Abundant on open slopes, scrub, chaparral and burns.

Native? yes

Comments: Farmed by American Indians. The root bulbs have a sweet, nutty flavor and can be eaten raw. They can also be roasted or fried. They are considered more tasty than potatoes.

 

Coastal Boxthorn

Coastal Boxthorn

Common Name: Coastal Boxthorn

Scientific Name:Lycium californicum

Size/Location: Spreading bush: 2-3 feet high and much wider.  On upland side of trail, especially cliffs.

Native? yes

Comments: Bare and dead-looking much of year since small leaves drop off in early summer.

 

 

Flat-top (or California) Buckwheat

California Buckwheat

Common Name: California Buckwheat

Scientific Name:Eriogonum fasciculatum

Size/Location: Low and spreading;  about 2′ tall and 2-3′ wide.  Especially on upland side of trail near East parking lot.

Native? yes

Comments: Flowers used by bees to make honey.

 

Mohave Yucca

Mohave Yucca

Common Name: Mohave Yucca

Scientific Name:Yucca schidigera

Size/Location: High above trail on hillsides

Native? yes

Comments: Showy white spike bloom in early spring; leaves are made up of strong fibers which were used by Native Americans to make ropes and other things.

 

Bush Sunflower

Bush Sunflower

Common Name: Bush Sunflower

Scientific Name:Encelia californica

Size/Location: 4-5 foot bushes on hillsides. Common in coastal sage brush.

Native? yes

Comments: Hillsides covered with yellow blooms in spring; dried out plants later in summer. May appear dead in cold months.

 

 

 

Mission Cactus or Prickly Pear

Prickly Pear

Common Name: Prickly Pear

Scientific Name:Opuntia littoralis

Size/Location: Usually less than about eight feet but spreading. High above trail in drier soil.

Native? yes

Comments: Pads and fruit used for food.

 

 

 

 

Chalk-leafed Live-forever

 

Chalked-leafed Live-forever

Common Name:Chalked-leafed Live-forever

Scientific Name:Dudleya pulverulenta

Size/Location: Succulent. Prehistoric-looking low rosettes giving rise to tall stalks (about 2-1/2 feet) with colorful flowers.

Native? yes

Comments: Chalky surface of leaves, stems, and flowers.   Likes drier areas, especially up from trail near pump station

 

Arroyo Willow

Arroyo Willow

Common Name: Arroyo Willow

Scientific Name:Salix lasiolepsis

Size/Location: Bushy small trees in several wet, low areas of the trail: new ones growing where water crosses trail at big Aviara desiltation basin

Native? yes

Comments: Willows have catkins, not normal flowers.

 

 

 

 

(Black) Mustard

Mustard

Common Name: Black Mustard

Scientific Name:Brassica nigra

Size/Location: Some species up to 6 feet.

Native? no

Comments: There are several species of mustard which look similar.  Probably planted by missionaries as feed for their draft animals.

 

 

Wild Radish

Wild Radish

Common Name: Wild Radish

Scientific Name:Raphanus sativus

Size/Location: Up to 4 feet tall; all along trail

Native? no

Comments: Many-colored blooms (many lavender) in spring then seed pods. Not edible.

 

 

 

 

 

Poison Hemlock

Poison Hemlock

Common Name: Poison Hemlock

Scientific Name:Conium maculatum

Size/Location: 6-8 feet; near trail at Aviara Cove.

Native? no

Comments: Often mistaken for wild fennel, but be careful!  All parts are poisonous!  Note purple blotches on stems.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Fennel

Sweet Fennel

Common Name: Sweet Fennel

Scientific Name:Foeniculum vulgare

Size/Location: Up to about 6 feet. Many places along trail.

Native? no

Comments: Leaves, seeds, and stems smell and taste like licorice or anise. Fluffy leaves in spring then stalks with flowers and seeds in fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common (or Crystalline) Iceplant

Common Iceplant

Common Name: Crystalline Iceplant

Scientific Name: Mesembryanthenum crystallinum

Size/Location: Very low but spreading.  Many places along trail.

Native? no

Comments:White flower open mid-day. Clear, shining droplets all over leaves and stems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brass Buttons

Brass Buttons

Common Name: Brass Buttons

Scientific Name:Cotula coronopifolia

Size/Location: Low and spreading like the native wetland plants; found alongside wet spots in the trail.

Native? no

Comments:Yellow flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tree Tobacco

Tree Tobacco

Common Name: Tree Tobacco

Scientific Name:Nicotiana glauca

Size/Location: Up to about 15-20 feet.  There are many on the Lagoon side of the trail below the east parking lot (disturbed and high above the water)

Native? no

Comments:Yellow tube-shaped flowers attract Anna’s Hummingbirds.

 

 

 

 

 

Castor Bean

Castor Bean

Common Name: Castor Bean

Scientific Name:Ricinus communis

Size/Location: Spreading big bush/little tree.  By trail near big settling basin and flow control structure.

Native? no

Comments:Attractive but poisonous seeds in pods.

 

 

 

 

 

Cocklebur

Cocklebur

Common Name: Cocklebur

Scientific Name:Xanthium spinosum

Size/Location: 2-3′ plants, especially on west part of trail.

Native? no

Comments:Burs stick to clothes and fur because of their hooked ends, and so seeds inside are carried to other places.

 

 

 

Eucalyptus (or Gum) trees

Common Name: Eucalyptus

Scientific Name:Eucalyptus spp.

Size/Location: The only trees on the trail and the slopes above.

Native? no

Comments: Brittle wood so the limbs often break off. Regrowth from stumps and spreading roots.