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April 11, 2017

Dear Skyliners,

 

The wildflowers are really taking off right now, so even if you can't make it out to a workday, you owe to yourself it to get out and see the show.  We've been doing our second weeding of the cap of Barberry Peak, and will continue with that this week.  

 

We will be working Thursday (not Wednesday this week) at 4 pm and Sunday at 9:30 am.  Please let me know if you can make it.

 

We also found two new native plant species in the last week, which puts our list for Skyline Gardens up to 242.  More on that below.  I have attached our latest Skyline Gardens plant list in pdf format.

 

Here's a couple of pictures of this last week at Skyline.  First, we have our big, showy Silver Lupine (the flower on our hats), Blue Dicks, Popcorn Flowers and Poppies.  This taken right from the main trail at Diablo View Bend:

Here we have three great clumps of our glorious Wooly Mule's Ears (Wyethia helenoides), Blue Dicks, Poppies, and others.  This was taken halfway up the north side of Barberry Peak.  Thanks to Delia for the photo.

Now, from the big showy ones we move to the belly flowers, so named because you have to get on your belly to see them.  Here is one of the new species for our list, Dwarf Owl's Clover (Triphysaria pusilla).  These are little annuals, about 3 inches tall.  There is a little patch of them growing next to the access trail up Barberry, right before reaching the top plateau area.  

See the little purplish flowers right next to the stem? They are really tiny; look at the fingertips for comparison.  Thanks to Ken-ichi for finding these and for the photo. 

 

Owl's clovers are hemiparasites, which mean that they are partially parasitic on the roots of other plants.  Which plants are hosts for these we are not quite sure.  But these were growing right next to a patch of another tiny annual, Dwarf Plantain (Plantago erecta) and the two have been found growing nearby in other situations.  

 

In case you don't know Dwarf Plantain, here is a photo from iNaturalist, courtesy of Randomtruth.

These little native plants are about two to three inches tall as well.  They grow on very rocky, sunny slopes, where the soil is very thin.

 

Big, tall, short and small - come and see them all.

 

Happy Trails,

 

Glen