I can’t believe it has been over two weeks since my last post. And a busy two weeks indeed. I was fortunate to be able to join a Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden botany trip to Baja California. The purpose of the trip is to develop a field guide to dominant plants in California quail habitat. We traveled around the San Vicente area, both inland and near the coast. I was blown away by the beauty of the area. Words don’t do it. Neither do pictures but I really want to share. The following images were all taken on the first of four days in the field. More to come.
This gentleman and his dog were interested in what we were doing, and as we found out, was himself interested in the plants and habitat of his home.
Shaw’s agave (Agave shawii) has always been a favorite of mine at Rancho. As usual, it is even more spectacular in the wild.
Bush rue (Cneoridium dumosum) was in bloom and fruit. It is in the same family as oranges (Rutaceae), as you can see from its fruits. I haven’t tasted any and don’t know if they are edible.
There were several different ceanothus in bloom. I think this is wart-stemmed ceanothus – what a terrible name – (Ceanothus verrucosus) because of its warty stem and alternate leaves.
Shooting stars were blooming in lots of places. This one is Dodecatheon clevelandii. I am going to go out on a limb here and say it is subspecies clevelandii based on the fact that the wrinkly looking material at the bottom of the filament tube right above the stamens is yellow. See Plant Systematics key at (http://www.plantsystematics.org/reveal/pbio/fna/dodecatheon.html#vclev)
Some of the Baja wild rose (Rosa minutifolia) were white. Many were white with pink streaks on the petals near the stamens.
Lovely little rabbit’s purse (Harfordia macroptera) was common as well. This vining plant has showy seed pods, though its small, yellow flowers are inconspicous.
We saw many beautiful cacti and I will post more of them in the future. This is an old clump of Echinocereus maritimus.