March 11, 2012
Your very busy Beautification Committee apologizes for the late posting. These photos were all taken on January 29, 2012, but there was no time to format and prepare for posting. Many of these same flowers are currently blooming in Elyria Canyon Park as of today.
Bush Sunflower, Encilia californica, is, according to Las Pilitas Nursery, a short lived plant. If this is the case, it is necessary to try to propagate our local population to preserve the gene pool in Elyria Canyon Park. As of today, there are still some Bush Sunflowers blooming, and they are attracting butterflies.
The Golden Currents, Ribes aureum, bloom in the late winter and produce fruit in the form of small berries that are eaten by birds and other wildlife. As of this posting, the plants have finished blooming, except perhaps in more shaded areas, and the fruit has begun developing. The USDA website has some nice information.
The lovely Fiesta Flower, Pholistoma auritum, is found in a few shaded areas of Elyria Canyon Park. The flower gets its common name because the hairy stems allow one to adhere a plucked flower to clothing, though we remind you that you should not gather flowers from the park. Get additional information on the Cal Flora website.
The vining California Morning Glory, Calystegia macrostegia, should continue to bloom most of the summer. You can find it along the upper trail that leads down to the meadow from Elyria Drive. Native bees and beneficial flower flies are often found taking nectar from California Morning Glories. See Las Pilitas Nursery for more information.
Mulefat, Baccharis saliciflolia, can be found growing in Elyria Canyon Park in the area below the Red Barn in the meadow where spring runoff drains through the park. According the the Cal Flora website: “Mulefat is mostly found below 3500′ along stream banks and in dry stream beds in coastal sage scrub and chaparral.”
Blue Elderberry, Sambucus mexicana, is a large woody shrub that is covered with flat clusters of pale yellow flowers in the spring. According to the Las Pilitas Nursery website: “Its bluish-black berries are excellent in jelly, fair in pie” though the berries in Elyria Canyon Park should be left for the birds and other wildlife.