Avena fatua & A. barbata

Avena fatua & A. barbata

Wild and Domesticated Oats

One or the other or both wild species, common (Avena fatua) or slender (A. barbata) wild oats are extremely widespread all along the Pacific Coast. They can be found in vacant lots, roadsides, pastures, and yes, even in our beautifully kept native plant gardens. This doesn’t mean that we’re bad gardeners, just that this genus produces very effective weeds.

Identifying Wild Oats

Wild oats are members of the grass family (Poaceae or Gramineae). Oats have some of the largest flowers in this family of otherwise tiny to minute flowers.

Parts of Oats (Avena spp.)

Parts of Oats (Avena spp.)

Their parts are almost large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Individual grass flowers are aggregated into tiny clusters (spikelets). The spikelets are the readily visible units hanging down in the photograph and drawing.

Each oat spikelet consists of two large scales (bracts or more specifically glumes) surrounding two to three small flowers called florets. Each floret contains the 3 male organs (stamens) and a single pistil consisting of a basal ovary and two feathery stigmas. The stamens and pistils can’t be seen in the drawings or photo as they are totally hidden between to additional bracts.

The outer (and the only one visible) is the canoe-shaped lemma and a totally surrounded, thin palea. There are no recognizable sepals or petals. In the wild oat species, a stout bristle arises from the back of the lemma. This bristle is known as an awn. After the pistil is pollinated, its single seed matures and fuses to the inner ovary wall to become the unique fruit produced only by the grasses (caryopsis or grain).

The seed coat and ovary walls, when removed from the grain, are the bran we can buy at grocery and health food stores. In oats, the outside of the developing grain adheres to the inside of lemma and palea. This means that seed dispersal in oats (as well as most other grasses) is actually floret dispersal. The awn plays a vital role in this dispersal. The long, stout awns are bent in the middle; they bend or straighten depending on moisture availability. When it is moist, the awns absorb water and straighten at the bend. This causes the floret body (including enclosed seed) to be pushed forward. When it is dry, the awn flexes at the bend. Why doesn’t it pull the floret back? Notice the short, backward oriented “hairs” at the base of the floret. As the floret dries, these flip out and prevent it from being pulled backwards. Thus the floret is consistently pushed forward until it buries itself under a clod or it falls into a crack in the soil. Either way, the process both disperses and plants the oat seed.

Local Oats

There are three species of oats listed in Hoover’s SLO County flora. Two of the species possess a moderate to stout awn. These are the slender oat (Avena barbata) and the common oat (A. fatua). The third species in found occasionally along road sides and in fields where it had been grown. It is the domesticated oat (A. sativa). Domesticated oats produce larger grains and either totally lack an awn or if awns are present, they are weak. The lack of an awn would make the domesticated oats much better for animal feed.

Origins

The origin of oats is somewhat controversial. It is for sure, Old World and domestication most likely took place somewhere in the area surrounding the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is rarely mentioned in literature of the early cultures of this area and then only as animal feed. It probably didn’t stack up well against the dominate grains of the area, wheat and barley. It seems to have had better acceptance further north and east in Central Eastern Europe and adjacent Western Asia. Here it became quite important, but not much as a human food but the mainstay of horse diet. It is from this area that the first mounted soldiers arose and horses allowed them readily to conquer the surrounding “horseless” peoples.

The conquering of horseless cultures by horse-mounted armies was repeated whenever it occurred. It even was a factor in Spain’s defeat of the Aztecs and Incas. Interestingly, the re-introduction of the feral horses into North America apparently caused the then agricultural Great Plains Native Americans to become mobile buffalo hunters. Why all this discussion of the horse? Because it was probably the need to bring grain on ships to feed the horses that introduced oats into California and beyond.

Uses of Oats by the Chumash

According to Jan Timbrook, the Chumash used the grains of wild oats and chia (Salvia colunbariae) seeds in a concoction. Wild oats (along with any native grasses growing with them) were beaten or striped into baskets. The chaff was beaten off with a mallet against rocks. The flour was separated from the chaff by winnowing. The flour was mixed with water and chia was added. It provided both energy and protein.

Controlling with Herbicides

There’s one more human-wild oat interaction worth mentioning. The July 2, 2011 Science News reports that herbicide resistant wild oats infects at least 4.9 MILLION hectares. This is over 1 million hectares more area than the second place plant water hemp.

First off, wild oats are not particularly “naturally” resistant to herbicides. Second, the article discusses herbicide resistance that is transferred to wild (weedy) plants from genetically modified crops. The way emphasized in the article, is via transfer of the herbicide resistant genes from genetically engineered crops to the weed via ordinary transfer of pollen. The crops are engineered to have a high tolerance for a specific herbicide. Then the farmer is assured that he may use large amounts of the herbicide to kill weeds without affecting the crop.

Unfortunately, many plant species can transfer pollen BETWEEN DIFFERENT species. Once the gene for herbicide resistance is in the weed, then it will spread rapidly via ordinary natural selection processes. When herbicides are applied wholesale as they are in modern monoculture agriculture, a few individuals that received the genetically modified gene are more likely to survive and produce seedlings that also carry the gene and are therefore resistant also. These seedling grow up and produce more and more resistant plants at an ever increasing rate. If you remember much about evolution, you can see that farmers are both supplying the source of the gene as well as applying a strong selection pressure for the spread of the resistance gene. The last is the same process, by the way, that creates antibiotic resistant microbes when we over use antibiotics. Only microbes often do it in a shorter time due to their faster reproductive rate.

The article talks primarily about a class of herbicides known as glyphosates which is found in a wide variety of herbicides including Roundup. It is this component that crop breeders have been adding to the genome of crops. The article talks primarily about resistance in and around crop fields, especially around grain fields. I suspect Roundup and Fusilade work in your garden because resistance is not universal. It just hasn’t reached isolated areas like your garden. Let’s hope it never does! But I hope it does raise a red flag about over use of any chemical pesticide. There is no genetic resistance to mechanical pulling of weeds!

by Dirk Walters, illustrations by Bonnie Walters | Dirk and Bonnie Walters are long-time CNPS-SLO members, contributors, and board/committee participants. In addition to his work at Cal Poly, Dirk is the current CNPS-SLO Historian.

Book Talk – October, 2011

Hello everyone!

Isn’t it great to come back after a summer of rest, exotic locations, family adventures or whatever else you were doing? I’m looking forward to our meetings.

I’ve picked up some new books and other materials for our book table, so be sure and give yourself time to browse at the October meeting. Also, we will be hosting a booth at the Nipomo Native Garden sale on Sunday, October 2, so come on out and join us. They have a great area to enjoy, and lots of plants for sale.

-Heather Johnson

 

 

President’s Message

After the summer break, the SLO Chapter is starting up again with our traditional October Meeting, a dessert potluck and member/guest-contributed slide show.

We had a very productive Board meeting in which plans for additional chapter activities were proposed. (more…)

Want to be our New Plant Sale Co-chairperson?

I would like to take this time to thank Karen Frank for all her help as my plant sale co-chairperson.

Over the years, and I mean years, Karen has put in many hours at the sale and has always been there to help. She and I went to CalPoly together and I am glad that we were able to continue our friendship as members of CNPS. Due to a change in her work, Karen can no longer help and I am looking for a member who would like to take her place assisting me.

The job is pretty simple – mainly just show up the day of the sale and help me get everything organized.

If you think you would like to be plant sale co-chairperson, please give me a call on my cell phone 805-674-2034. I promise that you will have fun and meet many interesting people. It’s also a good feeling knowing that you helped out our chapter in this very special way. Thank you.

–John

Opening the World through Journaling

Opening the World through Journaling

CNPS Curriculum – Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts

by John Muir Laws and Emily Bruenig

Our parent organization, CNPS, is offering a spectacular curriculum for children that works in a multitude of settings from school yards to CNPS events, to camps and family outings. It is geared primarily towards children age 8 and up, meeting grades 3 through 7 standards but it is easily adaptable for teenagers and adults.

Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts, a curriculum written for CNPS by John Muir Laws and Emily Brueunig, teaches children to become keen observers of the natural world by drawing and writing about the plants and animals in situ. In a set of nested exercises, students use games to gain confidence in drawing and writing as a way to gather information. Later, they employ these skills to put together a field guide, make treasure maps, and to write short stories and poems.

“Keeping a field journal develops and reinforces the most important science process skills; observation and documentation. All other parts of the process of science depend on these skills. We assume that we are naturally good observers, but learning to really see is a skill that must be learned and developed. Journal activities tie directly to the State of California science framework content standards and the visual and performing arts framework content standards.” –John Muir Laws

CNPS would like to know who uses the material and how it is used for grant and goal purposes and will send you a request to evaluate the curriculum after using it. For this reason, the curriculum is available only from the CNPS website (link). *This project is funded to date by the JiJi Foundation

Please leave a comment below if you have used this curriculum. Everyone would love to hear about your experience! Thank you.

John Muir Laws

Educational Resources

Contribute to our website

Nurseries and Sources for Native Plants

Nurseries and Sources for Native Plants

CNPS-SLO holds our annual Native Plant Sale the first Saturday of November

The Nipomo Native Garden also holds an annual Native Plant Sale

Nurseries in San Luis Obispo county:

(Call for confirmation of times open to public)

Las Pilitas Native Plant Nursery 3232 Las Pilitas Road, Santa Margarita 805-438-5992 (Retail Fri & Sat)
Growing Grounds Farm Wholesale Nursery 3740 Orcutt Rd, San Luis Obispo 805-543-6071 (Retail 3rd Tues of Month)
SAGE Ecological Landscapes, 1301 Los Osos Valley Road, Los Osos, CA 93402 (805) 574-0777
Clearwater Color Wholesale Nursery 2335 Jacaranda Ln, Los Osos 805-528-4458 (Wholesale only)
Native Sons Wholesale Nursery 379 W. El Campo, Arroyo Grande 805-481-9636 (Retail 2nd Sat in April)
West Covina Wholesale Nursery 165 W. El Campo, Arroyo Grande 805-481-7626 (Wholesale only)

Nurseries outside of our county:

(Call for confirmation of times open to public)

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden 1212 Mission Canyon, Santa Barbara 805-682-4272 (classes)
Matilija Nursery 8225 Waters, Moorpark 805-523-8604
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden 1500 W. College, Clairmont 909-625-8767 (classes)
Theodore Payne Foundation Nursery 10459 Tuxford, Sun Valley 818-768-1802 (classes and seed sales)
Tree of Life Nursery 33201 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano 949-728-0685

If you can’t find what you are looking for, ask your nursery to order it for you

Additional Sources

You may also find California Natives at these local sources

BenJoy Nursery 2168 Lopez, Arroyo Grande 481-7488
Cherry Lane Nursery 436 Traffic Way, Arroyo Grande 489-1809
Miners Ace Hardware 186 Station Way, Arroyo Grande 489-9100
Miners Ace Hardware 9370 El Camino Real, Atascadero 466-0270
Bay Laurel Nursery 2500 El Camino Real, Atascadero 466-3449
Windmill Nursery 925 W. Hwy 246, Buellton 688-3993
Cambria Nursery and Florist 2801 Eton Rd, Cambria 927-4747
Los Osos Valley Nursery 301 Los Osos Valley Road, Los Osos 528-5300
Miners Ace Hardware 520 Highway 41, Morro Bay 722-2233
Nipomo Old Town Nursery 323 W. Tefft, Nipomo 929-1084
Whispering Tree 110 Norris, Orcutt 937-3808
Farm Supply 675 Tank Farm, SLO 543-3751
Miner’s Ace Hardware 2034 Santa Barbara St., SLO 543-2191

Do you have a nursery or source for California Natives that isn’t listed here? Or an update to this information? Please enter a comment below and we will update this page …

Native Plants for School & Urban Gardens

Native Plants for School & Urban Gardens

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANTS FOR SCHOOL & URBAN GARDENS

By Betsey Landis

Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter, California Native Plant Society

www.lacnps.org

August 2011

This book is written for teachers and school garden educators and planners. Anyone can download all or parts of the book for free from CNPS Chapter websites. However the book may not be printed and sold without the express permission of the Los Angeles/Santa Monica Mountains Chapter of CNPS. We have discussed printing small special orders but we do not plan to do any more printing of the book in the hundreds or thousands.  I understand what I have written on those first two pages is a type of “creative commons” copyright.  -Betsey Landis  (the author)

Download Here

Because of the size of this book, we have created four separate PDF files for viewing on the web and for download:

Section I

Section II, part a

Section II, part b

Section III

Table of Contents

California Native Plant Society Teachers Resources

Please Add Your Comments

Have you used this resource for your school or public garden? Please share your experience in the comments below …

Nipomo Native Garden Annual Plant Sale

Sunday October 2nd, 9:00am – 3:00pm
Parking Lot — Corner of Osage & Camino Caballo in Nipomo

Talk with members of the Nipomo Native Garden regarding appropriate plants for your specific landscaping needs, transplanting tips, and propagation techniques.

Visit their web site for a list of plants that we expect to be available. http://www.nipomonativegarden.org

  • Approximately 1500 California native plants grown by our supporters
  • Plants, Hats, T-Shirts, & Used Gardening Books for Sale
  • Newsletters, Membership and other Information Pamphlets

All proceeds go to supporting the Garden.

DIRECTIONS: From the 101 Fwy. in Nipomo, go weston Tefft to Pomeroy. Turn right at Pomeroy to Camino Caballo. Turn left onto Camino Caballo and right onto Osage, and continue up to the parking lot and sale.

 

 

 

How to Attract Wildlife with California Natives

Put on by San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 PM – 3 PM

How do you attract wildlife to your garden with California natives? You’ll need to come Sunday, September 11 to hear Penny Wilson Nyunt tell you how. Penny literally grew up in her parents’ California native plant nursery, Las Pilitas. She graduated from Cuesta and CalPoly in Biological Sciences and has written for various gardening publications and websites. Although she grows and sells plants, she vehemently claims to not be a gardener. Instead of changing your environment to suit your plants, she believes it is easier and more environmentally friendly to choose plants that grow in your environment. There are plenty of choices since California has around 6000 native plant species. This fundamental idea gives her the basis for creating beautiful, easy landscapes with high wildlife value.

SLO Botanical is located at 3450 Dairy Creek Road, San Luis Obispo,California 93405. You can reach them at (805) 541-1400 for more information.

Indulge Your Senses in the Native Garden

Put on by San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden

Sept. 10, 1 PM – 3 PM

SLO Botanical is very excited to have Carol Bornstein, acclaimed author and horticultural expert from Santa Barbara, come and give her expert advice on native plants of California. Carol is a horticulturist, instructor, and garden designer. For 30 years, she has been an advocate for sustainable, regionally appropriate landscaping. While Director of Horticulture at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, she managed the living collections, retail nursery, and plant introduction program and selected several new cultivars. She continues to seek out exceptional plants for California gardens and to share her knowledge of plants native to California and other Mediterranean regions through her writing, teaching, and design work. Her book, Reimagining The California Lawn, is the Item of the Month for September at our Eve’s Garden Shop; be sure to check it out!

SLO Botanical is located at 3450 Dairy Creek Road, San Luis Obispo,California 93405. You can reach them at (805) 541-1400 for more information.

 

October Chapter Meeting

October Chapter Meeting

Thursday, October 6, 2011, 7pm

At this first chapter meeting after the break, we welcome everyone back from summer and share photos of travels and plants. Please come prepared to share your sumemr adventures! Once more we are meeting at the Veterans Hall, GrandAvenue at Monterey, City of SLO, for a social and sharing of desserts.

I am going to ask a special favor of participating photographers. I will move all slide packages to the computer that is tied to the projector, so have pictures as jpeg format in a folder under your name. Label slides in alphabetical order to ensure sequencing order. I will also be able to load PowerPoint. We had so many last year that the program went on a little too long, so I would like to limit the individual folders, with the best slides in the first ten in case we cut you off, but with the extra five to ten if offerings are unexpectedly slim. Also I will “guesstimate the time per offering” on the day, but I hope that your verbal dialogs will be fairly short.

I would like to have presenters arrive close to 7:00 for offloading from disk or thumb drive.

I will open the program at 7:30 with a very short business session before the show begins.

–David Chipping

Lafayette Symposium

Growing Natives: Inspiring & Enduring Gardens

A two-day symposium on native plant gardening & design

The Santa Clara Valley chapter of CNPS is offering a two-day symposium on designing,installing, and maintaining native plant gardens of lasting value, aimed at professionals, home gardeners, and native plant enthusiasts.

Saturday, September 17, 2011: talks by leading practitioners Carol Bornstein, Michael Craib, David Fross, Luke Hass, and Deva Luna, and books for sale at Lafayette Community Center, 500 St Mary’s Road, Lafayette.

  • Garden design by author Carol Bornstein, formerly of Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
  • Site preparation by landscape professional Deva Luna
  • Sourcing native plants by Michael Craib of Suncrest Nurseries
  • Case study of a 40-year-old native plant garden by landscape professional Luke Hass
  • Maintenance tips by nurseryman and author David Fross
  • A panel discussion and Q&A
  • The Saturday program includes a continental breakfast and lunch
  • A selection of books will be available for purchase

Sunday, September 18, 2011: Workshops by Jocelyn Cohen, Stephen Edwards, Katherine Greenberg, Don Mahoney, and Pete Veilleux, guided tour and plant sales at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, Wildcat Canyon Road, Berkeley. Five concurrent workshops over two time slots:

  • Container gardening by Pete Veilleux
  • Wildlife gardening by Don Mahoney
  • Plants for dry shade by Katherine Greenberg
  • Rockeries in native plant gardens by Stephen Edwards
  • Aesthetic pruning by Jocelyn Cohen

Sunday participants are invited to bring a picnic lunch, and stay for afternoon plant sales and docented tours at two locations: Regional Parks Botanic Garden as well as Native Here Nursery, 101 Golf Course Road, Berkeley.

The symposium is organized by California Native Plant Society, Friends of Regional Parks Botanic Garden, and Pacific Horticulture.

Members and subscribers of the sponsoring organizations receive a discount on registration fees.

Space is limited and early registration is recommended.

For more information and to register, visit http://gns.cnps-scv.org.. With questions, call Margot Sheffner 510-849-1627.

Fleming garden in late summer. Photo: Luke Hass

Dealing with Deer

Dealing with Deer

How to Handle Deer Problems in Your Garden

 

LOW LEVEL DEER BROWSE ON PLANTS

You probably have healthy fruit trees and roses with little noticeable damage. During late summer/early fall, you begin to notice many leaves missing. At this level, it’s best to move the plants the deer like near to the house or fence them off. Fencing can be very minor. This is the level at which most deer tricks and “folk” remedies work. However, prepare to move up to next level of protection as your garden develops and the deer get wise to your tricks. Remember to cage all plants the first fall if you are watering or doing fall planting. Deer will zero in on most Ceanothus and Cercocarpus species.

MODERATE LEVEL DEER BROWSE ON PLANTS

Your trees will have no fruit or leaves below 4 feet. Your roses will have every leaf removed in late summer and fall. Plants listed as “Deer Proof” hold up well but will be sampled once or twice a year. If you plant and/or water your plants during late summer/fall expect to get much more damage. This is deer salad in a dry time. Do not plant Atriplex species or Arctostaphylos from areas other than your own. Most Ceanothus, Fremontodendron, Lyonothamnus and Lilium species must be caged until tall and woody. Deer will also eat small pines in fall, so cage. They will also eat new growth on pines if it can reached. Again, cage the first fall. Planting in an area that receives moderate level deer browse is much easier in the spring.

HIGH LEVEL DEER BROWSE ON PLANTS

At this level, deer are literally living with you. During the day you see them sleeping, while at night they wander through your garden sampling as if at a salad bar buffet. You may even notice they will even eat so-called poisonous plants like oleanders and buckeyes. In the fall, redwoods and other soft-wooded conifers can be pushed out of the ground by bucks cleaning their antlers. Las Pilitas Nursery experienced this nuisance for a month, two years in a row, near the end of the 7-year drought. Deer destroyed thousands of container stock until a 7-foot fence and motion detectors were installed.

The fence has to be one the deer can neither climb over nor crawl under. Fences work best on a slope because deer do not seem to want to jump fences where the land slopes steeply. With a slope you can get away with a much lower fence. A 3-foot orchard fence with 2 strands of barb wire above (making it a 4- foot fence) next to a 45% slope will not be jumped. Large bucks can clear a 7-foot fence on flat ground if determined. Deer will get under a fence with as little as a 5-inch clearance. Again, remember to stop watering as soon as possible. Watering does not allow a plant to form protective resins and will make a normally stinky leaved plant like elderberry odorless and edible to deer.

The following plants offer hope in deer infested areas:

Acacia greggii. A well armed shrub-tree. Deer will only eat new growth.

Amorpha californica. Deciduous shrub. Deer have never touched. Difficult to grow and hard to find.

Baccharis pilularis ‘Pigeon Point’. Cover for first year with chicken wire so deer can not pull out of the ground. Plant i-gallon size 8 feet apart & in 2 to 3 years will have a fine groundcover.

Ceanothus ‘Blue Jeans’. Has been deer proof at all but one site to date. If heavily watered or in rich soils deer will eat in late summer/fall.

Ceanothus ‘Mills Glory’. Have been deer proof at all known sites.

Ceanothus ‘Snowball’. Deer proof on all sites but is only happy at coast.

Cupressus species. Deer do not like these at all. Drive 3 T -posts next to these after they get 4-5 feet tall. Bucks love to clean the dead skin off their antlers on these.

Mimulus (Diplacus) species. Shrubby Monkey flowers have not been enjoyed by deer yet.

Erigeron glaucus. ‘Wayne Roderick’ seems to be most deer proof in most instances. Other varieties go from untouched to nothing left.

Ferns. California native ferns seem to be safe.

Iris species. Deer have not eaten even if bedding in vicinity. Unknown if safe on sites where they are not native.

Monardella species. Untouched.

Satureja douglasii. Will be deer proof if you stop watering in summer and allow it to go dormant.

Sequoia sempervirens. Same as Cupressus.

Sequoiadendron giganteum. Same as Cupressus.

 

Adapted from Las Pilitas Nursery with permission from Bert Wilson 2000.

Compiled by members of the San Luis Obispo Chapter of the California Native Plant Society,
P. O. Box 784, San Luis Obispo CA 93406

 

Pine Forest Mushroom List

Pine Forest Mushroom List

Pine Forest Mushroom List for Cambria, CA

 

Compiled by: Mark Brunschwiler, David Krause, Dennis Sheridan

download 

If you are interested in local mushroom hunting, consider attending our annual Fungal Foray field trip, held in the fall in Cambria.

Scientific Name

Common Name

Notes

Agaricus augustus Prince Roadsides and disturbed areas
Agaricus californicus Mock meadow mushroom Roadsides and disturbed areas
Agaricus campestris Meadow mushroom In grassy areas at edge of woods
Aleuria aurantia Orange peel fungus
Amanita calyptrata Coccora
Amanita gemmata Gemmed amanita
Amanita muscaria Fly agaric
Amanita muscaria Yellow form of fly agaric
Amanita ocreata Destroying angel
Amanita pachycolea Western grisette
Amanita pantherina Panther amanita
Amanita phalloides Death cap
Amanita rubescens Blusher
Amanita velosa Springtime amanita
Aqaricus silvicola Woodland agaricus
Armillaria mellea Honey mushroom
Boletus chrysenteron Cracked-cap bolete
Boletus dryophilus Oak loving bolete
Boletus edulis King bolete
Boletus piperatus Peppery bolete
Boletus satanus Satan’s bolete
Boletus zelleri Zeller’s bolete
Cantharellus cibarius Chanterelle
Chrooqomphus visicolor Wine colored pine spike
Clitocybe dealbata Sweat-producing Clitocybe
Clitocybe nuda Wood blewit
Coprinus atramentarius Inky cap
Cortinarius species Purple cortinarius
Cortinarius species Rimmed cortinarius
Craterellus cornucpioides Black trumpet
Crucibulum laeve Bird nest fungus
Cryptoporus volvatus Cryptic globe fungus
Daldinia grandis Crampballs
Ganoderma applanatum Artist’s conch
Geastrum species Earth star
Gymnopilus spectabilis Laughing Jim
Gyromitra californica Umbrella false morel
Helvella lacunosa Fluted black elfin saddle
Hericium erinaceus Lion’s mane
Hygrocybe conica Witches hat
Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca False chanterelle
Hypomyces chrysospermus Boletus eater
Laccaria amethysteo-occidentalis Amethyst gilled laccaria
Laccaria laccata Lack luster laccaria
Lactarius alnicola Golden milk cap
Lactarius chrysorheus Yellow staining milk cap
Lactarius deliciosus Delicious milk cap
Lactarius rubidus (fragilis) Candy cap
Lactarius vinaceorufescens Yellow staining lactarius
Lepiota rachodes Parasol mushroom
Leucopaxillus albissimus Large white leucopaxillus
Leucopaxillus amarus Bitter brown Leucopaxillus
Lycoperdon foetidum Black puffball
Lycoperdon perlatum Common or Gemmed puffball
Marasmiums ordeades Fairy ring mushroom In grassy areas
Mycena purpureofusca Grows on pine cones
Mycena species Little brown mushroom
Naematoloma fasciculare Clustered woodlover
Omphalotus olivascens Western jack-o-lantern mushroom
Panaeolus campanulatus Bell-shaped panaeolus
Phaeolus schweinitzii Dyer’s polypore
Pistolithus tinctorius Dead man’s foot
Pleurotus ostreatus Oyster mushroom
Poria species
Ramaria rasilispora Yellow coral mushroom
Rhizopoqon rubescens Blushing false truffle
Russula albidula White russula
Russula emetica Emetic russula
Russula rosacea Rosy stemmed russula
Russula species Brick capped russula
Sparassis crispa Cauliflower mushroom
Suillus brevipes Short stem slippery jack
Suillus luteus Slippery jack
Suillus punqens Pungent slippery jack
Trametes versicolor Bracket fungus or turkey tails
Tremella foliacea Brown witches butter
Tremella mesenterica Witches butter
Tricoloma species
Native Plants with Fragrance

Native Plants with Fragrance

FRAGRANT CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANTS
FOR THE GARDEN

download

Gardening for fragrance opens up another dimension of gardening. You can be whisked back to another place and time or other remembrances by the fragrances given off by your plantings. Once you start noticing aromas, you will quickly come up with your own favorites. Since everyone’s sense of smell is different, fragrances are open to different interpretations.

Photo courtesy of Gerald and Buff Corsi
© California Academy of Sciences

 

These plants are fragrant when you are near

Brickellia californica

Calocedrus decurrens (incense cedar)

Oenothera caespitosa (evening primrose)

Philadelphus lewisii (mock orange)

Pinus Jeffreyi (Jeffery Pine)

Ribes viburnifolium (evergreen current)

Salvia Clevelandii (Cleveland sage)

Solanum species (nightshade)

These plants are fragrant when you are very close

Calycanthus occidentalis (spice bush)

Carpenteria californica

Fragaria californica (Woodland strawberry)

Keckiella antirrhinoides (snap dragon)

Rosa species (rose)

These plants give off scent when you brush against

Artemisia species (sagebrush)

Calocedrus decurrens (incense cedar)

Cupressus species (cedars)

Juniperus species (junipers)

Lepechinia species (pitcher sage)

Mentha arvensis (mint)

Monardella species (Ca. pennyroyal)

Myrica californica (Ca sweet bay)

Ribes species (currants)

Salvia species (sages)

Satureja species (Yerba Buena)

Trichostema lanatum (wooly blue curls)

Umbellularia californica (Ca bay-laurel)

These plants are fragrant at dusk or night

Oenothera caespitosa (Evening Primrose) Solanum species (nightshades)

Carpenteria californica

Fragaria californica (woodland strawberry)

Keckiellia antirrhinoides (snapdragon)

These plants give off a sweet fragrance

Brickellia californica

Philadelphus lewisii

Rosa species (rose)

Solanum species (nightshade)

These plants give off a sage-like fragrance

Artemisia species (Sagebrush)

Juniperus species (juniper)

Lepechinia species (pitcher sage)

Salvia species (sage)

Trichostema species (wooly blue curls)

Miscellaneous fragrances

BAYBERRY Myrica californica (CA sweet bay)

BAY-LIKE Umbellularia californica (CA bay-laurel)

INCENSE Calocedrus decurrens (incense cedar)

INCENSE PLUS LAVENDER: Pinus Jeffreyi (Jeffery pine)

SPICY Calycanthus occidentalis (CA spicebush)

Ribes viburnifolium (vergreen current)

Ribes species (current)

WINE Calycanthus occidentalis (CA spicebush)

MINT Mentha arvensis (field mint)

Monardella species (CA pennyroyal)

Satureja species (Yerba Buena)

Courtesy of Las Pilitas Nursery. Edited by Al Naydol with permission from Bert Wilson.
Schoenoplectus californicus

Schoenoplectus californicus

California Tule and Common Tule

The illustration below is a set of drawings Bonnie did for Dr. David Keil’s and my plant taxonomy text plus a new one of the plants’ growth form. These species grow in areas where the soil is at least seasonally wet. These species require lots of fresh water but are capable of surviving periodic short exposures to salt water. They are commonly called tule or bull-rush. These tall (usually over 6 ft. or 2 m) more or less grass-like perennial plants resemble spears or pikes as they have no apparent leaves. (Leaves, except for short ones just below the flowers, are restricted to sheaths at the base of the stem.) Their flowers are borne in clusters just below their often sharp tips. There is a potential problem with the two common names given.

These names have been used for members of two different genera from two separate plant families — the sedge (Cyperaceae) and the rush (Juncaceae) families. A look at Bonnie’s drawings will show that the illustrated plant is clearly a sedge. How does one know? When I first took a plant taxonomy course, I learned a little rhyme which aided in identification of the three common “grass-like” families — the rushes, sedges and grasses (Poaceae). It goes, “Rushes are round, sedges have edges, and grass comes in joints.” “The grass comes in joints” part is a corruption of what the rhyme historically said. Since I was in college in the sixties and the corruption dates from then, I never learned the correct, that is, original wording. Maybe someone can help me out. Bonnie has shown a stem cross section. Note that it is triangular although the “edges” are rounded. Further, the flower clusters are sedge-like, produced in minute elongate clusters called spikelets. Each tiny flower is hidden behind a single bract. In these species the perianth (sepals and petals), is represented by dry, flat ribbons. Because “rush” is the name commonly used for members of the Juncaceae, I prefer the name tule over bull-rush.

There are two species of tule commonly found in our coastal wetlands. They are the common tule, S. acutus and the California tule, S. californicus. According to Robert Hoover, a third  species of tule (S. olneyi) with its very sharply triangular stems is “occasional in marshes near the coast and rare inland.” I’ve not actually identified this species so I know essentially nothing about it. The two common species are fairly easy to distinguish.

Tule, illustrated by Bonnie Walters

Tule, illustrated by Bonnie Walters

California tule has bright green stems that are bluntly triangular while common tule possesses a grey-green round stem. The illustration is of a California tule.

 

A word about the ‘S.’ or genus name in the two species binomials. According to Jan Timbrook (2007) in her book, Chumash Ethnobotany, the correct genus name, according the Flora of North America Project and presumably the new Jepson Manual when it is published, hopefully later this year, will be Schoenoplectus. However, none of the current floras use this name so Jan Timbrook decided to continue to use the long established name, Scirpus. Tules have two extensive chapters in Jan Timbrook’s book. She indicates the Chumash recognized two kinds of tule based on their cross sections — flat (actually not a tule but the cattail) and round, tule redondo. Some other tribes did acknowledge the difference between the triangular and round stem tule. As might be expected from two chapters devoted to one type of plant in an ethno-botany book, native people had many uses for the tule. Seeds, rhizomes, and young shoots were sometimes eaten although one source indicated that they felt gathering them for food (especially the seeds) was not worth the effort. The stems were bundled and the bundles overlapped to produce a thatching for Chumash dwellings. Bundles were also tied together in such a way to form a canoe-like water craft. Stems were also used extensively to form mats used in many ways. There are many other uses but I’ve not space to discuss them. However, I feel I have to mention one last use I did find intriguing. Poorer classes of women wove skirts out of tule because they couldn’t afford the animal skins used for clothing by the upper classes of Chumash. I guess I was naive enough to think sorting into economic classes was found only in modern economic and political systems.

by Dirk Walters, illustrations by Bonnie Walters | Dirk and Bonnie Walters are long-time CNPS-SLO members, contributors, and board/committee participants. In addition to his work at Cal Poly, Dirk is the current CNPS-SLO Historian.
California Native Plants that Attract Birds

California Native Plants that Attract Birds

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Plant these natives to attract birds to your garden.

Don’t forget that insect eating birds will visit most of these plants when looking for spiders, gnats, flys, moths, etc.

Genus/Species Part Used When Specific Birds
Acacia Greggii Seeds Summer Mourning Dove
Atriplex species Leaves/Seeds Sum/Fall Finches, Quail, Sparrows, Towhees
Abies concolor Leaves All-year Blue Grouse, Red Crossbill, Clark’s Nutcracker Pygmy Nuthatch
Acer macrophyllum Seeds/Buds/Flowers Spr/Sum/Fall Evening Grosbeak, many others
Acer negundo Same as macrophyllum in all categories
Achillea borealis. Seeds Summer Goldfinches
Adenostoma fasciculatum Seeds Summer Goldfinches
Alnus rhombifolia Nesting Spring Warblers
Seeds Summer Pine Siskin, Goldfinches
Buds Spring Cedar Waxwings
Alnus rubra Same as rhombifolia all categories
Amelanchier alnifolia Fruits Summer Many Species
Antirrhinum multiflorum Flowers/Seeds Spring/Sum Hummingbirds & seed eaters
Aquilegia species Flowers Spring/Sum Hummingbirds
Arbutus menziesii Fruit Fall Band-tailed Pigeon, Varied Thrush, Long Tailed Chat
Arctostaphylos species Fruit Sum/Fall Jays, Grosbeaks, Mockingbirds, Fox Sparrow
Flowers Late Win/Early Sp. Hummingbirds
Artemisia species Leaves All-Year Sage Grouse, Quail
Flowers /Seeds Spr/Sum /Fall Towhee
Asclepias species Stems, nests Spring Orioles
Aster species Seeds Fall Finches, Sparrows
Baccharis species Seeds Sum/Fall Finches, Sparrows
Beloperon californica Flowers Spr/Sum Hummingbirds, Finches, Sparrows
Ceanothus species Seeds Sum/Fall Quail
Cephalanthus occidentalis Seeds Sum/Fall Ducks
Cercis occidentalis Seeds/Flowers Spr/Fall Hummingbirds, Gold Finches
Cercocarpus species Seeds/Leaves Sum/Fall Blue Grouse
Chilopsis linearis Seeds/Flowers Spr/Fall Hummingbirds, Doves
Chrysothamnus species Seeds Sum/Fall Finches, Quail, Pine Siskin
Comarostaphylis diversifolia Flowers/Fruits Spr/Sum/Fall MANY SPECIES!
Cornus species Flowers/Fruits Spr/Sum/Fall MANY SPECIES!
Cupressus species Seeds Sum/Fall Red-breasted Nuthatch & others
Delphinium cardinale Flowers Spr/Sum Hummingbirds
Mimulus (Diplacus) species Flowers Spr/Sum Hummingbirds
Dudleya species Flowers Spr/Sum Hummingbirds
Eleocharis species Seeds/Culms/Tubers Fall Ducks, Teals,Geese, Scaups, Swans, Rails, Sandpipers, Snipe
Encelia californica Seeds Spr/Fall Sparrows, Finches
Equisetum species Stems/Rootstocks All-Year Geese, Swans, Waterfowl
Eriogonum species Leaves/Seeds All-Year Finches, Juncos, Sparrows, Towhees
Eschscholzia species Seeds Summer Quail
Forestiera neomexicana Fruit Summer Quail, Robin, Other Fruit Eating Birds
Fragaria species Leaves/Fruit All-Year MANY SPECIES!
Fraxinus species Seeds Fall Quail, Finches, Grosbeaks, Cedar Waxwings, Wood Ducks
Galvezia speciosa Flowers Spring Hummingbirds
Geranium species Seeds Summer Doves, Quail, Towhees
Helianthus species Seeds Fall Seed eating birds, Goldfinches, Bush Tits
Heteromeles arbutifolia Berries Winter Blue Birds, Robins, Band-tailed Pigeon
Heuchera maxima Flowers Spring Hummingbirds
Juglans californica Nuts Winter Jays
Keckiella species Flowers Spr/Summer Hummingbirds
Lavatera assurgentiflora Flowers/Seeds Sum/Fall Hummingbirds/Seed eaters
Lepechinia calycina Flowers Summer Hummingbirds
Lonicera species Flowers/Berries Spr/Sum/Fall Hummingbirds, Towhees, Robins, Thrashers, Bluebird
Lupinus species Seeds Summer Quail, Dove
Mahonia nevinii Berries Summer Bluebirds, Thrashers, Robins, Towhee
Mahonia aquifolium Berries Summer Thrashers, Robins, Towhees, Others
Malacothamnus species Seeds Fall Bush Tits/Others
Mimulus species Flowers Summer Hummingbirds
Monardella species Flowers Summer Hummingbirds
Penstemons species Flowers Spr/Sum Hummingbirds
Pinus species Seeds/Bark All-Year Jays, Nuthatches, Many species!
Platanus racemosa Fuzz/Seeds Spr/Winter Seed eaters, fuzz used by Hummers for nesting
Prunus species Berries Summer Jays, many others
Quercus species Seeds Fall/Winter Jays, Hummers, Many species!
Rhamnus species Berries Summer Jays, Thrashers, Berry eaters!
Rhus species Berries Spr/Sum Thrashers,Towhees, Many species
Ribes viburnifolium Berries/Flowers Win/Sum Hummingbirds, Thrashers, Towhees
Ribes species Berries/Flowers Win/Sum Hummingbirds, Jays, Thrashers, others
Rosa species Hips Sum/Fall Thrashers,Towhees Jays,Others
Salix species Insects/Catkins All-Year Many Species Use Galls
Salvia species Flowers/Seeds Spr/Fall Hummingbirds, Seed eaters
Sambucus species Berries/Flowers All-Year Many, Many Species
Scrophularia species Flowers/Seeds Spr/Sum Hummingbirds, Seed eaters
Shepherdia argentea Berries Summer Berry eaters
Sidalcea species Seeds Summer Thrashers, Seed Eaters
Solanum species Berries Summer Berry eaters
Stachys species Flowers Summer Hummingbirds
Trichostema lanatum Flowers Summer Hummingbirds
Washington Filifera Dates Sum/Fall Cedar Waxwings, Others
Epilobium (Zauschneria)sp. Flowers Sum/Fall Hummingbirds

Reference: Las Pilitas Nursery, with permission of Bert Wilson. Edited by Al Naydol and members of the San Luis Obispo Chapter of the California Native Plant Society.

Plants that Attract Butterflies

Plants that Attract Butterflies

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To attract butterflies it is important to have two types of plants growing in your yard or your general area:

1) food plants for the larvae (caterpillars), and

2) nectar plants for adult butterflies.

The most important plants for caterpillars are buckwheat, California lilac (Ceanothus), deerweed and milk vetch and lupines, mallows, oaks, rock cress and other mustards, and grasses. Unless you provide larval food plants in your garden or nearby, the number of adult butterflies will be limited.

The butterflies of San Luis Obispo County are listed below, with the host/food plant of the caterpillar. In most cases food of the adult butterfly is also given, that is, the nectar plant. Adults may use the host plant or not. They generally visit many flowers, not just these reported ones.

Compiled by George Butterworth, California Native Plant Society, © 2007. Bold letters = common. Groups and species are in alphabetical order, not taxonomic. Nearly all the plants given are California natives.

 

ADMIRALS

 

California sister. Coast & canyon live oak. Adults use rotting fruit, dung, sap; rarely flowers.Lorquin’s admiral. Willows, cottonwoods, chokecherry. Adults: buckeye, yerba santa, Calif. lilac, mint, sap, fruit, dung.

Red admiral. Nettles, eg hoary; pellitory. Adults: sap, rotting fruit; composites, bur marigold, milkweed, stonecrop, mint.

BLUES

 

Acmon blue. Buckwheats; legumes: deerweed, lupine, Spanish lotus, milk vetch, clover; milkweed. Adults: rabbitbrush, coyote brush, marsh baccharis, heliotrope, buckwheat.

Arrowhead blue. Lupines (eg bush), milk vetch. Adults: hosts; also buckwheat, yerba santa, mint, vetch, dogbane.

Bernardino blue. Buckwheats, eg Calif., sulfur, coast. Adults: same. Our square-spotted blues are here (Opler database).

Boisduval’s blue. Lupines, buckwheat. Adults use buckwheat too, and composites.

Lupine blue. California, sulfur, and other buckwheats. Adults use the host plants, and pussy paws.

Marine blue. Legumes: milk vetch, clover, wild pea, deerweed; leadwort. Adults: wild licorice, probably other hosts.

Pacific dotted blue. Buckwheats: sulfur, nude, & inflated. Adults use them too.

San Emigdio blue. 4-wing saltbush. Nectar: heliotrope.

Silvery blue. Legumes: lupines, vetches, wild pea, milk vetch, lotus, deerweed. Adults: composites, lupine, fiddleneck.

Sonoran blue. Dudleya. Adults: fiddleneck, brodiaea.

Bramble green hairstreak Bill Bouton

Spring azure (echo). Dogwood, oaks, Chinese houses, Calif. lilac, buckeye, Calif. aster. Adults: Calif. lilac, rock cress, milkweed, willow, violet.

Western pygmy blue. Saltbush (eg 4-wing, quailbush, spear oracle), sea blite, pickleweed, pigweed. Nectar: coyote brush, rabbitbrush, golden rod, aster.

Western tailed blue. Legumes like milk vetch, lotus, vetch (eg giant), wild pea. Adults: host plants, and buckwheat, pussy paws, yerba santa, composites, dogbane.

BUCKEYE Common buckeye. Plantains, snapdragon, monkey flower, owl’s clover; blue toadflax, verbena, pine. Adults: coreopsis, aster, rabbitbrush, coyote brush; mint, buckwheat, plantain, heliotrope, buckeye, sage, marsh baccharis.
CHECKERSPOTS Edith’s checkerspot. Many in the figwort family, eg paintbrush; valerian, honeysuckle, plantain (Plantago erecta). Adults: pincushion, yerba santa, milkweed.

Gabb’s checkerspot. California aster, telegraph weed, sawtooth goldenbush.

Leanira checkerspot. Paintbrush, bird’s beak. Nectar: yellow composites, nude buckwheat, coyote mint, yerba santa.

Variable checkerspot. Paintbrush, beardtongue, sticky monkey flower, Calif. figwort; snowberry, others. Nectar: yerba santa, buckwheat, globe gilia, daisy, mint, many others.

COMMAS (ANGLEWINGS) Oreas comma. Straggly gooseberry. Adults take sap.

Satyr comma. Nettles, eg hoary nettle. Adults: sap, fruit.

COPPERS

 

Gorgon copper. Long-stem, nude buckwheats. Adults: host plants, and woolly sunflower, milkweed.

Great copper. Docks, eg wild rhubarb. Nectar: gumplant, heliotrope, dogbane, white umbels.

Purplish copper. Docks, knotweeds like willow weed, smartweed; cinquefoils, horkelia. Adults: heliotrope, aster, coyote brush.

Tailed copper. Gooseberries, currants. Adults use composites, asters, nude buckwheat.

CRESCENTS Mylitta crescent. Thistles. Adults use asters, thistles, rabbitbrush, buckwheats, yerba santa, heliotrope.
DUSKYWINGS, CLOUDY- AND SOOTYWINGS Common sooty wing. Pigweed, amaranth, mallow, ambrosia. Adults use milkweed, heliotrope, clover.

Funereal dusky-wing. Many legumes, eg deerweed. Adults use sunflowers, buckwheat, yerba santa.

Mojave sooty-wing. Saltbush, eg 4 wing.

Mournful dusky-wing. Oaks: live, blue, valley. Adults: yerba santa, buckeye, verbena, buckwheats, sage, mint.

Northern cloudy-wing. Legumes like milk vetch, clover, lotus, false indigo, vetch. Adults use mints, vetches, thistles, milkweed, dogbane, yerba santa, brodiaea, buckeye.

Pacuvius dusky-wing. Calif. lilac, eg buck brush & Jim brush. Adults use the same, and yellow composites.

Propertius dusky-wing. Oaks, eg coast live and Oregon. Adults use blue dicks, yerba santa, Calif. lilac, vetches, phacelia, fiddleneck, buckeye, dogbane.

Sleepy dusky-wing. Oaks, especially leather. Adults use verbena, redbud, heaths, composites, wild onions.

FRITILLARIES Callippe fritillary. Violets. Adults take nectar from yerba santa, buckwheat, coyote mint, sage.

Coronis fritillary. Violets. Adults use aster, rabbitbrush, goldenrod, thistle; yerba santa, mint, buckeye, sage.

Gulf fritillary. Passion vines (alien). Adults use daisies, thistles.

HAIRSTREAKS

 

 

Bramble Green Hairstreak- photo: BillBouton

Bramble green hairstreak (western green). Buckwheats, legumes like deer weed; Calif. lilac. Nectar: yerba santa, Calif. buckwheat, buckeye, dogbane.

Brown elfin. Manzanita, buck brush, madrone, salal, soap plant, dodder, many others. Adults use Calif. buckwheat, willow, redbud, yerba santa.

California hairstreak. Oaks mainly; also buck brush, mountain mahogany, deer brush. Nectar: yerba santa, milkweed, dogbane, buckwheat.

Gold-hunter’s hairstreak. Oaks, esp. blue and scrub; also interior live. Nectar: buckeye, buckwheat (eg nude), dogbane, milkweed, yerba santa.

Golden hairstreak. Canyon live oak, chinquapin, tan oak. No flower nectar taken; food unknown.

Gray hairstreak. Legumes, mallows, buckwheats, chamise, many others. Adults visit numerous flowers.

Great purple hairstreak. Mistletoe. Adults: buckwheat, umbels, composites, buckeye, milkweed.

Hedgerow hairstreak. Calif. lilacs, esp. buck brush; mountain mahogany. Adults use the same, plus buckwheat, dogbane, yerba santa.

Juniper hairstreak (siva). California juniper. Adults: goldenbush, yarrow, buckwheat (eg sulfur), tansy mustard, milkweed.

Moss’s elfin. Stonecrop, dudleya.

Mountain mahogany hairstreak. Mountain mahogany. Nectar: Calif. buckwheat, yerba santa, milkweed.

Muir’s hairstreak. Sargeant cypress. Adults: Calif. lilac.

Sylvan hairstreak. Willows. Adults use milkweed.

Thicket hairstreak. Pine mistletoe. Adults use rabbitbrush.

LADIES

 

American lady. Everlastings, pussy-toes. Nectar: yerba santa, thistles, marsh baccharis, aster, buckwheat, milkweed.

Painted lady. Thistles, mallows, legumes, nettle, borages (eg fiddleneck). Nectar: composites (eg aster, thistles), buckwheat, yerba santa, mint, borages, lobelia.

West Coast lady. Mallows (eg checker mallow, island mallow), nettles. Nectar: thistles, yerba santa, buckwheat, mallow, mint, sage, milkweed.

MARBLES California marble (pearly). Mustards like jewelflower, tansy mustard, rock cress. Adults use the same, plus pussy paws.

Large marble. Mustards like rock cress (eg tower mustard), wall flower, tansy mustard. Adults: mustards, fiddleneck, brodiaea.

METALMARKS Behr’s metalmark. Calif. buckwheat. Adults: buckwheat.

Mormon metalmark. Buckwheats like Calif., inflated, coast, and nude. Adults: buckwheats; also aster, senecio, rabbitbrush.

MILKWEEDS /MONARCH Monarch. Milkweed. Adults: mint, milkweed, composites (eg sunflower, mulefat), manzanita, mallow.

Queen. Milkweed. Nectar: sunflowers, milkweed.

ORANGETIPS Desert orangetip. Mustards like tansy mustard, rock cress, jewelflower, desert candle.

Pacific (Sara) orangetip. Mustards, eg tower mustard, tansy mustard, lace pod. Adults: host plants, plus thistle, fiddleneck, brodiaea, buckeye, blue dicks, yerba santa.

SATYRS Common ringlet. Grasses like perennial fescue (maybe red or

Calif.) Adults use flowers.

Great Basin wood nymph. Grasses like perennial fescue (maybe red or Calif.) Adults use composites, buckeye, Calif. and nude buckwheat.

SKIPPERS Columbian skipper. Junegrass, oatgrass. Adults use rabbitbrush, goldenrod.

Common checkered-skipper. Monterey Co., maybe here. Mallows. Adults use aster, fleabane, rabbitbrush.

Eufala skipper. Grasses like bermuda. Nectar: vetch, composites, croton, heliotrope.

Fiery skipper. Bermuda grass, crabgrass, others. Nectar: composites, verbena.

Lindsey’s skipper. Native grasses like fescue, oatgrass. Adults visit clarkia, mule ears.

Northern white-skipper. Mallows like bush mallow. Adults use lobelia, yerba santa, composites, mints, buckwheat.

Rural skipper. Grasses like melic; horkelia. Adults: buckeye.

Sachem. Bermuda grass, crabgrass. Adults: milkweed, verbena; rabbitbrush, sunflower, thistle, coyote brush.

Sandhill skipper. Grasses like saltgrass, bermuda. Adults use aster, heliotrope.

Silver-spotted skipper. Legumes: locust, wild licorice, false indigo, lotus. Nectar: honeysuckle, milkweed, thistle, yerba santa, vetch, buckeye, dogbane.

Small checkered-skipper. Mallows like alkali mallow. Adults: mints, milkweed, composites, heliotrope.

Two-banded checkered-skipper. Horkelia, cinquefoil. Adults use pussy paws.

Umber skipper. Grasses, eg hairgrass; sedge. Adults use thistles, coyote brush, yerba santa, milkweed, buckeye.

Western branded skipper. Grasses, eg bluegrass, needlegrass, fescue; sedges. Adults use asters, thistles, mint, buckwheat, yerba santa.

White checkered-skipper. Mallows like alkali mallow.

Woodland skipper. Tall broad-leaf grasses, eg wild rye. Adults use asters, thistles, everlasting, rabbitbrush, coyote brush, dogbane.

SULFURS

 

California dogface | photo: Bill Bouton

California dogface. False indigo, other legumes. Adults: yerba santa, buckeye, thistle, verbena, woolly blue curls, sage, mint, hedge nettle, Calif. fuchsia.

Cloudless sulphur. Senna. Nectar: thistle, morning glory.

Harford’s sulfur. Douglas milkvetch, deerweed, lupine. Nectar plants: thistle, mint.

Orange sulfur (alfalfa). Legumes: vetches, clovers, milk vetch, deerweed. Adults use milkweed, aster.

Southern dogface. Legumes, eg clovers, false indigo. Adults use coreopsis, verbena.

Sleepy orange. Sennas. Adults use bur marigold, daisies.

Anise swallowtail. Umbels, eg anise (non-native), Tauschia, Lomatium. Adults visit a vast array of flowers.

Pale swallowtail. Rose family, eg holly-leaf cherry; buckthorns, eg redberry, coffeeberry, Calif. lilac (eg buck brush). Adults: wallflower, yerba santa, thistle, mint, lilies, Ithuriel’s spear, blue dicks.

Western tiger swallowtail. Cottonwood, willow, sycamore, ash, alder trees. Nectar: composites, lilies, thistles, yerba santa, milkweed, coyote mint, buckeye, dogbane, lobelia, sage.

TORTOISESHELLS

 

California tortoiseshell. Calif. lilacs, eg buck brush, blue blossom. Adults: flowers (eg manzanita), fruit, sap.

Milbert’s tortoiseshell. Nettles. Adults: fruit, thistle, daisies, rabbitbrush, aster, coyote mint, chokecherry.

Mourning cloak. Willows, cottonwoods. Adults: oak sap, fruit, willow, composites, rabbitbrush.

WHITES

 

Becker’s white. Mustards, eg prince’s plume; bladderpod. Nectar: mustards, rabbitbrush, aster, goldenrod.

Cabbage white. Non-native. Many mustards, eg crops. Adults use mustards, mint, composites.

Checkered white. Many mustards, eg peppergrass. Nectar: mustards, composites, aster, daisy, milkweed, legumes.

Margined white. Mustards, eg toothwort, rock cress, water cress. Adults use mustards.

Spring white. Mustards, eg rock cress, jewel flower, tansy mustard, lace pod. Adults use a variety of flowers.

 

TOTALS: 99 species (49 common)

GARDENING TIPS

Butterflies like:

  • big patches of flowers and color
  • sunny places without wind
  • wet places for “puddling”
  • weedy areas

Insecticides and herbicides are very harmful.

IMPORTANT NECTAR PLANTS (adapted from lists by Las Pilitas Nursery and Paul Opler)

In order to have adult butterflies in your garden for the longest period of time (spring to fall) you must have plants flowering continuously. Thus the nectar plants below are very important. They are given in approximate order of flowering time, beginning with March. You may have to revise these for your own place, according to zone, soil, etc.

Globe gilia. Gilia capitata. Hedge nettle. Stachys.
Pincushion. Chaenactis, eg glabriuscula. Saw-tooth goldenbush. Hazardia squarrosa.
Seaside daisy. Erigeron glaucus. Verbena. Verbena lasiostachys.
Yerba santa. Eriodictyon californicum. Woolly blue curls. Trichostema lanatum.
Sunflower. Helianthus gracilentus. Thistle. Cirsium, eg occidentale var venustum.
Sage. Salvia, eg mellifera, spathacea. Desert willow. Chiloposis linearis.
Mock orange. Philadelphus lewisii. Milkweed. Asclepias eriocarpa, fascicularis.
Tree anemone. Carpenteria californica. Buckwheat. Eriogonum elongatum, latifolium, nudum, roseum.
Buckwheat. Eriogonum fasciculatum. California fuschia. Epilobium canum.
Mint. Monardella. Rabbitbrush. Chrysothamnus nauseosus.

GLOSSARY, CHOICES

Aster Aster, eg chilensis. Calif. aster— Lessingia filaginifolia.

Beardtongue Penstemon, eg centranthifolius, heterophyllus

Buck brush Ceanothus cuneatus

Buckwheat Eriogonum elongatum (long stem), fasciculatum (Calif.), latifolium (coast), nudum (nude), roseum (rosy), trichopes (inflated), umbellatum (sulfur).

California lilac Ceanothus, eg cuneatus, griseus, maritimus, thyrsiflorus

Composites Asteraceae

Daisy Erigeron, esp. glaucus, foliosus

Deerweed Lotus scoparius

Dock Rumex hymenosepalus, maritimus, or salicifolius

Everlasting Anaphalis; Gnaphalium, eg californicum, canescens

False indigo Amorpha california

Fescue Festuca californica, elmeri, rubra (red)

Figwort Scrophulariaceae. Scrophularia atrata or californica

Fleabane Erigeron, eg glaucus, foliosus

Legumes Fabaceae, pea family

Lotus Lotus scoparius; and L. purshianus (Spanish lotus), others

Mallow Malvaceae . Eremalche parryi; Lavatera (tree mallow); Malacothamnus jonesii, palmeri, davidsonii (bush mallows); Malvella leprosa (alkali mallow); Sidalcea diploscypha, malvaeflora, hickmanii (checker mallows).

Milkweed Asclepias fascicularis (narrow leaf), eriocarpa (Indian)

Milk vetch Astragalus curtipes, douglasii, macrodon, nuttallii,

(locoweed) oxyphysus, trichopodus

Mint Lamiaceae: Agastache urticifolia; Mentha arvensis; Monardella, eg antonina, frutescens, palmeri, villosa; Stachys; Trichostema lanatum

Mustard Brassicaceae

Nettle mainly Urtica dioica

Pigweed Chenopodium esp. californicum

Plantain Plantago elongata, erecta, maritima, subnuda

Rock cress Arabis glabra; also pulchra, sparsiflora

Sage Salvia carduacea, leucophylla, mellifera, spathacea

Snapdragon Antirrhinum, eg kelloggii, multiflorum

Soap plant Chlorogalum pomeridianum

Sunflower Helianthus gracilentus, plus annuals annuus, bolanderi

Thistle Cirsium, eg brevistylum, occidentale

Tower mustard Arabis glabra

Umbels Apiaceae, carrot family

Vetch Vicia americana, gigantea, hassei

Violet Viola, esp. V. pedunculata

Wild pea Lathyrus jepsonii, vestitus

Yerba Santa Eriodictyon californicum, tomentosum, traskiae

REFERENCES:

“Art Shapiro’s Butterfly Site,” 2006, [butterfly.ucdavis.edu] Brock & Kaufman, Butterflies of North America, 2003.

Bouton, Bill, personal communication

Garth and Tilden, California Butterflies, 1986.

Glasberg, Jeffrey, Butterflies Through Binoculars, the West, 2001.

Heath, Fred, An Introduction to Southern California Butterflies, 2004.

Hickman, The Jepson Manual, 1993.

Hoover, The Vascular Plants of San Luis Obispo County, 1970.

Las Pilitas Nursery, [laspilitas.com]

Naydol, Al, “California Native Plants for Butterfly Gardening”, 2002.

Opler, Paul, “Butterflies and Moths of North America,” database, 2006. [butterfliesandmoths.org]

Opler & Wright, Western Butterflies (Peterson Guide), 1999

Pyle, Robert, National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies, 1981.

Sedenko, Jerry, The Butterfly Garden, 1991

Layia platyglossa

Layia platyglossa

Tidy-tips

Layia platyglossa is one of our more common spring wildflowers. It can turn the hills a shade of yellow. When people talk of great wildflower displays, it is often this plant of which they are speaking. Its flowers are predominately yellow. The center is dark yellow to even orange while the bases of the petal-like structures are medium yellow. The tips are pale yellow to white. When in mass, they form medium-yellow patches as opposed to dark orange-yellow of goldfields (Lasthenia).

It is the pale tips that give this plant its common name ‒ tidy-tips. It is a member of the sunflower family, Asteraceae or Compositae. The name Compositae is an older, alternative name that has been conserved by the Rules of Botanical Nomenclature. It refers to a trait shared by nearly all members of this very large family of having its tiny flowers aggregated (composited) into flower-like clusters commonly called heads. The heads are made up of two types of flowers. In the center of the head is a tight, disk-like cluster of dark-yellow to orange flowers with their petals (corollas) formed into a tube.

These flowers are called tube flowers based on this trait or disk flowers referring to their forming that tight disk in the center of the the head. However, it is the “petals” that surround the head that give us the common name. The “petals” are actually the modified corollas (petals) of the second type of flower, the ray flower. Ray flowers are so named, I assume, because they radiate out from the outer edge of the disk. The flat strap-shaped petal-like corolla is termed a ligule and is made up of three fused petals. The ligule in tidytips generally has a medium yellow base and pale yellow to white tip.

California Wildflower

Illustration by Bonnie Walters

A second species of Layia is called white layia, because its pale tip extends all the way to the ligule base. White layias are common in the drier portion of our Chapter area. Dr. Robert Hoover recognized eight Layia species in the county.  However, I’m only familiar with four of them: common, white, Munz’s, and Jones’s tidy-tips.

How do you tell them apart? Well, white layia is the easiest to distinguish because its ligule is completely pale yellow to white. The other three species would all appear to be tidy-tips in a casual photograph. In order to distinguish these, one needs to get kind of technical. A hand lens would also prove to be useful, if not essential. The main character that  distinguishes the species resides in the greenish, modified leaves immediately surrounding the heads. Leaves associated with flowers are called bracts. A tight whorl or spiral of bracts is called an involucre. In the Asteraceae, these involucre bracts are given the unique term phyllaries. The phyllary tips in common tidytips are “visibly hairy.” In contrast, the phyllary tips in Jones’s and Munz’s tidy-tips either lack hairs or have hairs so short as to appear absent (puberulent).

The common tidy-tips is by far the most widespread and is easily the one most encountered. It is especially partial to well drained, sandy or rocky soils and is found practically everywhere. In contrast, Munz’s and Jones’s tidy-tips are more localized and are partial to clay soils. Munz’s or alkali tidy-tips is found in extremely alkali soils such as around Soda Lake on the Carrizo Plain. Jones’s tidy-tips is partial to soils derived from serpentine. It is known from several locations in the San Luis Obispo area.

It must be added that tidy-tips are extremely variable in many characteristics such as presence of odor, red striping and sticky hairs on the stem and the shape of individual bracts. Members of the sunflower family do not have typical green sepals. Instead of being green, they can be absent or consist of dry scales, bristles or some combination of both. Because the sepals do not look like sepals, botanists give them another name. They are called pappus. The pappus found in the various species of tidy-tips runs the full spectrum of forms with some species such as the common tidy-tips which can possess either no pappus or a pappus of thick fuzzy bristles (awns).

by Dirk Walters, illustrations by Bonnie Walters | Dirk and Bonnie Walters are long-time CNPS-SLO members, contributors, and board/committee participants. In addition to his work at Cal Poly, Dirk is the current CNPS-SLO Historian.
May Chapter Meeting

May Chapter Meeting

Chapter Meeting

Our program for this chapter meeting includes a talk by Lisa Stratton, the Director of Ecosystem Management for UCSB’s Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER). She will tell us how native plants have become a priority for UCSB open space areas, and cover current and ongoing open space projects.
John Chestnut will give us a run down on the recent CNPS is proposal to add a new species, to list 1B. This species is restricted to the Central Ca sand dunes– Los Osos, Oceano, Guadalupe and Vandenberg. C. littoreum was segregated from C. carnosulum var. patagonicum by the Chenopodium author in the forthcoming Jepson 2.

David Chipping will challenge us to help out with weed control in our open areas. Much can be done, and creative ideas are welcome. David is happy to coordinate if companies, groups, or families would like to “adopt” an area within which invasive weeds are a problem.

photo courtesy of Sharon Lovejoy