Mountain Home to West Point - Shrubs
Most noticeable plants first

Name

Description

Thumbnails click on plant name to see more info

Coyote Brush

Baccharis pilularis

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Aster Family

Native

  Bushy shrub often 2 4 feet tall with lots of brittle, woody stems.

  Leaves less than 1 long with bumps on the outer part.

  Prominent white puffy seeds in winter. This shrub fades into the background at other times of year.

  [2] [5] [6] [7] Common

Coyote Brush Female Flowers-Baccharis pilularis-Oct 7 Pt Reyes

Coyote Brush-14-Baccharis pilularis-Oct 7 Pt Reyes

Yerba Santa

Eriodictyon californicum

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Borage Family

Native

  Leaves, 3 to 5 inches long, often darker than other plants.

  Leaves long and skinny with serrations.

  Leaves often have black sooty mold spots on them.

  [5] Common on Railroad Grade

 

Yerba Santa--May 8 2012 Mt Tam

Yerba Santa-2--Apr 21 2012 Mt Tam

Chaparral Pea

Pickeringia montana

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Pea Family

Native

  Pointy short branches 90 degrees from stem.

  Leaves, less than 1 inch long, are small ovals in groups of 3

  Showy, purple flowers.

  [5] Common on Railroad Grade

Chaparral Pea-2-Pickeringia montana-May 7 2012-2

Chaparral Pea-Pickeringia montana-May 7 2012-3

Chamise

Adenostoma fasciculatum

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Rose Family

Native

  Stems often more apparent than leaves.

  Leaves tiny, look like needles.

  Clusters of tiny, creamy-white flowers.

  Often paler in color/texture than plants around it.

  [5] Common on Railroad Grade

Chamise-3-Adenostoma fasciculatum -May 23 2012 Hoo Koo Y Koo Trail

Manzanita

Arctostaphylos spp.

Eastwood, Hoary, and Shatterberry are described in the link.

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Heather Family

Native

  Red branches and trunk.

  Flat oval, pointed leaves, about 1 inches long.

  Underside of young leaves can be fuzzy.

  Lovely pink or white flowers.

  New leaves can be bright red

  [5] Common on Railroad Grade

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:bruce2:Documents:LEPIDGallery:Manzanita Detail Flower Thumb.jpg

Mt Tam Manzanita-2-Arctostaphylos-Aug 25 2012 Eldridge Loop

Eastwood Manzanita Burl-Arctostaphylos-Jan 11 2012

Sticky Monkeyflower

Mimulus aurantiacus

 

All areas

 

Lopseed Family

Native

  Orange showy flowers.

  Long narrow leaves, about 3 inches long, with strong vein markings.

  Stems can be woody, but plant is generally less than 3 feet tall.

  [5] Common on Railroad Grade

Sticky Monkey Flower Leaves Leaf Thumb

Sticky Monkey Flower-2--Feb 23 2012

Sticky Monkey Flowers--May 7 2012

Wavyleaf Ceanothus

Ceanothus foliosus

Aka Indigo Brush

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Buckthorn Family

Native

  Shrub usually less than 3 feet tall.

  Leaves less than long.

  Leaves not like tiny needles (see Chamise)

  Blue flower with white and yellow accents.

  [5] Common on Railroad Grade

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:bruce2:Documents:LEPIDGallery:Blue Blossom Leaf Thumb - South Mt Tam - Jan 2012.jpg

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:bruce2:Documents:LEPIDGallery:Ceanothus Blue Blossom Flower Thumb.jpg

Wavyleaf Ceanothus-Ceanothus foliosus -Apr 14 2012

Wedgeleaf Ceanothus

Ceanothus cuneatus

aka Buck Brush

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Buckthorn Family

Native

  See Wavyleaf Ceanothus above, which is more common.

  Stems branch at near 90 degrees.(like Chaparral Pea)

  Leaves oval, less than 1 long, organized on opposite sides of the stem.

  [5] Less common on Railroad Grade

Wedgeleaf Ceanothus Flower Thumb - South Mt Tam - Feb 12 2012.jpg

Wedgeleaf Ceanothus Pale Blue Flowers Flower Thumb - South Mt Tam - Feb 23 2012.jpg

Wedgeleaf Ceanothus-4-Ceanothus cuneatus-Feb 23 2012

Blue Blossom Ceanothus

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Buckthorn Family

Native

  Can easily grow to 8 feet tall

  Leaf 2 long.

  Medium-blue ceanothus-like flowers.

  [5] Less common on Railroad Grade. Look for plant on the ocean side of the road pictured to the far right.

Blue Blossom Ceanothus-16-Ceanothus thyrsiflorus-Apr 21 2012 Mt Tam-2

Blue Blossom Ceanothus-7-Ceanothus thyrsiflorus-Apr 21 2012 Mt Tam

Blue Blossom Ceanothus-4-Ceanothus thyrsiflorus-May 7 2012

Golden Chinquapin

Chrysolepis chrysophylla

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Beech Family

Native

  Leaves, about 3 inches long have smooth edges.

  Underside of leaf is fuzzy and golden orange.

  Seed structure is sharply spined, large and distinctive

  [5] [6] Less common. Look for a big plant on the uphill side at the junction at Double Bow Knot.

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:bruce2:Documents:LEPIDGallery:Chinquapin Leaf Thumb.jpg

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:bruce2:Documents:LEPIDGallery:Chinquapin Seed Thumb.jpg

Chinquapin-2--Jan 11 2012

California Huckleberry

Vaccinium ovatum

 

All areas

 

Heather Family

Native

 

  Leaves about 1 long, thick, oval ending in a point.

  Leaf stiff and shiny

  Small pink and white flowers hanging in groups.

  Leaves and stems often red.

  very dark blue fruit.

  [5] Less common on Railroad Grade

 

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:bruce2:Documents:LEPIDGallery:Evergreen Huckleberry Leaf Thumb.jpg

Huckleberry Flower-2-Vaccinium ovatum -May 7 2012-2

Huckleberry-Vaccinium ovatum -May 8 2012 Mt Tam-2

Coffeeberry

Frangula californica

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Buckthorn Family

Native

  Bush, 3-6 feet tall.

  Leaves about 3, pointed. Veins obvious.

  Leaf edges curl under and feel rough.

fruit red or black.

  [5] [6] [7] Fairly common

Coffeeberry-2-Not sure-Jan 11 2012

coffeeberry flower-2--June 10 2012 Mt Tam

Coffeeberry Berries--Oct 17 2012 Headlands

Elk Clover

Aralia californica

 

Shady, damp areas

 

Aralia Family

Native

 

  Flowers in a ball.

  Very large leaves openly divided into large leaflets.

  [5] Less common on Railroad Grade. Look for them overhanging shady streams.

Elk Clover Aralia californica 12FairfaxBolinas (2)--TempIdentified-2

Elk Clover--2012-06-10 Mt Tam-2

Elk Clover Aralia californica 12FairfaxBolinas (2)--TempIdentified-3

Acacia

Acacia decurrens

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Pea Famly

Not Native

  Fairly common on the lower fire road near Mountain Home.

  Leaves, on a long stem, are tiny, needle-like.

  Distinctive feathery look.

  [7] Common on Gravity Car Road.

acacia-2--Jan 25 2012

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:bruce2:Documents:LEPIDGallery:Acacia Full Web.jpg

acacia-3--Jan 25 2012

French Broom

Genista monspessulana

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Pea Famly

Not Native

  Short oval leaves, in 3s

  Stem is round, with 8 to 10 ridges along the outer edge.

  Brilliant sprays of yellow pea flowers

  Fuzzy pea pods

  Lots of space between branches.

  [7] Common on Gravity Car Road.

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:bruce2:Documents:LEPIDGallery:french broom Leaf Thumb - South Mt Tam - Jan 2012.jpg

French Broom-Genista monspessulana-__VS-2

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:bruce2:Documents:LEPIDGallery:French Broom Profile Thumb.jpg

Spanish Broom

Spartium junceum

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Pea Famly

Not Native

  Brilliant sprays of yellow pea flowers bloom March to May.

  Flowers larger and deeper yellow than French Broom,

  Flowers at end of straight branches

  Leaves not noticable.

  Stem round in cross section.

  [7] Less common on Gravity Car Road

Spanish Broom-2-Spartium junceum-2012-05-07 South Mt Tam-2

Spanish Broom-2-Spartium junceum-2012-05-07 South Mt Tam-3

Spanish Broom-Spartium junceum-2012-05-07 South Mt Tam-2

Toyon

Heteromeles arbutifolia

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Rose Family

Native

  Oval, serrated, fairly stiff, pointed leaves about 3

  Main vein in center of leaf, vein branches often branch again before getting to leaf edge.

  Red berries in big clumps, showing 5 parts at the end.

  [4] [5] Less common on Railroad Grade and at West Point.

Toyon Seed Thumb - North of Mt Tam - Feb 5 2012

Toyon Seed Thumb - North of Mt Tam - Nov 29 2011

Toyon-2--June 27 Mt Tam

Golden Fleece

Ericameria arborescens

 

Sunny, dry areas

 

Aster Family

Native

  Leaves long, shaped like stiff curved grass.

  Overall appearance is soft, feathery, green

  Yellow blooms at the ends of stems.

  [7] Common on Railroad Grade

Golden Fleece-4-Ericameria arborescens-June 10 2012 Mt Tam

Golden Fleece-Ericameria arborescens-Aug 25 2012 Eldridge Loop

Golden Fleece-3-Ericameria arborescens-July 5 2012 Mt. Tam

Silk Tassel

Garrya elliptica

 

All areas

 

Silktassel Family

Native

  Leathery opposite evergreen leaves, shiny on the top and paler underneath.

  Wavy leaf margins.

  Flowers cascading down, one after the other.

  [3] Look for a few large bushes on the downhill side of the Matt Davis Trail.

Silk Tassel Tree-8-Garrya congdonii-Feb 23 2012

Silk Tassel Tree-Garrya elliptica-TempDontKnow-2-2

Silk Tassel Tree-Garrya congdonii-Feb 23 2012-2