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Sunshine and towers! Yellow bush snapdragon and black sage.

If you’ve been on a hike or driven past open space anytime in the last few weeks you have been witness to an amazing number of blooms.  Two you can’t help but notice are black sage (Salvia mellifera) and yellow bush snapdragon (Keckiella antirrhinoides).  Black sage has profuse spires stacked with spheres of white flowers and a smell that makes you want to crush a leaf and tape it to your nose. Yellow bush snapdragon is beyond cheerful with its bright yellow explosion of flowers, a little burst of sunshine along the path!  These pics were taken along the path that parallels Oak Glen Rd near the regional park in Yucaipa. Go take a look!

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Black sage in the foreground tucked in tight with the snapdragon.

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An amazing swath of black sage’s white spires backed by the bush snapdragon’s yellow blanket.

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Three things to do during Native Plant Week/Earth Day!

  1. Clear 10-15 sq ft of garden space and dedicate it to native butterflies! 10-15 sq ft will end up being 2-3 of the plants listed here, any of these native plants will do the trick for the inland gardener: Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), Sage (Black, Cleveland or White Sage, Salvia sp.), Bladderpod (Peritoma arborea), Narrowleaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis)
  2. Take a native plant field trip. Picnic at Caroline Park (Redlands), visit Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (http://www.rsabg.org/visit) or pick a trail to hike in our local mountains!  (Crafton Hills Open Space Conservancy has some easy to get to trails and for wee hikers and adults alike the Oak Glen Preserve nature trail at Los Rios Rancho is great!)
  3. Learn a little bit about your local plants. The next time you are out on a trail or walking along a natively planted bike trail you can feel that sense knowing where you come from when you id your local natives!  Share the info with your friends 🙂  Visit calflora’s What grows here site:  What Grows Here, CalFlora.  Zoom into your area and click search, then scroll through the pictures and see if any look familiar.  20170420_062716

Deerweed (Acmispon glaber) a.k.a. awsome butterfly host plant!

Acmispon glaber (used to be Lotus scoparius) is host to over four different native butterfly species!  The plants are in bloom all over the place right now in SoCal.  The flowers start yellow and once pollinated or upon aging turn a beautiful red orange color. It’s nothing to write home about in its off season, a bunch of little sticks really, but when it comes back to life it’s delicate leaves, cheerful little flowers, nitrogen fixing capabilities and being a host to so many butterflies makes it a native you’ll want to have!  (The picture below shows Deerweed nestled in amongst some buckwheat branches.)acmispon glaber-1 (1)