Vines in Stivers Lagoon

Vines are very important to the underbrush.  They provide a safe haven for animals while providing food and nesting material.  The roots of these vines require moisture that the wetlands provide.  Vines are helpful  in erosion control during flooding because they bind the soil along the stream banks, and discourage animals, including humans from disturbing the soil.

California  Blackberry   Rubus ursinus

 This native woody shrub is commonly found in woodlands and parks.   These plants produce a berry that is black to dark purple in color when ripe, which give this plant its name.   The number of leaves on a leaflet is three and blooms in late March to April.  The branches are covered with small, needlelike thorns.  These vines grow best in moist soil of a wetland  


Himalayan Blackberry    Rubus discolor  

This non-native woody shrub is  found in woodlands, marshes, riparian areas, and parks.  It looks similar to the California blackberry  except for leaf shape and thorns.  Their thorns are larger, and leaflets are composed of 5 parts and are whitish on the underside. This species is originally from Eurasia, and is very aggressive in its spread, growing up to 10 feet per year.  The flowers are white to pinkish. 


English Ivy   Hedera helix L

This non-native herbaceous vine is commonly planted in parks because it needs little care.  This climbing vine attaches itself to the structure it wishes to climb with tiny aerial roots that stick to the surface of the structure.


Western  Poison Oak    Toxicodendron diversilobum NATIVE

Poison oak can be recognized easily by its leaves which  have three leaflets.  It may grow as a shrub climbing as a vine along the ground or in trees.   This is not a true oak, but its leaf resembles the shape of oats with scalloped edges.  The leaves turn from green to red in the fall. The entire plant can cause rashes, even when there are no leaves on the plant. California Native Americans used the stems for baskets.  The juice of the berries produces a black pigment that was used as a dye in basketry.  The whitish berries are eaten by wildlife.