Tule Ponds at Tyson

Coyote Brush
Family Asteraceae (aster)
Baccharis pilularis

Coyote brush is an evergreen shrub that grows up to 4 meters in this area. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants in late fall. The yellow pollen of the male flower smells like shaving soap.  Early Californians, because of its abundant silky-haired seeds, called coyote brush “fuzzy-wuzzy”.  Coyote brush is an important pioneer species in the process of plant succession.  It is usually the first shrub to appear in a grassy field after vegetation has been removed by cultivation or fire.

Coast Silk-tassel
Family Garryaceae
Garrya elliptica

Evergreen shrubs or small trees. Leaves are leathery with wavy edges.  They are arranged in opposite pairs and are dark shiny green above; gray below with dense, microscopic hairs.  Male and female catkins are borne on separate plants.  The male catkin is long with slender chains of “bells.”

Coffee Berry
Family Rhamnaceae (buckthorn)
Rhamnus californica

Low lying, medium to large evergreen shrub,  found in the Coast Ranges.  Coffee berry bears black fruits that gives the name of coffee berry to most species.  Clusters of berries are green, ripening to orange-red and finally black. The young leaves are lighter green and mature to dark green.  Edges curl under during dry summers to conserve moisture.  Flowers are white with a  star shape, emerging from green buds in clusters. 

California Lilac
Family Rhamnaceae (buckthorn)
Ceanothus griseus

Shrubs or small trees, with white to blue flowers that are small but showy. The inflorescence varies with each species With few exceptions they are evergreen.  There are 43 species native to California from the coast to the Sierras. This species  can spread  to 1-3 meters  and found in coastal California.

Musk Sage
Family Lamiaceae (mint family)
Salvia clevelandii

An evergreen shrub with lavender flowers.  It can grow to 1-1.5 meters.  The grey- green leaves have an intense smell.   Leaves are lancelate about 3 cm long, serrated with a coarse feel.  It blooms from spring to late fall.  Common in chaparral areas to about 3000 feet.

Black Sage
Family Lamiaceae (mint family)
Salvia mellifera

A 1-2 meter high, erect, open branched perennial shrub, with elliptical oblong leaves with fine hairs.  Foliage has a distinct aromatic fragrance that gives a minty smell when crushed. The pinkish white flowers are spaced 1-2 cms apart in compact whorls.  Black sage is named because the dried flowers remain on the stems at the end of the season and turn black.  Common shrub on dry slopes in lower than 2000 feet.

Hollyleaf Cherry
Family Rosaceae (rose) 
Prunus ilicifolia  

Dense, evergreen that is uniformly branched.  Leaves are ovate to round, thick, glossy, rich, bright green, with spine-toothed on margins.  Most leaf blades are less than 3 times as long as wide.   Flowers are small, white and borne  in elongated racemes.  Fruit is juicy, 12-25 mm long, red to blue-black.  Indians used large seeds to make flour.

California Rose
Family Rosaceae  (rose)
Rosa californica

California rose often forms thickets in moist places that provide cover and food for birds and small mammals. Rose stems have prickly stems and compound leaves. The single 2 to 3-inch flowers have fragrant rose-pink petals. The glossy red/orange rose “hips” surrounding the fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C.  They are used to make jam, tea, fruit leather, soup and syrup. 

Family Rosaceae (rose)
Heteromoles arbutifolia

Large evergreen shrub or small tree, 6-10 ft tall.  It has brilliant red berries in the winter.  Leaves are dark green, serrated.  Flat cluster of small white flowers.  Drought tolerant plant.

California  Blackberry
Family  Rosaceae (rose)
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.   The compound leaves are composed of three leaflets 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.

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