Toyon – Rose Apples

Toyon, in the rose family, carries a name given to it by Native Americans and produces fruit related to apples. Because it ripens and turns bright red around the holidays, its common names are Christmas berry and California Holly. Toyon’s scientific name, Heteromeles arbutifolia, means “different apple.” There’s debate surrounding the plant’s association with the naming of Hollywood. [See link … Read More

California Buckeye – A Stunning Native

Photo Credit: John Rusk  Found nowhere else in the world, Aesculus Californica is a true California Native. In late winter and early spring, the California Buckeye blooms with long strands of sweet smelling flowers. This early blooming season is a unique adaptation of the plant to its environment. Another unique adaptation is when it goes dormant, during the arid summer months. In … Read More

Willow – Bends without Breaking

The Arroyo Willow – Salix lasiolepis – is a native shrub or tree in California and in most Western states. Wetland Habitat Willo is important in riparian (creek and waterway) environments; it provides habitat and food for insects, birds, amphibians and other animals in spring, birds use a cottony substance released by the seeds to build nests The Arroyo Willow likes to keep … Read More