Tag Archives: Mule Fat

Talking with Tree Spirits . by Alice B. Clagett

Filmed on 11 December 2014; ; originally published on 12 December 2014; republished on 9 October 2017

  • VIDEO BY ALICE
  • SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO
    • First Story: The Tree That Lost a Limb
    • Second Story: The Big, Old Oak Tree with Many Children
    • The Last Story: The Little Oak That Wished to Have Its Cut-Off Branches Placed Nearby
    • What Can Be Learned from Conversations with Trees and Tree Spirits

Dear Ones,

Here are three stories about talking with tree spirits and trees. There’s a Summary after the video …

VIDEO BY ALICE

SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO

I have some stories about tree spirits and trees for you.

First Story: The Tree That Lost a Limb

A few days ago, I was walking down a mountain. And I noticed a tree, because trees have been my friends since childhood. And I noticed a tree that had lost a huge limb. And the limb was lying beside the trail.

So naturally, I looked up at the tree. And the tree was pretty upset at the loss of that limb. And so, I gave it a blessing, and I started to go off. And then I heard the tree talking about how upset it was, about its footing on the hill.

And so I turned back, and I saw that there was a little ridge. The tree was on the top, On one side of the ridge was the trail, and on the other side was a great drop.

The tree was talking to its tree spirit about how upset it was about the precarious nature of where it stood, and how it had lost a limb.

So first I said: At least you lost a limb on the right side, there … Because, if you had lost a limb on the other side, you might have fallen over into the trail. And that would have been the end of that. Because people would have come and cut you up.

The tree was pretty upset still. So I asked the tree spirit to talk to the tree. And here is what happened …

The tree spirit was saying: I know what you should do. Take this root here, that’s going down into the ground, and grow it very, very strong. And you will be all right.

And yet the tree was very upset. So, I called for the deva who guards all that forest round there. And he came round and took a look, along with the tree spirit …

First, the deva said to me: I know all about these trees. And I take care of all of them. This is not your concern. I will take care of it.

It’s a good thing he said that, because I was thinking maybe I should go back, and bring along a shovel, and try and shore up the edge of the trail there, so that the tree wouldn’t fall over.

And I was thinking: I don’t think I’m strong enough to do all that work.

And the tree spirit said: Just roll down that boulder over there, and it will be ok.

And I said: You don’t understand. We humans are kind of puny. And so I can’t …

Oh, it said. Puny humans!

This conversation had gone on with the tree spirit. And the deva already knew all this stuff. Devas are quite wise; they live for thousands of years, and they know a lot from each other, and from the natural world. And who knows where else.

So anyway, the deva was hugging the tree with love. And the deva said: It’s going to be all right. In a few years, there will be a storm. And you will fall down this way, gesturing to the side towards the cliff. And you will grow up bright, green new sprouts, and become a strong tree.

The tree was so happy, and knew what was going to happen, and was prepared. And so, the deva said, Prepare yourself for that day. It’s going to be all right.

That was a big relief to me. And that’s the first story.

Second Story: The Big, Old Oak Tree with Many Children

A week later, I was walking by a big, old oak tree on the trail. I stopped for a minute, to look for tree spirits.

I guess you all know that it’s easy to see tree spirits, because they actually dwell within the trunk. Or at the base of a tree, there may be a few circling around. And you can see them, because they look a little bit like a human form, or a face.

So I saw one tree spirit … It looked kind of like an angel. It was really cool … near the base of this huge oak tree in the mountains. It was a fine tree.

So I said: What a wonderful tree you have there. I congratulate you on this tree, which shades all of the grasses round, and all of the little creatures. You’ve done a wonderful job for the sake of the forest. 

And the tree spirit said: Oh, yes! I know! [laughs]

So then I was looking round, because large trees have quite a few tree spirits, sometimes. And I saw another tree spirit. And it was on a branch. The branch was growing on a slightly upward slant. And it looked just a little bit not quite right.

I said: What is this here?

And the tree spirit of that limb there said: We do our best. 

And so I said: I’m sure you do! I’m sure it will be just fine.

The next branch over, there was another tree spirit.

I said: Hello! 

It said: I’m just here to keep the other one company! 

I said: I see!

Then I went down the trail just a little bit. And I noticed all the other children trees that were around the tree. And so, I addressed the tree and the tree spirits one more time.

I said: By the way, congratulations on all your fine, young children.

And they said: We thank you!

And as I went on, they said: This is a new day on Earth. People are starting to talk to us again. [laughs]

The Last Story: The Little Oak That Wished to Have Its Cut-Off Branches Placed Nearby

I was on my way home. I noticed another oak tree; this was a little tree. Next to it were branches … It looked like some well-meaning person had come along the trail and cut these branches off to make more room for the people to walk by.

The branches were brown and dead. They were scattered about here and there, and on down the side of the hill.

So I said: Hmm…

And the spirit of that tree said: I want my branches closer to me!

I was surprised! And then I said, Ok! 

I went around, and slowly but surely, picked up all the branches and put them around the tree.

I started to put some around another tree, right near there, because there wasn’t room.

And the other tree said: I don’t want those branches!

Apparently, I had trespasses on some tree taboo I didn’t know about.

I said: I’m very sorry!

And then I asked the first tree: Would it be all right if I put them around on the other side? 

And it said: Yes!

I said: Why do you want those branches ’round you?

And it said: I just like them near me.

What Can Be Learned from Conversations with Trees and Tree Spirits

So, there are three tree stories for you, in case you want to learn how to talk to trees and tree spirits, you can!

And the minute you start doing that, you’ll gain a wealth of information about how we humans can live at one with the natural world.

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

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Image: “California Sycamore Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 12 December 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “California Sycamore Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 12 December 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0

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Image: “A Chaparral Plant Called Mule Fat,” by Alice B. Clagett, 12 December 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “A Chaparral Plant Called Mule Fat,” by Alice B. Clagett, 12 December 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0

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harmony with nature, tree spirits, trees, nature spirits, devas, mule fat, California sycamore, stories, stories by Alice,

Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains – Spring Equinox 2016 . by Alice B. Clagett *

Filmed on 20 March 2016; published on 15 April 2016

Words of Warning   .   Poison Oak   .  California Native Mustards   .   Black Sage   .   California (Coastal) Sagebrush … Cowboy Cologne   .   Chamise (Greasewood)

Wild Cucumber  .   Munits Cave   .   Purple (Deadly) Nightshade   .   White Nightshade (Solanum douglasii)   .  Filaree (Stork’s-Bill) 

Fiddlenecks   .   Horehound   .   Buckwheat   .   Prickly Pear   .   Western Scrub Jay (Island Scrub Jay)   .   Bush Sunflower (California Encelia)   .   Laurel Sumac   .   Purple Sage

White Sage   .   Semi-Riparian Zone  .   California Mugwort   .   Deerweed   .   Oak Woodland   .
Coastal Live Oak   .   California Sycamore   .   Woodland Trail   .   Arroyo Willow?

Mule Fat   .   Black Mustard   .   Various Habitats   .   The San Fernando Valley in the Time of the Conquistadores   .   Wild Hyacinth (Blue Dick)   .   Monarch Butterfly

About the Spirits of Trees   .   Eucrypta (Hideseeds)   .   More California Native Mustards   .   California (Mexican) Elderberry   .   Cheeseweed (a Mallow)   .   Live Oats 


Dear Ones,

This is a video about wild plants of the Santa Monica Mountains that was taken on 20 March 2016, the day of the 2016 Spring Equinox, in the Santa Monica Mountains …

There is an edited Summary after the video. The Summary includes many images found in the video, and a few not found there …

VIDEO BY ALICE         top

SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO         top

Words of Warning         top
Please do not take my word as to whether these wild plants are edible … In many cases, I just heard it from other naturalists. Do your research, make sure you have identified a plant accurately, make sure most folks agree that it is edible, and then if you are sampling for the first time, try just a tiny bit, and wait a day to see if you have any reaction. Any iteration of this blog must include this warning. –Alice B. Clagett

Hello, Dear Ones, It’s Alice. I Am of the Stars.

We are going for a botanical walk in the Santa Monica Mountains today. We will see what we find here, on this beautiful Spring day.


Poison Oak         top

Here we have a beautiful Spring bloom of poison oak. So for those that are allergic to it, here is what it looks like, with berries …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 1: Poison Oak Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 1: Poison Oak Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Pretty, is it not? Poison oak is a relative of poison ivy, which is on the East Coast. But poison oak grows into a bush, and poison ivy is a climbing vine that climbs up the East Coast.

While most Caucasian people seem to be allergic to poison oak and poison ivy, the Native Americans had a number of uses for it, including using the pliable stems of the poison oak …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 2: Poison Oak Vines,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 2: Poison Oak Vines,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… as basket weaving materials.

This is poison oak, growing in a tremendous amount, all along here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 3: Poison Oak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 3: Poison Oak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

You have to be very careful, on this trail, not to hit the poison oak!

Poison Oak: Native American uses … Link: “Native American Uses,” in Cal Poly Land … 
http://polyland.calpoly.edu/topics/florafauna/studentsites/2004b/native.html ..

Link: “Toxicodendron diversilobum,” in Wikipedia …   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxicodendron_diversilobum ..


California Native Mustards         top

I am pretty sure that this is a California native mustard here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 4: California Native Mustard,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 4: California Native Mustard,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

They grow singly; not like the ones introduced by the Padres. They grow singly, and in odd ecological niches. Ups, here is another one over here … where is it? … right over here is another one. And oh, I see some more … yes, some more, just coming up, So under this native coastal live oak tree here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 5: Coastal Live Oak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 5: Coastal Live Oak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… there are a number of them. It is a very small econiche. It is not like the open field is full of mustard seeds that the Padres brought. But it is beautiful in its own way … very dainty, very nice … somewhat hard to find. There are a number of California native mustard species or types like this. While they are edible, they are endangered, so it is best to leave them alone, with the hope that they may flourish in future.


Black Sage         top

This is black sage here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 6: Black Sage,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 6: Black Sage,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It has a wonderful healing quality. I just brushed against it, on my way up this trail, and I smelled it.

Black Sage uses … Link: “Salvia mellifera,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_mellifera ..


California (Coastal) Sagebrush … Cowboy Cologne         top

And over here, on this side, is Cowboy Cologne …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 7: California (Coastal) Sagebrush (Cowboy Cologne),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 7: California (Coastal) Sagebrush (Cowboy Cologne),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It has a gentler scent, a beautiful scent, and they say that the cowboys used to use it before they would go in town on a Friday or Saturday night.

California (Coastal) Sagebrush (Cowboy Cologne) uses … Link: “Artemisia californica,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_californica ..


Chamise (Greasewood)         top

And this over here is chamise or greasewood …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 8: Chamise (Greasewood),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 8: Chamise (Greasewood),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It does not have that much of a scent at all.

Chamise or Greasewood: Native American uses … Link: “Adenostoma fasciculatum,” in Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) …  http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/adefas/all.html … Search the term: Other Uses and Values


Wild Cucumber         top

And over here is wild cucumber …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 9: Wild Cucumber,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 9: Wild Cucumber,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It has a very huge root. And I see it is too soon for the prickly fruits of the wild cucumber to come out. It is a vine, and it has holdfasts that are … let’s see if I can find one … very little whorls of circular or circles of holdfasts. Ok, there is one, reaching out into space …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 10: Wild Cucumber Holdfast,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 10: Wild Cucumber Holdfast,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It is trying to catch hold of a plant, so that it can pull the wild cucumber vine up higher into the sunlight. It climbs like crazy in the early Spring, and then it just withers away, and survives by means of the huge root underground.

Wild Cucumber: Native American uses … Link: “Wild Cucumber, Marah macrocarpa,” in Nature Collective … https://www.sanelijo.org/plant-guide/wild-cucumber ..


Munits Cave         top

Up that hill, up that way …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 11: Mountain Near Castle Peak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 11: Mountain Near Castle Peak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… there is a very cool cave, or series of caves …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 12: Munits Cave,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 12: Munits Cave,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

There are birds that hide out in there too; and people climb around in there, just for fun.

Link: “Cave of Munits in Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve & Castle Peak in El Escorpion Park,” in Hikespeak … https://www.hikespeak.com/trails/cave-of-munits-castle-peak-hike/ ..


Purple (Deadly) Nightshade         top

This is deadly nightshade here … see the purple flowers? …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 13: Purple (Deadly) Nightshade,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 13: Purple (Deadly) Nightshade,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

This variety of nightshade … the one with the purple flowers … has fruits that are not edible. Here is the fruit of the purple, or deadly, nightshade …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 14: Purple (Deadly) Nightshade Fruits,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 14: Purple (Deadly) Nightshade Fruits,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It is a very small, immature fruit, but as I recall, it comes out green when mature, and so it is distinguished from the mature fruit of the white nightshade, which is purple, Fruit is mature when it is soft or squishy.

There are nightshade references at the end of the “White Nightshade” section below.


White Nightshade         top

There is another nightshade, white nightshade (Solanum douglasii), that has black fruit; I heard from a naturalist that the black fruit were edible, but after trying one of the berries, I feel a little queasy. So I would advise caution in trying even the white nightshade fruit.

For those who are allergic to tomatoes, eggplants, or potatoes, which I understand to be in the same family, common sense dictates avoiding the fruit of the white nightshade.

Nightshades are a little like mushrooms: Only those who are certain what variety they have in hand ought collect them for consumption. This link is a good guide to the various nightshades of California …

Link: “Solanum,” in Calflora …  https://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/specieslist.cgi?where-genus=Solanum ..

Nightshade uses … Link: “Solanaceae,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanaceae ..


Filaree (Stork’s-Bill)         top

This is filaree here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 15: Filaree (Stork’s-Bill),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 15: Filaree (Stork’s-Bill),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

There are several forms of filaree; all of them are edible. I think you have to cook them for a while, till tender. And here are the immature seed pods of filaree; very distinctive …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 16: Filaree (Stork’s-Bill) Seed Pod 1,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 16: Filaree (Stork’s-Bill) Seed Pod 1,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… very distinctive. More filaree seed pods here; see that one? …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 17: Filaree (Stork’s-Bill) Seed Pod 2,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 17: Filaree (Stork’s-Bill) Seed Pod 2,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

I do not think you can eat the seed pods.

Filaree (‘stork’s-bill’) uses … Link: “Erodium cicutarium,” in Wikipedia …   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erodium_cicutarium#Uses ..


Fiddlenecks         top

These are fiddlenecks, that grow all over the hills here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 18: Fiddleneck,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 18: Fiddleneck,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… not too showy, but if you look at them up close, they are very pretty.

Fiddleneck: In one place read that this plant is poisonous, and in another that it had Native American uses. I would steer clear of it entirely.

LInk: “Amsinckia,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amsinckia ..


Horehound         top

This if horehound, here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 19: Horehound,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 19: Horehound,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It is used in candies. It was brought here by the Puritans long ago, and it spread all over the United States. It is an extremely hardy plant. You see how it looks a little bit white (or ‘hoary’ … that is the old name) …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 20: Horehound, Whitish Leaves and Stems,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 20: Horehound, Whitish Leaves and Stems,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

And it has white stems too.

Horehound uses … Link: “White Horehound; Uses,” in WebMD … https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-886/white-horehound .. 

Link: “Marrabium vulgare,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marrubium_vulgare ..


Buckwheat         top

This is buckwheat …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 21: Buckwheat,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 21: Buckwheat,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It is just coming up; there are not any seeds yet. The fruit seeds are edible. Like the cereal grains, they were a staple of diet amongst the Native Americans that once lived here. There are several different kinds of buckwheat growing in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Buckwheat uses: Link: “Erigonum fasciculatum,” in Wikipedia …  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eriogonum_fasciculatum ..


Prickly Pear         top

This is a native cactus …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 22: Prickly Pear,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 22: Prickly Pear,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It bears fruit that are edible, and delicious, and often harvested by Latin Americans and Native Americans. If the spines are burnt off of the leaves, then they can be sliced to the size of string beans, cooked, and eaten.

Prickly Pear uses … Link: “Prickly Pear” in Drugs.com … http://www.drugs.com/npp/prickly-pear.html ..

LInk: “Opuntia,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opuntia ..


Western Scrub Jay (Island Scrub Jay)         top

This is a Western Scrub Jay …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 23: Western Scrub Jay,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 23: Western Scrub Jay,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Looks pretty rambunctious to me.

I think this may be what is now termed the Island Scrub Jay; see … Link: “Western Scrub Jay,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_scrub_jay ..


Bush Sunflower (California Encelia)         top

This is a very common type of sunflower here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 24: Bush Sunflower (aka California Encelia),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 24: Bush Sunflower (aka California Encelia),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

You will notice the dark-colored centers of the flowers …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 25: Bush Sunflower (aka California Encelia) Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 25: Bush Sunflower (aka California Encelia) Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

As far as I know, it is not edible.

Bush Sunflower (California Encelia): sometimes used for landscaping …

Link: “Bush Sunflower, Encelia californica,” in California Native Plant Society Calscape … https://calscape.org/Encelia-californica-(Bush-Sunflower) ..


Laurel Sumac         top

This is laurel sumac …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 26: Laurel Sumac,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 26: Laurel Sumac,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It is a chaparral plant. It can be distinguished from other similar chaparral plants by the reddish colored stems; see there? …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 27: Laurel Sumac Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 27: Laurel Sumac Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It has a seed cluster (sumac ‘drupe’ or ‘bob’) that looks like a dusky, red Christmas tree. The birds eat it. I heard from my mother that it is poisonous, but I think in the Orient that this, or some relative of it, is used as a spice. So that is something to look into, for the future, without actually consuming it in advance of the research. [The spice I had in mind is Ziyad Brand Sumac, but whether this is the same or a different plant, I have no idea.]

Laurel Sumac uses … Link: “Malosma,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malosma ..


Purple Sage         top

I believe this to be purple sage …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 28: Purple Sage,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 28: Purple Sage,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

You will see that the leaves look a lot like the leaves of black sage, but they have a whitish cast to them …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 29: Purple Sage Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 29: Purple Sage Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

And also, if you look closely, you will see that the leaves have a kind of a corrugation them …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 30: Purple Sage Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 30: Purple Sage Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

They smell absolutely delightful. They also have medicinal qualities, but the scent is not as ‘dark’ or strong as the scent of black sage (which has blue flowers). The purple sage have purple flowers, and the leaves look white.

Purple Sage uses … Link: “Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Association,” in Chino Hills State Park …  http://www.chinohillsstatepark.org/natural-resources/shrubs … Search the term: Purple Sage

Link: “Salvia leucophylla,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_leucophylla ..


White Sage         top

I doubt we will see any white sage on this walk. White sage has straight, white stems, and it is gathered … usually illegally … by people who sell it in bundles for incense to purify or cleanse people’s homes. You will see six-inch or eight-inch stacks of it, tied with yarn or string, and sold in the stores, and typically it is gathered nearby, rather than out in the National Forests, where, as i recall, it may be legal to gather it.

So I would like to ask, on behalf of the conservancy organizations: Please do not gather wild plants in the National Parks or the Santa Monica Mountains or like that … places where it so easy to gather, and where things can become endangered if you, in fact, do that. This is just a plea and an explanation. I am hoping for the best, there.

White Sage uses … Link: “Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Association,” in Chino Hills State Park …  http://www.chinohillsstatepark.org/natural-resources/shrubs … Search the term: White Sage

Link: “Salvia apiana,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_apiana ..


Semi-Riparian Zone         top

Here we have a semi-riparian zone …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 31: Semi-Riparian Zone,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 31: Semi-Riparian Zone,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

After the rains, I think there is water; and then, I think, sometimes there is not. You can find special plants, with special medicinal qualities, in riparian areas. This one is no exception.


California Mugwort         top

Here we have California mugwort …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 32: California Mugwort,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 32: California Mugwort,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… which has so many uses, I must look them all up! But I will tell you one colorful example: They say that if you gather mugwort, which grows plentifully in some areas, and dry it, and put it inside your pillow, then you will have special dreams.

I tried this myself; and because I was not all that fond of the strong odor of the mugwort, my dreams were not all that pleasant. But you may have better luck than I.

The other thing I know about mugwort: To my mind, ‘wort’ means ‘plant’ and ‘mug’, to me, means that you make tea out of it, and put it in a mug. That is how I think of it. And so I remember that a tea of this is good for women. It solves various troubles that can be looked up, and brings balance to the female system. There may be other uses too.

California Mugwort uses … Link: “Artemisia douglasiana,” in Wikipedia …  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_douglasiana#Uses ..


Deerweed         top

This is deerweed …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 33; Deerweed,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 33; Deerweed,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Sometimes it goes dormant, when the weather is very hot. But right now it is flourishing. It has tiny, beautiful, yellow (and sometimes orange) flowers …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 34: Deerweed Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 34: Deerweed Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

And as far as I know, it has no special benefit for people; but it is beautiful when all the flowers bloom (which they are no doing right now).

Deerweed uses … Link: “Deerweed,” in Nature Collective … https://www.sanelijo.org/plant-guide/deerweed ..

Link: “Acmispon glaber,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acmispon_glaber ..


Oak Woodland         top

Here I am, walking into an oak woodland …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 35: Woodland,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 35: Woodland,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… completely different from riparian; and very beautiful! I am sure you know about … here …


Coastal Live Oak         top

Here are lots of acorns left over from last year’s season …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 36: Acorns,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 36: Acorns,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Native Americans would gather them, haul them, mash them up, net them, put them in running water, in a stream or like that, in the wintertime, to get the bitter tannin out of them, and then mash them up more, and use them as flour in their foods.

And because they mashed them in stone hollows, with stones, the acorn meal was mixed up with sands from the stone, it was mixed in with the food that they ate, and it wore down their teeth at a very early age. It is better to use some other kind of mashing technique, I feel.

Here are the leaves of the tree that produces the acorns …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 37: Coastal Live Oak Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 37: Coastal Live Oak Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

You can see they are very shiny and they are curved round. I have heard from people who go on hikes and lead hikes, that the leaves are curved so that they can conserve moisture better, in the drought season of summer. See here? … curved …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 38: Coastal Live Oak Leaves – Curved,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 38: Coastal Live Oak Leaves – Curved,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

The new leaves are soft; but the old leaves are very hard. They have little prickles on them, that make it hard for the deer, for instance, to eat them … even though the deer might be very hungry. And this shiny stuff here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 39: Coastal Live Oak Leaves – Prickled and Shiny,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 39: Coastal Live Oak Leaves – Prickled and Shiny,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… probably acts as protection against the heat in the summertime.

Coastal Live Oak uses … Link: “Quercus agrifolia,” in Wikipedia …  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_agrifolia ..


California Sycamore         top

This is the native California Sycamore tree, one of the most beautiful trees in the world, I feel …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 40: Sycamore,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 40: Sycamore,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

I just love Sycamore trees. They do not have any particular use. They provide shade; they like water; and they are beautiful.

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 41: Sycamore Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 41: Sycamore Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Link: “Platanus racemosa,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platanus_racemosa ..


Woodland Trail         top

A woodland trail, continuing; different kinds of plants here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 42: Woodland Trail,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 42: Woodland Trail,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0


Arroyo Willow?         top

I sort of thought, because of the riparian area right next to it, that maybe this is some kind of willow tree. But I just do not know …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 43: Might Be Arroyo Willow,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 43: Might Be Arroyo Willow,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It is not that willow chaparral shrub. There are the leaves right there …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 44: Might Be Arroyo Willow Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 44: Might Be Arroyo Willow Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Is this arroyo willow? If so, then perhaps the bark of this willow, like that of other willow trees, might be boiled for a tea that has an effect like that of aspirin. There is more on the uses of Arroyo willow at these links …

Arroyo Willow uses … Link: “Arroyo Willow (Salix lasiolepsis),” in Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy … https://www.parksconservancy.org/conservation/arroyo-willow ..


Mule Fat         top

Down in the hollow here, in the riparian area, with very straight sticks for stems, is a kind of chaparral plant called mule fat …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 45: Mule Fat,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 45: Mule Fat,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

. I guess that mules would eat it, when the earlier settlers came through here; and that is why they called it mule fat.

I will bet that, what with these very straight, strong stems that are tough, too …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 46: Mule Fat Stems,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 46: Mule Fat Stems,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… that the wood of this mule fat might have been used for arrows; probably arrows and not bows, because it does not get that big. Here is a closeup of the top part of the plant …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 47: Mule Fat Flowers,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 47: Mule Fat Flowers,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Mule Fat uses … Link: “Baccharis salicifolia,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baccharis_salicifolia ..


Black Mustard         top

This is a young, black mustard plant …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 48: Black Mustard,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 48: Black Mustard,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It is very tasty when it is young like this. You can eat the leaves, especially if they are smaller than this, but even now, raw in salads. Black mustard has a very strong taste to it, and it is good as flavoring, to go with you milder greens. This here is the beginning of the flowers …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 49: Black Mustard Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 49: Black Mustard Leaves,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It is delicious before it flowers, and it is delicious after it flowers as well …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 50: Black Mustard Flower,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 50: Black Mustard Flower,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Yes, a really tasty plant. Do not eat too much at one time; use it for flavoring, I say. Otherwise it might have too strong an effect.

Black Mustard uses … Link: Brassica nigra,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brassica_nigra ..


Various Habitats         top

This is a combination right here … down at the very bottom you have a riparian zone

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 51: Riparian Zone,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 51: Riparian Zone,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… and then up above it you have meadowland up here ….

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 52: Meadowland,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 52: Meadowland,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… and then looking over this way, woodland …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 53: Woodland,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 53: Woodland,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0


The San Fernando Valley in the Time of the Conquistadores         top

They say that, in the time of the Conquistadores … when they came through here … that all the San Fernando Valley was covered with live oak trees. There was no chaparral to speak of, here. And the Conquistadores could come riding under the cover of the great oak trees all day long, in the San Fernando Valley. It was like a beautiful parkland then.

The terrain has really changed since then, what with the grazing, and the cutting down of the trees, and so forth.


Wild Hyacinth (Blue Dick)         top

This is a kind of lily; I think it might have a bulbar base in the ground, which is said to be edible but protected, so ought not be harvested …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 54: Wild Hyacinth (Blue) and Fiddleneck (Yellow),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 54: Wild Hyacinth (Blue) and Fiddleneck (Yellow),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

I am referring to these blue flowers …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 55: Wild Hyacinth (Blue Dick),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 55: Wild Hyacinth (Blue Dick),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… and not the fiddlenecks …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 56: Fiddleneck,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 56: Fiddleneck,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

The blue flowers are sometimes called Blue Dicks. Probably somebody’s favorite friend was named ‘Dick”, and the person named the flower after them. And they are sometimes called ‘wild hyacinth. I really love that ‘wild hyacinth’ name; I think it is beautiful. And the flowers are beautiful too … evanescent; only here for a little while, during the year.

Wild Hyacinth (Blue Dick) uses … Link: “Dichelostemma capitalus,” in Wikipedia …  http://mojavedesert.net/wildflower/blue-dicks.html ..


Monarch Butterfly         top

Ah, did that come through? That was a monarch butterfly …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 57: Monarch Butterfly,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 57: Monarch Butterfly,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

I do not know what it was attracted to, down here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 58: Where Monarch Butterfly Was Flying,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 58: Where Monarch Butterfly Was Flying,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Maybe it does not know either! It is going off, looking for something.

Link: “Monarch Butterfly,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarch_butterfly ..


About the Spirits of Trees         top

I really like this beautiful live oak here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 59: Favorite Coastal Live Oak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 59: Favorite Coastal Live Oak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

I come and visit it every once in a while. I think it is courageous, especially considering how much graffiti the young folks have put on here. I assume it is the young folks, but I might be mistaken about that … 

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 60: Coastal Life Oak Graffiti,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 60: Coastal Life Oak Graffiti,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

This poor tree! Do they not know the bark is very important to the life of the tree? I guess they do not. Well, I have talked about this before. I can understand that young people want to make their mark on the world. But the thing of it is, these are living, ancient trees …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 61: Coastal Live Oak Shelters Many Beings,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 61: Coastal Live Oak Shelters Many Beings,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… wise in their own way … and harboring great forms of life … not only physical forms of life like birds and insects and mammals and reptiles … but other, nonphysical forms of life as well. There are nature spirits living here.

That, way up there …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 62: Owl Stand on Coastal Live Oak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 62: Owl Stand on Coastal Live Oak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… I think was a platform for a bird once. It looks as if it has fallen a little sideways with time. Here is the other side of the tree …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 63: Coastal Live Oak Canopy 1,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 63: Coastal Live Oak Canopy 1,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… which goes on …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 64: Coastal Live Oak Canopy 2,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 64: Coastal Live Oak Canopy 2,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… and on … Absolutely beautiful!

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 65: Coastal Live Oak Canopy 3,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 65: Coastal Live Oak Canopy 3,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0


Eucrypta (Hideseeds)         top

This is a beautiful little plant that has delicate, fernlike leaves and very tiny … see how tiny? …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 66: Eucrypta (Hideseeds) Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 66: Eucrypta (Hideseeds) Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… flowers. A lot of people do not like this plant, but I have always found it very beautiful, brightening up the forest floor in the early springtime …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 67: Eucrypta (Hideseeds),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 67: Eucrypta (Hideseeds),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… very delicate, beautiful flowers.

Link: “Eucrypta,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucrypta ..


More California Native Mustards         top

Here are more California native mustards, growing in the shade of an oak tree …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 68: California Native Mustards,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 68: California Native Mustards,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0


California (Mexican) Elderberry         top

Here is California (Mexican) elderberry. It is a small tree, out here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 69: California (Mexican) Elderberry,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 69: California (Mexican) Elderberry,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… and these are the flowers here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 70: California (Mexican) Elderberry Flowers,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 70: California (Mexican) Elderberry Flowers,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… very showy this time of year. I think you can eat the flowers (or maybe the berries) in pancakes. But you have to take some parts off, so it is important to read up on this before attempting a recipe with it. Parts of this are edible, but only if prepared in certain ways, and maybe only in limited quantities.

California (Mexican) Elderberry uses … Link: “Sambucus nigra,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_nigra ..


Cheeseweed (a Mallow)         top

This is cheeseweed (a mallow) here …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 71: Cheeseweed (a Mallow),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 71: Cheeseweed (a Mallow),” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

It has a tiny, not showy flower … It is hard to find this little, white flower …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 72: Cheeseweed Flower,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 72: Cheeseweed Flower,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

… and then it has a seed or fruit that comes in four parts, like a round of cheese, and the seed is edible … tasty too; fairly tasty.

Cheeseweed (a Mallow) uses … Link: “Mallow (Malva parviflora) an Edible Friend,” in Root Simple … https://www.rootsimple.com/2008/02/mallow-malva-parviflora-an-edible-friend/ ..


Live Oats         top

These are live oats, an invasive grass in California …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 73: Live Oats,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 73: Live Oats,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

These are a little stunted. Sometimes they grow very, very tall. The seeds are edible …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 74: Live Oats Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 74: Live Oats Closeup,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

You have to be very careful to take them out of their green sheath. Or you can wait until the seeds are mature and hard, and then you can grind them up and use them in your food. It is very important to get the sheaths off though, because they can stick in your throat and feel funny.

Live oats … whole fields full of them! There are some of them up there, across the road. These are all live oats …

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 75: Live Oats Afar,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 75: Live Oats Afar,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Wild Oat uses … Link: “Avena,” in Wikipedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avena ..

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 76: Castle Peak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0

Image: “Wild Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains 76: Castle Peak,” by Alice B. Clagett, 20 March 2016, CC BY-SA 4.0


EDIBLE AND USEFUL PLANTS OF THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS         top

Citation: “Edible and Useful Plants of California,’ [with recipes] by Charlotte Bringle Clarke, 1977, University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California.

Citation: “Peterson Field Guides: Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs,” by Steven Foster and Christopher Hobbs, 2002, published by Houghton Mifflin Books.

Citation: “Early Uses of California Plants,” by Edward K. Balls, 1962, University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles, California.

Link: “Native American Usage of Plants Found in Fallbrook (Shrubs, Vines, Wildflowers),” Copyright © 2000 by Elizabeth Yamaguchi … http://tchester.org/fb/plants/na_uses.html ..


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CLASSES IN NATIVE AMERICAN SKILLS         top

Link: “Earth Skills,” 1113 Cougar Court, Frazier Park, CA 93225, class descriptions …  http://www.earthskills.com/class-descriptions.html ..


RESOURCES FOR SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS PLANT IDENTIFICATION         top

Link: “Wildflowers of Southern California: A Photographic Gallery,” by Barbara J. Collins, Ph.D., California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California 91360 …  https://earth.callutheran.edu/Academic_Programs/Departments/Biology/Wildflowers/index.htm ..

Citation: “Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains,” by Milt McAuley, photography by James P. Kenney, 1985, Canyon Publishing Co., 8561 Eatough Avenue, Canoga Park, CA 91304.

Citation: “Flowering Plants: The Santa Monica Mountains, Coastal & Chaparral Regions of Southern California,” text by Nancy Dale, photography by members of the California Native Plant Society, 1986, Capra Press, PO Box 2068, Santa Barbara, CA 93120 in cooperation with the California Native Plant Society.

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my favorites, Santa Monica Mountains plants, wild plants, Native American culture, edible wild plants, useful wild plants, alternative health, 2016 Spring Equinox, Almanac, Santa Monica Mountains, edible wild plants, alternative medicine, Native Americans, Cave of Munits, Castle Peak, Conquistadores, San Fernando Valley, nature spirits, fairies, tree spirits, photos by Alice, Poison Oak, California Native Mustards, Black Sage, California Sagebrush, Coastal Sagebrush,  Cowboy Cologne, Chamise, Greasewood, Wild Cucumber, Purple Nightshade, Deadly Nightshade, Filaree, Stork’s-Bill, Fiddlenecks, Horehound, Buckwheat, Prickly Pear, Western Scrub Jay, Bush Sunflower, California Encelia, Laurel Sumac, Purple Sage, White Sage, Riparian Zone, California Mugwort, Deerweed, Oak Woodland, Coastal Live Oak, California Sycamore, Woodland Trail, Arroyo Willow, Mule Fat, Black Mustards, Wild Plant Habitats, Wild Hyacinth, Blue Dick, Monarch Butterfly, Eucrypta, Hideseeds, California Elderberry, Mexican Elderberry, Cheeseweed, Mallow, Live Oats, Avena, Malva parviflora, Sambucus nigra, Dichelostemma capitalus, Brassica nigra, Baccharis salicifolia, Salix lasiolepsis, Platanus racemose, Quercus agrifolia, Acmispon glaber, Artemisia douglasiana, Salvia apiana, Salvia leucophylla, Malosma, Encelia californica, Island Scrub Jay, Opuntia, Erigonum fasciculatum, Marrabium vulgare, Amsinckia, Erodium cicutarium, Solanaceae, Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, Marah macrocarpa, Adenostoma fasciculatum, Artemisia californica, Salvia mellifera, Toxicodendron diversilobum, photo essays,