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Debunking Myths About California’s Native Plants

Wildflowers

For me, it can be honestly confusing, since in my head brews a romantic comedy of plant love with me cast as the prototypical heroine and the native plants as my hero. I easily envision myself running with bags full of seeds, tossing them in the air, rolling in fields... more >>



It’s Transplantapalooza Season for the Nurseries!

Nursery volunteer

To provide native plants for restoration, the nurseries have to follow a unique cycle that is dictated by the natural cycles in the Golden Gate National Parks. July marks a busy time of year for the nurseries. Not only are restoration managers submitting requests for next year's restoration project plants,... more >>


July 2013 | Leave a comment

Freshly Picked, Tasty Tea Recipes

Strawberry tea leaves

If you’re like me, you have a variety of teas at home that promise you sleepy dreams, good digestion, immune boosters, and more. The sheer number of teas can sometimes be overwhelming—and quite costly. Rather than going to your local grocery store, have you ever considered going out to your... more >>


May 2013 | Leave a comment

Growing Season: Nurseries Spring into Action

Oak Seedling

With spring freshly arrived, you’re probably busy planning your garden for the season. Well, in a sense, the park nurseries are doing the same thing—only we’re not planning for gardens, we’re planning for dozens of park restoration and stewardship sites. With help from our dedicated volunteers, the staff of the... more >>


April 2013 | Leave a comment

The Four-Season Field Guide to Poison Oak

Poison Oak

“Leaves of three, let it be. If it’s hairy, it’s a berry. If it’s shiny, watch your hiney.” That famous rhyme can help you pick out poison oak—for part of the year. But, because Toxicodendron diversilobum is deciduous, what about the other seasons?

To identify poison oak all year-round, just remember... more >>


April 2013 | 1 Comments | Leave a comment

Early Spring Wildflowers: A Viewer’s Guide

Milk Maids

View images of each species at the bottom of this page.

If you’re like me, you choose to live in the beautiful Bay Area to avoid those long terrible winters that would require us to look at seed catalogs just to see some green. While the East is still buried under... more >>


March 2013 | 1 Comments | Leave a comment

Our Romantic Plant of the Season

Wild strawberry

If your loved one takes you out to a nice restaurant this Valentine’s Day and you still have room for dessert, most likely you will see chocolate-covered strawberries on the menu. As you bite into one of nature’s most delectable fruits, you may take some time to ponder the plant... more >>


February 2013 | Leave a comment

Family Dinner: Holiday Foods' Park Relatives

Turkey and chicks

At your next holiday feast, impress friends and family with some fresh knowledge. Read on to learn the origins of popular holiday foods and discover their closest relatives, found in our parks. Please don’t forage for these items (quite a few are inedible)—but fill your plate with some food for... more >>


December 2012 | Leave a comment

Holly-daze: A Case of Mistaken Identity

Toyon berries

Did Christmas come early this year? Well, if you are out hiking in our parks this month it may seem like it.

Heteromeles arbutifolia—otherwise known as Christmas berry or toyon—is in full glory right now. With its brilliant display of bright red berries and leathery serrated leafs, it can often get... more >>


December 2012 | Leave a comment

Critical Mast: The Boom and Bust of Acorns

Oak woodland

Oak trees stand huge in our landscapes. At Oakwood Valley I walk under the unofficially named “Grandmother Tree.” If you have walked in the valley you know what I’m talking about. Oak trees are the foundation of the ecosystem they are found in, providing food and shelter for many species.... more >>


December 2012 | Leave a comment

 

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