Field Trip 4: MtTam Phoenix Lake/Yolonda Trail | 022819

Cassandra Odulio

  • Date: February 28, 2019
  • Location: Natalie Coffin Green Park Entrance/Yolonda Trail
    California 37.958217, -122.572152
  • Habitats seen: rivers, grassy hills, rock cliffs, sparse forest
  • Weather: sunny but kind of cloudy, brisk weather

This field trip was to a very beautiful trail with lots of extremely small flowers that were adorable and difficult to get good pictures of. Also, kind of a difficult hike, considering all the little rivers we had to hop over AND all the trails that were inches away from a steep downhill tumble. I have to say, when you’re acrophobic and hiking on a mountain cliff trail, it’s a little bit hard to concentrate on rock lettuce.

Adiantum jordanii – California maidenhair fern

The California maidenhair is in the family Pteridaceae, and it is a fern with oval leaflets on a long frond. Its stems are thin and black, and it does not look like hair at all, but it is very pretty. We found them mostly in moist areas, like on riverbanks. Interestingly, Adiantum jordanii is a host for the Sudden Oak Death pathogen, which we learned about on an earlier field trip.

Micranthes californica – California Saxifrage 

The California Saxifrage is a plant from the family Saxifragaceae. Its flowers are tiny, with five round white petals. The stems are hairy and the leaves are basal. Each flower has five reddish-green sepals, and ten stamens and two styles. Their scientific name is really cool – Micranthes means small flowers and Saxifraga means stone-breaker.

Lupinus albifrons – Silver bush lupine

The silver bush lupine is a shrub in my family Fabaceae, and it is called “silver” because of the leaves’ hairy surface. The white hairs reflect the sunlight and make it look almost shiny. The leaves are palmately compound, and the inflorescences are tall and purple, with a whorled arrangement and the classic fabaceae-type flowers.

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