Field Journal Entry #4 Mt.Tamalpais

Coordinates: 37.9235° N, 122.5965° W

Mt.Tamalpais is a peak in Marin County, California, often considered symbolic of Marin County. We hiked along the Yolanda Trail near Phoenix Lake. There was a watershed, Marin municipal water district at the start of our hike and we saw the big artificial waterfall too. The trail was surrounded by the mountains with Coffeeberry, madrones, California bays, redwoods, and black oaks that were the species easy to find throughout the trail. The trail was little muddy but overall easy with some uphills.

Adiantum jordanii 

Adiantum jordanii, also known as California Maidenhair is a native perennial plants that is part of Pteridaceae family. It lives in relatively shaded hillsides and wet, moist woodland. It has leaves 20-50cm, blade 2-3 pinnate. They’re lobed often less than quarter way to base, generally with irregular lobes, margins at base converging at 90-180 degree. The dark stalk color often ending abruptly at base of ultimate segments and mid-vein forked into equal branches not along margin. Its stems are relatively thin and black.

Pedicularis densiflora

Pedicularis densiflora, also known as warrior’s plume is a native perennial plants that is part of Orobanchaceae family. The habit is soft to coarse brown hairy. The stem is around 6-55cm. Its leaves are basal 5-28cm, lance-oblong, segments 13-41cm, linear to ovate, doubly toothed to lobed. The inflorescence is 4-12cm, lower bracts larger than flowers. The flower is calyx about 8-15mm, generally hairy, corolla 23-36mm, straight, club-like, deep red to red purple. The fruit is about 8-13mm and the seed is 2.5-4.5mm, surface netted. It mostly live in dry chaparral, oak pine or yellow-pine forest. The flowering time is between March to May.

Iris macrosiphon

Iris macrosiphon, also known as ground iris, is a native perennial plant that is part of the Iridaceae family. It is a monocot, living in relatively sunny, grasslands, meadows or open woodlands. Habit is rhizome, blubs, fleshy roots. The leaves are 2-ranked in basal fan; it is reduced, often bract-like, without development of distal portion. Inflorescence is flat cyme, flowers can be 1 or more. The flower is perianth parts clawed, sepals generally wider than petals in multiples of three, spreading or reflexed, occasionally with white area in basal 3/4, this generally with smaller yellow area; petals erect; stamens free forming 3. The fruit loculicidal capsule, rounded or triangular. Seed generally compressed, pitted, light to dark brown.


We departed the parking lot around 1pm and arrived at the park around 1:45pm. It was quite a drive, and the weather was little chilly as there had been rain in the past weeks. This hike was not too difficult, except there were some big uphills. One thing I enjoyed the most was when we went up the hill to see the species Mimulus congdonii which Dr.Paul had found. It was very unique small pink flower but also it was good to look down the view up at the hill. The trail was little muddy and slippery so I was more careful when going down from the hill. We saw many familiar plants that we previously encountered such as coffeeberry, California bay, or Coastal sage brush. Overall I really enjoyed this hike and I hope I come back when the weather gets more dry and more flowers bloom.

Additional Photos

The artificial waterfall at the start of hike

The watershed at the beginning of trail

Diaplacus congdonii, Congon’s monkeyflower

Dudleya cymose, aka rock lettuce, part of family Crassulaceae

Primula hendersonii, aka shooting star


San Pedro Valley

37.5779° N, 122.4757° W

San Pedro Valley, Pacifica, 94044

San Pedro Valley is San Mateo County park located in Pacifica, California. This park consists of beautiful hiking trails, lush valleys, waterfalls, and mount lions that suit perfect for anyone. It wasn’t difficult hike, the trails wasn’t too steep and the weather wasn’t too cold. You can see the beautiful view of pacific ocean at the top of the trail, forcing me to come back in the near future. The park contains variety of habitats including grassland, coastal shrubs, coast live oak trees, madrons, toyons, coffeeberry and many more.

Toxicoscordion fremontii 

Toxicoscordion fremontii also known as deathcamus is a monocot flower that is native California. The habit is bulb 20-35 mm. The stem is glabrous 40-90 cm. Leaves are green and linear shape. Their venation is parallel and also curved. they are about 20-50cm, 8-30 mm wide, curved, and scabrous ciliate. The inflorescence is green, panicle or raceme, 5-40cm. Flower is white and yellow, bisexual, radial symmetry perianth parts 5-15mm, widely ovate, obtuse, outer very short-clawed 2-3mm. Fruit is 10-35mm. The flowering time is February to June.


Pentagramma triangularis

Pentagramma triangularis, also known as Gold Back Fern, is a native fern in California. This is interesting fern because the color of the opposite side is different. The petiole is brown to reddish brown with or without exudate. Blade is relatively thin 3-10cm, gen pale to dark green, upper surface generally without exudate. The leaves are 5 lobed and triangular. It is common in shaded slopes or rocky areas.

Rubus parviflorus

This native flower has bright green palmate simple leaves and large white and yellow flowers. The leaves are 5 lobed, coardse toothed and tip is acute. Inflorescence is panicle-like cyme, flowers are about 3-7. The flower has hairy sepals, petals 14-22mm, widely elliptic to obovate to round. The fruit is red raspberry-type. It is most common in moist semi-shaded areas, especially edges of woodland. The flowering time is around March to August.



We departed the parking lot around 1 pm and this time we didn’t have problem exiting the parking spot. The ride was relatively longer. It took about 40 minutes to get there but it didn’t feel like that long since we got to see beautiful pacific ocean next to the road. The weather was amazing, and I barely wear my jacket. Some trail was little muddy but overall it was clean and easy to hike. My favorite time in the trip was when we were up at the top. It was good to see some familiar plants we saw in the previous trip such as the giant madrone and toyon and coffeeberry. We could see the beautiful pacific ocean with villages and forests. We couldn’t see any mountain lions unfortunately, but next time.


Eriodictyon californium “Yerba Santa,” aka “black Santa” or “Dirty Santa”

Beautiful weather beautiful mountain


At the top of the trail. Amazing view!



Field Journal Entry #2 Presidio

The trail near the coast 37.7989° N, 122.4662° W

Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129

The presidio of San Francisco is a park and former military fort on the northern tip of the SF peninsula and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It was relatively a short trail compared to the one in Baltimore Canyon. The park is composed of mostly wooden area, stairs and hills with a beautiful scenery of Golden Gate Bridge and Marshall Beach. We could see some trees cut by the army on the trail and the poison oaks!! We also saw deciduous shrubs, coffeeberry, Osoberry, Toyon and many other diverse species.

Frangula californica 

Frangula californica, also known as Coffeeberry, is a family of Rhamnaceae. This is the first plant we saw on the trail. It is shrub about less than 5m, and its stem is reddish brown. The leaf is generally evergreen with petiole 3-10mm, blade 20,100mm, elliptic to ovate, base acute to rounded, and tip truncate to acute. The vein is generally easy to observe. The florescence is 5-60 flowered, and pedicel less than 20mm. The flower is hypanthium 1-2mm wide. The fruit is generally 2-stoned with black color, size of around 10-15mm.


Fragraria chiloensis

Beach strawberry is a family of Rosaceae is often dioecious plant. The leaf is thick, leathery and petiole is generally 2-20cm. The blade is 10-60mm, obovate, and densely hairy. It is glabrous adaxially, rounded to truncate, rounded-obtuse. Inflorescence is exceeding leaves generally 20-40mm wide; hypanthium bractlets unlobed; sepals 6-10mm; petals 10-18mm. The flower is receptacle 10-20mm, white petals and yellow stamen in the middle. They ususally live in ocean beaches, and coastal grassland.


Polypodium californicum

Polypodium californicum, also known as California polypody is a fern that is a part of family polypodiaceae. It is summer-deciduous but it can also be evergreen depending on the climate. The blade is pinnate about 10-25cm long, The leaves are deltate to ovate, and membranous to fleshy, often firm. The interesting feature of the plant is you can see the sporangia under the leaves. The sori is yellow to orange color about 1.5-3.5mm round to ovate. They usually live in shaded canyons, streambanks, slopes, cliffs or coastal bluffs.



We waited in the classroom for 15 minutes until the rain die down. We moved to the parking lot around 1:10pm but we got little delayed because Dr.Paul’s grad student had a hard time exiting the parking spot. It was hilarious that I thought Dr.Paul went to help him but he started taking a photo of it. It rained sporadically few times on our time on the trail and Dr.Paul started taking a video of our suffering. I should’ve smiled and pretend like the rain was nothing since we were all on his feed. The place was muddy but the hike was not as steep and difficult as we had in Baltimore Canyon. The rain didn’t bother me no more because there was a beautiful scenery of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marshall Beach on our way. I particularly enjoyed seeing Beach blue lupine, Osoberry, Arroyo willow and Blue witch. I also realized that botanists are really bad at naming since they’re nearly color blinds. Blue witch was not blue! it was purple! Since I’m not from here I never knew that I could see variety of different plants just 10 minute away from our school. It was a memorable moment and I will come back in the future when we have better weather!

More plants!

Heteromeles arbuifolia aka Toyon; Family:Rosaceae

Solanum umbelliferum aka blue witch; Family:Solanaceae

Eriophyllum staechadifolium aka Lizard tail; Family:Asteraceae

Baltimore Canyon 2/7/19

February 7th 2019

Baltimore Canyon is 193-acre park with trails through forests with many species of large trees, flowers and creek and waterfall located at 37.9369° N, 122.5609° W. It is 28.5 miles away from the school. We departed at the Koret gym parking lot around 1pm. The weather was perfect as the sun came up when we stepped out of the school. The traffic was not too bad and it took about 1 hour and 20 minutes to get there. There were some awkward silence in between on our way but everyone started to get excited as we got there. We started walking on the trails.

Artemisia californica

Also known as its common name Coastal sage brush, it is a part of the family Asteraceae. This is the first plant we found on the trail. It grows at the steep slope on the side of the trailroad. It branches from the base and grows 1.5-2.5 meters tall. Shrub 6-25 dm rounded from base. The stem is slender, flexible wand-lke, glabrous to canescent. The color of the leaves is light green, and they can range from one to 10 centimeters long. The pine leaves are pinnately divided into threadlike lobes. Inflorescence of the plant is leafy, narrow, panicle-like cluster. The smell was very strong, fresh and minty. It was a very pleasant smell.

Umbellularia californica

The common name known as California bay, is a part of the family Lauraceae. This was the third plant we found at the beginning of our way in the trail. It grows in open meadow with many invasive grasses. It has green to red-brown stem and the dark yellow stamen at the base. It is basal dicot and the leave ranges from 1.5-3cm wide, narrowly ovate to oblong, shiny, and deep yellow-green. The inflorescence of the plant is umbel-like, in upper axils, and peduncled. It has very cute little sepals and petals with yellowish green color. It is one of the earlier flowering ones. It also has fruits look like a tiny avocado. It isn’t avocado, but It looks similar because they’re in the same family.

Cardamine Californica

Also known as its common name Bitter cress, is a part of family Brassicaceae. It grows in a wet soil. It has alternate leaves that is palmately lobed or compound. Inflorescence of the plant is elongated, having 4 petals and sepals with white flowers. It does not have tepals since it has distinctive separation between petals and sepals. It is more like cyme shape. The flower has relatively long ray and pedicle compared to common flowers. The smell was not too strong, not so memorable. It is one of the earlier flowering plants of the season.

There were many tall and slim trees!

Waterfall we found on our way climbing back up.

Beautiful San Francisco city view!

On our way back to school. There was some traffic but music on!


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