The first field trip on September 19th took the class to Pescadero State Beach, a coastal area approximately an hour away from San Francisco. We observed populations of Lupinus aboreus, a species of lupin that grows mainly along the coast of California. The Lupinus aboreus plant resembles a bush, growing relatively close to the ground with green finger-like leaves. However, the flower color of the Lupinus aboreus varies depending on its location, though there were only yellow flowers seen during the trip.
The coastal population that grew right next to the ocean atop a small cliff did not display any flowering, and the size of each plant seemed to be slightly smaller than the population that was growing further inland several meters. These small variations may be due to the fairly harsher conditions that these individuals faced, such as fierce winds and sandy soils compared to the more “sheltered” environment for those residing inland.
After crossing through the beach and under the bridge, we reached the population that was growing in the marshy inland near the beach. The individuals of Lupinus aboreus in this area displayed not only yellow flowers, but also seed pods that resembled edamame. The conditions seemed less harsh than the population growing by the beach as there was little wind, plenty of sun, and fairly moist soil.