Walks on the Wild Side, Fall-Winter, 2008-9

December 3, 2008
Hacienda Hills, Coyote Trail
3. Results of Recent Rains

A misty, moisty morning, the view north toward the San Gabriel Valley. Moisture comes to these hills from fog drip, sea breezes, the marine layer and rain. Photo by Graham.

New growth on California beeplant, Scrophularia californica, springing up after the first rains of the season. Photo by Graham.

The miniscule red flowers bloom in the springtime. Click on the photo for more pictures. Photo by Michael.

New growth on cliff-aster, Malacothrix saxatilis. Photo by Graham.

The two purple stripes on the back of each petal are diagnostic for identifying cliff-aster. Click on the photo for more pictures. Photo by Michael.

Twiggy wreathplant, Stephanomeria sp. Photo by Graham.

We are unable to determine the species of this plant. For a technical discussion of the identification problems see Tom Chester's analysis

Seedling of poison hemlock, Conium maculatum. Click on the photo for more pictures.

Poison hemlock is easily recognized by the purple splotches on its stem even when it is dead.

"In ancient Greece, hemlock was used to poison condemned prisoners. The most famous victim of hemlock poisoning is the philosopher Socrates. After being condemned to death for impiety in 399 BC, Socrates was given a potent solution of the hemlock plant.

A useful trick to determine whether a plant is poison hemlock rather than fennel, which it resembles, is to crush some leaves and smell the result. Fennel smells like anise or liquorice, whereas the smell of poison hemlock is often described as mouse-like or musty." From Conium in Wikipedia.

What we saw:

Section 1. The Setting

Section 2. Associated Shrubbery

Section 3. Results of Recent Rains

Section 4. Inhabitants and Visitors


original pages created December 6, 2008
text on this page is Copyright © 2008-2021 Jane Strong
images on this page attributed to Michael are Copyright © 2008-2021 Michael Charters
images on this page attributed to Graham are Copyright © 2008-2021 Graham Bothwell

Back to Index Page