photo from the gallery of native plants and wildflowers

How many plants ARE there?
A LOT of plants

Fallbrook 2007: The October Rice wildfire burned the plants to the ground on my property and most of the area around the 500 foot trail. Most people described the scene as a "moonscape". Black branches poking up out of the white ash on the ground that used to be plants.  Just a few short months after that devastation the wildflowers came in. Most of them were kind of straggly, with only a few species here and there.

See the top 10 in 2010!


Those little bitty plants here and there last year have found their niche. Last year's few scrawny purple nightshade plants are now everywhere. Lots of rock rose and california broom. Tons of new ceanothus are crowding each other out along with the chamise. Manzanita has risen from the roots. Lots of plants I'm not quite sure about yet because they haven't produced any berries or other flowers to help identify them yet.

Top 10 most appealing with the most population winter 2009
  1. ramona lilac
    • too numerous to count the numbers of this ceanothus. Glossy green leaves, in early February some of the 2 feet tall plants already had blue blossoms. You see these beauties all over in the unburned areas around Hwy 15 south of Fallbrook.
  2. hoary-leaf ceanothus
    • still too tiny for flowers. Looking forward to seeing and smelling those white blossoms.
  3. parish nightshade
    • what were only a few scrawny plants last year are now a huge population. Many of these are now a beautiful rounded mound of green leaves with lots of purple flowers. Very pretty, see them everywhere along the trail
  4. golden yarrow
    • thicker stalks and bushier this year, many flowering gold already
  5. rock rose
    • now in quite a few different areas showing their dainty yellow blooms
  6. california everlasting
    • I found only one plant last year, this year they are everywhere, big and green and lots of white flowers. Also numerous along the trail.
  7. southern honeysuckle
    • What was only one recognizable plant last year are now everywhere. The honeysuckles root where the arching branches touch the ground
  8. canterbury bells
    • there were a lot of bells in one area early last spring, now the distinctive leaves are all over - promise of a great blue display spring 2009. Described as "burn followers" these were really welcome after that bleak landscape spring 2008.
  9. california buckwheat
    • making a comeback underfoot in quite a few places, nice green branches, mostly reclining right now
  10. golden ear-drops
    • great big silver-blue bushy plant with fantastic gold blossoms. They were among the first to appear after the fire and are bigger and better and more abundant than ever today. There was and still is a lot of black space to fill so I call these great

the most surprising 2009
  • california peony
    • this one wins the most surprising award. That alien looking red flower is weird and therefore very cool. Saw this for the first time early in 2009 and now they are growing all over the slopes.
the most unappealing with the most population 2009
  • chamise
    • the chamise are growing up side by side with the white and blue lilac. This plant is the reason it is called "chamise chaparral".
  • sumac
    • these plants like to take over. The leaves can cause skin irritation so don't handle them. The scientific name says it all - "malosma laurina" - mal means bad in Spanish.


the weirdest and the coolest 2008
  • Deane's wirelettuce
    • only a few of these in 2008. That long, tall twiggy stalk with just a few flowers on the end make this one the winner of the weird 2008
  • weed's mariposa lily
    • great, unusual, very cool and lots of them in 2008. Too bad the name is weedii, sounds bad but this plant is very cool