photo from the gallery of native plants and wildflowers

Top Ten in Twenty-Eleven!

The year in review - the top 10 in 2011 - and this year the number of shrubs on my list make the shrub classification the clear winners.

The top 7 stand-outs in 2011

  1. malacothamnus fasciculatus - bushmallow
    • Bushmallow has come into it's own more splendid than ever in 2011. Those beautiful pink flowers on this shrub (almost lavender in some cases) make a great display in May and June.
  2. prunus ilicifolia - holly-leaf cherry
    • The birds have spread the seeds and increased the population of this great shrub in the Rose family. A winner with it's evergreen leaves, you can get these slow-growers at native plant nurseries.

  3. diplacus puniceus - monkeyflower
    • Gotta love a shrub with a name like monkeyflower, and this one is a winner. Another shrub that has come into its own in 2011.
  4. sacapellote
  5. acourtia microcephala - sacapellote
    • Sacapellote, I can't figure out where this uncommon common name came from, but this plant in the Sunflower family had a great year in 2011.
  6. showy penstemon
    showy penstemon
  7. penstemon spectabilis - showy penstemon
    • A perennial favorite, the showy penstemon has spread its seeds - coming up in more arid spaces this year
  8. eriophyllum confertiflorum - golden yarrow
    • The yarrow blooms earlier and lasts longer - a consistent favorite, especially since the wildflowers like canterbury bells are nearly gone.
  9. rosa californica - California Rose
    • Thickets of the california rose along the river trail

sapphire woolly start
sapphire woolly star
The most elusive
  1. eriastrum sapphirinum - sapphire woolly star
    • Sapphire woolly star wins most elusive again this year, BUT a few of these little beauties were found along a small stretch on the 500 foot trail. You'll only see their blossoms out on a bright sunny day so they're easy to miss.

The most prolific
  1. salvia mellifera - black sage
    • Black sage outpaced all the other shrubs on my list. It's getting thick out in the chaparral!
black sage
black sage

The most missed

Most missed - Masses of wildflowers. Sure there are still some open spaces where wild canterbury bells, and yellow and white pincushion are growing, but they are disappearing fast. Can't compete with the deer weed and sage.

  1. antirrhinum nuttallianum - nuttall snapdragon
    • A firefollower, there were very few around in 2011.

The most unappealing 2011