Sunday, November 14, 2010

Santa Rosa Plateau Fall Plant Sale

The Santa Rosa Plateau Visitor Center has undergone quite a change since our last visit. There's a new monument at the entrance, and the parking lot is much improved with new gravel and also lights that are reminiscent of the El Camino Real bells along the historic California mission trail. 

11/13/10 View of entrance to visitor center from parking lot (one of the new light posts visible on the left).

We were there yesterday morning for the Nature Conservancy's annual fall native plant sale, and I had fun chatting with Charlie, one of the gals who regularly helps out at the SRP plant sales. She had a beautiful Rosy Boa on her hand, literally, and that was the main topic of our conversation. His name is "Jie Jie" and he's a Rosy Boa from the Box Canyon area of E. Riverside County. Apparently, Rosy Boas vary in color, depending on the region they hail from. Charlie also brought me to a back room of the visitor center to see a captive Rosy Boa that is native to the Plateau, and it was clear that this one had much darker colors compared to Jie Jie's. Such a treat to see these native reptiles!

11/13/10 "Jie Jie." Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata). 

11/13/10 SRP Plant sale.

My purchases: 'Warriner Lytle' Buckwheat (prostrate form of Eriogononum fasciculatum, a selection from Theodore Payne Foundation), Clustered field sedge (Carex praegracillis), Hollyleaf Redberry (Rhamnus ilicifolia), Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia-grown from acorns collected on the Plateau), Western Redbud (Cercis occidentalis), 'Twin Peaks' Dwarf Coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis), Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana-according to Charlie, it's a seedling from a Torrey Pine growing on the Santa Rosa Ranch?), California Fescue (Festuca californica). Non-natives: Mountain Marigold (Tagetes lemonii) and 'Sierra Bouquet' Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum pruinosum).


  1. What great investment plants - Is that the same oak you mentioned a few weeks ago? as I was so surprised you even had oaks in California.

  2. I remember that post you did last spring showing a carpet of those little poached egg flowers. I had forgotten when I was writing my post that they were natives for you. Once you start some from seed in the UK they are with you forever as they seed all over the place and they even survived our -17 degrees C winter temps last year.

  3. I like your assortment. You must have some space for a couple of the plants to grow into. I like how they provide some growing instructions for the plants. Our local plant sale has information labels too, along with an "expert's table" where people can get questions answered, but it's good to have general information right at the plants as people are looking at them.

  4. Rosie, yes indeed - we definitely have oaks here in California and they are well adapted to our Mediterranean climate. I know Limnanthes douglasii as "Meadowfoam," but I like your more descriptive name of "Poached Egg Flowers" better!

    James, we're on 5 acres so there's plenty of room for some of the big guys. Of the 5 acres, we have about 3 acres of native chaparral, which we intend to keep intact (denizens are Greasewood, Wild Cucumber, Splendid Mariposa Lily, Deerweed, Laurel Sumac, Black Sage, California Buckwheat, Mission Manzanita, California Peony, Bush Snapdragon, Bush Monkeyflower, Golden Yarrow, and Hoary-leaved Ceanothus). The other 2 acres were (unfortunately) graded/cleared during construction and I've been madly planting this area over the past four years with fruit trees, grape vines, ornamentals, and natives galore. So, basically, I'll never be bored on the weekends for at least the next decade.

  5. I'm a big snake fan. Wonderful capture.

  6. Altadenahiker, I'm a big snake fan, too. As long as they're nonvenomous or well out of range of striking distance.