With summer fast approaching, many of our spring blooming plants are busy setting seed.  As much of this property is natural woodland, the vast majority of plants growing here were not intentionally planted.  Some are natives, others are foreign invaders.  However, as we intend to gradually remove unwelcome, introduced species, and restore native species to the property, we knew we first had to be able to identify the plants that are currently calling Curbstone Valley home.

Many plants here in winter are either dormant, or nondescript in their appearance.  However, watching them closely this spring during their natural bloom cycles has helped us to identify a number of native species that are already well established here.  We now have the promise of more of these native plants next spring.

Calochortus albus (Fairy Lantern)

Three-winged seed capsule of Calochortus albus

Ceanothus thrysiflorus (Wild Lilac)

Developing seed clusters of Ceanothus thrysiflorus

Clintonia andrewsiana (Western Bluebead-lily)

The seed capsules of Clintonia andrewsiana will become cobalt blue with age

Corallorhiza maculata (Summer Coralroot)

Corallorhiza maculata, a native orchid, has many developing seed pods

Iris fernaldii (Fernald’s iris)

We intend to try propagating Iris fernaldii from seed

Lathyrus vestitus (Pacific pea)

Lathyrus vestitus is setting many seed pods this spring

Rosa gymnocarpa (wood rose)

Our native wood rose, Rosa gymnocarpa, has set a few hips

Salvia mellifera (black sage)

Our black sage, Salvia mellifera, appears to be done blooming

Trillium ovatum (Western Wake Robin)

When sown, Trillium ovatum seeds can take 7 years or more before they produce blooming plants

Viola glabella (Stream Violet)

The stream violets, Viola glabella, have set seed

Viola ocellata (Two-Eyed Violet)

One of two species of violet here, Viola ocellata has set many seed pods like this

For some of these species, as they’re already content to grow here with minimal care, we hope to collect some seed and try propagating them ourselves.  Then hopefully we can replant them in areas cleared of aggressive or invasive non-native species.   This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the native plants growing here, and no doubt there are still a few as yet undiscovered lurking in our woodland.

Tomorrow though, we’ll introduce you to a group of undesireables that are also setting seed, that will keep us very busy over the coming years as we endeavor to persuade them to leave.

Convince me that you have a seed there,
and I am prepared to expect wonders.
– Henry David Thoreau