It turns out that some of the Bay Area’s showiest wildflowers are also parasites that draw water and nutrients from their neighbors.
The study and science of plants.
David Amme, author of “Grassland Heritage” in Bay Nature’s April-June 2004 issue, called purple needlegrass “the undisputed candidate for official state grass.” Now that may soon become literally as well as figuratively true: State Sen. Michael Machado, D-Linden, is sponsoring … Read more
A good rain sends all manner of mushrooms pushing their way up from underground. Here are some of the places around the Bay Area where you can admire the beauty and diversity of these charismatic fungi.
In technical terms, mushrooms are the charismatic sexual reproductive structures of fungal individuals whose main body (fine, cobweb-like filaments called hyphae) is well hidden in the soil or amongst leaves and rotting wood. The primary role of the mushroom is … Read more
Although the disease is popularly known as Sudden Oak Death, the funguslike organism that causes it, Phytophthora ramorum, is also responsible for less severe symptoms in a number of other native and nonnative plants. The continually growing list of affected … Read more
by Linda H. Beidleman and Eugene N. Kozloff, University of California Press, 2003, 505 pages, $29.95 (www.ucpress.edu). Linda H. Beidleman, an instructor at UC Berkeley’s Jepson Herbarium, and Eugene N. Kozloff, a professor at University of Washington, have put … Read more
by Glenn Keator, University of California Press, 2002, 251 pages, $14.95 (www.ucpress.edu). Bay Area botanist Glenn Keator, author of The Life of an Oak: An Intimate Portrait (Heyday Books, 1998), has now assembled the well-written, easy-to-use Introduction to Trees … Read more
It’s almost impossible to imagine the California landscape without oak woodlands. But this most familiar and prolific habitat faces a number of serious threats, including unchecked suburban development and Sudden Oak Death. Fortunately, many parks in the Bay Area, including those of the East Bay Regional Parks, offer welcome refuge for a variety of oak woodlands.
To learn more about California’s oaks, contact the following organizations: California Oak Foundation 1212 Broadway, Suite 810 Oakland, CA 94612 510-763-0282 www.californiaoaks.org California oak advocacy and education organization. Online monthly oak report, membership newsletter, oak tree care information, and merchandise. … Read more
Though it’s the most extensive natural habitat in California, chaparral’s brambly ways discourage human visitors. Still, plenty of wildlife finds sanctuary in its tangled, brushy universe, as do the dormant seeds of wildflowers as they await the inevitable next fire, forceful sculptor of this complex landscape.