New Growth

Don’t let the rainy weather deter you from going for a hike! There are a lot of beautiful things to be seen right now. I went for a run at Quicksilver Park in South San Jose on Wednesday, and I was delighted to see some early wildflowers peeping through the undergrowth. The El Niño rains have turned the tawny hue of the hillsides to a lush green, and occasionally a small creek will intersect the trail. Here are some of my favorite native Californians that you’re likely to find:

California Buckeye (Aesculus californica)

The growth cycle of the Buckeye runs opposite to that of a typical deciduous tree: it loses its leaves in the summer, and grows them back in the winter. Look for long, slender branches with bright-green, thin leaves shooting out the ends.

Shooting Star (Dadecatheon hendersonii)

Hound’s Tongue (Cynoglossum grande)

Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)

You can eat Miner’s Lettuce! Use it in a salad, or in recipes like you would
for spinach.

The Literary Ranger