Temescal Regional Recreation Area

         (360 plants)
Thanks to the East Bay Regional Park District for this list.

Alkali Bulrush
Bolboschoenus maritimus
  • CA Bloom Aug - Sep
  • Flat, narrow stems to about four feet tall.
  • Found near the edge of salt water.
  • Widespread in California and around the world.
  • CA native

Flowers dark brown with tan bristles.

Flowers group in the joint of flat stems.

Stands erect with noticeable brown flowers
Alum Root
Heuchera micrantha
  • CA Bloom May - June
  • Alum Root sends wispy stems two feet in the air, supporting dozens of tiny white or pink flowers.
  • Leaves at the base of plant are shaped like mittens.
  • Found in wet areas, often near moss.
  • CA native

Tiny flowers on leafless wispy stems about 2 feet tall.

Leaves connect to the base of the plant on long stalks. They're fuzzy and roundish.

Leaves form a thick basal cluster, with tiny flowers appearing to be suspended in air above them.
American Dogwood
Cornus sericea
  • CA Bloom Jun - Aug
  • White 4-petaled flowers in round bunches
  • White berries
  • Medium tall shrub grows to 12 feet
  • Opposite leaves, green above and hairy grey below
  • Found in damp areas
  • CA native

Opposite leaves, strong veins, pointed tips.

Showy clumps of flowers turn into white berries.

4-petaled white flowers grow in clumps at the end of stems.
American Vetch
Vicia americana
  • CA Bloom May - Jun
  • Flowers with pink, violet and white parts.
  • Tendrils, modified leaves, allow the plant to climb on other plants.
  • Alternate compound leaves.
  • A widespread understory plant.
  • CA native

Purple pea-like flowers

Alternate compound leaves.

Vine grows to a foot long. One inch pea pods for fruit.
American Vetch (1)
Vicia americana ssp. americana
  • Height 1 - 2 ft.
  • CA Bloom May - Jun
  • Flowers with pink, violet and white parts.
  • Tendrils, modified leaves, allow the plant to climb on others.
  • The vine stem can grow to 4 feet long, but the plant is generally under 2 feet tall.
  • Alternate compound leaves.
  • Widespread understory plant.
  • CA native

Small but bright flowers

Lots of small compound leaflets.

Long thin leaves and purple flowers make this a vetch.
Andean Pampas Grass
Cortaderia jubata
  • CA Bloom Sep - Feb
  • Showy tops start purple, and become cream-colored with age.
  • Thin sharp-edged leaves.s
  • Each plant produces millions of seeds.
  • Not CA native.
  • Highly Invasive

Tall stems (up to 20 feet) and showy tops make this plant stand out.

Many stems join at the root.

Grass stem is hairy. Leaves connect to the stem in a sheath.
Annual June Grass, Bristly Koeleria
Koeleria gerardii
  • CA Bloom Apr - Jul
  • Not CA native

  • Australian Fireweed
    Senecio glomeratus
    • CA Bloom Apr - Sep
    • Yellow composite flowers group at the top of a branched 6 foot plant.
    • Leaves are alternate and deeply lobed.
    • Found in disturbed sites below 1,000 feet, generally near the coast.
    • Not CA native
    • Moderately Invasive

    Composite flowers group at the top of the stem. They have no "petals" ( ray flowers).

    Leaves clasp the stem, grow to about 6 inches, and are deeply lobed.

    Grows to 6 feet or so, with lots of flowers near the top of the stem.
    Baby's Tears
    Soleirolia soleirolii
  • CA Bloom Mar - Jun
  • White flower
  • Tiny petals
  • Not CA native

  • Beaked Hazelnut
    Corylus cornuta
  • CA Bloom Feb - Mar
  • Tiny petals
  • Alternate leaves
  • Streambanks slopes
  • CA native

  • Bearded Clover
    Trifolium barbigerum
    • Height to 1 ft.
    • CA Bloom Feb - May
    • Brown, pink, violet, white flower
    • Irreg petals
    • Alternate leaves
    • CA native
    • Endemic to California

    Bearded Sprangletop
    Leptochloa fusca ssp. fascicularis
  • CA Bloom Jun - Oct
  • CA native

  • Beardless Wild Rye
    Elymus triticoides
    • Height 2 - 4 ft.
    • CA Bloom Jun - Jul
    • Found in moist habitats with heavy and salty soils, often growing to the water's edge, which helps stabilize soil.
    • It spreads by underground rhizomes.
    • Leaves grow over a foot long, and 1/4" wide.
    • CA native

    Prominent blue-green leaves grow away from the stem.

    "Knees" at stem joints.

    Spikelets alternate sides going up the top of the stem. This is a characteristic of ryes.
    Bee Plant
    Scrophularia californica
    • Height 2 - 4 ft.
    • CA Bloom Feb - May
    • Bee plant is tall, with prominent triangular leaves and tiny brownish-red flowers.
    • Small flowers are less than 1/2" across and have a nectar disk to reward pollinating bees.
    • Opposite leaves have stalks that connect to the stem.
    • Found in moist places below 8,000 feet.
    • CA native

    This view of the flower from below shows two rounded petals on top, two side petals, and one folded out like a tongue.

    A square stem supports large, opposite, toothed leaves. This might make you think "Mint" but it's not.

    Bee Plant grows several feet high with opposite, narrow leaves sticking straight out. Flowers are on horizontal stalks near the top.
    Big Leaf Mistletoe
    Phoradendron leucarpum ssp. macrophyllum
  • Shrub
  • Green flower
  • Tiny petals
  • Opposite leaves
  • CA native

  • Big Scale Balsam Root
    Balsamorhiza macrolepis
  • CA Bloom Mar - Jun
  • Yellow flower
  • Many petals
  • Basal leaves
  • Slopes
  • CA native
  • Endangered (CNPS 1B)

  • Big Tarweed
    Blepharizonia plumosa
  • CA Bloom Jul - Oct
  • CA native
  • Endemic to California
  • Endangered (CNPS 1B)

  • Big-Leaf Maple
    Acer macrophyllum
    • Height 50 - 100 ft.
    • CA Bloom Apr - May
    • This is the only California maple with big leaves.
    • It has opposite leaves that turn yellow in the fall.
    • In spring, small greenish-yellow flowers hang in clusters near the end of branches.
    • It likes water and dappled shade. You'll find it near stream banks, in canyons and in open forests.
    • CA native

    Leaves are quite large, many over 8" wide, with deep indents. No other maple in California has these big leaves.

    Flowers droop from branches in long clusters.

    Groups of two-winged fruits (called Samoas) replace the flowers. The wings help carry the fruit in the wind.
    Bioletti Cudweed
    Pseudognaphalium biolettii
    • CA Bloom Jan - May
    • Flowers are white on the outside and yellow on the inside.
    • Alternate leaves are wide at the base and clasp the stem.
    • Leaves and stem are covered with short fine hair, not sticky but sharply scented.
    • Found in coastal chaparral and in mixed evergreens in the foothills.
    • CA native

    Shiny papery phyllaries surround tiny yellow aster flowers.

    Many tiny brown fruits.

    Grows to 3 feet, sometimes woody at the base.
    Birch Leaf Mountain Mahogany
    Cercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides
    • CA Bloom Mar - May
    • Lots of small white flowers in clusters, with a mild scent.
    • Five petals
    • Alternate leaves are smooth at the base and toothed above, with distinct veins.
    • CA native

    Leaves have smooth edges near the base, but become toothed about half way up. Rounded tips.

    Fruit shaped like a fuzzy twisted tail.

    Shrub grows 3 to 20 feet tall, on dry slopes.
    Bird's Foot Lotus
    Acmispon brachycarpus
    • Height 6 in. - 1 ft.
    • CA Bloom Mar - Jun
    • Yellow flower
    • Pea petals
    • Alternate leaves
    • CA native

    Bird's Foot Trefoil
    Lotus corniculatus
    • Height to 8 in.
    • CA Bloom May - Jul
    • Yellow pea flowers.
    • Fruit forms a tiny cluster of pods (hence Bird's Foot)
    • Thin compound leaves along the stem.
    • Grows along the ground in grasslands.
    • Not CA native

    Pea flowers grouped at the end of the stem.

    Tiny plant. Fruit pods on the left, compound leaves in the middle, and flower head on the right.

    Often prominent in grasslands. Sometimes vine-like, with stems up to 20 inches.
    Black Cottonwood
    Populus trichocarpa
    • CA Bloom Feb - Apr
    • A large riparian tree with alternate leaves
    • Leaf stems are round (Fremont Cottonwood's is flattened).
    • Widely distributed in California, except the central valley.
    • CA native

    Leaf tops are glossy dark-green. Undersides are pale. Leaves are long and pointed, with small teeth on the edge.

    Alternating secondary veins connect to a central one.

    Grows near running water. Trunks get very large, and the tree height often exceeds 100 feet.
    Black Elderberry
    Sambucus nigra
    • CA Bloom Mar - May
    • Large bunches of small 5-petaled flowers stand out from far away.
    • Opposite leaves are compound with 5-7 leaflets.
    • Small black berries in bunches.
    • Grey bark with vertical furrows.
    • Common in open places.
    • CA native

    Compound leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets.

    A common deciduous shrub that grows to 20 feet tall on stream banks and open places.

    Flat-topped bunches of small 5-petaled white flowers.
    Blue Blossom
    Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. thyrsiflorus
    • Height to 30 ft.
    • CA Bloom Mar - May
    • Blueblossom is an evergreen shrub with a prodigious display of sweet-smelling flowers.
    • Look for grooves running the length of the stem.
    • Grows well on poor soil. Found in a variety of habitats.
    • CA native

    Blueblossom is full of tiny, fragrant flowers when it blooms in spring.

    Alternate leaves have 3 veins that join at the base. The underside is dull and the top is shiny.

    Leaves are shiny and dark green on top, growing to 2 inches long. They have glandular bumps on the side.
    Blue Elderberry
    Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea
    • Height 6 - 25 ft.
    • CA Bloom Mar - Jul
    • A large shrub with clusters of white flowers, plus compound leaves indicate an Elderberry.
    • Berries are black but appear blue because of a waxy covering.
    • Grey bark with vertical furrows.
    • Common on stream banks and open places in forests.
    • CA native

    White flat-topped clusters of flowers are easy to spot.

    Berries with a waxy covering makes them look powdery.

    Compound leaves with 5 - 9 toothed leaflets.
    Blue Gum
    Eucalyptus globulus
    • Height to 200 ft.
    • CA Bloom Oct - Mar
    • Flower nestled between stem and leaf.
    • Leaves long, thin and dark green.
    • Common, found in disturbed areas.
    • Not CA native
    • Somewhat Invasive

    Flower has many white stamens surrounding a central knob, and smells of honey.

    Mature leaves are narrow and curved, growing to a foot long. Woody fruits with 5 notches, grow to 1 inch across.

    Heavy trunks with bark that peals in large strips.
    Blue Violet, Western Dog Violet
    Viola adunca ssp. adunca
    • CA Bloom Apr - Aug
    • Purple violet-shaped flower.
    • Low to the ground with spade or heart shaped leaves.
    • Found in meadows and forests through North America.
    • CA native

    Nodding flower with violet-shaped purple petals.

    Lower petal has white base and purple veining. Side petals have white hairs near the center.

    Leaves spade or heart shaped.
    Blue Witch
    Solanum umbelliferum
    • CA Bloom Jan - Jun
    • Look for a pentagon-shaped flower with a bright yellow center.
    • Branches and leaves are quite hairy.
    • Green fruits turn purple when ripe.
    • This distinctive shrub is widespread in chaparral and oak woodlands.
    • CA native

    Blue Witch flowers are lavender or blue, pentagon-shaped, and have a yellow center.

    Leaves are hairy and smooth edged. Flowers sport green spots at the base of their petals.

    Blue Witch is a small shrub that grows to 3 feet. Every part of it is poisonous to eat.
    Bog Yellowcress
    Rorippa palustris ssp. palustris
  • CA Bloom Apr - Jun
  • Yellow flower
  • Four petals
  • Alternate leaves
  • CA native