Edgewood Preserve Plants - An Introduction

                    (67 plants)

Clay Mariposa
How to find your plant
Edgewood Park, bordering the east side of 280, just north of Woodside, is a wonderful place to look at and learn about plants.
  • First, there are lots of good learning resources, from Toni Corelli's definitive "Flowering Plants of Edgewood Natural Preserve", to weekly plant walks in the spring, to this guide that is designed to help you identify the plant in front of you.
  • Second, Edgewood is relatively small - you can walk the perimeter in 3 hours at plant-observing pace.
  • Third, and most important, it is naturally diverse, with some 540 plant species, providing lots to look at.

This guide is intended to help you identify the plants you'll most likely notice as you wander the preserve. Click "How to find your plant" if you're new to this. Note that we start by showing flowers, but you can change the plant type in the subtitle to see trees, shrubs, ferns or grasses.

Thanks to Carol Hankermeyer, a long-standing weekend guide volunteer, for introducing me to many of the plants and ID tips in this guide.

Have fun!

Arroyo Lupine
Lupinus succulentus
  • Blooms Feb - May
  • Blue or violet pea flower with white accents.
  • Leaves like fingers, radiating from a central point.
  • Found in arroyos - low spots, often with water.
  • CA native

All lupines have finger-like leaves.

A closeup of the flower. The yellow pistil is just sticking out of the right-hand "keel".

Flowers erect standing above the leaves.
Bee Plant
Scrophularia californica
  • Blooms Feb - May
  • Tall plant with prominent triangular leaves and tiny orange-maroon flowers.
  • Leaves opposite and toothed.
  • Found in moist places below 5,000 feet.
  • CA native

Grows several feet high with opposite toothed leaves and tiny orange/maroon fllowers.

Tiny flower forms a bowl with two rounded petals on top and 3 smaller ones around the bottom.

Opposite toothed leaves on square stem.
Blue Dicks
Dichelostemma capitatum
  • Blooms Feb - Apr
  • Many 6-petaled blue bell-shaped flowers are bunched at the top of the stem.
  • Basal leaves - none on the stem.
  • Common springtime flower.
  • CA native

6 petals, pink, violet or white, grouped at the end of a tall, thin stalk.

Flower clusters at the end of long, narrow stems.

Long, narrow leaves at the base of the plant.
Blue-Eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium bellum
  • Blooms Mar - May
  • A member of the Iris family.
  • Tubular flower has a bright yellow center and darker purple lines extending outward, making a great target for pollinators.
  • Grasslike leaves.
  • CA native. Found only in western North America.

Blue to violet petals and a golden yellow center, to guide pollinators in.

Leaves are long and thin, with parallel veins.

Seed develops below the flower.
Broad Leaf Filaree
Erodium botrys
  • Blooms Feb - May
  • 5 lavender petals with purple lines, often forming a bowl, with yellow-topped stamens in the center.
  • Leaves hairy, fairly wide with lots of lobes.
  • Fruits grow over 4 inches long!
  • Common in clay or gravel soil.
  • CA not native.

5 lavender petals, purple lines, yellow center.

Wide leaves with central vein. Edges are lobed.

Fruits up to 4 inches tall, and pointed.
California Burclover
Medicago polymorpha
  • Blooms Feb - Jun
  • Yellow pea flower
  • 3-par pea petals
  • Seed has burrs that stick to your socks
  • CA not native

California Buttercup
Ranunculus californicus
  • Blooms Feb - May
  • Bright yellow flower, up to 1 inch wide, has 7 to 22 shiny petals.
  • Single flower at the top of a stem, which can be short or long.
  • No leaves along the stem, and basal leaves are compound - divided into several lobed parts.
  • CA native

Flower has many shiny, yellow petals.

Some individual petals can be white. The center is often green, surrounded by many stamens.

Basal leaves have a stem, with divided sets of indented leaves.
California Larkspur
Delphinium californicum ssp. californicum
  • Blooms Apr - Jun
  • Pink, white flower
  • Larkspur-shaped flower, with a spur behind.
  • Alternate, deeply cut leaves
  • CA native

Tubular flowers with a spur behind.

Leaves are deeply cut.

Flowers grow in a tall spike, many feet in the air.
California Plantain
Plantago erecta
  • Blooms Mar - Apr
  • Tiny 4-petaled flowers in a clump at the top of the stem.
  • Flowers are very beautiful when view with a magnifying lens.
  • Basal rosette of very thin leaves up to 5 inches long.
  • Found in undisturbed grassy areas or open woodlands.
  • CA native

Under 1 foot tall, long narrow erect leaves. Fuzzy flower head

These four-petal flowers are very small.

Dense fields of California Plantain are a critical food for the Blue-spot butterfly.
California Poppy
Eschscholzia californica
  • Blooms Feb - Sep
  • 4 large petals are orange (inland form) to yellow (coastal form)
  • A flat disk (torus) at the base of the petals is distinctive.
  • Widely distributed and quite common in grassy areas.
  • CA native, and the state flower

Bud and bloom. Notice the sheath covering the early bud.

Note the low grey leaves, and yellow flowers with orange centers of this coastal variety.

California Poppies fill grassy areas with an orange display from April to July.