Have you come across this plant on one of your hikes in Southern California? It’s delicious in a salad!
You will find these tasty berries along the lower parts of the San Gabriel Mountains. I tried sucking on a berry. It tasted just like lemonade. I hear the local Indians used it to make their version of lemonade.
Description: Bushy shrub, usually to no more than 10ft. Can spread to 10-15ft. The lemonade berry can be trained as a hedge. Pretty white-pink flowers are borne in large clumps all across the plant in the spring. They are followed a few months later by the oblong berries, which ripen from green to yellow, then red. The berries are covered in a sticky substance.
The Snow Plant is a parasitic plant that derives some or all of its sustenance from another plant. It has no chlorophyll and derives nutrition from fungi underneath the soil. For this reason the plant is called “mycotrophic”.
I came across this unusual plant on my hike to Cooper Canyon Falls. The color is amazing.
Spanish Broom (Spartium junceum, syn. Genista juncea), also known as Weaver’s Broom, is a perennial, leguminous shrub native to the Mediterranean region in southern Europe, southwest Asia and northwest Africa, where it is found in sunny sites, usually on dry, sandy soils. It is the sole species in the genus Spartium, but is closely related to the other brooms in the genera Cytisus and Genista.
This plant has the most fragrant flower I have ever observed. You can smell it from over 100 feet away. Spanish Broom can be found mostly between 2000 ft. and 5000 ft. range in the San Gabriel Mountains. I usually pass by it off the Angeles Crest Highway.
Cuscuta (Dodder) is a genus of about 100-170 species of yellow, orange or red (rarely green) parasitic plants.
Old folk names include devil’s guts, devil’s hair, devil’s ringlet, goldthread, hailweed, hairweed, hellbine, love vine, pull-down, strangleweed, angel hair, and witch’s hair.
You will find this odd plant growing throughout the hills of Southern California. I used to think it was trash thrown off the side of the freeway.