Let’s keep learning about nature! The following plant and animal species are all native to Fairview Park and the surrounding environmental community - check them out and enjoy!
Bladderpod (Peritoma arborea)
Bladderpod is an evergreen plant that produces clusters of bright yellow flowers and a bladder-like seed pods. Each seed pod can contain approximately 5 to 25 seeds each. Because of its ability to produce many seeds and survive high temperatures, Bladderpod can easily establish itself in southern California plant communities.
Coastal Cholla (Cynlindropuntia prolifera)
Coastal Cholla is a native cactus that commonly grows on bluffs. During the spring, it will produce large magenta flowers. The plant produces many spines that can easily be broken off when brushed up against. It utilizes its spines as a defensive mechanism, so it is not preyed upon heavily by the organisms within its habitat.
Coast Goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii)
Coast Goldenbush is a semi-drought deciduous plant, so it will drop its leaves during periods of extreme heat. It blooms later in the summer season and produces a bright yellow flower, but the occasional flower can be outside of the summer season provided there is sufficient water supply. Additionally, its seeds have long bristles that help it move via wind dispersal.
California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)
California Buckwheat is an evergreen plant growing on scrubby slopes and dry washes. It has small cream and pink-colored flowers. As early as March, its flowers will start to turn into dark copper-colored dead looking flowers. The copper-colored flowers hold hundreds of seeds that will eventually disperse within the area or be eaten organism that will aid in the spreading of the seeds.
California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica)
California Sagebrush, also known as Cowboy Cologne, is a highly fragrant native shrub located in Fairview Park. Although its name has sage in it it is not related to the sage family, but to the sunflower family. It is a drought deciduous plant, meaning it will dry up in periods of drought and green and growing during times of high rain-fall.
Laurel Sumac (Malosma laurina)
Laurel Sumac is a large evergreen shrub that can grow up to 20 feet tall. Its leaves are slightly curved to make a “taco-shape”, so it reduces the plant’s exposure to hot temperatures. Because of its ability to withstand high temperatures, it causes the shrub to make be able to live in areas that can freeze making it a non-cold tolerant plant.
Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)
Toyon is an evergreen plant that retains its thick, waxy leaves year long. It is known for its bright, red berries that can are produced within the early winter season. The berries are edible, but contain a small amount of cyanogenic glycosides, that break down into hydrocyanic acids. Many Native American tribes, like the Tongva and Chumash, utilized the fruits for their diets.
Arroyo Lupine (Lupinus succulentus)
Arroyo Lupine is an annual herb that has clustered leaves resembling a palm. When the plant flowers, it produces a large, blue or purple flowers that is in a clustered stalk. They flower within February to March and go to seed very quickly. Their seeds are formed in numerous pods and replace the flower stalks on the stem of the plant.
Mulefat (Baccharias salicifolia)
Mulefat is a large, native plant that is an indicator for wetland, or riparian, habitat because of its need for an abundance of water. It produces small white, pink, and yellow flowers that can be observed throughout most of the year. In addition, it is a great plant for pollinators like native butterflies and bees. The plant gets its common name from when prospectors coming to the west would tie there mules to the bush while they would go off and explore.
Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)
The Western Fence Lizard is a common lizard found throughout most California. The male lizards will perform “push-ups” to display their dominance towards other males or show off for females. In addition, males will have blue markings on the sides of their bellies and throats.
Great Egret (Ardea alba)
The Great Egret is a large bird with white feathers, yellow bill, and black feet. They can typically been seen near areas with fresh or salt water, but has consistently been sited foraging for food in the grasslands throughout Fairview Park.
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)
The American Kestrel is North America’s smallest falcon. They are typically found in areas with short vegetation and minimal tree canopy. In Fairview Park, you can see them flying the grasslands searching for insects and small rodents to feed on.