What are YOUUUUU doing here?

Doing some cuttings of honeysuckle today.  Scientific genus is Lonicera, which for some reason always makes me want to sing “Buona Sera” by Louis Prima.  See, they rhyme.. I know, I have issues.

Anyway, as abundant as honeysuckle is down here at the OVLC riverbottom preserve, it actually isn’t all that common on most other trails.  Got me thinking about a few other weird stowaways in the vicinity.  You may notice all plant names now link to a site that takes far better pictures than I, please enjoy them:

Generally don’t see much in the way of cacti around here.  I’m 84.3% sure this is prickly pear.  Not too hard to find, a mere pat on the back for spotting this:

Prickly Pear

Next up is sugar bush.  I don’t know of this plant anywhere else in Ojai, by all means someone prove me wrong.  There are quite a few of them and they are can be almost 10 feet high and 20 feet wide so a polite round of applause for hunting it down:

Sugarbush

Silk tassel bush is tough to spot only because its… well.. dull.. kinda grey, the “silk tassels” are kind of beat up and dry, but much respect if you can find it, maybe 3 or 4 in the river bottom by my count:

Silk Tassel

Coffeberry is quite common if you head up Route 33 to Matilija or Potrero John, but down here I believe this is the one and only specimen.  An Ojai Rambler t-shirt from the first reader who can find it and take a picture.  OK, there is no t-shirt, but you’ll be first on the waiting list.

Lonely coffeeberry

Finally, I don’t know what this is, but it’s quite striking.  Growing a few feet from the dry riverbed,   I’ll name my next cat for the first to correctly identify it

Mystery plant

When you’re done hiking down here head over to the Bad Wolf BBQ in Meiners Oaks.  Pretty mean tritip, pulled pork, sandwiches and salads.  The outdoor patio is dog friendly, some nice beers on tap.  Rambler approved.

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One Response to What are YOUUUUU doing here?

  1. Lanny Kaufer says:

    Good ID’ing, Ron! That last one is Gopher Plant, a type of spurge reputed to repel gophers. In my experience, they just go around it so you have to plant a thick border of it all around your garden to be effective. And yes, that is a native Prickly Pear. The river bottom is home to many native and non-native plants seemingly thrown together willy-nilly because, well, because they are. It’s a river bottom! Sugar Bush is a good example. That’s the only one I think I’ve seen around Ojai. Usually found near the coast. So I’m looking to forward to meeting your cat Lanny one of these days. Feel free to improvise on that name. Oh, and please send your friends to my new website http://www.HerbWalks.com to sign up for one of my walks, hikes, or other events. Happy Trails!

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