Bounty from the Boroughs

Been entreating the throngs of loyal Ramblers for almost 2 months now for the fruits of your photographic fancies.  But it took the gumption and grit of a New Yorker to produce a panorama of our fair fields.  Thanks to Kevin M. of Brooklyn for sending in this set taken on a recent visit to our Valley, from a quick jaunt up Laguna Ridge.

(Sorry about the picture/text not always matching up, darn WordPress free edition)

Solanum xantii.. or Chaparral Nightshade to you and me.  Close relative of the tomato.. you’ll notice them already going to fruit.  Try to resist the urge to snack, all parts poisonous.


This is one of my favorite plants of this season, Fuschia Flowered Gooseberry.  For whatever reason last year hardly any of these flowered.  It’s a veritable bonanza this year and the flowers are still going strong so keep an eye out.  Unlike the Nightshade these berries are edible and quite sweet.  Should start maturing late spring to early summer, just watch for the nasty thorns.

Fuschia-flowered gooseberry


If I remember right this is a toyon.  Also known as California holly or Christmas Berry, you can still see their bright red berries as you drive up the grade to upper Ojai.

Mexican elderberry

Mexican elderberry starting to bloom everywhere.  Large creamy flower clusters, if you’re ever unsure break a little foliage, it stinks.  And yes, you can eat the elderberries when ripe.

Yes, I know.  It’s just a weed, cool pic though. (Sow thistle- thanks Lanny)

Golden Yarrow, genus Achillea.  Supposedly the plant was used to staunch the wounds of Achilles’ soldiers during the battle of Troy.  (Oops sorry.  Genus Eriophyllum.  Not a true yarrow.  I still like the story – OR)

Bush monkeyflower

Monkeyflower, doesn’t look much like a monkey to me.  But if you touch the bottom lip the flower will instinctively close.

Blue dicks.  There is no such thing as purple in the botanical world for some reason. Chumash and other native tribes would eat their bulbs.  Yum.

Blue dicks

Morning glory

This morning glory’s internal clock is a bit off.


A lupine… notoriously difficult genus to figure out one species from another.  I say just enjoy it.

Finally this was Kevin’s favorite pic.  He says it’s a site where they must have tested for oil/gas and came up empty.  Anyway thanks Kevin for the great set, you’ve done your borough proud.

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5 Responses to Bounty from the Boroughs

  1. chuck says:

    Ya, thanks Kevin…Pretty “industrial” of you….Now, back to the Boroughs with you…Not really.Good seeing you again. Good job.

  2. Lanny Kaufer says:

    Thanks Kevin and Ron. Beautiful shots! I have just a few pix this year but no time to deal with them right now. I do have time to make one correction on your plant labeling, though. Golden-Yarrow is not a true Yarrow. It is genus Eriophyllum. Not related other than being in the Aster family. Oh, and the weed is Sow-Thistle, also a misnomer. It’s not a true Thistle. Keep up the good work!

  3. ojairambler says:

    Duh. I definitely knew that. The white one is Achillea… Thanks Lanny!

  4. Judith Gustafson says:

    Friends and I plan to hike Laguna Ridge this Wednesday … I’ll take pictures of what’s blooming now and send them to you. I might need your help in figuring out how to do that. Laguna Ridge is a glorious hike with beautiful views. In February, we hiked there and saw some evidence there would be a nice plant show after a few rains. Hope I’m right!

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