Others… not so much. As the summer takes hold and the mercury climbs many of our natives decide to close up shop and hunker down until October’s first rains. Dormancy is an important way to survive the 4-6 months of intense heat and almost total lack of water. This includes dropping some or all of the plant’s leaves or sometimes even dying back completely. Here are some before and after pictures of some of the more well-known summer grumps.
We’ll start with some plants that prepare for summer by dropping their big lush leaves and make do with smaller, rougher versions.
Both purple and black sage:
Monkeyflower drops most of its foliage, as long as you see a little green at the nodes they are still alive.
Nightshade is reduced to some green stems and a random fruit:
Deerweed hangs onto its seeds but otherwise is a pile of sticks:
Elderberry drops about everything, I like the handsome brown branches actually.
California’s version of “fall color” comes from the poison oak
You won’t even notice heart-leaf penstemon in a few weeks…
This hillside of hummingbird sage was a luscious green about 2 months ago.
Gooseberry hanging on to its fruits, guarded jealously by nasty spines.
Stay cool and thanks for reading….