Tuesday, April 30, 2013

SLO Deerweed in Full Bloom (Hiking San Luis Obispo)

Lotus scoparius
Click on the illustration above for all the glorious detail
Deerweed (Lotus scoparius) was in full bloom when we hiked Madonna Mountain, in San Luis Obispo  a few weeks back. The deerweed is only just starting to show yellow, up here about 200 miles north at Edgewood Nature Preserve in the San Francisco Bay Area.

With it's shiny bare red stalks in the winter, deerweed adds an arty element to it's surroundings. It also provides nectar for gorgeous mint-green hairstreak butterflies. So, I'm thinking about giving this native a try the next time I'm visiting SLO and swing by Las Pilitas Nursery (http://www.laspilitas.com/nature-of-california/plants/lotus-scoparius). Las Pilitas is a great native plant nursery, but they have very specific hours. I recommend you call ahead if you're going. (You can also get plants from them by mail.) And double check with them on the directions. The drive over from the freeway to the nursery is rural California at it's best as well. Keep an eye out for wild turkeys, quail and bears - not kidding. Ask about the bear that used to be somewhat of a regular at the nursery.

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