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California Native Plants at Gum Grove Park, Heron Pointe Cultural Education Center & the Wetlands

(click any pic on this page to enlarge)

Pickleweed, native wetland plant
(found at the edges of Gum Grove and throughout Los Cerritos Wetlands):
Facts about pickleweed on the Aquarium of the Pacific website:
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/onlinelearningcenter/full_description/pickleweed/

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pickleweed, 9/12/10

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Pickleweed, 9-12-10

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Pickleweed, 9-12-10

Salt Grass and Southern Tarplant, native to wetlands
(Both are found in many sections of Los Cerritos Wetlands.)
Description of Salt Grass on Aquarium of the Pacific's website:
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/onlinelearningcenter/full_description/saltgrass/

Description of Southern Tarplant on San Diego Sierra Club's website:
http://sandiego.sierraclub.org/rareplants/114.html

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Saltgrass, 9/12/10

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Southern Tarplant, 9/6/10

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Butterfly, skipper family, on Southern Tarplant, 9/6/10

Mulefat and Seaside Heliotrope
Can be found in many areas of Los Cerritos Wetlands and at Heron Point.  Mulefat typically grows in or at the edges of wetlands.  At Heron Point it's been planted along the edges of the path making a nice hedge.  Heliotrope is found along the wetland boarders and also seems to like the dry sandy locations. 

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Mulefat at Heron Pointe, 9/12/10

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Seaside Heliotrope (along the Heron Point path boardering the wetlands), 9/12/10

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Seaside Heliotrope (patches of green) on the Hellman Property, 9/12/10

"Upland" California Native Plants, Coastal Sage Scrub Family
You will find a nice assortment at Heron Pointe.  It seems historically (before development) native plants along the San Gabriel River tidal areas were not well documented.  But many of those shown below I've seen growing in coastal uplands from Bolsa Chica Wetlands to San Onofre State Beach so more than likely they also grew here naturally at one time.  I've seen some growing wild in the Los Cerritos Wetlands, such as California Goldenbrush and Deerbush. 

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California Fuschia at Heron Pointe, 9/12/10

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White Sage at Heron Poine, 9/12/10

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California Coast Goldenbrush at Heron Pointe, 9/12/10

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California Buckwheat, Heron Pointe, 9/12/10

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Deerbush, 9/12/10

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California Encelia, 9/6/10

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White Sage (light colored leaves), native bunch grass, CA Encelia, CA goldenbrush, 8/15/09

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California Coast Goldenbrush, 8/1/09

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California Buckwheat (the white flowering plant)

Other California native plants found at Heron Pointe
A large native garden has been planted here, some of these plants are more typical of upland, hillsides or wooded areas, a few shown below.  The native garden was a sort of mitigation for the Heron Pointe Development.

Facts about Coffeeberry:
http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?recNum=TS0408
http://www.bewaterwise.com/gardensoft/plant_description.aspx?plantid=551

Facts about Toyon:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2871170/growing_western_native_plant_toyon.html
http://nature.berkeley.edu/comtf/pdf/Tribal/Tribal_uses_for_Toyon.pdf
http://www.bewaterwise.com/gardensoft/plant_description.aspx?PlantID=451

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Coffeeberry at Heron Pointe, 9/12/10

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Toyon, aka "Hollywood", Heron Pointe, 9/12/10

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Milkweed (from South America, Asclepias curassavica) Heron Pointe, 9/12/10

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Yarrow (white flowering plant), Heron Pointe, 9/12/10

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Path at Heron Point Cultural Education Center, landscaped with California Native Plants, 8/1/09

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Beginning portion of Heron Pointe Path with no California Native Plants

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Example of Heron Pointe path in areas with well established CA native plants

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Native plant, California Lilac, Heron Pointe, 4/11/09

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California native plant, Cleveland Sage, Gum Grove Park, 4/11/09

 

   

Invasive species, Artichoke Thistle
The four pictures below show this highly invasive plant.  Artichoke Thistle smothers native plants and is very difficult to remove.  Artichoke Thistle propagates by seed and usually does not stray too far from the parent plant unless the seed is disturbed.  Each flower bud produces 600-800 seeds.  The plant's tap root is 6-9 feet deep making digging it up very difficult and if all the roots are not all removed it will just sprout up again.  One acre of land heavily invested can have up to 22,000 plants.  Research suggests pruning the leaves and flower buds can help to prevent spreading but this must be done at precisely the right growth time and repeated through certain seasons, every three weeks and you still have the problem of the deep tap root.  This highly invasive non-native is found all over Gum Grove Park, Heron Pointe and the Hellman Ranch area of Los Cerritos Wetlands. 

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Artichoke Thistle in bloom, Gum Grove Park, 4/19/08

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Young Artichoke Thistle, Gum Grove Park, 4/11/09

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Artichoke Thistle (foreground), 4/19/08

 

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Artichoke Thistle, dies off in the summer/fall. 9/12/10

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Artichoke Thistle, 4/19/08

   

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Poison Hemlock (very toxic, not native, 4/20/08)

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Purple spots on Poison Hemlock stems, positive identifier, 5/20/10

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Poison Hemlock (very toxic, not native), 4/19/08

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Jimson or Loco Weed (toxic), NOT Native to California, 4/20/08

Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium), not a native -- all parts of this plant are toxic

This plant was introduced to the US, from Europe or Asia.  It is found throughout the country including in Gum Grove Park, Heron Point and Los Cerritos Wetlands.  Causes hallucinations and can cause death. 

References:
http://www.caf.wvu.edu/~forage/weedsolu/jimsonwd.htm
http://bss.sfsu.edu/holzman/courses/Spring%2005%20projects/jimsonweed.htm

Other Non-native plants:
Includes Blue Gum Eucalyptus, non native grasses, black mustard.

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Pretty, but the yellow & white daisy type flowers are not native, Gum Grove 5/11/10

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Closeup of the non-native daisy type flowers at Gum Grove, 5/20/10

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Another common invasive, tree tobacco, 8/15/09

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Black Mustard (young plant), non native, invasive, 9/12/10

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Gum Grove Park, Spring Picture (4-19-08), non-native plants

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Gum Grove Park, Summer Picture (8-1-09), non-native plants

Link to Seal Beach Daily's Gum Grove Park Plants & Animals pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31948618@N08/sets/72157615348506518/

Los Cerritos Wetlands Stewardship document, has native and non native plant lists found in Los Cerritos Wetlands:
http://www.intoloscerritoswetlands.org/backend/PDF/other_lcwa-stewardship.pdf

San Gabriel River history...native plants found here before development included, and other Long Beach/Seal Beach/Los Cerritos Wetlands area historical facts:
http://www.greenvisionsplan.net/html/documents/SGRreport.pdf

News Article, Hellman Ranch property soon to be added to the publically owned Los Cerritos Wetlands (Gum Grove & Heron Pointe overlook this wetlands parcel):
http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_15904806