Within the overall Mediterranean theme, there are two areas that have been proposed for natives: the large newly constructed slope along the bike path (“the slope”), and the area NE of the greenhouse (“Maritime Chaparral”).
8 CA Plant Community Sections (suggested communities - feel free to edit!)
Site Description and Seeding Plan
The soil is imported by the construction company, and is currently exposed, poor, and sandy. The area has southwest exposure and is mostly in part or full shade, with a small strip (~15’ wide?) adjacent to the path appearing to get midday sun for up to a few hours. To help stabilize the bare soil, the area will be seeded with a mix of native bunch grasses to be spread and raked in when the rains start (~Nov). (Hopefully the soil isn’t full of weed seeds, but even if they come up their roots help to stabilize the soil...perhaps we could wait to pull them ~flowering time, before they go to seed?) To increase the value to wildlife, we could add locally native wildflower seeds; the following are doing well outside Thornton: Clarkia unguiculata, coastal CA poppy, Chinese houses, tidytips, phlox, farewell-to-spring. The greenhouse can supply specimens of Festuca californica and Kohleria macranth, other suggested species are: Nassella cernua, N. lepida, or N. pulchra, Deschampsia caespitosa, Leymus condensatu Canyon Prince”, Danthonia californica, Carex praegracilis, Carex barbarae, Muhlenbergia rigens (needs sun). We should try a few packets (~$5 each) of perennial seeds from Larner: i.e. Plantago subnuda, Eriogonum latifolium grande var. rubescens, Eriophyllum confertiflorum.
It’s likely that that people wanting to walk from the mall to the parking garage will cut through the corner - to prevent erosion this would be a good place to have a small path down the slope. The concrete wall could be painted with a mural and/or planted with Clematis and Aristolochia (may need attachment).
Plant Community Sections:
Each section would represent a plant community that is appropriate for the exposure and drainage of that site. This area will need occasional hand weeding during the first few years, but hopefully we can irrigate as little as possible. Names in bold are suggested dominant plants.
The first four communities are in the sun adjacent to the bike path, starting at the top. (Do we need garbage/recycling/map here? Maybe a do not disturb the neighbors sign?) This area of the slope gets the most sun as well as good drainage.
Paeonia californica (greenhouse)
Eriogonum latifolium grande var. rubescens (Annie’s, Larner)
Dune/Coastal Strand - further down the bike path the plants could transition to following mainland coastal plants:
Baccharis pilularis pilularis Pigeon Point - 1 individual
Camissonia cheiranthifolia (ssp. suffruticosa locally native at Annies)
Ceanothus gloriosus gloriosus Pt. Reyes Ceanothus
Plantago subnuda - coastal plantain (by seed from Larner; hostplant for threatened Bay checkerspot butterfly)
Coastal Prarie/ Grassland
Other assorted bunchgrasses...
Coastal Sage Scrub
- the last of the sunny sections.
- 1 individual
- 1 individual - plant is up to 25’x25’.
Erysimum franciscanum var. crassifolium
(could propagate from greenhouse; Also at Annie’s)
The rest of the area is in either full or part shade from the eucalyptus (there is also one coast live oak and an acacia), and could contain the following:
Mixed Evergreen Forest
Closed-cone Pine Forest?
This is the “bioswale” - full shade, seasonally moist, with occasional flooding, but these plants are drought tolerant once established.
(greenhouse; donated by Connor lab)
On the northeast side of the greenhouse there is an area which receives full sun and contains a south-facing slope as well as a flat section where we could have:
Arctostaphylos spp. A. andersonii, A. crustacea, A. montereyensis, A. hookeri, A. pumila, *A. silvicola
, other maritime spp. (supplied by greenhouse or Parker lab?)
Ceanothus cuneatus, C. papillosus, C. thrysiflorus
(scrub oaks from the greenhouse)