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Know Your Native Plants (An Ojai Plant Identification Hike)

March 19, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

$35

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Please use the REGISTER link at top or bottom of this page to sign up before clicking on the PayPal button at the bottom of the page to secure your space. The PayPal cost includes their fee. If you prefer, when you register you may request instructions for mailing in a check for $35/person.

Are you one of the many hikers who walk our Southern California trails and wonder what is growing and flowering around you? Maybe you don’t care that much about their uses? Just want to know what they are? You are not alone. On Saturday, March 19, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, I will lead a native plant identification hike designed for you on the Rice Canyon Trail on the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s Ventura River Preserve. This will not be my typical herb walk discussing edible and medicinal plants. We will simply identify native plants on the trail, most of which can be found throughout Southern California. Then, afterwards, you will receive a list by email of all the plants we saw, including their common names, scientific names, and the plant families to which they belong.

With a helping hand and/or the use of walking sticks, we’ll boulder-cross or wade through a narrow, shallow stretch of the Ventura River and head up toward the shade of the canyon. We’ll meet a diverse group of plants representing the Coastal Sage Scrub, Chaparral, and Riparian Woodland plant communities of Southern California. Other than the short water crossing, this is an easy-to-moderate hike of 2 miles round-trip with sections of mild elevation gain and a few short hills to climb. We’ll stop often to identify native plants. We’ll also discuss conservation concerns and the local ecology, including the recovery of this area since the December 2017 Koenigstein fire.

Yes, I will have my book, Medicinal Herbs of California, available for purchase and signing before the walk to use as a field guide and, yes, you’re encouraged to ask questions, but I will spend minimal time talking about that aspect of the plants, focusing instead on their identifying characteristics and their role in the ecosystem.

The book that I recommend for identifying plants on this hike (and on all our local trails) is Milt McAuley’s Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains. It turns out that every plant we will see in this canyon west of Ojai is also found in the Santa Monica Mountains. If Milt had named his book Wildflowers of Southern California, that would have been a more accurate and appealing name, at least for those who know that, botanically, every flowering plant is a wildflower, whether or not it has a showy flower. I will have that book with me, too, so that you can purchase it without paying for shipping and handling. You may be happy to know that in 2022 I dropped the price of this book from $19.95 to $14.95.

Please note: This hike will go on RAIN OR SHINE with the exception of a heavy downpour that morning and/or a forecast of an 80-100% chance of heavy rain that day. No dogs or smoking, please.

The cost for the hike is $35/person. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, stewards of this Preserve, for trail maintenance.

Please use the REGISTER link at top or bottom of this page to sign up before clicking on the PayPal button at the bottom of the page to secure your space. The PayPal cost includes their fee. If you prefer, when you register you may request instructions for mailing in a check for $35/person.

REGISTER




Details

Date:
March 19, 2022
Time:
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Cost:
$35

Venue

Oso Trailhead, Ventura River Preserve
701 Oso Road
Ojai, CA 93023 United States
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