Carolyn Longstreth led an enthusiastic group to sample the seasonal plants at Tomales Bay State Park.

Starting at the trailhead on Pierce Point Road, we hiked down the Johnstone trail which initially goes through the Bishop pine and mixed hardwood forest, and later descends through a swamp area to Pebble Beach.

After lunch at the beach, we explored the freshwater wetland area next to the beach, and then continued on the Johnstone trail towards Heart’s Desire Beach. The Jepson trail took us back to the trailhead.

Some of the plants seen were Corethrogyne filaginifolia (sand-aster), Frangula californica (coffee-berry), Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting), Lonicera hispidula (pink honeysuckle), Toxicodendron diversilobum (poison oak), Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon), Notholithocarpus densiflorus var. densiflorus (tanbark oak), Mimulus aurantiacus (sticky bush monkeyflower), Galium californicum (California bedstraw), Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens (western bracken fern), Polystichum munitum (sword fern), Morella californica (wax-myrtle), Vaccinium ovatum (evergreen huckleberry), Elymus californicus (California bottle-brush grass), Rosa gymnocarpa (wood rose), Arctostaphylos glandulosa subsp. cushingiana (Cushing manzanita), Arctostaphylos virgata (Marin manzanita), Chrysolepis chrysophylla var. chrysophylla (golden chinquapin), Campanula californica (California marsh harebell), Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern), Cystopteris fragilis (brittle fern), Rhododendron columbianum (western Labrador tea), Scirpus microcarpus (broad-leafed bulrush), Sambucus racemosa (red-berried elder) Mimulus moschatus (musk monkeyflower), Stachys chamissonis (coastal large hedge-nettle), Woodwardia fimbriata (chain fern), Cicuta maculata ssp. bolanderi (water hemlock), Rumex occidentalis (giant marsh dock), Schoenoplectus americanus (winged three-square), Sparganium erectum (bur-reed), and Garrya elliptica (silk tassel).

Thanks to Carolyn Longstreth for leading this hike.

Text and photos by Vernon Smith.

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