The Cedars in Early Spring
Sunday March 24, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Cancelled due to poor road conditions as a result of heavy rains.

The Cedars Conservation Area includes 6,000 acres of private and public lands around the headwaters to Austin Creek. The Cedars’ rock mass is overwhelmingly scenic. The serpentine habitats contain endemic, rare, and well-known plant species. Primary habitats we’ll traverse are riparian forests, Sargent cypress, woodlands, seeps, rocky ridges, serpentine chaparral, and open serpentine slopes.

Some likely blooms we’ll see are Cedars’ manzanita (Arctostaphylos bakeri ssp. sublaevis), common manzanita (A. manzanita), white leaf manzanita (A. viscida ssp. pulchella), Cedars’ milkmaid (Cardamine californica, Cedars form), checker lily (Fritillaria affinis), Indian warrior (Pedicularis densiflora), wallflower (Erysimum capitatum), serpentine spring-beauty (Claytonia exigua), musk brush (Ceanothus jepsonii), and Brewer’s willow (Salix breweri).
Endemic plants we may see include burgundy-leaf stream orchid (Epipactis gigantea forma rubrifolia), Cedars’ buckwheat (Eriogonum cedrorum), and Cedars’ oceanspray (Holodiscus dumosus var. cedrorum). Widespread species we’re likely to see include western azalea (Rhododendron occidentale), western spicebush (Calycanthus occidentalis), hoary coffee berry (Frangula californica ssp. tomentella), chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum), mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus betu¬loides), wavy leaf ceanothus (Ceanothus foliosus), and buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus).
We’re fortunate to have Roger Raiche leading us on the tour. Roger, who was director of the UC Botanical Garden for over 20 years, first explored the site in 1981 and acquired a portion of it in 1999. Roger is known for his encyclopedic knowledge of plants and has three plant species named for him. There is a considerable amount of information pertaining to The Cedars that can be accessed via Roger’s company’s website, (click on the link to The Cedars).

The logistics for this adventure are challenging. It is an hour drive from the meeting place in Duncans Mills to the trailhead, and the last four miles of the road are dirt and have seven stream crossings. We’ll need several 4-wheel drive/high-clearance vehicles and therefore, ask participants to sign up ahead of time and indicate if they have a suitable vehicle and are willing to drive others. Participation is limited to 20 people.

The field trip will cover 3 miles, including moderate and steep slopes. Participants should bring lunch, water, and hiking poles. We plan to leave the canyon around 3:30 to return everyone to their car by 4:30.

To sign up, email Susan Schlosser at and indicate whether you can be a driver.

$25 contribution requested.

Leader: Roger Raiche

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