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Yerba mansa is an unusual plant found in aquatic environments but adaptable to garden conditions. It can be fun to watch if you fancy making a wetland in a pot. Its odd cone shaped flowers are displayed on upright stems to one foot tall. Yerba mansa is native to creek and pond edges and found in the Read more…


Red ribbons (Clarkia concinna) can be best described as a pinwheel of hot pink blossoms in mid-spring. This annual wild flower comes to us primarily from the central and northern California Coast Ranges where it is found in open woodlands, forests and chaparral. Its four dark pink elongated petals sit in clusters at the tips of compact Read more…


Our local larval host plant for the monarch butterfly, the narrowleaf milkweed, feeds baby butterflies (caterpillars) and more. The tarantula hawk (in photo) also visits for a snack. Strong alkaloids in milkweed’s leaves can be poisonous to some herbivores, like cattle, but can be critical to feeding insects who evolved to tolerate ingested toxins as protection from Read more…