Despite its name, Asparagus Fern is actually a flowering plant and not a fern. It is a vine and has plenty of thorns, including every point a stem branches out. The Asparagus Fern does not have leaves but rather has Cladodes, which are leaf-like stems used for photosynthesis.
Bracken Fern is a vascular spore plant. When it produces spores it does so in sori on the underside of its leaves. Young stems, as the one in the photo, form as fiddle heads before uncurling.
Rough horetail is a spore plant with hollow segmented tubes for stems. When the plant readies to reproduce the tops of fertile stems have cones that hold the spores. At this time, only one stem still has this cone (middle left of the photo), since the cones on the rest of the stems have already fallen off.
Also called California Bindweed, this vine plant is in the Convolvulaceae family. It was medium sized white flowers. The leaves are a pointy arrowhead shape and mildly wavy.
Carrotwood is a tree in the Sapindaceae family. Its leaves are elliptical and smooth. A unique feature of its leaves are how they are not flat or curved but instead are wavy. This tree gets its name from the color of its wood underneath the bark. It is often used as an ornamental street tree because it looks nice.
Also called Sticky Monkey Flower, this small shrub is in the Phrymaceae family. The leaves of this plant are long and thin and are covered in wrinkles. The leaves are sticky, which is how it got its name. A few Arroy Willow seeds can be seen stuck to this plant due to the sticky nature of its leaves. The Sticky Monkey Flower in the bottom left of the photo is in better focus than the one in the center.
Arroyo Willow is a small tree in the Salicaceae family. It has long, thin leaves that bulge out a bit before the tip of the leave. The flowers of the Arroy Willow are catkin form, as shown in the picture.
Western Sycamore is a tall tree in the Platanaceae family. Its leaves are palmate, having 5 lobes. The bark of the Western Sycamore is a combination of grey and white, with splotches of both scattered across the bark. This tree's flowers, shown in the picture, are inflorescence balls with no petals.
California Buckwheat is a shrub in the Polygonaceae family. It grows commonly in dry chaparral areas. A defining feature of this plant is the clusters of tiny leaves that grows on its branches.
California Bay is a tree in the Lauraceae family. It has long, ellipse shaped, smooth leaves. But, the most noticeable characteristic of this tree is its very strong smell.
Dwarf nettle is a small annual herbaceous plant in the Urticaceae family. It is characterized triangular leaves growing out from the stem in opposite pairs. The leaves have grooves running through it where the veins are, and have toothed edges. Also, the leaves have small needles that sting if touched.
Mexican Devil is a perennial herbaceous plant in the Asteraceae family. It is characterized triangular leaves growing out from the stem in opposite pairs, so it looks quite similar to some nettle plants. This plant enjoys growing next to streams where there is plenty of water.
Turkey tail is a common fungus in the shelf fungus order (Polyporales). It gets its name from the color pattern of rings varying from brown to tan, visually similar to the tail of a turkey.
Toyon is a large shrub in the Rosaceae family. Its flowers are small and white, and they grow out in clusters from the end of branches. Toyon's leaves are long, coming to a soft point, and have jagged teeth around the perimeter.
A subspecies of the Western fence lizard. This reptile's brown body with a dark stripe along each of its sides give it excellent camouflage, this guy blends right in with the twigs on the ground.
Spiky plant in the Agavaceae family. When this plant flowers, its flower stock shoots out about 5 times taller than the original plant's size.
Integrade; red nape and brownish around eyes like Yellow-shafted (Eastern ssp.), with red malar and grayish face like Red-shafted (Western ssp.); orange in wings and tail. Veterans Park, Sylmar, Los Angeles, CA.
Ongoing project monitoring the biodiversity of the greater Pasadena area including Eaton Canyon, Hahamongna Watershed Park, the Arroyo Seco, Ernest Debs Park and the adjacent watershed areas.