Plant information sheets for talk 'Fabulous Fruits' - April, 2014. Features California native fruits.
- 1. *Madrone Arbutus menziesii (ar-BYOO-tus menz-ESS-ee-eye ) Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family) Native to: West Coast of N. America from British Columbia to Baja. Locally in the San Gabriels; dry foothills, wooded slopes and canyons in oak, redwood, mixed evergreen forests and chaparral at elevations from 300 to 4,000 feet (in California). Growth characteristics: woody tree mature height: 50-100+ ft. mature width: 25-50 ft. Majestic large woody evergreen tree, must often with several trunks. Crown is broad and spreading with large, heavy branches. Mature bark is shed, exposing new red bark. Leaves leathery, glossy green on top and lighter below, simple 3-5 inches. A very handsome tree. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring, March-May depending on weather. Flowers small, white and urn- shaped (like manzanita) in large terminal clusters. Very showy in bloom. Fruits are pea-size, orange to red-brown, bumpy and quite showy. Fruits are edible if cooked or dried can be used to make a cider-like beverage, or for distinctive jellies or syrups. Uses in the garden: Most often used as an ornamental shade tree (throughout the world). Very dramatic looking but a bit messy. Does well on slopes and is good for erosion control. Many parts of the plant were used medicinally by Native Californians. Sensible substitute for: Non-native trees. Attracts: Excellent habitat plant: provides cover, nest sites and fruits for birds. Dark-eyed junco, fox sparrow, robin, cedar waxwing, band-tailed pigeon, quail and mammals love the fruit. Mature trees provide homes for secondary cavity nesters such as the acorn woodpecker, downy woodpecker, mountain chickadee, house wren, and western bluebird. Bees are pollinators. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Part-shade (when young) to full sun. Soil Most local soils, from sandy to clay, if well-draiined; best in pH < 7.5 Water Needs adequate winter/spring rain; mature trees drought tolerant (Water Zone 1-2) Fertilizer None needed Other Bark mulch is fine. Management: Plant in summer-dry area when small. Dont splash water on trunk or leaves susceptible to fungal disease. Prune in summer only as needed. Susceptible to insect pests. Propagation: from seed: cold-moist treat 2 months; difficult by cuttings: ? hardwood; sem-soft Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 8, 11, 13, 14, 24, 32 3/31/14 * not native to western Los Angeles County, but a CA native Project SOUND
2. *Black (Douglas) hawthorn Crataegus douglasii (krah-TEE-gus doug-LAS-ee-eye) Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family) Native to: Western of N. America from AK to N. CA, NM; open woodlands, riparian corridors, wet meadows, thickets, roadsides and coastal bluffs to 5000 ft, generally on deep, fine-textured soils. Growth characteristics: woody shrub/tree mature height: 20-30 ft. mature width: 15-20 ft. Winter-deciduous woody shrub/tree with sturdy arcing branches. Can be pruned up to tree shape, but may sucker. Plant has stout, sharp thorns, hence the name. Older bark rough, gray and scaly; new bark red-brown. Leaves rounded, simple, pleasant medium-dark green. Slow grower strong wood. Strong, deep root system. Bark and leaves were used medicinally by Native Americans. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring March to May. Flowers small, white in dense clusters showy in bloom. Flowers have somewhat fishy scent attracts butterflies and other small pollinator insects. Dark red/purple fruits look like small apple (1/3-1/2 inch) and are edible; ripen in fall. Fruits make wonderful jelly, syrup, tea, wine, even tarts/pastries (but they are seedy). Uses in the garden: Makes a nice shade tree if pruned up. Good choice for hedgerow, hedge or screen. Wonderful addition to habitat or edibles garden. Good on slopes, for erosion control. Pleasant large shrub that probably should be used more often in gardens. Sensible substitute for: Non-native shrubs and small trees. Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: provides cover, nest sites and winter food. Flowers attract butterflies, insect pollinators. Larval host plant for Gray Hairstreak, Mourning Cloak butterflies. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Part-shade best in our area; full sun to shade in native range. Soil Likes deep fine-textured soils with humus (add compost); pH: slightly acid (4.5-7.5) Water Regular to moderate Water Zones 2 to 3. Fertilizer strength fertilizer fine; a top-dressing of compost would be appreciated Other Organic mulch Management: Prune when dormant (winter); remove suckers. Fall leaf-fall. Other than that, easy. Propagation: from seed: 2-3 month cold-moist treatment by cuttings: ? hard- or semi-softwood Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 8, 13 3/31/14 * not native to western Los Angeles County, but a CA native Project SOUND 3. *Netleaf hackberry Celtis reticulata/ C. laevigata var. reticulata (SEL-tiss ree-tic-cu-LAY-tuh ) Family: Cannabaceae (Hemp Family) Native to: Scattered through western N. America from KS and WA to CA. Locally in foothills of Riverside & San Bernardino Counties, Mojave Desert; usually in bottomlands, washes, ravines, arroyos or rocky canyons, with scattered individuals in desert shrubland/grassland communities. Growth characteristics: woody shrub/tress mature height: 10-30+ ft. mature width: 20-30 ft. Deciduous woody shrub or small tree. Short trunk and open wide spreading crown with crooked branches forms rounded or weeping shape. Bark gray, cork-like. Leaves simple, dark green with toothed margin, prominent veins beneath and a sandpapery texture. Moderate to slow growth; long-lived (at least 100 years). Attractive even in winter, when it loses its leaves. Blooms/fruits: Blooms March-May. Flowers small, yellow-green, inconspicuous. Fruits are fleshy, dark red when ripe and sweet. Edible raw or cooked and make nice jelly, syrup or sauces. Uses in the garden: Mostly used as a water-wise shade tree throughout West. Nice size for yards, patios. Fine with winter flooding, so a candidate for rain gardens. Excellent habitat plant. Tough but pleasing appearance: tolerates heat, cold, garden conditions. Leaves/branches for redbrown dye. Sensible substitute for: Non-native shade trees. Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: provides cover, nest sites and fruits that persist on tree in winter. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to part-shade. Soil Likes well-drained soils; tolerant of alkali soils. Water Tolerant of wide range but drought-tolerant once establish. Water infrequently, but deeply, in summer (Water Zone 1-2 or even 2). Fertilizer Not needed. Fine with light fertilizer. Other Inorganic or thin organic mulch layer is best. Management: Prune when young to raise canopy, produce interesting shape. Other than that, pretty easy to manage. Some fruit drop and leaf drop in fall/winter. Propagation: from seed: fresh best (120 day cold/moist for stored); slow by cuttings: yes Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 5, 8, 10, 16, 19, 30, 31, 45 3/30/14 * not native to western Los Angeles County, but a CA native Project SOUND 4. * Western Serviceberry Amelanchier alnifolia (am-el-AN-keer all-nih-FOE-lee-uh) Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family) Native to: Western North America from CA to AK. Locally in western San Gabriels; usually on slopes near streams or dry creeks, or in open woodlands in full sun to part shade. Growth characteristics: woody shrub mature height: 6-12+ ft. mature width: 6-10 ft. Upright, woody shrub to small tree. Leaves simple, oval, dull green and winter-deciduous. In colder climates, leaves become yellow/orange in fall. Bark smooth, gray or reddish. Plants can form multiple trunks from suckering roots. Moderate to slow growth; long-lived (50+ years). Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring (Apr-Jun). Flowers are pure white, fragrant, in compact clusters. Plants are very showy in bloom and bloom may last up to a month. Small, sweet, dark-blue berries ripen in early summer. Fruits are good fresh, dried, in baking or for preserves and sauces even for wine or teas. Use berries as one would blueberries. Youll have to fight the birds for them! Uses in the garden: Nice all-purpose shrub for shrub borders, hillsides & slopes, as a tall hedge or screen. Excellent addition to an edibles garden. Can be trained to a single-trunk tree or even espaliered along a wall. Sensible substitute for: Non-native large shrubs. Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: thrushes, towhees, bluebirds, waxwings, orioles, tanagers, grosbeaks, goldfinches, juncos eat the fruit. Foliage eaten by swallowtail and other butterfly larvae. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to part-shade (even fairly shady). Soil Any well-drained soil quite tolerant; likes lower pH (5.0-7.0 optimal) Water Moist to dry soils Zones 2 to 2-3 best. Fertilizer Mulch well with an organic mulch Other Management: Pruning as needed. Can be pruned to shape even severely but retain last years growth for good fruit production. Fire Blight and fungal diseases possible with regular irrigation. Propagation: from seed: cold-moist treatment; plant in spring by cuttings: yes Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1, 6, 8, 10, 13 4/1/09 * Native to CA but not to Western L.A. Co. Project SOUND 5. * Oregon Grape Mahonia (Berberis) aquifolium (ma-HOE-nee-uh a-kwi-FOE-lee-um) Family: Berberidaceae (Barberrry Family) Native to: Western N. America from N. Mexico to British Columbia; locally, in the San Gabriel Mtns. On slopes and in canyons in coniferous forest, oak woodland and chaparral. Growth characteristics: woody shrub mature height: 3-6+ ft. mature width: 2-6 ft. Upright, mound-shaped evergreen shrub. Stems are stiff, often un-branched. Leaves are stiff, dark green, leathery and holly-like. Quite showy. Moderate growth rate and lifespan (20+ years). Produces suckers from rhizomes. Blooms/fruits: Blooms early late winter to early spring. Flowers are bell-shaped, butter-yellow, in showy clusters. Flowers have sweet fragrance like honey. Fruits are dark blue, grape-like, ripening in summer. Fruits are tart can be eaten raw or used for juice, syrup or jellies. Uses in the garden: Most often used as an ornamental accent shrub or foundation plant. Works well as a hedge, particularly in shady areas. Can be used as a tall groundcover. Roots and bark make a bright yellow dye. Good for fall/winter leaf color. Cultivar Compactum is smaller (to 3 ft.). Sensible substitute for: Non-native hollies and other shrubs with unusual foliage. Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: fruit-eating birds love the berries. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Part-shade to full shade. Soil Just about any, including heavy clays. Any local pH fine. Water Moist to dry (Zones 2 to 3). Fertilizer Light fertilizer fine Other Likes an organic mulch. Management: Prune out old stems and undesired suckers. Other than that, easy to grow. Propagation: from seed: cold/moist treatment by cuttings: hard & soft-wood, divisions Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1, 3, 7-9, 11, 13, 14, 20, 28 2/17/11 * CA native plant but not native to Western L.A. county Project SOUND 6. *Fremonts mahonia Berberis (Mahonia) fremontii (BER-ber-is (ma-HO-nee-uh) free-MON-tee-eye ) Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry Family) Native to: The U.S. Southwest, including foothills of the Peninsular Ranges and South and Eastern Mojave Desert; on well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils on upper bajadas and moderate slopes in Desert Chaparral, Pinyon-Juniper Woodland, Joshua Tree Woodland (3000-5000 ft. elev.). Growth characteristics: woody shrub/small tree mature height: 6-10 ft. mature width: 5-10 ft. Upright, evergreen shrub or small tree with stiff, open branch pattern and rounded overall shape. Leaves are compound, blue-green color and dull; leaflets have spine-tipped margins (like a holly). Bark is red when young; furrowed and gray when mature. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring or early summer April to June. Flowers are small, bright yellow and in clusters. Flowers attract native pollinators and are sweetly fragrant. Fruits are fleshy berries, 1/3 to inch diameter, dark blue-purple when ripe. Like all Mahonias, fruits are edible but tart. Best used cooked for jellies, syrup or birds will eat what you dont pick. Uses in the garden: Most useful as an attractive water-wise shrub or pruned up into a tree. Fine choice for hedgerow or large screen. Adds foliage color and leaf texture to garden. Roots and bark used medicinally by Native Americans. Roots also produce a bright yellow dye. Leaves are prickly. Sensible substitute for: Non-native shrubs like holly. Attracts: Excellent habitat plant: provides cover, nectar (pollinators) and fruits for birds. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to part-shade; probably best with afternoon shade in many local gardens. Soil Any well-drained; pH: 6.0 to 8.0 Water Drought-tolerant once established; best treated as Zone 1-2 to 2 (occasional deep water in summer). Fertilizer strength probably OK, but not entirely necessary. Other Use inorganic or shallow organic mulch until established; let it self-mulch. Management: Hardy, easy care (but prickly leaves). Light pruning to hedge-shearing, if desired. Propagation: from seed: fresh, cleaned seed best; otherwise 2-3 mo. cold-moist by cuttings: yes Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 13 4/1/14 * not native to western Los Angeles County, but a CA native Project SOUND 7. *Silver buffaloberry Shepherdia argentea (shep-HER-dee-uh ar-JEN-tee-uh) Family: Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster Family) Native to: Western North America from Canada to CA, AZ, NM. Locally on Mt. Pinos (Ventura Co,); along streams, river bottoms, slopes in a variety of plant communities including woodland, pinyon- juniper, grasslands, coastal sage scrub and riparian from about 3000-6000 ft. Growth characteristics: woody shrub/small tree mature height: 6-15 ft. mature width: 6-10 ft. Mound-shaped large shrub or small deciduous tree with spiny twigs. Bark is silver gray, peeling, attractive. Leaves are simple, elongated and silver-green, waxy. Somewhat like an Olive tree in appearance. Roots include deep and shallow roots. Plants will sucker from roots. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring usually April-May. Plants are dioecious (separate male and female plants); need both sexes for fruit. Blooms appear before the leaves. Fruits are small (~ inch) red-brown or sometimes yellow, ripening in fall. Fruits are edible, and become sweeter after a frost. Mostly used cooked for jelly, syrup, beverages, sauces, etc. Uses in the garden: Makes a nice accent shrub or small tree. Excellent habitat or edible plant. Often used for hedgerows or windbreaks. Would make a nice background shrub. Important medicinal plant for Native Americans wherever it grows wild. Sensible substitute for: Non-native shrubs and small trees. Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: provides cover and fruits. Attracts many insects, including pollinator bees. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to part-shade (hot gardens) Soil Adaptable; any local pH. Water Adaptable; Near-regular water to occasional (Water Zone 2 or 2-3). Fertilizer Probably fine with light fertilizer. Other Organic mulch fine in our climate. Management: Prune as needed/desired. Remove suckers as needed. Beware of thorns when pruning or picking fruits. Low maintenance plant. Propagation: from seed: fresh seed best; otherwise, 2-3 cold-moist by cuttings: yes; also suckers Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 8, 11, 13, 14, 28, 42 4/2/14 * not native to western Los Angeles County, but a CA native Project SOUND 8. *Desert almond Prunus fasciculata (PROO-nus fas-sik-yoo-LAH (or LAY)-tuh ) Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family) Native to: Great Basin and Mojave Desert areas of UT, NV, AZ, CA and Baja CA, Mexico; dry foothills, dry streambeds, mountain slopes, mesas, alluvial terraces, and canyons in Creosote Bush Scrub, Joshua Tree Woodland, Pinyon-Juniper Woodland, Coastal Sage Scrub, Chaparral between 3000 and 6500 ft. elevation. Growth characteristics: woody shrub mature height: 3-9 ft. mature width: 3-5 ft. Many-branched deciduous shrub with stiff branches and a rounded habit. Leaves small, elongated and clustered in bundles (hence the name fasciculata). Bark gray. Branchtips may be spiny. This shrub truly has the appearance of a desert shrub. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring, usually March-April. Flowers small, white to yellow-white in the axils. Flowers too small to be really showy, but bee pollinators love them. Fruit resembles a small, fuzzy peach; about 1/3 to 1/2 inch long. The Cahuilla Indians considered the fruit a delicacy and are it raw, cooked or dried. Like all Prunus, the seed contains cyanins and is toxic. Uses in the garden: Usually used in desert gardens, often as a background shrub or hedge plant. Excellent choice for habitat plant. Very drought resistant and hardy. Good for roadsides, slopes and other difficult areas. Edible fruits and leaves used medicinally and for dye plant. Sensible substitute for: Non-native water-wise shrubs. Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: provides cover, fruits. Bees & butterflies like nectar. larval food for Burns' buckmoth Hemileuca burnsi. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun; needs at least 6 hours sun per day. Soil Well-drained soils; any local pH, including alkali Water Low needs; 1-2 times/month once established (Water Zone 1-2; perhaps 2). Fertilizer None needed; strength fertilizer occasionally would likely be fine. Other Inorganic mulch or very thin layer organic mulch. Management: Prune as needed for health. Very easy-care. Propagation: from seed: 2-3 mo. cold-moist treatment by cuttings: soft- and semi-soft, summer Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 6, 10, 16 4/1/14 * not native to western Los Angeles County, but a CA native Project SOUND