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Moosa Creek Blog
NOV
1

More Rare and Endangered Plants

Creekside Chat

 Last month’s Creekside Chat focused on critically endangered native plants grown by Moosa Creek. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists plants and animals by state, and  The Nature Conservancy has created a ranking system where 1 is critically endangered and 5 is secure. This month we’ll continue with the plants that are listed as ‘2’.

Many endangered plants are the subtle ones, those that don’t have showy displays but work away in the background building soil and feeding native insects. Overlooking and discounting these quiet plants leads to their extinction, and undermines our delicate ecosystem. Many of these plants are used in restoration work and as they are not commonly ordered for retail customers, have limited availability unless upon demand. You can give some of these unsung heroes a home in your yard as well; just ask.

A thorny but fragrant endangered plant is the aptly named Spineshrub. This chaparral native is excellent for both erosion control and privacy, as it will grow 4’ x 8’ and can be used as a barrier plant. It can be used near Shaw’s Agave which is now rarely found north of the Mexican border. This long-lived and curvaceous succulent grows in clusters. To stay with the thorny theme, San Diego Barrel Cactus can be grown in any frost-free, sunny area.

Pacific Stone Crop is a creeping sedum with rounded fleshy leaves and tiny star-like flowers. It grows quickly, and makes an excellent container or rock garden plant. Not-so-subtle sunny yellow flowers adorn this coastal beauty, Beach Coreopsis. It tolerates sand and wind, but not frost nor harsh inland sunshine where it can be grown in partial shade

While out on your next hike, take notice every season of the unshowy plants. They are helping to keep the ecosystem working. Take the time to identify them and appreciate them, as without them our habitat suffers.

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