Friday, September 9, 2016

Gathering and Sowing Native Seeds

Here crews are harvesting hayfield tarplant –a common native grassland species--near the eastern shore of the Lower Crystal Springs Reservoir. They will be part of a special seed mix that we’ll disperse nearby to help restore habitat later this fall when the soil is wet from the first rains and the weather is cool. 
Other native grass and forb seeds we’ve been collecting for the mix include yarrow, yampah, tufted hair grass, and Crystal Springs lessingia. We use locally harvested seeds for our new habitat sites whenever possible because they are so well suited to our watershed’s unique climate, soils, and hydrological conditions .

Later this fall, watch for the displays of Crystal Springs lessingia. Though rare, it happens to be abundant on our watershed’s serpentine grasslands, where it produces swathes of pink or lavender along I-280 when it flowers in the fall. 

                                Crystal Springs lessingia in bloom.

The removal of non-native trees and understory plants continues along the mid-section of the Sawyer Camp Trail through October. We’ll be hydroseeding those newly opened areas with native serpentine grass seeds too—and acorn plantings will follow.   

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