Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Proposal of Plants for McKinley Square Hillside

Community member Peggy L.L. composed a list of potential plants for the serpentine hillside along McKinley Square.  We are aiming to have a planting day in early November, before the holidays, and early January, after the holidays.

The focus of the plants will be sustainable native plants that grow on Serpentine soil.   These plant are aimed at promoting endangered native wild life such as the Mission Blue butterfly.

Peggy has supplied an extensive list, and it will be paired down for the planting efforts, as we will not be able to obtain and plant everything, and we will likely add other sustainable/native plants to this list as well.   If you would like to join us in helping planning (and/or potentially donating towards) please join our meeting tonight, or email us at:


Notes on Plants for Serpentine Grasslands and Other Native Plant Possibilities for McKinley Square

From California Native Grasslands Association
·       Remnant serpentine grasslands are among the most endangered ecosystems in the Bay Area
·       The serpentine prairie includes a wide variety of native grasses including Meadow barley, Bentgrass, California brome, Purple needlegrass*, California oatgrass, Big squirreltail and Blue wildrye. Other rare plants include the spring wildflower, Clarkia franciscana.  [*Purple needlegrass will not be planted as it is a potential hazard for dogs. ]
·       My thoughts: Deer grass is not mentioned but as listed above there are lots of other options some of which we can get from the San Bruno Mountain Nursery or from Larner Seeds.

Bunchgrasses of San Francisco and where they are found
·       Nassella Pulchra, Bromus carinatus found at Starr King
·       Danthonia californica (california oat grass) at McClaren
·       Deschampsia caespitosa (tufted hairgrass) at McClaren
·       Elymus glaucus (blue wild rye) East and West sides of the city
·       Festuca californica (california fescue) East and West sides of the city
·       Melica californica (red fescue) Bay View Hill

Flowers at Starr King photos at the end of the file. In addition to those flowers, the following could be found in serpentine grasslands
·       Silver bush lupines
·       Lupine varicolor
·       California golden violet or Johnny jump ups (Viola pedunculata)
·       Mule ears (Wyethia helenioides)
·       Shooting stars (dodecatheon clevelandii ssp patulum)
·       Allium unifolium
·       Dutchman’s pipe vineAristolochia californica
·       Solidago californica (California Goldenrod)
·       Chinese houses (Collinsia heterophylla)
·       Foothill penstemon Penstemon heterophyllus
·       Stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium)

Skyline Serpentine Prairie Plant List 6/17/11
·       Bicolored Linanthus ( LInanatus bicolor)
·       Blue Elderberry (Sambucus mexicana)
·       Bush Monkey Flower ( Mimulus aurantiacus)
·       Blue-eyed Grass ( Sysyrinchium bellum)
·       California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
·       Climbing Morning Glory (Calystegia purpurata ssp.purpurata)
·       Clover (Trifolium sp.)
·       Cream Cups (Platystemon californicus)
·       Goldfields (Lasthenia californica)
·       Gum Plant  (Grindelia sp.)
·       Hayfield Tarweed (Hemizonia congesta ssp. luzulifolia)
·       Ithuriel’s Spear (Triteleia laxa)
·       Presidio Clarkia  (Clarkia franciscana)
·       Seep- Spring Monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus)
·       Soap -plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum var. divaricatum)
·       Sticky Rosinweed (Calycadenia multiglandulosa).
·       Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
·       Yellow Mariposa Tulip (Calochortus luteus)

Potential native tree species that were found on Potrero Hill include coast live oaks, buckeyes, pacific madrone, toyon (large tree like shrub), knobcone pines, Islais cherry (Prunus iliciflora). There are 4 redwoods that look less than 100 years old though very large at 20th near Carolina.

Here is a list of plants that could go under the pines (none of the existing pines or Monterey Cyprus would be there).
From Las Positas Nursery website:  Plants for closed pine forest (like a knobcone pine)
Arctostaphylos manzanita
Armeria maritime (sea thrift)
Ceonothus (wild lilac)
Danthonia californica
California Oat Grass
Sticky Monkey Flower
Equisetum hymale
Wood strawberry
Hummingbird sage
Gaultheria shallon
Heuchera micrantha
Douglas iris Iris douglasiana
Lonicera involucrata ledebourii
Lupinus arboreus
Monardella subglabra
Myrica californica
Wax myrtle
Ribes sanguineum glutinosum Red and pink flowering currant
Rubus ursinus
Satureja douglasii
Yerba Buena mint
Vaccinium ovatum

Aquilegia Formosa  and Calystegia purpurata (E. Greene) Brummitt ssp. Purpurata, Zauschneria (California Fuschia) and Asclepias speciosa showy milkweed (for the Monarchs), and California wood rose Rosa gymnocarpa could also work under the trees. Lonicera hispidula (hairy honeysuckle) is found in Oak forests.

Possibilities for habitat and or corridors – Bay checkerspot, Mission blue butterfly, Callipe silverspot,

Places to get plants/seeds to keep genetics as local as possible – Haight Ashbury Native Plant Nursery, Larner Seeds, San Bruno Mountain Nursery, Bay Natives (though pricey plants are great). Can we purchase plants through the Presidio Native Plant Nursery?

This plant list has sample images from Starr King Openspace, our neighbor on Potrero Hill.

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