AWNING WINDOW CRANK
DEEP SHADE SHRUBS - SHADE SHRUBS
DEEP SHADE SHRUBS - THE SHADE GARDEN.
Deep Shade Shrubs
Chaparral in Poway, California
I believe this area is still recovering from wildfire a few years back.
Chaparral habitat can support a wide variety of animals. Natural communities near the coast in Southern California are like a swirling mosaic of grassland, scrub, chaparral, woodland, and forests. Spanish explorers adopted the word 'chaparral' from the Spanish 'chaparro', a low growing type of vegetation.
Chaparral covers about 10 million acres of California. Many important watersheds are vegetated with chaparral and it occupies the same 300 to 3,000 foot elevation belt as grassland, savanna, and woodland. These communities coil and mix into each other because of local differences in soil depth and chemistry, frequency of wildfire, and aspect of slopes.
It may be an impenetrable layer of shrubs 4 - 8 ft tall with evergreen, sclerophyllous leaves, and intricate canopies. The ground is usually bare and stony although in this picture, and many places, prickly with invasive thistle plants. Other common native plants in chaparral (particularly in the Central Valley) are Scrub Oak (Quercus dumosa), Toyon, California Coffeeberry, and more than 20 species of manzanita and ceanothus. An occasional California Bay Laurel Tree (Umbellularia californica) or Foothill Pine may stand out. Most chaparral shrubs are twiggy rather than leafy. Many leaves will be small and vertically oriented, casting little shade and conserving water. Chaparral is a drought-tolerant landscape cover.
Development of chaparral may be economically unwise. Fire is an integral part of this landscape, possibly exposing nearby homeowners to intense chaparral fire (intensity of 12,000 BTUs per second per foot in winds of only six miles per hour, and soil surface temperatures of 1,000 degrees F - hot enough to melt aluminum - which may persist for as long as 20 minutes on the surface. Fire bombs of hot air and burning wood can be hurled easily tens of yards).
Roots and seeds and animals in burrows deeper than 4 inches may be merely warmed for a few minutes. Some seeds will lay for decades in the soil until a fire will scorch their coat enough to crack open and germinate. In many places chaparral fires follow each other on a natural 20-25 year cycle. It is rare to find unburned chaparral strand older than 50 years. When such old strands do burn, the firestorms are especially intense from the accumulated biomass.
Managing fires in chaparral vegetation is controversial. It means major changes in landscape, watershed, and natural diversity of an area. Chaparral has a natural resilience and relation to fire, that is important to consider.
Florida Coffee berries glisten in the morning sun
Shiny Leafed Wild Coffee is a shade tolerant native shrub with flowers that attract butterflies and fruits that attract birds. The shiny leaves are an attractive, eye catching addition to any yard.
Wild Coffee will grow in sun or shade. It tends to grow taller (up to 10 ft.) and spread out more (up to 8 ft.) in a shady setting while full sunlight keeps the plant smaller. Wild Coffee does well in a wide range of soils from acidic to alkaline and is moderately drought tolerant. It does not tolerate freezing which explains why South Florida is the northern extent of this plants range. Aside from Florida it is a common understory shrub in the West Indies, Southern Mexico, Central America and some areas in South America.
Early settlers in Florida brewed a coffee substitute drink from the seeds of this plant.
Wild Coffee, Psychotria nervosa, Rubiaceae
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Miami, FL.
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