Elsmere Canyon Plant Life

At the right time of the year (expecially around April and May), Elsmere Canyon contains a very diversified plant population. There are very few plants that I can identify. The following plants that are identified were by Dianne Erskine Hellrigel, Editor-in-Chief of the Santa Clarita based Community Hiking Club. This group goes out on many hikes, not only to Elsmere Canyon, but to all the canyons in Santa Clarita and other areas of Southern California. The hikes are open to the public.

Thanks Dianne.

Please Note: The land is publically owned and it is illegal to remove anything, including plants.

Oak 2919. Probably a Coast Live Oak

A very rare Humboldt Lily, my favorite plant in Elsmere Canyon. I have seen them at only one difficult to get to location in the canyon.

Same plant in 2008 about three years after previous picture was taken

Bush Lupine

Bush Lupine

Yerba Santa

Yellow Sweet Clover

Tree Tobacco

California Wild Blackberries at different stages of ripeness

California Wild Blackberry. Note the "hairy" stems. Poison oak stems are smooth.

Poison Oak. The leaves often turn red in the right season.

Dark green Poison Oak left of the lighter green California Wild Blackberry. They look very similar.

Poison Oak leaves, always a "threesome"

Berry leaves

White Hedge Nettle

Popcorn Flower

Sticky Monkey Flower

Caterpillar Phaceliar

Leaves from Milk Thistle. Fruits from Wild Cucumber (aka Manroot)

Annual Paintbrush


Moth Mullein

Moth Mullein

Creek Monkey Flower

Creek Monkey Flower

Western Morning Glory

Western Morning Glory

Willow Herb

Purple (or White depending on flowers) Hedge Nettle

Narrow Leaved Cattail

Narrow Leaved Cattail

Cobweb Thistle

Black Mustard

Golden Yarrow

Golden Yarrow

Golden Yarrow on the left and Sticky Monkey Flower on the right

Clarkia - probably Elegant Clarkia

Round Leaved Boykinia

California Everlasting (aka Pearly Everlasting)

California Everlasting

Canyon Dudleya

Canyon Dudleya

Canyon Dudleya

Chalk Dudleya (the succulent)


Yucca Whippelei

Red Willow

Chaparral Pea (aka Wild Sweet Pea)

Speckled Clarkia

Rabbit's Foot Grass



Coastal Lotus

Big Berry Manzanita


Ghostly Rubber Rabbitbrush in seed

Chaparral Currant

Area filled with ferns high up on the south face below the cliff

Closer view of ferns

Purple Nightshade

White Nightshade

(pink) Prickly Phlox

Bush Mallow

Gourds - Calabazilla (aka Stinking Gourd). Plant - Yerba Santa

Tamarisk - A non-native, invasive plant. If it was legal, the plant should be removed.

Scrub Oak

Wild flowers (mainly yellow California poppies) above the jack plant


You may have noticed that in early 2009 the MRCA has begun planting "native" plants at the bottom of the creek bed (photo taken on 5/2/2009)

12/26/2010. The new plants seem to be thriving.

They already tried this and failed where the road crosses the aqueduct. You may have seen the dead plants there. (photo taken 3/29/2009)


An MRCA ranger is hand watering here. They have installed sprinklers now.

12/26/2010. When will the MRCA quit using sprinkers?