Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beaudry Fire Road/ Verdugos

Oriental Mustard (above)
Strigose (hairy) lotus (above)
Miner's lettuce (above)
Canyon sweet pea amongst the Castor bean plant (above)
California blackberry (above)

California aster (above)
Longstem buckwheat (above)

Mt. Thom (above)
Sow thistle (above)
There's no such thing as a "weed" in the mountains in my opinion.
Red maids (above)
Harvested red maids shoots? (above)
Suncups (above)
Today was a fantastic hike up the North Beaudry fire road, and down the South Beaudry fire road in the Verdugos. Thanks Kate for the recommendation! This was a hike I will probably do again and again. I was blessed to cross paths with a few more specimens that are arriving on the scene.
At one point during the hike, I walked past a huge patch of miner's lettuce, some of the leaves as big as a sand dollar. I read somewhere that California gold miner's used to eat it to get a dose of Vitamin C, thus the name.
"I've got to eat some of this one of these days" I told myself. Never before have I had an impulse to eat anything I've seen on my hikes. A couple of minutes later, I was taking a picture of some of the Canyon sweet pea pods that were growing alongside a Castor bean plant. A jogger ran past me while I was taking a picture and yelled,
"Don't eat that!!! You know what it is right?!"
"Oh yeah" I said, even though I wasn't sure what he was referring to. (I must have looked hungry!)
Anyways, I looked up the Castor Bean plant on Wikepedia, and it was dubbed the most poisonous plant in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Here's a few statistics:
Consuming 4 seeds will kill a rabbit.
5 seeds, a sheep.
4 to 8 seeds, a human.
6 seeds, a horse.
7 seeds, a pig.
11 seeds, a dog.
80 seeds, a duck!
As it turns out, the canyon sweet pea is also poisonous. So either way, the jogger was right.
Also I came across a tiny patch of Red maids, a fantastic little flower. I found out they are also edible, at least the young shoots are. When I went home and looked at my pictures on the computer, I noticed that some of the shoots had been cut off. Perhaps, someone else had a snack on the trail recently?


  1. What? No photos of poison oak?

    Great photos, as usual.

  2. Never! I declare this blog a poison oak free zone! Besides I'm afraid I'll catch it if I try to take its picture...

  3. You know, you may be right about that!