Happy Arbor Day, folks! While we should give love and reverence to our tree-kin every day, this day always reminds us to give something back to the Earth and plant life that support our very existence on this special planet. Today we recognize our local majesty, the coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirons), our fog-loving, ancient friend here on the North Coast. They are truly the masters of their environment, gathering moisture from the ground and also from the foggy air and moving that water from roots to tips as it needs to from heights of sometimes over 300 feet! Redwoods grow strongest in groups or groves and have so much to show us about creating and sustaining equitable communities not only within their own species but with all those that grow around them. The way these giants grow and shed their bark and needles creates an acidity in the soil that allows shade-loving species to thrive in their understory. A few of our local native plants that play well with Redwood include*:
- Ferns: Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) is a natural under redwoods; other good choices include the Western fivefinger fern (Adiantum aleuticum), California maidenhair fern (Adiantum jordani) and giant chain fern (Woodwardia fimbriata).
- Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum): an evergreen beauty; slow growing, but worth the wait.
- Western azalea (Rhododendron occidentale): beautiful white springtime flowers, deciduous.
- Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus): woodsy berry, perennial.
- Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis): large thornless bramble.
- Redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregano): Use with caution. Although this is a common understory plant, it can take over. Use only if you want or need a spreader.
- Wild ginger (Asarum caudatum): evergreen, heart-shaped leaves, groundcover, leaves have spicy aroma when crushed.
- California wild grape (Vitis californica): for groundcover or to climb a fence or other structure, brilliant fall color.
- Iris (Iris douglasii): native California bulb for a springtime surprise.
We encourage you all to get out there and investigate, appreciate and plant something in the Earth on this gorgeous April Day!!
Check out our Arbor Day Sales of Seed Kits, Live Trees, Special Books and the Millenial Gaia statue here: https://store.moonriseherbs.com/
*List accumulated by Marie Narlock for the Marin IJ. Check out our local Native Plant Sale and Wildflower Show May 2-5. Learn more here: https://www.northcoastcnps.org/