One of the most common plant communities at the Seashore, coastal scrub stretches over much of the gentle hills above the ocean. These plants tolerate abrasive conditions—high winds, little rain, blowing salt spray and poor soils—but still they persist. They make do with the resources they have, keeping short and shrubby, putting extra support into stiff leaves, and growing a long taproot for stability and to reach deep water. Vast tracts of coyote bush indicate that you are in the coastal scrub. The scrub is made up of other shrubs like yellow bush lupine, poison oak, and blackberry and lone stunted conifers. In the southern parts of the park, California sagebrush and California buckwheat replace coytote bush. Springtime finds this community alive with color. A common flower is the sticky monkey-flower, whose flower is orange and resembles a monkey’s face. Bright red Indian paintbrush steals nutrients and water from other plants’ roots. California poppies and Douglas irises also grow in the coastal scrub.
Did You Know?
Elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) regularly plunge to depths of 2000 feet to find food, but even far below the ocean's surface they are affected by warming temperatures and melting Antarctic ice. More...