An evergreen shrub native to California. Coyote brush is used here in Zone 10 in some native plant landscaping. It's a small plant, usually no more than two or three feet high, but excellent for holding our gravity-challenged hillsides in place, and it survives drought just as well as monsoons. The wild canyon hillsides are covered with coyote brush right now. From a distance, they look they're dusted with snow. Read below the fold...
Marah macrocarpus or Marah fabaceus
Wild cucumber, manroot, California cucumber
A pretty, flowering vine in the spring, wild cucumber's fruit turns into a spiky ball of pain the size of an apple by late summer. Those prickles are sharp! Inside, there are large seeds that some animal or birds must like. (Something already got the seeds out of this one.) Read below the fold...
Our Lord's Candle
(Thanks to NomNomNom, this mystery plant has been ID'd!)
This plant was photographed a couple months ago, when my son was camping along the coast near Malibu (Zone 10, but much cooler and damper there than inland because it's so near the ocean). The long, spiky leaves on the plant are sharp edged and pointy, like some kind of yucca -- not at all people friendly.
Here's a closer shot of the end of the stalk (clicking on either image will show a larger, more detailed view): Read below the fold...