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Plantidote of the Day 2012-12-11

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coast live oak

Quercus agrifolia

Coast live oak, aka"Rhinoceros" tree (because it looks like a rhino)

An evergreen tree native to the West, the coast live oak plays a vital role in regional ecology. Here's the description from Las Pilitas, a local nursery specializing in native plants:

Coast Live Oak is a picturesque tree and is an outstanding bird plant. Coast Live Oak is a food plant for the beautiful California Sister butterfly. We had at least four families of Bullock's Orioles with their flashy orange & black feathers make their nests in these oaks. This is the backbone of a garden or plant community as everything else seems to live off of it, or under it.

The Coast live oak is protected by various regulations that vary from city to city. The tree above (and below) is in an unfortunate situation, too near a subdivision for its own good. These trees do not like the fertilizing and regular watering that usually goes with a lawn. This one has held on for years, in spite of the circumstances. But it is pretty much hollow on the inside, and large enough for a person to crawl into (!), according to our contributor who sent in the images. In other words, this beautiful tree needs a miracle. Tis the season, right? Let's hope one happens.

TK

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Readers, please send twig (twig4now@gmail.com) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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