Sunday, November 25, 2007

Home And Garden In Los Angeles, CA

The Los Angeles County Natural History Museum recently concluded a comprehensive account of the plant and wildlife located in the vicinity of the Los Angeles River. The majority of the plants and wildlife subsist in the section between the Flood Basin and Frogtown. The many natural sandy bottoms in this section have enabled the return of life, as a significant number of trees, shrubs, and reeds are destroyed during winter floods.

In 1769, the flora and fauna along the river was examined by intrepid explorer Juan Crespi during the Portola expedition. After coming to a location that was likely near Frogtown, he wrote that his party had entered a very large valley, containing plenty of cottonwoods and alders, among which ran a river from the north-northwest, in reference to the Los Angeles River.

Individuals working for the California Native Plant Society have been seeding many indigenous plants in the river basin. A portion containing to flora that attra! ct hummingbirds has also been placed in the area.

The following list contains some of the native plants that might be encountered along the river:

The sycamore tree, Platanus racemosa, actually had a role in the establishment of the city of Los Angeles. A key Gabrielino Indian village was situated in the vicinity of a very large sycamore, which was known as the council tree. The Spanish camp that later became the location of Los Angeles was situated near the Indian village. The camp was destroyed in the Great Flood of 1815, but the great tree survived. The tree later died in 1892 and was cut down. An examination found that it was approximately 400 years old.

The cottonwood tree was very common along rivers in early California. As commercialization has lowered water levels, these riparian trees have vanished from many riverbanks. Early explorers used the cottonwood?s riparian nature to assist in finding water.

Willow trees are another widespread r! iparian tree growing in the region. The tree leaves were utili! zed by C alifornia Indian tribes for medicine, while the small branches were used for basket making and the larger branches for wood.

The pollen of the cattail, Typha domingensis, was used by tribes for foodstuffs, while the roots were treated to make a form of medicine, and the stalks made for bedding and building material.

Jimson Weed was revered by California Indians as a powerful drug used in rituals. It can be poisonous to both humans and animals.

Matt Paolini is an environmental writer for, the family-safe Online Yellow Pages, which carries an extensive directory on Los Angeles cleaning services.
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