Pratt Trail/Stewart Canyon Scenes and Wildflowers
The Pratt Trail generally follows the length of Stewart Canyon to the top of Nordhoff Peak, beginning at the Stewart Canyon Debris Basin at the north edge of the City of Ojai.   Stewart Canyon drains the south flank of Nordhoff Peak on Nordhoff Ridge, on the north side of Ojai and the Ojai Valley.   March through June are the best times for seeing native plants blooming along this trail.   The views of the Ojai Valley, Santa Clara Valley, Oxnard Plain, and even the northern Channel Islands is best when the air is cleanest, during the winter.
This page was last updated on 6 January 2008
The rains of 2004-2005 were the highest ever recorded for the area, with Nordhoff Peak receiving the rainfall.   The abundant moisture brought forth a tremendous density of blooms from nearly every native plant species.   The Sticky Bush Monkeyflower (Mimulus longiflorus var. longiflorus), while always present, has more blossoms per plant then normal.   The flower heads of Golden Yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum) are twice as large as they are normally.   The trail is quite steep above the Foothill Trail road, so bring plenty of water to drink.   The Pratt Trail follows the riparian corridor of Stewart Canyon Creek, and steep chaparral-covered slopes above the creek.   Several species of Ceanothus are found along the trail, dominated also by Chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum), the most common chaparral species in California.
All photos copyrighted by David L. Magney 2003-2005
Links to Pratt Trail Pages
Pratt Trail Photos 1
Pratt Trail Photos 3
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Native Plants Along the Pratt Trail (Adenostoma-Eriophyllum)
Adenostoma fasciculatum - Chamise (Rosaceae - Rose Family).   Chamise is the most common shrub of chaparral vegetation.   If you see Chamise, almost certainly you are in chaparral.
Adiandum jordanii - Maidenhair Fern (Pteridiaceae - Bracken Fern Family).   The Maidenhair Fern is a relatively common perennial fern growing on mesic (moist) north-facing slopes and at springs throughout Ventura County.   It covers the north-facing cliff at Valley View Campground with mosses and a few individual Ojai Fritillary plants.
Antirrhinum multiflorum - Chaparral Snapdragon (Plantaginaceae - Plantain Family [formerly included in the Scrophulariaceae]).   This snapdragon is most often seen after wildfires or other types of disturbance, and is not commonly seen.   The leaves are quite glandular (sticky to the touch).
Arctostaphylos glandulosa var. glaucomollis - Transverse Ranges Manzanita (Ericaceae - Heath Family).   This shrub is a common dominant, relatively low-growing shrub on montane chaparral usually above 3,000 feet elevation.   There are at least three varieties of Eastwood Manzanita in Ventura County, distinguishable by the types of hairs on the young twigs, and the grayness of the leaves.
Aspidotis californica - California Lace Fern (Pteridaceae - Bracken Fern Family).   This small fern is most often seen under rocks is shaded, but often dry, habitats in chaparral.
Brickellia nevinii - Nevin's Brickellbush (Asteraceae - Sunflower Family).   This small shrub is has small triangular gray leaves, and is most often seen on cliff faces and rock outcrops as shown below.   It is relatively rare and is an endemic to Ventura and northwestern Los Angeles Counties.   It is known to hybridize with it's closest relative, Brickellia californica, which is a common plant.
Castilleja foliolosa - Woolly Indian Paintbrush (Orobanchaceae - Broom-rape Family [formerly included in the Scrophulariaceae]).   This paintbrush has white woolly leaves and is relativley common in chaparral habitats of Ventura County.
Clematis lasiantha - Pipestem Clematis (Ranunculaceae - Buttercup Family).   Pipestem Clematis is common vine of chaparral vegetation, sometimes covering other chaparral shrubs.
Dendromecon rigida ssp. rigida - Bush or Tree Poppy (Papaveraceae - Poppy Family).   This large shrub is relativley common in chaparral habitats of Ventura County and grows on very well-drained, usually south-facing slopes.
Eriodictyon crassifolium var. denudatum - Thickleaf Yerba Santa (Boraginaceae - Borage Family [formerly in the Hydrophyllaceae]).   This small shrub is has thick grayish, sticky leaves, and is most often seen in open, disturbed habitats.   It is relatively common shrub in chaparral and Coastal Sage Scrub in Ventura County.   The Chumash used this plant for medicinal purposes.
Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliosum - Leafy California Buckwheat (Polygonaceae - Knotweed Family).   This common small shrub has small lanceolate grayish leaves that are tomentose (tightly knit hairs) beneath, and is most often seen on dry, open slopes.   This and the variety polifolium are common throughout Ventura County.   It has white to pink flowers, and blooms nearly yearround.
Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum - Golden Yarrow (Asteraceae - Sunflower Family).   This subshrub/perennial herb is a common plant in chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, and Coast Live Oak Woodland vegetation Ventura County.   It blooms for a very long time, starting in the early spring.   There are at least three varieties of Golden Yarrow in Ventura County, with the others being rare.
Pratt Trail Photos 2
Pratt Trail Photos 3
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