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 2
Ojai Area Home
Native Plants Along the Pratt Trail (Fraxinus-Urtica)
Fraxinus dipetala - Flowering Ash (Oleaceae - Olive Family).   The Flowering Ash is a small winter-deciduous tree of chaparral vegetation. It's fruit consists of single samaras that twirl to the ground after ripening.
Holodiscus discolor - Ocean Spray (Rosaceae - Rose Family).   This small shrub is most rarely seen in Ventura County in mesic, shaded habitats, as it is more common northward in wetter climates.
Keckiella cordifolia - Heart-leaved Penstemon (Plantaginaceae - Plantain Family [formerly included in the Scrophulariaceae]).   This sprawling shrub is fairly commonly seen in Ventura County in mesic, shaded habitats of Coastal Sage Scrub, chaparral, and Coast Live Oak Woodland.   It has long red tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds.
Marah fabaceus var. agrestis - California Man-root (Cucurbitaceae - Cucumber Family).   This perennial vine is a common dominant, in chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, and Coast Live Oak Woodland habitats in Ventura County.   The vine dies back each year and resprouts in the early spring from huge tubers, which can obtain the size of a man (hense the name).   The large seeds are very high in protein and are edible.
Mimulus longiflorus var. longiflorus - Sticky Bush Monkeyflower (Phrymaceae - Monkeyflower Family [formerly included in the Scrophulariaceae]).   This small shrub is quite common on all slopes in shade to full sun, in chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, and Coast Live Oak Woodland habitats of Ventura County.   The leaves are sticky, mostly on the underside, and the flowers are salmon-colored, ranging from almost white to peach yellow.
Pellaea mucronata - Bird's-foot Trefoil (Pteridaceae - Braken Fern Family).   This small thick-leaved fern is found in dry habitats of chaparral and Yellow Pine Forest in Ventura County, usually on rock outcrops or rock crevises.
Rosa californica - California Wild Rose (Rosaceae - Rose Family).   The California Wild Rose is a common small shrub that can form dense brambles along streamsides (riparian habitats).   It is fairly common in Ventura County, and the bright red rose hips can be fairly sweet, and are full of Vitamin C.
Ribes speciosum - Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry (Grossulariaceae - Currant Family).   This small shrub is relativley common in chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, and Coast Live Oak Woodland habitats of Ventura County and grows on very well-drained, usually shaded, north-facing slopes.   The stems are quite loaded with long reddish spines, and the pendulous flowers are bright red, and quite profuse.
Tauschia arguta - Southern Tauschia (Apiaceae - Carrot Family).   This small perennial herb has thick glossy green leaves, and is most often seen in partially shaded habitats.   It is fairly uncommon in chaparral and Coastal Sage Scrub in Ventura County.
Urtica urens - Dwarf Nettle (Urticaceae - Nettle Family).   This rather uncommon but widespread small herb has small nasty needle-like stinging hairs on its stems.   Do Not Touch, or most people will be sorry as the pain lasts for over an hour.   It is found in mesic sites, often in riparian habitats of Ventura County.
Pratt Trail Photos 2
Pratt Trail Photos 3
Ojai Area Home
Photography Home Page
Photography Site Map