Garber Park is a 13-acre wildland park owned by the City of Oakland located behind the Claremont Hotel in Claremont Canyon. Garber Park is home to significant stands of big-leaf maple, California buckeyes and regenerating coast live oak woodland and forest. The Garber Park Stewards vision is to safeguard the native wildland resources of Garber Park while reducing the risk of wildfire and improving the trail system.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
GARBER PARK'S JUNE FLOWER - Pacific Coralroot
The discovery of a native orchid anywhere in the East Bay ridge lands is important and Garber's orchid brought forth a flurry of attention and botanic consideration. Consensus said that we had come upon corallorhiza maculata --Spotted Coralroot--though our orchid had no spots. Together with coralroot discoveries in Tilden and Joaquin Miller, Garber's orchid apparently brings up different taxonomic views and it is possible that there is as yet no settled opinion on the exact taxonomy here.
Because we knew where to look we were able to catch the return of our coralroot (a perennial) in 2011. We expected the long and moist spring to have produced an even more lavish plant than the 2010 orchid. Photos show the emergence of a much smaller plant with far fewer blossoms and seed vessels. By mid-May, some desiccation was also visible. On July 4 we noticed that only the stalk remained, the entire reproductive cycle apparently having been completed.
So far, we have not located any other coralroots on the hillside or indeed in Garber Park as a whole. The characteristics of these plants are not well understood, but the appearance of even one in Garber is testimony to the native botanic richness of the park.