Short Summary

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, September 1, 2011


Although the pervasive aridity of August in Garber Park dulls the expectation of encountering flowers, in fact from the vantage of the Loop Trail the cheerful multiplicity of golden blooms put forward by our native mimulus catches the eye of most visitors.  Properly a shrub, mimulus aurantiacus, known popularly as Bush or Sticky Monkey Flower, occurs in several spots in Garber and also occurs directly across the road on the much more exposed and dry north slope of Claremont Canyon in chaparral conditions.
Our riparian woodland Monkey Flower constituents do not exhibit the parched aspect of their canyonside neighbors, preferring to appear waxy and brightly colorful though they are not rooted in especially moist soil.  Calflora shows the distribution of aurantiacus in California as north to south, border to border, one or two counties deep along the Pacific coastline and also in the western Sierra foothills, mostly in the context of "northern oak woodland".  A number of variants of mimulus aurantiacus have been observed and reported in other limited areas in California, but none of these are apparently wide spread.
We do not have so many examples in Garber Park that they might be called common, but there are a small number of healthy, good sized shrubs--enough to feel certain that Sticky Monkey Flower is comfortable among the many floral varieties that grow beside it.  It is always a delight to find, wherever one runs across it.