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.

Plant Highlights at Garber Park

Garber Park Stewards are excited to present you virtual Plant Walks! 

Whether you're an avid visitor, volunteer, steward, or visiting for the first time, we would love to share with you our stewards' many findings throughout the year! As the weather continues to change, so will many of our plant friends. We hope you enjoy this continuous and changing series, 

We would love for you to share your encounters with us as well, so that the rest of the community is able to enjoy! You're welcome to email us directly, send us your photos of what you've spotted and a short description of where you found it. We are also on iNaturalist and you're welcome to add your findings here! 

For any additions or questions, contact Wyllie at gpstewards@gmail.com.

2022

May Giant Horsetails 















The horsetails are coming, the horsetails are coming, the horsetails are coming! We are seeing the annual transformation of the Horsetail Meadow, from a blackberry and grass dominated area, to one of a sea of ferns! This month is being highlighted by Giant Horsetail (Equisetum telmateia ssp. braunii), also known as Scouring Rush. These otherworldly, but meaningful plants can be spotted growing mostly in clusters in the open areas of the Horsetail Meadow. These plants are actually considered ferns, and are usually found in perennials wetland areas, which our meadow is actually part of a seep, thus creating these perfect growing conditions! These perennials spread both by rhizomes and seed, with their large stems acting as an annual. The open seep of our Horsetail Meadow area provides a great habitat for them to grow in and expand, which makes them easier to spot beside the main path in that area. Fun Fact, Giant Horsetails can be found throughout the west coast of North America and Michigan, and contain silica in their stems, which have been used historically as scouring brushes, and have other traditional uses.

During our previous workdays in December, we worked towards maintaining and expanding their habitat by removing Himalayan Blackberry from the surrounding areas of ferns. We found that initial effort let to new expansion of the plant to these newly uncovered areas, previously occupied by invasive plants.  

Here are a few photos taken by Ruby J. Soto Cardona, we hope you enjoy this series! If you'd like to know more about this plant, you can learn more at Calflora.  




Our volunteer coordinator Wyllie, pulling invasive thistles among the horsetails in Equisetum Meadow.

One of our many resting spots in Garber Park surrounded by horsetails and an array of other plants!

The beauty of Equisetum Meadow is that you will find native plants growing next to each other - horsetails, ferns, and gallium! 




Here is a close up of the horsetail's main stem, its nodes with teeth, and branches spreading out. 





















Here's another close-up showing the branches opening up near the tip of the horsetail.



Fertile stalk of a horsetail : the top part is called a strobilus (cone) and carries sporangiophores which detach from the stalk and spread when brushed against, shaken, or moved - Amazing to see! (Photo by Wyllie Clayson)

April False Solomon's Seal


Spring is still transforming the park! We are seeing our annual blooms. This month is being highlighted by False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum stellatum), also known as Starry False Lily of the Valley. These subtle, but beautiful blooms can be spotted growing mostly in clusters amongst the many ferns in our lovely Fern Glade until the end of June. These perennials spread both by rhizomes and seed. The shady woodland in Garber Park provides a great habitat for them to grow in and expand, which makes them easier to spot beside the main paths of Fern Glade. They enjoy the moist atmosphere provided by the Oak/Bay/Maple Canopy cover of Garber. Fun fact, Starry False Lily of the Valley can be found throughout North America and the berries it produces are used for food by both grizzly bears and elk, while the plant itself was historically used in traditional medicines. 

During our previous work days in December, we worked towards maintaining and expanding their habitat by removing English Ivy from the surrounding areas of ferns. We found that initial effort led to new expansions and introductions of the plant to these newly uncovered areas, previously occupied by invasive plants. 

Here are a few photos taken by Ruby J. Soto Cardona, we hope you enjoy this series! If you'd like to know more about this plant, you learn more at Calflora



March Trillium Blooms



Spring is marking a time of new blooms throughout the park! We are starting to see our annual blooms. This month is being highlighted by Trilliums (Trillium chlorpetalum), also known as Wake Robins. These beautiful blooms can be spotted growing in clusters or in pairs amongst the many ferns in our lovely Fern Glade. The shady woodland in Garber Park provides a great habitat for them to grow in and expand, which makes them easier to spot beside the main paths. Fun fact, trilliums are endemic to California and can also be found throughout the Bay Area, so take a close look when you're visiting other sites.

During our previous workdays in February, as we worked towards removing English Ivy from the surrounding areas of ferns, we spotted and began uncovering many white trilliums with hues of pink and many red/burgundy ones as well! These findings encouraged our volunteers to continue removing ivy, in an effort to let more native plants grow and expand. 

Here are a few photos taken by Ruby J. Soto C., we hope you enjoy this series! If you'd like to know more about this plant, you can learn more at Calflora