Liquid News

San Joaquin Marsh Offers Ideas for Spring Planting

If you are thinking about landscaping your yard with California native drought-tolerant plants, but aren’t sure what they look like, visit the Irvine Ranch Water District San Joaquin Marsh for ideas. It’s spring time and the plants at the Marsh are awakening from winter dormancy.

“In the spring, there are lupine, encelia, goldfields and southern honeysuckle,” said Ian Swift, IRWD’s Marsh expert. “We have about 120 flowering plant species on display.”

The 320-acre freshwater Marsh contains mostly native plants. When IRWD began rehabilitating the Marsh in the late 1990s, crews faced a daunting task of eradicating many unwelcome, non-native species, such as artichoke thistle and yellow-flowered black mustard plants. Landscape crews continue to monitor for any appearance of these plants and they are removed immediately.

The artichoke thistle is a little more of a challenge because the tap root can reach down to about eight feet.

During the springs, the Marsh is a riot of color and fragrance. Check out the Mexican elderberry or Matilja poppy. The poppy blooms on a large shrub and has delicate,  tissue-like white petals and a yellow button-like center. It has a sweet fragrance.

Many of the plants along the Fledgling Loop Trail closest to the Duck Club have identification cards with a photo and the name and information about the plant. If you are interested in attracting butterflies to your yard, take a walk through the butterfly garden in the Marsh’s meadow area behind the Duck Club. Tiles located on poles depict different types of butterflies. The plants in the garden have been found to attract the butterflies shown on the tiles.

There is no charge to visit the Marsh, which is open 365 days a year, from dawn to dusk. Please visit our website for more information and directions to the Marsh.

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