Join Ken Himes and Don Thomas for our fall fountain thistle habitat restoration work party near the intersection of I-280 and Hwy. 92. Fountain thistle (Cirsium fontinale var. fontinale) is a federally endangered plant species that grows in an unusual specialized habitat, serpentine seeps, and is only found here and in few other nearby locations on the Peninsula. Its recovery here is a restoration success story. Once almost completely displaced by jubata grass, it has largely recovered here, as a result of the work done by CNPS volunteers in a cooperative project of the Santa Clara Valley and Yerba Buena Chapters. However, fountain thistle is still under threat from other non-native plants, such as yellow star-thistle, fennel and wallaby grass (Rhytidosperma caespitosum) and by woody plants trying to convert the area to shrubland or woodland. We may also be able to see late-flowering individuals of another rare plant, Lessingia arachnoidea, which grows only here and in the nearby Crystal Springs Watershed.
Sturdy gloves are recommended; you might also want to bring sunscreen, water, a hat, layered clothing and wear long sleeves/pants. Tools will be provided.