Trip to the Sierras/Native Plants and Flowers

A few friends and I just got back from a four day trip up in the Sierras.  We had a great time camping, swimming and hiking.  I did not do any collecting, but I did do some scouting around for trees.  My cousin and I took some pics that i'm going to share.

Our Camp Site Below.


In the area we camped at the predominate types of trees around were Western or Sierra Juniper, White Pine and Ponderosa Pine.  It seems like the more time I spend up in these mountains the more I appreciate the beauty of these trees and the area where they live.  Seeing old trees growing between granite always amazes me and makes me ask questions like, where and how far down do the roots go into the granite? Why did this tree grow like this? How much water does this tree get each year? and what did this thing look like hundreds of years ago?


While I am a beginner when it comes to displaying Bonsai, I hope my skill and knowledge of display will always continue to grow.  It's a bit hard to explain exactly, but there's a certain quiet and peaceful feeling I get while walking around the Sierras.  The combination of the trees, plants, rock and water are absolutely beautiful.  I hope to someday capture some of these feelings on my benches at home and when showing my trees.  To capture this, I'd like to grow several of these native plants along side my collection which is mostly made up of Sierra Juniper at this time.

I have to think that the first Bonsai practitioners to display companion plants along side their Bonsai came across a group of plants native to their area similar to the way I did when I came across this group of natives above.  These plants were growing by the trees they collected in the mountains and they must have thought, “Hey, these would look great displayed by my Yamadori.”  Here are several more pics of plants and flowers growing near our Sierra Junipers.


Below and above I found two types of Penstemons.  I have a couple different types of Penstemons on my benches at home.  Love these flowers.


I believe the common name for the plant below is just Sierra Stone Crop.  I really like the variety of colors and the nice flowers.  I also love how much they contrast with the granite background.


Close up of the Sunset colored Flowers


Speaking of sunset, i'll throw in this picture we took while painting with light during sunset.


So do you have to display all native plants next to your native trees?  No, I don't think so, but its also not a bad thing.

Some type of Wild Rose.


Simple, but very pretty flower


These random boulders have always fascinated me.  Must have been put there by glaciers a long time ago.



Some type of Daisy's I believe.


I really like these tiny pink flowers below.  They seem to take over in sandy areas up in these mountains.  In certain areas, it was too hard to walk without crushing several so I avoided walking in these areas all together.  The first time I saw them from a distance I thought someone had spilled something pink all over the ground.   Anyone now what these are called?


Closer picture of them


And a very close up picture.


I'm not sure what this flower is but I like it.


Pic of Red Paint Brush closer to sunset.  The smaller blueish green colored plant on the right has really beautiful small white flowers sometimes.  Also some stone crop in the background.


Some miners lettuce and other grasses.


More playing with light during the night.


The next day it was time to go fishing for trout.


The pole did not work very well, so I decided to use the force to pull this little fish from the river.  Then I let it go.


Checking out some trees.  Hmmmm......:)




9 thoughts on “Trip to the Sierras/Native Plants and Flowers”

  1. Looks like a great trip even if you weren’t collecting. Two of your unnamed flowers are mustang clover followed by a type of brodiaea.

    If you get up to Yosemite, give me a call.

    1. Thanks Greg! Love you blog by the way. The sizes vary alot, lots of very large trees, but some small one’s as well. thanks

  2. I love the Sierras! I have been going since I was a baby.

    The tiny pink flowers are Oxalis. They are my favourite flowers of all time! Sadly they do not make good accent plants as the roots are made of heavy rhizomes and do not do well in pot culture. Nonetheless, the are lovely and happily grow like weeds in the open ground! Larger, somewhat less charming cultivars are available in garden centers but the tiny pink versions are common in California and could honestly be picked out of any field…

  3. Beautiful country 🙂 And great material! Not too different from my collecting areas out here in the Wyoming Rockies.

    I’m enjoying your blog. Keep it up!

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