It is, for sure, a bright spot on the Conservancy’s preserves (see photo). This time of year, the vinegar weed (Trichostema lanceolatum) perks up and puts on a show. The plant is one of the few that grows well in the heavy, clay pan soils that are often found in the central and easterly portion of the Natomas Basin. It’s odd, because the ground where this grows has had no rain or any other water for five months. Yet it still grows and puts on this color show.
While it is a native, it can take over larger expanses of ground, since it is highly competitive with other native plants. We try to keep it from taking over completely, but that is hard to accomplish sometimes. Still, it’s a bright, colorful and beautiful sight on the preserves, even if the aromas can be a bit “vinegary” this time of year.