A great variety of environments, wildlife habitats, and plant life can be found in the open space preserves. All of the preserves have diverse plant species but many have distinct environments, including those described here. We hope you might visit one of these preserves to enjoy particular types of surrounding.
- Redwood Forest - Purisima Creek Redwoods and El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserves.
- Chaparral - Sierra Azul, Pulgas Ridge, Skyline Ridge, and El Sereno Open Space Preserves.
- Salt Marsh - Ravenswood Open Space Preserve and Stevens Creek Shoreline Nature Study Area.
- Oak Woodland - Many of the preserves offer a sampling of oak woodlands.
- Meadow, Grasslands - Windy Hill, Russian Ridge, Long Ridge, Fremont Older, and many other preserves.
Some of the more rare plants found on open space preserves are listed below. Note that these plants are not officially listed as "endangered" or "threatened" under either state or federal laws, but they are rare and recognized as rare by the California Native Plant Society.
- Kings Mountain manzanita (Arctostaphylos regismontana): This shrub blooms in March and April.
- Western leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis): A small tree that blooms in February.
- Choris' popcorn flower (Plagiobothrys chorisianus var. chorisianus): This wildflower blooms from April and June.
- Santa Clara redribbons (Clarkia concinna ssp. Automixa): Another wildflower that blooms from April through July.
Removing invasive plants and weeds is a large part of the restoration work that takes place in our preserves. This can be challenging, since some invasive species look similar to California natives.