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One of the biomes that is prominent in San Diego is the chaparral. Despite its looks, various types of plants can thrive in the chaparral area. These plants are further described in depth by our third, sixth, and ninth grade students. Other student works include drawings and poems about the plants of the chaparral.

The Chaparral
Chaparral is a shrub land or found in the U.S. state California and northern Baja California Chaparral needs Mediterranean climate and often has wildfires Plants like these are also in the Mediterranean Basin, central Chile, South African Cope Region, and in western and southern Australia A typical chaparral plant community consists of evergreen scrub oats and other drought resistant shrubs it is very hard to walk through.


Light green leaves
A red flower
Flower looks like a mouth that opens and closes



Pinyon Pine
Four-leaved coniferous tree
Green and brown
Oval needles
Colorful and strong




esmeraldaredshanksFrom left to right: A student drawing, photos and a poem about the red shanks tree


A small tree
Red and green leaves are small oval and green
Branches are reddish brownis 
The flower is small and oval
It doesn’t need much water
The word manzanita means "small apple" in Spanish
Manzanitas bloom from winter to spring
The flowers and berries are edible
There are about sixty kinds of manzanita

The leaves and stems are colorful, but hard to touch
The leaves are hard and small
The stem is red, gray and white
The roots are thin and soft
The leaves were used as medicine
Tea made from laurel leaves helped people with colds
The California laurel was an important ceremonial plant for the Luiseno and Kumeyaah tribes in California

toyon Popcorn Flower
 This is a small fuzzy plant with not too many branches
 It is covered with long haired bristles
 It has blue flowers and small triangular leaves
 It grows in Mexico and California
It is also called the Christmas berry and the California holly. Toyon is part of the chaparral
The leaves are really green and they have spikes
It grows up to about thirty feet tall, or ten meters
Animals such as mockingbirds, robins, and coyotes love this plant. It has a brown stem that almost looks like a trunk. It already has three brances that are five inches long

Laurel Sumac
by Raven, Grade 6
    A Laurel Sumac is a shrub or small tree that can grow up to 10 to 15 feet tall. The Laurel Sumac the whole plant is evergreen. Evergreen means that it never loses its touch of green. Laurel Sumac is often found on dry ridges and canyons. It is often planted by citrus growers as a frost indicator. The Laurel Sumac blooms mostly in June to July.
Lemonade Sumac by Grade 9
The Lemonade Sumac is a shrub, also known as lemonade berry. The scientific name is Rhus Integrafolia. The stem is hard, brown and green. The leaves are green and wide. It is an evergreen plant. Eating a lemonade berry burns, but it is safe. This plant lives on dry slopes. It is rich in tannens. It keeps deer away, and it can be used for lamps. It is native to southwestern California.
lemonadeberryLemonade Berry 
The Lemonade Berry is a small tree
It is great for a bird garden
Lemonade berries can be great for many things:
  • bird gardens
  • evergreen display
  • flowers
  • edible berries
Canyon Sunflower
The canyon sunflower's leaves are alternate and thin.
It's a widely-branched shrub. There are 12 to 21 ray flowers that are very slightly yellow and have tube bases. The flower can usual grow about to 5 feet tall.
Canyon sunflowers are mostly in shaded canyons.


A groundcover native to the California chaparral
It is fast-growing and drought resistant





California Sagebrush by Sadie, Grade 6
    This plant has a yellowish green stem and a bunch of hard branches. It is long and sort of pointy. It is three feet high, likes the sun, and hates being wet. It is made into tea and can remove skunk odor.

Yerba Santa, by Lourdes    
    This has a delicate and pretty soft purple color. The leaves are about the size of the top part of a person's finger, and is colored purple. It grows in different habitats. Its leaves are up to 17 centimeters. It has a coat of wooly hairs. Sometimes it has sharp spines on its edges. It is a cluster of bell-shaped lavendar flowers.