|About the Site|
|Redwood National Park|
Plants & Animals
In addition to the spectacular trees and geographical features of Redwood National Park, there are a number of plants and animals which can be found within the boundaries of the park.
One animal that will be seen during any prolonged visit to the redwood forest is the banana slug. This animal, which loves the shady, rainy forest floor, is related to the snail. It may grow to a length of 6-10 inches. As can be seen in the photo below, the greenish or olive yellow color of the slug helps it blend in with the plants in its forest home. Banana slugs feed on small plants, mushrooms, dead animals, lichen, droppings, and, amazingly, poison oak. The animals are covered with slime, often left on the animal's trail, which is, to humans, very unpleasant and difficult to remove.
This small creature was found on the boardwalk near the visitor center along the Redwood Creek estuary.
The redwood sorrel is a shade loving plant which is typically found in forests of the alluvial flats. It is able to photosynthesize in diffuse light, an important capability in these forests.
Even among the rocks, sand, and gravel of the beach beautiful flowers may grow. This appears to be a wood strawberry, which propogate by growing runners which take root and produce more plants. It produces berries in the early summer.
In the forest the visitor can find several varieties of ferns.
More ferns are shown below.
The false lily-of-the-valley below grows in moist redwood and evergreens forests along the coast. It produces small white flowers and reddish berries in midsummer.
Many leafy green plants are found in the dense vegetation of the redwood forest floor, such as the Oregon grape shown below. This plant grows on forested slopes where redwood and other evergreens are found. It produces large blue berries with a whitish coating. As with other plants of redwood forest it can be used for medicinal purposes. The bark can be brewed into a laxative, a lotion for skin disorders, or a tonic to aid digestion.
The park features a wide variety of beautiful wildflowers, along the coast, in the meadows, and in the redwood forests. The flowers below are eureka lilies, similar to the tiger or leopard lily.
Another common flower is the yarrow. This flower, abundant in drier areas, was used by ancient people to treat colds, fevers, and other ailments, although that entails some risk since it contains alkaloid poisons. Achilles was said to have used a species of yarrow to treat his warriors.
Wildflowers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The pink flowers below appears to be a dwarf bramble (creeping raspberry), which eventually develops a red fruit.
While daisies and dandelions may not be very exotic, they are still add a touch of beauty to the floor of the meadow or forest.
Below is another variety of yellow wildflower.
Some additional wildflowers are shown below.
The white wildflower below resembles the daisy or showy daisy.
Beach grass, various low growing plants, and driftwood can be found on the beaches in the park.
Information about Redwood National Park has been drawn from personal experience, data available in the park itself, and a number of other sources, including:
- Barbour, Michael, Lydon, Sandy, Borchert, Mark, Popper, Marjorie, Whitworth, Valerie, & Everts, John. (2001). Coast Redwood: A Natural and Cultural History. Los Olivas, CA: Cachuma Press.
- Brett, Dan. (2004). Hiking the Redwood Coast. Guilford, CN: The Globe Pequot Press.
- Brett, Dan. (2005). Best Easy Day Hikes: Redwood National and State Parks. Guilford, CN: The Globe Pequot Press.
- Dune, Jerry Camarillo Dr., and Sugar, James A. (1994). Redwood National Park: Land of the Giants. National Geographic Traveler, National Parks Collector's Edition.
- Eifert, Larry. (1991). The Distinctive Quaities of Redwoods. Redcrest, CA: Larry Eifert & FVN Corp.
- Lady Bird Johnson Grove Nature Trail (Brochure). Crescent City, CA: Redwood Park Association.
- Lyons, Kathleen, Cooney Lazaneo, Beth, & King, Howard. (1988). Plants of the Coast Region. Boulder Creek, CA: Looking Press.
- National Geographic's Guide to the National Parks of the United States. (1992). National Geographic Society.
- National Parks of North America. (1995). Washington, DC: National Geographic Society.
- Our National Parks: America's Spectacular Wilderness Heritage. (1989). Pleasantville, N.Y.: Reader's Digest Association.
- Rasp, Richard A. (1989). Redwood: The Story Behind the Scenery. Las Vegas, NV: KC Publications.
- Redwood. Official National and State Parks Handbook.(1997). Washington, DC: Division of Pubications, National Park Service.
- Rohde, Jerry, & Rohde, Gisela. (2004). Best Short Hikes in Redwood National and State Parks. Seattle, WA: The Mountaineers Books.
- Rohde, Jerry, & Rohde, Gisela. (1994). Redwood National & State Parks: Tales, Trails, and Auto Tours. McKinleyville, CA: Mountain Home Books.
- The Sierra Club Guide to the National Parks: California, Hawaii, & American Samoa. (1996). New York: Stewart, Tabori, & Chang.
- The Tall Trees: Portraits of California's Redwood Parks, Preserves, and Visitor Attractions. (1995, 2001). Redcrest, CA: FVN Corp.
- Tilden, Freeman. (1970). The National Parks. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
- First Page for Redwood National Park -
- All photographs ©Patrick Holleran, Shannon Digital Imaging, 1994-2013
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