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This is a contributing entry for Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
As you stroll into the California native garden, you will notice two brightly colored panels explaining how the dry stream bed serves the site and its neighbors. Near the first panel is an Oregon grape. Oregon grape leaves range in color from dark green to bright red. Its small yellow flowers in the spring become beautiful blue berries in the summer and fall. These plants were used by the Tongva for medicine, food, and dye. Between the panels is a Catalina Ironwood. The ironwood gets its name from its very dense wood. The Tongva used the Ironwood’s trunk and branches for tools, arrows, harpoons and canoe paddles. Despite its density, the wood floats - an important consideration for coastal and island communities.