The habitat of blue oaks is open savanna to open woodlands with shrubby understories. At lower elevation it merges with annual grasslands, and at higher elevations it blends with chaparral, pinyon and juniper woodlands. The blue oak often grows among gray pines and other oaks species such as live oak, black oak and valley oak.
Coyote brush is a wiry and woody perennial evergreen that looks like a bush. One of the tricks Coyote brush uses is to take on a different shape depending on where it lives. Shaped by salt spray and winds, it hugs low to the ground and forms a ground cover on dunes, ridges and plains. In protected places, like moist canyons and northwest slopes, it grows into tall, erect to mounded shrubs.
The sagebrush is a perennial shrub with straight, stiff stems. Sagebrush can grow to be 2 to 12 feet tall. The leaves are 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long, have a ragged three-toothed edge ("tridentata" means "three-toothed"), grow close together, and are greenish. The actual plant is silvery-grey and roundish. It has small white or yellow flowers that grow close together in groups called florets. The sagebrush produces seeds. This plant is deciduous. The sagebrush has a strong sweet smell and a bitter taste.
French Broom is a small pea-like yellow flowers bloom along the stem in twos or threes between April and June. With each small flower are three green leaves which are about the same size as the flower. It grows its seed in hairy green pods, just like peas. French broom actually belongs to the pea family. The seeds and flowers of brooms are slightly toxic and can cause stomach cramps and indigestion.