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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 20, 2010

Ring Mt. Wildflowers

In search of the  rare Tiburon Mariposa Lily Calochortus tiburonensis, we went to Ring Mt.,which is part of the Marin County Open Space District.  We followed “Bay Area Hikers” suggested route: http://www.bahiker.com/northbayhikes/ringmountain.html

The route is scenic and  views include San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, and San Quentin prison. Much of the preserve is grasslands which are now dried and brown.  The trail started out with a number of alien plants such dandelions and mustard, there were soon many native species still in bloom.  Most plentiful was Common Madia. Lots of dark butterflies were flying around but never landed or opened their wings for more than a fraction of a second. Best guess is they were  Ox-eyed Satyr.  Upon getting home I found on the internet an old Calphoto posting from May 27, 1998 by Arnel Guanlao that listed most of the flowers I had seen and was most helpful with plant identification: http://calphoto.com/ring.htm As it was windy and midday I only took a compact camera today. Here are a few photos to give you an idea of some of what I saw.

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Ring Mt. is a preserve and its mission is to help protect natural places including the plants and animals that are found there.  If you find the Mariposa Lily, please be extremely careful as it is rare and endangered.  This is the only place in the world it can be found!!  I have noticed people picking wildflowers my last two times at Ring Mt. fortunately none were picking the rare ones.  Picking wildflowers on public lands is illegal, results in there being less seed to produce plants next year and most wildflowers never make it home or die very quickly as they don’t last long when picked.

Click on More to see plant list.

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Ring Mt. Plant List

Plants seen and identified on June 19, 2010 including natives and some aliens.

California Blackberry (Rubus ursinus)
California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
Chick Lupine (Lupinus microcarpus var. microcarpus)
Clarkia purpurea or rubicunda
Climbing Morning Glory (Calystegia purpurata ssp. purpurata)
Common Madia (Madia elegans)
Coyote Mint (Monardella sp.)
Golden Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus)
Italian thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus), which is an invasive weed,
Ithuriel’s Spear (Triteleia laxa)
Narrowleaf flax (Linum bienne)
Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis)
Smooth Owl’s Clover (Triphysaria versicolor ssp. faucibarbata)
Soap Root (Chlorogalum pomeridianum var. pomeridianum)
Sticky Rosinweed (Calycadenia multiglandulosa).
Tiburon Mariposa Lily (Calochortus tiburonensis)
Tidy Tips (Layia platyglossa)
Western Larkspur (Delphinium hesperium var. hesperium)
Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)

Fell free to submit corrections to the comments section.

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