Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 23, 2010

California Wildflower Bloom-Updated Report March 23, 2010

This is a summary of  reports I have put together from websites, discussion groups, personal observations, observations of others and information from parks and government agencies.  This week I am focusing primarily on Northern California with a brief summary of the desert and southern part of the state and am including links for additional information.

Table Mt. (near Oroville, CA) has a lot of bloom but is not yet at peak.  Flowers appearing include Goldfields, Wild Onion, Meadow Foam, Monkey Flowers, Popcorn, Lupine, Buttercups, Red Maids, Blue Dicks, Blennosperma and Butter and Eggs.

Bear Valley and Walker Ridge not much to report at Bear Valley yet.  Walker Ridge has Adobe Lilies, Shooting Stars and Indian Warrior.

Mt. Tamalpais – – Calypso orchids are blooming on Mt. Tamapais on 3/18. Also seen were Milk Maids, Shooting Stars, Baby Blue-eyes, Buttercups, California Golden Poppies and Douglas Iris but still early for most flowers. Foetid Adder’s Tongue is finished.  Calypso Orchids can be found on the Matt Davis Trail about 0.3 miles from the Pantoll parking area and along the Cataract Trail, starting about 0.3 miles from the Rock Spring parking area. Biggest patch was about 0.6 mi. from the trailhead, right after the fourth small wooden footbridge. Check out Ron Wolf’s photos at:

Merced River Canyon/Hite Cove Poppy bloom is average at best in Merced River Canyon as is starting to dry out, and the poppy bloom is nearing its end, Still nice flowers at the beginning of the Hite’s Cove trail.

Mt. Diablo early flowers are coming in nicely. Back Creek trail is looking good. Good Poppies on the North side.

Point Reyes many flowers are in bloom.  I was at Chimney Rock on March 22. See posting:

Edgewood There is a lot to see now. April will probably have best blooms unless there is too much heat.

Report from recent walk  “fading hound’s tongue, gooseberry, zigadene, Ind. Warrior, CA saxifrage, osoberry, fritillary (checker lily), buck brush, shooting star (Henderson’s), winter cress. A  few trillium, lots of leaves & flower stalks lying on the leaves, but no upright, open Pac. starflower blossoms yet. Nice showing of  woodland star, blue witch, variable leafed nemophila, first spreading larkspur, great silver leaf lupine & clematis & massive displays of  “ginormous” Miner’s lettuce leaves, lots of buttercups and muilla & Pac. sanicle, bedstraw & field madder in flower, a few ea.: arroyo lupine, purple sanicle, Brewer’s (bicolor) lupine, gold fields, blue dicks, blue-eyed grass, CA poppies, sun cups, hedge nettle, sticky monkey flower, lomatium, Ind. paintbrush, purple sack clover. Both fat & slim false Solomon’s seal.  A single aster (either very late or very early). Enormous no. of few-flowered collinsia (which I was shown for the first time about 2 yr. ago at which time there were just a few of them near the 7th fence post; this yr. they’ve expanded their territory to an extent that suggests they’re out to take over the preserve). One flower stem of fairy lantern  but no blossom yet.  One stem of owl flower ready to bloom soon. Could see the greenery where we expect the patch of SF collinsia to bloom, across from the spreading larkspur. One surprisingly early bud of cream cups poppy.  One surprise Hooker’s fairy bell somewhere, lots of mouse-eared mimulus, several frag. frit.  Marvelously encouraging profusion of CA plantain.  Leaves of CA tea.  A striped coral root on service road.Madrone in bloom. Some buckeye candelabra visible.  Oh yeah, and “a bit of poison oak”, some with buds ready to open.”

The local public gardens all have a fair number of things in bloom.  I have recently been to the UC Botanical Garden, see post:, Blake Garden see post , and the Tilden Botanic Garden see recent post or a what’s blooming link on its website: All are convenient to the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area and are good places to do photography.  I am guessing the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum is also a good visit, but don’t have a current report.

If you have any other Northern California wildflower updates, additions or corrections please feel free to add as a comment.  Thanks.


Here is a brief summary of some of the major spots.  In general the bloom has been on the slow side this year.   Anza Borrego still seems to be the best spot.  Joshua Tree is showing more flowers but is still early. Death Valley has just a few flowers and it is still early there. Mohave preserve is still mostly green.  Antelope Valley is just starting to bloom.  Carrizo Plain has quite a bit in bloom and some nice display. Current good blooms at Wind Wolves Preserve.

For more detail and updates check the sites below and the individual park sites which can be found at  Wildflower Reports: What’s Blooming Where

Carol Leigh’s California Wildflower Hotsheet (site closed)

DesertUSA – Desert Wildflower reports

Theodore Payne Wildflower Hotline (southern and central California)

Also check the Natural Wanderings Home Page as new information is posted up daily.

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  1. Thank you for these wonderful posts!


  2. We saw a few wildflower blooms in Bear Valley, but March 20 was too early to see the peak bloom for this year. This year’s peak bloom of wildflowers in Bear Valley is predicted to be the first week of April. I’ll go back then to see the peak bloom in hopes of getting better pictures.


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