Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 1, 2011

Ring Mountain Wildflower Report 5/29/11 – updated 6/1/11

Updated 6/1/11

 For large better quality photos click: Large Photos

Having heard the reports that the Tiburon Mariposa Lily (Calochortus tiburonensis) was starting to bloom about a week ago, we decided to go to Ring Mt. and see for ourselves. It was in bloom and more flowers were still in bud so it will be blooming for a while. There were also many other flowers in bloom as well. It was windy and sunny so as not the best day for photography but I persisted either creating my own shade or using a diffuser. There were good views of the city of San Francisco and the prison of San Quentin.

Calochortus tiburonensis is a very rare member of the Calochortus genus and the only place it can be found is in a serpentine outcrop in the grasslands of Ring Mt. It was federally listed as a threatened species in 1995. Although the land is protected by the Marin Open Space District and the Nature Conservancy, this single population is vulnerable to wildfires and drought. It is also threatened by hikers, cyclists, vandalism and wildflower collectors. The last two times I was at Ring Mt. I observed people collecting wildflowers (though not the Calochortus tiburonensis) which is illegal. Fortunately, most of the Tiburon Mariposa Lily is off the trail and not easily visible unless you know what to look for.  Calochortus tiburonensis was only first identified in the early 1970’s, which is probably due to its brownish color making it almost invisible as it grows with grasses that have also often turned brown by the time it blooms.  An interesting article is  about Calochortus tiburonens is My Hunt for an Endangered Species by Michael Mace.

Beware of Poison Oak.

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Too see a plant list of what was in bloom today click on read more

Ring Mountain Plant List 5/29/11

Achillea millefolium     Yarrow, Common
Aesculus californica     Buckeye, California
Allium lacunosum var. lacunosum     Onion, Pitted
Allium unifolium     Onion, One-leaf
Anaphalis margartiacea    Pearly Everlasting
Calochortus tiburonensis     Lily, Tiburon Mariposa
Carduus pycnocephalus     Thistle, Italian
Chlorogalum pomeridianum     Soap Plant
Collinsia heterophylla     Chinese Houses
Delphinium hesperium ssp. hesperium     Larkspur, Western
Dudleya farinosa     Dudleya, Powdery Liveforever
Eriogonum nudum var. nudum     Buckwheat, Nude var. nudum
Eriophyllum confertiflorum     Golden Yarrow
Eschscholzia californica     Poppy, California
Hemizonia congesta ssp. lutescens Tarweed, Yellow Hayfield ssp. lutescens
Hesperolinon congestum     Flax, Marin Dwarf
Lasthenia gracilis     Goldfields, Slender
Layia platyglossa     Tidy-tips
Linum bienne     Flax, Narrow-leaved/Small-flowered/Pale
Lomatium dasycarpum ssp. dasycarpum     Lomatium, Woolly-fruited
Lotus sp.    Trefoil
Lupinus microcarpus     White Lupine
Lupinus nanus     Lupine, Sky
Madia sativa     Tarweed, Coast/Common
Mimulus aurantiacus     Monkeyflower, Sticky/Bush/Island
Mimulus guttatus     Monkeyflower, Large/Yellow/Seep
Minuartia douglasii     Sandwort, Douglas’
Phacelia californica     Phacelia, California
Physocarpus capitatus Ninebark, Pacific/Western ( in fruit)
Ranunculus californicus     Buttercup, California
Rosa californica     Rose, California
Rubus ursinus     Blackberry, California
Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea     Elderberry, Blue
Sisyrinchium bellum Blue-eyed-grass
Stachys ajugoides var. rigida     Hedge Nettle, Rigid
Thermopsis macrophylla     False-Lupine, Santa Inez
Triphysaria versicolor ssp. faucibarbata     Clover, Smooth/Yellowbeak Owl’s
Triteleia hyacinthina     Brodiaea, White
Triteleia laxa     Ithuriel’s Spear
Wyethia angustifolia   Mule Ears, Narrow-leaved


  1. Nice shots! I got to see C. tiburonensis a couple years ago, and it really is an extraordinary flower–outlandish and fascinating.

    Is it just me, or is there even more poison oak than usual this year? Yes, it’s always ubiquitous, but I feel like I’m seeing it in more places and larger masses this year (all that rain, maybe?).


    • I am not sure if there is more but there certainly isn’t less. The rains that have been for the grasses are probably good for shrubs. I am pretty sure Poison Oak is our most abundant under 5000 feet elevation.

      Sandy Natural History Wanderings


    • I am not sure if there is more but there certainly isn’t less. The rains that have been good for the grasses is probably good for shrubs. I am pretty sure Poison Oak is our most abundant shrub under 5000 feet elevation.


  2. You got some great shots of the mariposa, especially considering how windy it’s been lately. I hear you about the poison oak — I’m scritchin’ and scratchin’ on all four limbs!


    • Thanks. Watch out for the Poison Oak especially when laying on the ground for those ant’s eye’s view photos. And I thought your problem was mainly ticks.


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