Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 7, 2011

Jepson Prairie Wildflower Update

submitted by
Celia Zavatsky

Jepson Wildflower bloom report as of Memorial Day Weekend
A long-time docent reported it’s more like mid-April out there right now, which is usually prime time for mid-season flowers in bloom. BUT:

“But the real stunner was a very large (maybe 100 sq. ft) bed of Downingia just inside the fence on the south west side of Olcott [Lake]. It was solid blue. I didn’t go through the fences to get a close look (tired from an earlier hike that day), but it was wonderful. I’m betting it still is; if you’ve never seen that kind of display, try to get out in the next couple of days before more seasonal weather hits.”

This is a once in a million chance to see such a terrific display of Downingias — a pool of them really do appear to reflect the blue of the skies — and they dry up very fast. You can see that large a display from the road.
No one is allowed inside the fences without a docent except on the self-guided nature trail located in the triangular pasture across the road from the eucalyptus grove and parking area on the northwest side of Olcott Lake. The touring season for spring 2011 is over, but it will resume next year in March of 2012. To learn more about Jepson Prairie and vernal pools in general go to

If you are going out, be sure to bring deet-based insect repellent as the biting no-see-ums may also emerge as the vernal pools dry up.

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