Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 19, 2011

Santa Monica Mountain Wildflower Update 6/17/11

Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area just published a new wildflower report for 6/17/11.  They have a new posting for the Mishe Mokwa Loop at  Circle X Ranch.  Below is the report:

 Circle X Ranch     Mishe Mokwa Loop     6/17/11 

“We hiked on a heavily overcast day.  It was cool and the colors of the landscape were fully saturated.  We had hiked two weeks ago and then it looked as though the scarlet larkspur was on the brink of blooming so we came to see if it was now in bloom.  The answer is, mostly, no.  We did see a very few plants in full bloom but mostly it was still more promise than even buds.  I remain surprised at the great sense of the landscape being in full bloom even as we are heading into July.  I believe that we saw a fewer number of varieties of plants in bloom but on this hike you will be constantly surrounded by flowers.

We started from the northern parking lot and headed to Sandstone Peak when we joined the loop trail.  Immediately we saw California buckwheat, deerweed, black sage, chamise, golden yarrow, Turkish rugging, woolly blue curls, slender tarweed, yellow monkey flower and many blooming yuccas.  On this spur trail we saw a single, perfect Plummer’s mariposa lily, a harbinger of beautiful things to come.

Once we joined the loop trail we saw many goldenstar lilies, bush mallow, sticky monkey flower, bush lupine, lance leaf dudleya, scarlet larkspur, heart leaf penstemon, popcorn flower, farewell-to-spring and sticky madia.  The star of this section of trail remains the exquisite yellow mariposas.  We counted more than 80 in the loop.  There are a few remaining caterpillar phacelias, purple nightshade, virgin’s bower seedpods and even a little greenbark ceanothus.

Once beyond Sandstone Peak we saw blue dicks, some blue larkspur, California everlasting, chalk live forever, purple clarkia and wild brodiaea.  White pitcher sage began to appear frequently in bloom.  As we moved into the moist areas approaching Split Rock we saw California chicory, wild morning glory, chaparral honeysuckle, cinquefoil, vervain and peninsular onion.  There was creek monkey flower in the creek.  Flower watching is still very good at Circle X.”  – Dorothy Steinicke

Go to their website to see all of their reports:

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