Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 22, 2012

Owens Valley/Alabama Hills Wildflower Bloom Update

The BLM website for Bishop just published the following wildflower report. Note that although the report was posted on May 21, it is dated for May 11 so some of the information may be old but helpful in predicting what is going on now.

Things are really starting to bloom here in the Owens Valley. While we are not getting a huge amount of color from annuals this year due to the dry winter, the shrubs are really starting to take off.

Head up Fish Slough Rd towards its junction with Chidago Canyon Rd to catch some amazing indigo bush and apricot globe mallow. For more indigo bush, head up towards the Sparkplug Mine (accessed through White Mt Ranch Road off of Highway 6), but make sure you have 4WD and high clearance because this road can get pretty tough. Also out this way is Spiny hop-sage, and stands of Prince’s plume.

Head out to the Volcanic tablelands closer to Benton Crossing Road on Casa Diablo Rd and you can spot some Bitterbrush blooming vibrant yellow, and Silver leaf lupine along the side of the road.

Farther south, head up Mazourka Canyon Rd for to see Creosote in full bloom.

Down in the Alabama Hills, nothing showy is blooming, although the white blooms of Lepidium fremontii are out. In the riparian areas of the Alabama Hills, there are more flowers, including the delicate Epipactis gigantea. But, be cautious about getting too close – these riparian areas are extremely sensitive to disturbance!

There is also Iris (Iris missouriensis) blooming in local irrigated pastures in Round Valley and off Barlow Lane at the north end of Bishop.

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