Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 3, 2012

Santa Monica Mountain Wildflower Update 6/2/12

Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area just published a new wildflower bloom report for 6/2/12 

Overall comments

  Early on this year there was little to report as the lack of rain made for a pretty barren winter.  The atypical deep dust of this past winter was knocked down by the late spring rains but things are still unusually dry and the dust has returned. One indication of the dryness is how little water there is in many of our seasonal creeks. These creeks are largely spring fed and the lack of water is a result of unusually low water tables.  The flower displays I’ve seen recently seem a bit more typical of this time of year but I’d judge still not as good as normal.  It is interesting to note that the early extended dry spell followed by a fair quantity of rain rather late in the season has “confused” some of our plants. For example, many ceanothus are flowering again much latter in the season than is typical for them, with some plants simultaneously showing both mature fruit and flowers on the same shrub.  I suspect this weather pattern is at least partly behind the great display of the yucca and bush monkey flower this year.  Finally, the recent appearance of the California fuchsia is a sure sign that spring is moving on.

Point Mugu State Park    La Jolla Canyon Loop Trail     Date: 05/28

I haven’t taken this hike in many years and I’m not sure why because it is a true pleasure.  Although this has been a sparse season for flowers this hike has many and in great quantities.

Just in the parking lot there were cliff asters, sticky monkey flower, bush sunflower, giant coreopsis and blooming yucca on display.  As you start up the trail there are delicate mallows, datura, Indian paintbrush, morning glory, golden yarrow, deer weed, California buckwheat, purple sage and black sage, blooming prickly pear, heart leaf penstemon and California everlasting.  At the dripping waterfall we found both creek monkey flower and scarlet monkey flower.  Continuing on there were caterpillar phacelia, Indian pinks, wishbone flower, hedge nettle, canyon sunflower, both big pod ceanothus and green bark ceanothus, elder flower, California bee plant and hummingbird sage.  We looped through La Jolla Canyon which is just spectacularly beautiful.  Didn’t see a whole lot of additional species but the beauty of the walk was well worth it.  We did see buttercups and white yarrow as well as both purple and white nightshade.

Go to their website to see all of their reports: http://www.researchlearningcenter.org/bloom/


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