Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 15, 2013

Southern California Wildflower Updates 3/15/13

Theodore Payne posted a new wildflower update today. To see full report, photos and older reports go to: Theodore Payne Wildflower Hotline. Some Highlights from today’s report:

  • Wildflowers are in bloom at Harford Springs Preserve in Western Riverside County mostly in the southern part of the park. California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) are blooming in large patches on several hillsides with California bells (Phacelia minor) and California figwort (Scrophularia californica) spotting the landscape among the rocks and boulders. Forget-me-nots (Cryptantha spp.), popcorn flowers (Plagiobothrys spp.) and California sun cup (Camissoniopsis bistorta) are plentiful beside the trails. Chia (Salvia columbariae) is abundant but shorter in stature this year. Chocolate lillies (Fritillaria biflora) are starting to bloom next to junipers along the grassy slopes near Ida Leona Road. Cream cups (Platystemmon californicus) are small this year, but patchy in the landscape in little swales. Oak gooseberry (Ribes quercertorum), hoary-leaved (Ceanothus crassifolius), and wild cucumber (Marah macrocarpa) are the major perennials in bloom. There are a few small patches of baby blue-eyes (Nemophila menziesii) in the shade of the magnificent juniper


  • Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, the Clinton Keith Road that brings you to the Plateau is stunning with hoary-leaf ceanothus (Cenothus crassifolius) in peak bloom. On the Reserve’s trails, the shooting stars (Dodecatheon clevelandii) are particularly showy growing among ground pinks (Linanthus dianthiflorus) and California poppies (Eschscholzia californica).  In the grassy meadows and slopes, blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchiumbellum) and checkerbloom (Sidalcea malviflora) are in bloom. Look in shaded areas along the trails for milk maids (Cardamine californica), Western buttercups (Ranunculusoccidentalis), violets (Viola douglassii) and miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata ssp. mexicana).
  • Cleveland National Forest wildflowers are painting a palette of bright colors along the Santiago Truck Trail, near Modjeska Canyon. Hiking in the area you will come across nice displays of California poppies (Eschscholtzia californica), four lupine species (Lupinus bicolor, L. hirsutissimus, L. succulentus and L. truncatus), four or five phacelia species (Phacelia spp.), popcorn flower (Plagiobotrys sp.), chia (Salvia columbariae), native lotus (Acmispon strigosus), red maids (Calandrinia ciliata) and owl’s clover (Castilleja exserta). Wild hyacinth (Dichelostemma capitata) is poking up among the grasses and annuals. Of course, there are many interesting native perennials and shrubs like ceanothus as well. Nearby is also a small grove of rare manzanita relatives, mission manzanita (Xylococcus bicolor) and summer holly (Comarostaphylis diversifolia). Santiago Truck Trail is popular with mountain bikers, so watch out for the two wheelers speeding by!
  • Pinnacles National Monument. On the Balconies Ridge trail, Condor Gulch trail and along Hwy 146 E. enjoy the gold and red colors of goldfields (Lasthenia californica), wallflower (Erysimum capitatum), and Indian Warrior (Pedicularis densiflora). Chia (Salvia columbariae), tufted poppy (Eschscholzia caespitosa), bush poppy (Dendromecon rigida), silver bush lupine (Lupinus albifrons), baby blue-eyes (Nemophila menziesii), blue fiesta flower (Pholistoma auritum), and blue dicks (Dichelostemma capitata) paint a beautiful palette of yellow, gold and blue in the landscape.  Fremont’s star lily (Toxicoscordion fremontii), two shooting star species (Dodecatheon clevelandii ssp. patulum and Dodecatheon herndersonii) are outstanding specialities that you must see here!

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