Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 26, 2013

Southern and Central California Wildflower Updates 4/26/13

Theodore Payne has a new report for Southern and Central California today. Below are some highlights. To see full report, photos and older reports at: Wildflower Hotline.

Entering Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, the Western redbud (Cercis occidentalis) is passing its peak bloom, but still lovely with a freshness of new bringht grren leaves joining the fading pink flowers. Bright patches California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and common madia (Madia elegans) light up the road sides along Highway 198 through Three Rivers into the national parks. The blue spider lupine (Lupinus benthamii) and pinkish Chinese houses (Collinsia heterophylla) add contrast to the yellow/orange palette of the other blossoms. Monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus) are coming into bloom around Kaweah Reservoir in lower elevations.

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden continues to offer visitors nice displays of spring flowering plants. The Meadow Section loop trail offers colorful masses of California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium bellum), Point Reyes meadowfoam (Limnanthes douglasii var. sulfurea), Island bush poppy (Dendromecon harfordii), tree anemone (Carpenteria californica), and purple sage (Salvia leucophylla). Plants currently flowering in the Desert Section include fairy-duster (Calliandra eriophylla), desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata), desert lavender (Hyptis emoryi), several species of penstemon (Penstemon spp.), desert mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua), and prickly pears (Opuntia spp. The stream orchid (Epipactis gigantea) can be found in the Orchid display, and there, look for the hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) as well. The canyon sunflower (Venegasia carpesioides) is in full bloom throughout the canyon below the picturesque and historic Mission Dam, where wild ginger (Asarum caudatum) and redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana) are showing their first few flowers beneath the redwoods (Sequoia sepmpervirens).

At the easternmost end of the Santa Monica Mountains and Griffith Park, the Zoo parking lot and Zoo drive are really colorful right now. The bush sunflower (Encelia californica) and Matilija poppies (Romneya coulteri) are really popping, and this week is probably the last chance to enjoy the ceanothus (Ceanothus spp.) bloom. California flannel bush (Fremontodendron californicum cultivar ‘Ken Taylor’) in the parking lot is quite showy with its large yellow-gold blossoms. The beautiful apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa) is gorgeous with its white flowers and fluffy pink plume-like seeds. Look up at the chaparral covered slopes of Griffith Park for bush monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus). Within the zoo, Cleveland sage

Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach. The California buckeye (Aesculus californica) has large flower spikes on the tips of it’s branches and the flowers smell like grape soda. Representing mallows from the desert to the sea, Indian mallow (Abutilon palmeri) and San Clemente Island mallow (Malacothamnus clementinus) are blooming with golden and lavender flowers. Other newcomers to the spring bloom include scarlet bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius), Hooker’s evening primrose (Oenothera hookeri), and thick leaved yerba santa (Eriodictyon crassifolium). Some prickly characters—wild rose (Rosa californica) and prickly pear cactus (Optuntia littoralis) have beautiful blossoms among their spiny branches. Purple sage (Salvia leucophylla), black sage (Salvia mellifera), Munz’s sage (Salvia munzii), and hummingbird sage (Salvia spathacea) are in full bloom. Their fragrant cousin, woolly blue curls (Trichostema lanatum) is also contributing to the sweet fragrance. Enjoy the heady aroma as you stroll along the pathways.

The bright sun along the trails at Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, is signaling late spring perennials to begin flowering. The chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum), chaparral beard-tongue (Keckiella antirrhinoides), golden yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum) and chaparral yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei) are beginning to flower. Bush monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus) is especially showy everywhere on the reserve. The Western buttercups (Ranunculus occidentalis) are glorious along the South Trans Preserve Trail. California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), goldfields (Lasthenia gracilis), baby-blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii) and balloon clover (Trifolium depaueratum var. truncatum) also can be seen along trail edges. The bush lupines (Lupinus excubitus var. hallii) show up here an there along the trails with the everlastings (Pseudognaphalium spp.) standing tall with them. New to the palette are white-whorled lupine (Lupinus microcarpus), Pomona locoweed (Astragalus pomoensis), collar lupine (Lupinus truncatus) and meadow-rue (Thalictrum fendleri) Enjoy the transition from early to late spring blooms. The SRP has many fragile soils, lichens and plants. Please stay on the trails to take pictures of flowers.

At the MWD Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet, the Wildflower Loop and Lakeview Trails at this popular Inland Empire recreation area have many pretty plants in bloom. California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) is beginning to bloom already, along with white sage (Salvia apiana) in peak bloom, and brittlebush (Encelia farinosa) beginning to wane, but still nice. Look for many butterfly species on these plants. Along the trail edges, look for the outrageous blues of sapphire woollystar (Eriastrum sapphirinum) and parry’s larkspur (Delphinium parryi). Among the rocks scattered about on gentle slopes of DVL North Hills is the pretty pink peninsular onion (Allium peninsulare).

In San Diego County, the area just east of Poway that includes Iron Mountain, Mt. Woodson and the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, has a nice show of color. This is a canyon of large oaks with coastal sage scrub and chaparral filling in adjacent areas. The star of the show here is the snowdrop bush (Styrax redivivus) with its pure white flowers lighting up the shady understory. Bush monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus), with all shades from yellow to deep red, and saniculas (Sanicula spp.) with their tight heads of tiny yellow flowers are very photoworthy. Out in the sunlight, golden yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum) is beginning its bloom. Slender sunflower (Helianthus gracilentus), canyon sunflower (Venegasia capesioides), stinging lupine (Lupinus hirsutissimus), caterpillar phacelia (Phacelia cicutaria var. hispida), Parry’s phacelia (Phacelia parryi), Parish’s bluecurls (Trichostema parishii), checkerbloom (Sidalcea malviflora ssp. sparsiflora), bush poppy (Dendromecon rigida) and the cute little pink Turkish rugging (Chorizanthe staticoides) are all in full bloom.

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