Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 14, 2014

How Will Drought Affect Wildflowers?

Bay Nature has an article on how the drought may affect wildflowers. A few highlights are:

  • With less than normal rainfall, the plants most likely to bloom are those that are already established and don’t have to start from scratch (that is, from seed). Woody shrubs like manzanitas (Arctostaphylos species), silktassels (Garrya species), and flowering currants and gooseberries (Ribes species) are among the earliest native bloomers in the Bay Area.
  • Some perennial plants—those that go dormant and often die back to their roots during the dry season—are also able to flower with less-than-optimal rainfall, and they’re beginning to bloom in many parts of the Bay Area. Look for milk maids (Cardamine californica), Indian warrior (Pedicularis densiflora), shooting stars (Primula clevelandii and Primula hendersonii), hound’s tongue (Cynoglossum grande), and California poppies (Eschscholzia californica).
  • Annual wildflowers, growing from seed each year, have the toughest time with drought.

Read the full article at:  How Are Wildflowers Coping with the Drought? « Bay Nature.


  1. […] How Will Drought Effect Wildflowers? […]


  2. Hi Sandy, watching the rain patterns in the bay area it seems the bay area down to about Paso Robles had a good share of recent rains and the timing seems right for a possible bloom in some of the areas hot spots, Pt Reyes, Mt Diablo, Hunter Liggett, etc, any thoughts? Absolutely dry here in So Calif, a total write off this year but hope for areas north of about Paso Robles. Spencer


    • I hesitate to make any predictions myself. I do know the coastal areas such as Pt. Reyes can be helped by moisture from fog drip. I do plan to check out a burn area from last year’s fire at Mt. Diablo and will report what I fine. I also will let you know what I see when I get up to Pt. Reyes which should be sometime in the next several weeks.


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