Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 30, 2016

Skyline Serpentine Prairie Wildflowers 5/30/16

Skyline Serpentine Prairie is a restored and protected area in Redwood Regional Park. The management of the area includes prescribed burns and the weeding out of invasive species. Serpentine is the official California state rock.  Serpentine areas are not supportive of many alien species creating an area that is supportive of native wildflowers and grasses.  Much of the prairie is protected by fence but is easily viewed and photographed from the surrounding paths.

While the Prairie is a grassland it is in Redwood Park and next to a woodland with Oak, Bay and Coyote Bush. Poison Oak is also present.

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The highlight today was the Yellow Mariposa Tulip Calochortus luteus, which has started bloom and was fairly abundant. In bloom in good numbers were also California Poppy Eschscholzia californica, Hayfield Tarweed Hemizonia congesta ssp. luzulifoli and
Ithuriel’s Spear Triteleia laxa.  Soap Root were also present, but don’t bloom until later in the day. There were a few of the rare and endangered Presidio Clarkia Clarkia franciscana.

Birds identified were Western Scrub Jay, Northern Mockingbird, Anna’s Hummingbird, Raven and Barn Swallow. The only butterflies identified was a California Buckeye.

For more information about the Skyline Serpentine Prairie, you can read this article by Stephen W. Edwards, Ph.D. the former director of the Regional Parks Botanic Garden: There is also an illustrated wildflower guide for the Skyline Serpentine Prairie at


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