Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 12, 2019

Santa Monica Mountains Wildflowers 5/10/19

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has two recent reports

Malibu Creek State Park Backbone Trail 5/10
         Today I hiked the westbound backbone trail from the Piuma Trailhead, just south of Tapia Park on Malibu Canyon Road. If you hike a couple miles up this trail you will be treated to fields of Large Flowered Phacelia. I have never seen so much of this flower in one place, spectacular! Look for them on the side of the trail that slopes down into the canyon. On the way up I saw Orange Monkey Flower, Yellow Pincushion, Bush Lupine, Deerweed, Morning Glory, a couple other kinds of Phacelia, Bush Poppy, Indian Stars, and a couple of Fire Poppy’s.
Solstice Canyon TRW Loop Trail 5/7
         Solstice Canyon has reopened within the last month following damage from the Woolsey Fire. Most trails are now open. I took the TRW Loop which heads uphill starting just beyond the parking lot. The first impression is that there is nothing there but the charred skeletons of chaparral shrubs and endless invasive mustard plants, many over ten feet tall. However, a closer look shows that there are many native plants growing under and around the mustard. There is a lot of wild morning glory, caterpillar phacelia and bush sunflower. Fire followers; coastal lotus, Hubby’s phacelia, sticky phacelia and large flower phacelia are present. I encountered the first rose snapdragons that I have seen this season. As the trail descends to the creek there is much less mustard and quite a bit of canyon sunflower.

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