Posted by: Sandy Steinman | February 8, 2020

Southern & Central California Wildflower Hotspot Location Guide

A Guide to Wildflower Locations in Central and Southern California  by Spencer Westbrook is likely the best source for Southern and Central California wildflower locations. It includes 27 wildflower hotspots and one fall color secret site. Areas include trips to Yosemite, Central Coast and Coast Range, Southern Sierras, Sothern San Joaquin Valley, Cuyama and Carrizo Plain, Antelope Valley and the Mojave Desert. Spencer description of his choice of areas to include in the books.

This list comprises my ‘hot spot’ locations, that is, locations where I have found beautiful landscapes and displays of flowers often away from crowds or heavily traveled highways.“

For each location he includes

  • What to expect: This section typically includes descriptions of landscape, habitat,  flowers and local natural and human features
  • Getting there: Covers detailed directions and might include possible photo spots or other points of interest to stop along the way
  • When to go:  Tells you which months are best for wildflower bloom

There are additional resources including websites, phones numbers and visitor information for many of the areas.  Also a list of some of the most common wildflowers found in the areas covered by the book.

I would suggest that you also bring a long a wildflower field guide covering the specific area visited both to include more flowers than found in Spencer’s book and help with plant ID.

A Guide to Wildflower Locations in Central and Southern California can be purchased through the Theodore Payne Foundation at for $20. You can also view sample pages at this site.



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