Although we have had little rain, this year may still prove to be a pretty good one for wildflowers. Last week my husband and I went on our first explore and we were pleasantly surprised. I think the recent bit of rain and snow may have helped. Some of the lower mountains still have snow, so not only did the ground get water, but it got a soft, wet blanket as well.
Before posting pictures of California scenery and wildflowers I’d like to remind everyone: please, enjoy this amazing spectacle, but protect it as well. Don’t walk out into the fields of flowers to get that perfect Instagram shot. Be gentle, be kind, and help protect this amazing treasure.
Arvin, Bealville and Caliente
Northeast of Arvin Cross, golden fiddlenecks cover the hills and valleys. Poppies, lupines and popcorn flowers are sprinkled among the golden fiddlenecks. Further north towards Caliente and Bealville, bladder pod shrubs are in their glory. The cottonwoods are blooming and leafing out. The light bark of the leafless western sycamores and the dark, twisted branches of the blue oaks add color and structure, creating the bucolic landscape that blesses California.
- Fiddlenecks (Amsinckia spp.)
- Stanislaus Milkvetch (Astragalus oxyphysus)
- Red Maids (Calandrinia menziesii)
- Cobweb thistle (Cirsium occidentale) – not yet in bloom
- Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata)
- Blue Dicks (Dipterostemon capitatus)
- California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
- Minature Lupine (Lupinus bicolor)
- Coulter’s Lupine (Lupinus sparsiflorus)
- Arroyo Lupine (Lupinus succulentus)
- Wishbone Bush (Mirabilis laevis)
- Bladderpod (Peritoma arborea var. globosa)
- Caterpillar Scorpionweed (Phacelia cicutaria)
- Fiesta Flower (Pholistoma membranaceum)
- Rusty Popcorn Flower(Plagiobothrys nothofulvus)
(Note: Any errors in identification or nomenclature are mine and mine alone. Please, gently correct me, if necessary. 😌 )
The Theodore Payne Foundation Wildflower Hotline begins on March 3 with reports presented in both pdf and oral formats. The website also includes reports from previous years. Facebook has a couple of groups where people share their wildflowering tips. You can also find earlier posts about wildflowers on Weeding Wild Suburbia.
Be Part of the Solution
We should all be mindful that California’s wildflowers are a gift that is not guaranteed into the future. Climate change, development, solar and windmill farms, and other human activities put them at risk. If you love them as much as I do, educate yourself about the things we can do to help protect them. Get political!
The California Native Plant Society works to protect our native flora. Join a chapter, donate, and attend programs. Our local chapter – San Gabriel Mountains Chapter – has excellent field trips and programs. You do not have to be a member to attend, though your support keeps our programs going and furthers our efforts to protect the health and beauty of California.