Wildflower Report: April 13, 2010
Maxwell to Stonyford

Maxwell-Sites Road

The hillside across from the old quarry has four lupines in flower: silver bush lupine, arroyo lupine, bicolored lupine, and white-whorled lupine. At the start of flowering the inflorescence of the white-whorled lupine is upright and radially symmetrical. As the seed pods develop, the flower stock bends into a nearly horizontal position and the pedicels of the developing seed pods that would be facing the ground curve up to bring all of the seed pods to the upper half of the stem where they form a crowded mass quite different from the earlier neatly spaced whorls. Other flowers on the hillside include foothill poppy, silver puffs, wooly sunflower and a white and a blue phacelia. The silver puffs are more striking as seed heads than as flowers. They are common, but short lived, in the rangelands. The white phacelia is imbricate phacelia, the same one that is flowering in Salt Creek Canyon and through the canyon along Bear Valley Road. The blue one is Tansy phacelia. Hairy flowered buckwheat is common on the hillside, but it is not yet in flower; last year’s flower stalks are distinctive. The large masses of pink-flowering shrubs in the channel of Stone Corral Creek are tamarisk, a non-native species that is competing with elderberry and California rose for space on the bank.

Foothill poppy, Eschscholzia caespitosa (left); Silver puffs, Uropappus lindleyi (right)


White-whorled lupine, Lupinus microcarpus var densiflorus


Wooly sunflower, Eriophyllum lanatum (right)


Tansy phacelia, Phacelia tanacetifolia


Sites-Lodoga Road

Wooly sunflower, foothill poppy, and arroyo lupine are on the raveling hillsides of the grade too, but these drier, south-facing slopes have a much less dense cover and an even shallower soil than the slope by the quarry. Chia, chapparal buckwheat, foothill lotus, and the white-and-yellow-flowered wooly malacothrix are common. Indian paintbrush is at the top of the grade.


Chia, Salvia columbariae, and chapparal buckwheat, Eriogonum dasyanthemum


Lodoga-Stonyford Road

Golden fleece is the bright yellow-flowered shrub on road cuts near Goat Mountain Road. There are only a few plants here, but it becomes very common farther north between Stonyford and Elk Creek.

California poppies are larger and more orange than the foothill poppy. They are common along the roadside in many parts of the county. Near Stonyford, they are flowering in large patches beyond the road.

The hill and swale topography just south of Stonyford is bright yellow. California goldfields is flowering on the hills along with bicolored lupine and tricolored gilia.  Yellow-rayed goldfields, which has a larger flower, is flowering in the swales with smooth tidy tips and Sacramento Valley buttercups.


Chapparal buckwheat, Eriogonum dasyanthemum (left); Golden fleece, Ericameria arborescens (right)


California poppy, Eschscholzia californica (left)


Smooth tidy tips, Layia chrysanthemoides, yellow-rayed goldfields, Lasthenia glabrata, and California goldfields, Lasthenia californica

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