Wildflower Report: April 5, 2010
Bear Valley Road & Bear Valley

Year after year one of the most intense flower displays occurs in a corral just beyond Highway 20 on Bear Valley Road. The flowers are mostly smooth tidy tips. The annual cycle of protection during flowering and extreme disturbance leaving nearly bare ground after seed set favors this species. The tidy tips here flower a little before those in Bear Valley; they are in full flower now. On the adjacent hillside, the plants are not so dense, but still numerous. Smooth tidy tips grow on the deeper soils at the base of the hill, and California goldfields grow higher up on shallower soils. The best time to see the most color is on a warm, sunny day. Some flowers, such as poppies, close at night and on cloudy days. Frying pans, a smaller poppy than the California poppy is flowering on the cut slopes along Bear Valley Road. It was closed when I was there on a cloudy day.


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Bear Valley Road

Smooth tidy tips, Layia chrysanthemoides

Hillside with smooth tidy tips, Layia chrysanthemoides in foreground, California goldfields, Lasthenia californica, in background (left); Frying pans, Eschscholzia caespitosa (right)


Bear Valley

Creamcups are also in the poppy family, and they too close when the light is low. Still, they are beautiful. There are two tidy tips in Bear Valley; one, smooth tidy tips, has white tips and the other, common tidy tips, is all yellow. The common names are misnomers in Bear Valley since the smooth tidy tips are much more common.

Creamcups, Platystemon californicus (left); California goldfields, Lasthenia californica (right)


Common tidy tips, Layia platyglossa


Click here to view photos from Highway 20 through Salt Creek Canyon & Stonyford(4.5.10)

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