Wildflower Report: March 21, 2010

Redbuds have started to flower. On Highway 20 through Salt Creek Canyon they are almost all roadside plants. Right now their pattern of flowering maps the microclimate of the canyon. Flowering is most advanced on the two ends of the canyon where the hills become lower. Within the canyon, the bloom is more advanced on plants on the north, sunny, side of the road than on plants on the south side.  Buckbrush and silver bush lupine are also flowering in the canyon.  Bluedicks, Ithuriel’s spear, and  common fiddleneck are flowering in open sites with deeper soils. On the canyon sides Indian paintbrush and California saxifrage are on the south side and chia, imbricate phacellia, and foothill penstemon on the north side.

At Bear Valley the adobe lily flowers are beginning to fade. Fremont’s zigadene, another geophyte of the clay soils, will start to flower in the coming week. There are many annuals in flower. Johnnytuck and bicolored linanthus are small plants on the grassland soils. The flowers in large masses on the gravelly fans are primarily California creamcups, California goldfields and bird’s eye gillia. The white patches visible on the hills on the west side of the valley are popcorn flowers. Buttercups are flowering in the wetlands. They will be in flower for months. Most of the open flowers are at the south end of Bear Valley. Later, as the season ends, there will be more flowers at the north end.

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Bear Valley Annuals


Johnnytuck, Tryphisaria eriantha (left);
Bicolored linanthus, Linanthus bicolor (center & right)

California creamcups, Platystemon californicus (left); Bird’s eye gilia, Gilia tricolor (center); California creamcups, California goldfields, bird’s eye gilia, and redmaids (right)



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