Recent Wildflower Reports

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June 6, 2015

Some of the plants seen in the Bull Point area of Point Reyes National Seashore were Clarkia davyi (small-flowered Clarkia), Castilleja ambigua ssp. ambigua (grassland Johnny-nip), Horkelia marinensis (Point Reyes horkelia), Leptosiphon parviflorus (small-flowered leptosiphon), Leptosiphon grandiflorus (large-flowered leptosiphon), Rhododendron columbianum (western Labrador tea), Epipactis gigantea (giant stream orchid), Heterotheca sessiliflora (golden-aster), Epilobium ciliatum ssp. watsonii (coastal willow-herb), Spergularia macrotheca (pink large-fruited spurrey), and Chloropyron maritimum ssp. palustre (Point Reyes bird's-beak).

Photos by Vernon Smith

Clarkia davyi (small-flowered Clarkia)

June 3, 2015

Some of the plants seen in the San GEronimo area of Marin were Clarkia amoena ssp. huntiana (Hunt's Clarkia), Calochortus luteus (yellow mariposa), Gilia capitata ssp. capitata (round-headed blue gilia), Brodiaea elegans (harvest Brodiaea), Triteleia laxa (Ithuriel's spear), and Campanula griffinii (Griffin's bellflower).

Photos by Vernon Smith

Clarkia amoena ssp. huntiana (Hunt's Clarkia)

May 29, 2015

Some of the plants seen at various locations on Mt. Tamalpais were Cirsium occidentale var. occidentale (cobweb thistle), Minuartia douglasii (serpentine sandwort), Triteleia hyacinthina (white triteleia), Calochortus luteus (yellow mariposa), Clintonia andrewsiana (Andrew's Clintonia), and Rhododendron occidentale (western azalea).

Photos by Vernon Smith

Cirsium occidentale var. occidentale (cobweb thistle)

May 26, 2015

Some things seen at Ring Mt. Open Space Preserve in Tiburon were Hesperolinon congestum (Marin western dwarf flax), Monardella purpurea serpentine monardella, Clarkia rubicunda (ruby chalice Clarkia), Calochortus tiburonensis (Tiburon mariposa lily), and a fine Anise Swallowtail butterfly.

Photos by Vernon Smith

Hesperolinon congestum Marin Western Dwarf Flax

May 20, 2015

Some of the plants in flower on a visit to Crown Road extension in Kent Woodlands were Clarkia concinna ssp. concinna (red ribbons Clarkia), and Streptanthus glandulosus ssp. secundus (one-sided jewel-flowe).

Photos by Vernon Smith

Clarkia concinna ssp. concinna (red ribbons Clarkia)

April 28, 2015

Some of the plants in flower on a visit to Lake Lagunitas were Calochortus amabilis (Diogenes's lantern), Amorpha californica var. napensis (Napa false-indigo), Rosa gymnocarpa (woodland rose), Lithophragma affine (woodland star), Viola ocellata (two-eyed violet), and Calochortus uniflorus (Monterey star-tulip).
The Calochortus amabilis is very uncommon in Marin County.

Photos by Vernon Smith

Calochortus amabilis (Diogenes's lantern)

April 25 and 30, 2015

We paid two visits to Tomales recently. In part this was to monitor the Clarkia concinna ssp. raichei (Raiche's red-ribbon clarkia) blooming along the bluffs on Highway 1, south of Tomales. Some of the plants also present in that location were Orobanche uniflora (one-flowered broomrape), and Amsinckia lunaris (bent-flowered fiddleneck). At Elephant Rocks the Brodiaea terrestris ssp. terrestris (dwarf brodiaea) were in fine bloom, and on Highway 1, north of Tomales we saw Limnanthes douglasii ssp. nivea (coast range meadowfoam), and Lasthenia conjugens (Contra Costa goldfields).

Photos by Vernon Smith

Clarkia concinna ssp. raichei (Raiche's red-ribbon clarkia)

April 25, 2015

On  a MALT Wildflower Walk on April 25, 2015 we visited Leiss Ranch in the Chileno Valley, courtesy of the owner, Nancy Chaffin.
We were fortunate to find Hesperolinon californicum (California dwarf flax) which is very uncommon in Marin County. This ranch is near the border with Sonoma County but still in Marin.
Some of the other species seen were Hemizonia congesta ssp. lutescens (yellow hayfield tarplant), Microseris douglasii (Douglas' dandelion), Achillea millefolium (yarrow), Sidalcea diploscypha (serpentine annual sidalcea), Castilleja densiflora var. densiflora (pink owl's clover), Calystegia subacaulis ssp. subacaulis (short-stem morning-glory), and Brodiaea elegans (harvest brodiaea).

Photos by Vernon Smith

Hesperolinon californicum (California dwarf flax)

April 6, 2015

We visited Samuel P. Taylor State Park and adjacent areas and saw a selection of the plants of the Redwood Forest, including Anemone grayi (Gray's anemone), Trillium ovatum ssp. ovatum (white trillium), Oxalis oregana (redwood sorrel), Viola glabella (streamside violet), Prosartes smithii (Smith's fairy-bells), Prosartes hookeri (Hooker's fairy-bells), Pectiantia ovalis (Bishop's cap), Tellima grandiflora (fringe-cups), and Maianthemum stellatum (false Solomon's seal).

Photos by Vernon Smith

Anemone grayi (Gray's anemone)

March 27, 2015

A group of volunteers conducted a 'Plant Safari' organized by Andrea Williams of the M.M.W.D. at Nicasio reservoir on March 27, 2015 in search of some specific plants that were known or expected to be there but had not been collected and GPS coordinates obtained.
One group led by Andrea Williams searched the "Island" area, and the other led by Doreen Smith concentrated on the North shores of the reservoir.
Some of the plants seen were Wyethia angustifolia (narrow-leaf mule-ears), Castilleja subinclusa ssp. franciscana (franciscan paintbrush), Lupinus albifrons var. collinus (prostrate silverleaf lupine), Wyethia glabra (large-leaved mule-ears), Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary), and Fritillaria affinis "var. tristulis" (Pt. Reyes chocolate lily).

Photos by Vernon Smith

Wyethia angustifolia (narrow-leaf mule-ears)

March 14, 2015

Doreen and Vernon Smith, Sarah Minnick, and Shelly Benson visited the grasslands of Mt. Burdell on March 14, 2015.
Some of the species seen were Githopsis specularioides (common bluecup), Thysanocarpus curvipes (fringe-pod), Cicendia quadrangularis (square cicendia), Trifolium barbigerum (bearded clover), Layia chrysanthemoides (smooth tidytips), Calandrinia menziesii (redmaids), Leptosiphon androsaceus (showy leptosiphon), and Monolopia major (cupped monolopia).

Photos by Vernon Smith

Githopsis specularioides (common bluecup)

March 19, 2015

Jane Huber reports seeing many flowers blooming on the Shadyside of Bon Tempe, including milkmaids, hound's tongue, iris, shooting stars, and mission bells. On Lagunitas-Rock Spring Fire Road there are one or two spots with dense displays of Claytonia gypsophiloides. Rocky Ridge Fire Road is blazing with manzanitas and ceanothus. I found just one Oakland star tulip and several bush poppies blooming there.

Her photos can be seen at

March 13, 2015

On a trip out to West Marin and back, we saw a variety of species in flower including,
Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary) at Nicasio Reservoir, Ranunculus lobbii (Lobb's aquatic buttercup) near Hicks Valley School, Iris longipetala (long-petaled iris) near Chilleno Valley School, Lasthenia californica ssp. californica (California goldfields), Sidalcea malviflora (checkerbloom), and Triphysaria eriantha ssp. rosea (Pelican flower) at the Elephant Rocks on the Tomales - Dillon Beach Rd, and an unusually-dark color form of Delphinium nudicaule (red larkspur)Lithophragma affine (common woodland-star), and Romanzoffia californica (California mist-maiden) on the bluffs along Highway 1 south of Tomales.

Text by Doreen and Vernon Smith, Photos by Vernon Smith

Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary)

March 7, 2015

Fritillaria liliacea IMG 6666c2Aaron Arthur and Phil Greer visited the population of Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary) on the 'Island' at Nicasio Reservoir and report that of the approximately 20% of the population that they sampled, about half is in bloom. Most blooming individuals contained only a single bloom, and there were few unopened buds.  Having visited this site many times, they suspect that we are at the height of the bloom which will probably last for only about 7-10 days, especially given the dry conditions and warm weather forecast.  So anyone wanting to see this population is encouraged to get out there quickly!

 Note added by Vernon Smith.
Doreen and I saw another population by the side of the road on Nicasio Valley Road on the reservoir side that were blooming well on March 6, 2015. This location is easier to access than the Island.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary) Photo by Vernon Smith