One of the best resources for people looking for wildflowers all across California just fired up for 2015.
The Theodore Payne Foundation is a wonderful organization dedicated to education and propagation of native plants. Its nursery is stocked with helpful staff and volunteers, and they hold regular classes and also have a lovely little trail on a hill just above their greenhouses – and every spring, they produce a weekly report on the condition of wildflowers all across the Golden State.
The first report was just issued and it echoes Scott’s report that the deserts are starting to bloom a bit early this year. The TPF says Death Valley probably won’t have a great bloom this year but it may still pull off a nice one. Scotty’s Castle Road and Badwater Road seem to be good places to spot blooms right now, and recent rains may help higher elevations later in the season.
In Joshua Tree, the Barker Dam Trail has some impressive manzanita blooms and Keys View and Black Rock Campground have some blooming Joshua Trees, too. In Anza-Borrego, they recommend pulling off along the drive down the Montezuma Grade to spot good color right now – and to move quickly before the Sphinx moths eat everything!
In Malibu, it seems the giant coreopsis seems to be putting on a great show in the coastal canyons as well.
Additionally, reports from the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve are very optimistic right now – the recent rains have gone a long way in helping the poppies start to – well – pop! They predict peak color sometime between mid-March and early April, but we found some great shots on Instagram of the Reserve right now and it still looks like it’s worth a trip.
Like our friends at California Fall Color, the Theodore Payne Foundation’s Wild Flower Hotline depends on you for the best reports – if you spot good blooms on your hikes, shoot them an email at [email protected] by Wednesday to let them know where and when you saw the color. New reports are issued every Friday afternoon, so be sure to keep checking back in before you pick your weekend hikes!
Wildflower Report Resources:
- The Theodore Payne Foundation Wild Flower Hotline
- Joshua Tree National Park Wildflower Reports
- Anza-Borrego Desert State Park’s Official Wildflower Reports
- Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association’s Wildflower Reports (with photos)
- Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve Official Bloom Reports
- DesertUSA’s Wildflower Field Guide
- DesertUSA’s Wildflower Reports