Theodore Payne Foundation Wild Flower Hotline Begins

Newcomers to Southern California often bemoan our apparent lack of seasons, but once you’ve lived here for a while you start to notice the subtle shifts that mark the passing of time here.

One of the sure-fire signs spring is here is the revival of the Theodore Payne Foundation‘s Wild Flower Hotline. The Theodore Payne Foundation is a wonderful organization dedicated to native California flora – and their nursery up in Sun Valley is stocked with incredible plants and extremely knowledgeable (and helpful!) volunteers. And every Friday from March until May, they provide a free, comprehensive update on the state of wildflowers throughout the state.

The first report came out last week and while the Hotline is urging us to temper our expectation for showy blooms due to our ongoing drought conditions, they still note a few areas showing early promising color like Nine Mile Canyon off the 395 on the way up to the Eastern Sierra. There are already some signs of color near Newport Beach and while Placerita Canyon doesn’t have many wildflowers blooming right now, they note that the chaparral is blooming now – especially on the Ecology Trail.

Saddleback Butte State Park in the Antelope Valley also got a surprise bloom recently, and as SoCal Wanderer’s Zach Berens noted – you should hike it now if you can.

It’s still very early in the season for blooms – and the Payne Foundation is still hopeful that melting mountain snow will provide some good blooms in the higher elevations later in the season.

Be sure to check the Hotline’s page every Friday for the most up to date bloom info, and if you see a good bloom on your hike let them know about by emailing them at [email protected].

Also be sure to check out our list of the Best Wildflower Hikes in Southern California!

Tags: , ,

Join the Modern Hiker Newsletter

Learn about new trail guides, outdoor news, and be the first to learn about events in the free Modern Hiker Newsletter. All original content and guaranteed not to flood your inbox -- new issues usually come every 2-3 weeks.