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Updated June 15th, 2016
Available Reviews
Topanga State park
Stunt Ranch
Zuma Canyon
Las Virgenes View Park
Circle X Ranch
Triunfo Creek Park
Malibu Creek State Park
Point Mugu State Park
Date of Review
6/2, 5/28, 5/11, 5/4, 2/17.
4/29, 4/17.
3/24, 3/22, 3/20.

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How To Submit a Flower Report - Anyone can participate!
Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains - Photos of 1000 SMM plants.
Archive - Previous “What's Blooming” reports.
Outdoors - The Calendar of Events for the Santa Monica Mountains NRA.
Wildflowers Facebook - A place where people can share about flowers.
SMM WildFlowers - The Park's popular wildflower app for the iPhone/iPad.

This site performs a public service that anyone can participate in. Not very many reports have been submitted this year. Let us all know what you are seeing. In general, if you are submitting a report it is faster to use the gmail account 'SMMWildFlowers' rather than my account. If you are new to submitting a report be sure and read How To Submit a Flower Report
 — ed.

Topanga Canyon State Park
Dead Horse Trail
         The Dead Horse Trail begins from the Trippet Ranch area of Topanga Canyon State Park. Follow the paved path out of the parking lot by the information kiosk. Just across the bridge turn left onto a dirt path that goes alongside a fence next to a meadow.
         This trail starts out in grassland. In this area the flowers are purple clarkia, California everlasting, sticky madia, slender tarweed and narrow leaf milk weed. Then the trail winds into chaparral and will alternate between chaparral and woodland areas. In the chaparral there is blooming deer weed, black sage, woolly blue curls, chamise, honeysuckle, sticky monkey flower and some magnificent flowering yucca. In the woodland area there is blooming toyon, elderberry, heart leaf penstemon, and Indian pinks.
         Despite the dips into woodlands, this trail leaves you exposed most of the time. It is better not to do it at midday. The chaparral portions seem to be holding up better than the others. I guess this drought is what chaparral is adapted for.  — Dorothy Steinicke

Topanga Canyon State Park
Santa Ynez Canyon
         The trailhead is at the end of Vereda de la Montura, which branches to the left off of Palisades Drive several miles up from Sunset in the Palisades Highlands.
         This is a really nice hike. However, be aware, the predominant vegetation is poison oak. The Humboldt lilies are in bloom and appear to glow with illumination. Also in the wooded area there are red heart-leaf penstemon and a couple of impressive patches of large flower phacelia. Climbing into the chaparral everything changes. Now you find white snapdragon, scarlet larkspur and the very lovely plummers mariposa lilies.  — Dorothy Steinicke
  Contributer Supplied Photo   Contributer Supplied Photo   Contributer Supplied Photo  

Topanga Canyon State Park
Nature Trail
         The Nature Trail is an easy one mile loop trail that leaves and returns to the Trippet Ranch parking lot. Walking uphill from the visitor's center there is Indian milkweed on the left. It is not yet in bloom but is attracting a lot of monarch butterflies. The trail continues uphill through woods and then into chaparral. There are all the usual chaparral flowers but many in great quantity: Sticky monkey flower, black sage elderberry, deerweed, slender tarred and wild morning glory. Cross the fire road and the trail continues through the trees to an opening that offers a good view of the Pacific Coast. The trail curves to the left and goes out onto an exposed lip of hillside. This is often a great place for flowers but, at this point, they are past their best bloom here. There are some bush sunflowers but most are done. Turning left at the next trail intersection you find the most impressive bloom, a solid hillside of California buckwheat punctuated by some lovely mallow and bush lupine, honeysuckle and heart leaf penstemon. Right before the trail again meets the fire road there are some narrow leaf milkweed in bloom. Walk downhill on the fire road until you come to Grandmother Oak. Grandmother Oak has been a venerable oak in the park since long before it was a park, she was arguably the oldest tree in the park. Sadly, she died this year. Give her trunk a pat before you head downhill on the trail to her right.  — Dorothy Steinicke
  Contributer Supplied Photo   Contributer Supplied Photo  

Stunt Ranch
Stunt High Trail
         From the intersection of Mulholland Highway and Stunt Rd. drive east on Stunt Rd for 1 mile until you see a dirt parking area on the right. There is a fire road on the left side of the road which is also a good hike but this trailhead is on the right side of the road. This is always a good hike but it is particularly good in this season. Right at the trailhead there is a profusion of chaparral flowers: purple sage, elegant clarkia, slender tarweed, golden star lilies and a towering yucca in flower. Going down the trail into the deeply shaded riparian area the flowers decrease and the poison oak increases, it becomes the predominant vegetation with some poison oak taking the proportion of trees with branches hanging out into the trail at face level. There are some flowers here: canyon sunflower, sticky monkey and the delicate milkwort. If you can find a place to scramble down by the creek without getting into the poison oak you will be treated to some lovely stream orchids. Continuing on the trail it climbs back into chaparral where there are lovely Catalina mariposa lilies, blue larkspur, Chinese houses and some lovely angel's gilia in great, great quantity.  — Dorothy Steinicke
  Contributer Supplied Photo   Contributer Supplied Photo   Contributer Supplied Photo  

Topanga Canyon State Park
Musch Trail
         Walking this trail right now is a magical experience. We left from Trippet Ranch and walked The Musch Trail to the fire road that connects to Eagle Rock, turned right and came back on the fire road, making it a loop. The flowers on this trail are in absolute peak bloom. On this trail you continually move from grasslands to oak woodland to chaparral. In the grasslands you find Catalina mariposa lilies, wild brodiaea, golden star lilies, blue eyed grass and owl clover, among others, hiding in the tall grasses. In the oak woodland there are hummingbird sage, Indian pinks and heart leaf penstemon. But it is the chaparral areas that are most rewarding, both for the shear quantity of flowers, entire hillsides covered in flowers, and for some especially beautiful and, to me, unusual ones. We came upon a stand of rose snapdragons that was stunning. The brilliant notable penstemon makes appearances here and there along the trail and the lovely whispering bells border the trail in many places. This is the time to explore this trail! It is a bit of a steep climb and the chaparral sections are, by definition, exposed, so it is best not to do this one at midday, but even then it would be worth it.  — Dorothy Steinicke
  Contributer Supplied Photo   Contributer Supplied Photo   Contributer Supplied Photo  

Zuma Canyon
Backbone Trail
         Definitely the best wildflower display I've seen locally this year. Among the showy plants were canyon sunflower, large-flowered phaceila, Parry's phacelia, speckled clarkia, elegant clarkia, bush monkeyflower, and California wild rose. Tiny-flowered plants included pygmy madia, phlox-leaved bedstraw (pine mat), wild celery/parsley, and the non-native bur-chervil.  — Jay  Sullivan

Zuma Canyon
Zuma Loop Trail
         I took the Zuma Loop Trail in a clockwise direction.
         Spring is in full bloom here. Bush sunflowers are the predominant flower present on this hike. There are masses of yellow flowers almost everywhere you turn. From the Zuma Canyon parking lot at the end of Bonsall Street, I could already see elderflower, deer weed, black sage and the ubiquitous bush sunflowers. Climbing the hillside there were cliff asters, fuchsia flowering gooseberry, Indian paintbrush, sticky monkey flower and wild morning glory. Traversing across the top of this chaparral section I came to the Catalina mariposas that always take my breath away. They were surrounded by yarrow, heart leaf penstemon, blue dicks and Indian pinks. Descending into the riparian section there was hedge nettle, purple nightshade, virgin's bower (in both flower and seedpod), and some very striking scarlet bugler. I wonderful hike.  — Dorothy Steinicke
  Contributer Supplied Photo   Contributer Supplied Photo  

Las Virgenes View Park
Las Virgenes View Trail
         Hiked the Las Virgenes View Trail (trailhead on the NE corner of Las Virgenes and Mullholand Hwy). Not a lot blooming the first 1/2 mile. Then there are some nice patches of Fiesta Flower and Chinese Houses. Further up the trail just before the ridge, there are a lot of Mariposa Lilies. Other flowers that I saw; Blue Eyed Grass, Blue Dicks, Fiddlenecks, Winter Vetch, Bush Sunflower, Morning Glory, Popcorn Flower, Sticky Phacelia, Caterpillar Phacelia, Wishbone Bush, Indian Paintbrush, Indian Warrior, Sticky Monkey Flower, and Black Sage.  — Jim Garafalo
  Contributer Supplied Photo  

Circle X Ranch
Mishe Mokwa Trail
         The Mishe Makwa is incredibly rewarding as far as flowers right now. We hiked the loop, starting at the Mishe Makwa trailhead and going clockwise toward Sandstone Peak first.
         Just immediately at the beginning of the trailhead we were greeted by the only Catalina mariposa lily that we would see on the entire hike. It was lovely and elegant and presaged beauty to come. There was also golden yarrow,blue dicks, wooly blue curls, bush lupine, twining snapdragon, shiny lomatium, small evening primroses, fiddleneck and yellow monkey flowers. When we approached Sandstone Peak there were sticky monkey flowers and, surprisingly, prickly phlox, a showy flower that usually blooms much earlier in the year. After visiting Sandstone Peak we made the long downhill to Split Rock and saw lots of virgin's blower, blue larkspur, padres shooting stars, yellow pincushion, collarless poppies, goldfields, owl's clover and popcorn flower. It was almost overwhelming. Just before Split Rock we encountered ground pinks, sweet peas and peonies. Heading up from Split Rock we saw milkmaids, flowers that usually bloom much earlier in the year, chia, parry's phacelia and chocolate lilies. It was a very special hike.  — Dorothy Steinicke
  Contributer Supplied Photo  

Triunfo Creek Park
Pentachaeta Trail
         I feel a bit late to the Triunfo Park bloom but it turns out a lot of species are in peak right now, with others still to come. The annual show of goldfields (L. gracilis) is as bright as usual. This year the show is, in places, intermingled with the fairly uncommon grasslands silverpuffs which provide a pale yellow speckling about midway along the trail. The other goldfields (L. coronaria) is also out, but solitary and rarely seen. Other plants well in bloom along this trail include purple owl's clover (near the start), purple nightshade, Indian warrior, Miner's lettuce, wide-throated monkeyflower, black sage, red-skinned onion (haven't seen this here before!), California saxifrage, longspur seablush, and fuchsia-flowered gooseberry. Shooting stars are in flower near the end of the trail, but most are long past their best.
         PS. Don't overlook the dotseed plantain! This may be a grass, but its 5-petalled blooms are very unique. It is common all over.
         The hike itself is fair going but reasonably simple. There are some minor slopes but they can take your breath if you rush, and be careful not to trip because there are lots of rocks about. There is no parking or entry fee here.  — James Bailey

Malibu Creek State Park
Phantom Trail
         Walked the Phantom Trail in Malibu Creek State Park on 3/23/16. Many flowers are starting to bloom! I saw Filaree, Eucrypta,Morning Glories,Purple Nightshade,Bush Sunflower, Stick Phacelia, Popcorn Flower,Wishbone Bush,Indian Paintbrush,Owls' Clover, Fiddleheads, and Caterpillar Phacelia. Further up the trail there are California Golden poppy's and Red Maids. The signed trail is about a mile and a half west on the intersection of Mullholand Hwy and Las Virgenes Road on the North side of the street.  — Jim Garafalo
  Contributer Supplied Photo  

Malibu Creek State Park
Reagan Ranch
         Finally we are getting some nice wildflowers, mostly due to the rains we had two weeks ago. Reagan Ranch is looking good. Right now there are carpets of Fiddleheads with Filaree mixed in. I also saw Wild Radish, Gooseberry, Vetch, Johnny Jump-Ups, Blue Dicks, Wild Cucumber, Shepherd's Purse,Wild Pea, Purple Nightshade, Red Maids,Purple Larkspur, Pitcher Sage, Popcorn Flower, and unfortunately, the invasive Onionweed. The Reagan Ranch Trailhead is at the corner of Mullholand and Cornell Rd.  — Jim Garafalo
  Contributer Supplied Photo  

Triunfo Creek Park
Pentachaeta Trail
         Verdant Green everywhere! And the wildflowers are starting to pop:
         Goldfields, Linanthus (Ground Pink), Fiddlenecks, Popcorn Flowers, Chocolate Lilies, Yellow Pansies, Wild Cucumber. California Poppy, Blue Dicks  — Jeri Edwards

Point Mugu State Park
Sycamore Canyon Trail
         Along the sycamore canyon trail Pitcher Sage, Padre Shooting Stars (both pink and white), California poppies, Phacelia, Nightshade, Blue Dicks,Wishbone Bush, Bleeding Hearts, Monkey Flower,Elderberry is in bloom, Ceanothus is in bloom, poison hemlock, Indian Paintbrush, Morning Glories, Cliff Aster, Wild Sweet Pea, Wild Cucumber, California Poppy, Bush Sunflower.  — Jeri Edwards

Topanga State Park
Topanga Nature Trail
         Spring has arrived in Topanga Canyon. This week, for the first time, the live oaks are covered in their catkin flowers. On the Topanga Nature Trail flowers are starting to burst out. Things are just starting. There are a lot of wild cucumber flowers and even some soft young cucumbers. As you turn to walk out on the chaparral loop portion of the nature trail there is an impressive chaparral current bush. There is a little green bark ceanothus, some mule fat, bush sunflowers, California everlasting, California buckwheat, wild morning glory and purple nightshade on the Nature Trail. It is a beginning and hopefully there will be much more soon.  — Dorothy Steinicke
  Contributer Supplied Photo  

Contact Information:

Santa Monica Mountains NRA
401 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

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