Page Revised: 4/28/05


Available Sites

Cold Creek Preserve
Triunfo Creek Park
Circle X Ranch
Paramount Ranch
Topanga State park
Zuma/Trancas Canyons
Saddle Peak Area
Newton/Upper Solstice Cantons
Point Mugu State Park
Solstice Canyon
Cheeseboro/Palo Comado

Date of Review

4/24/05 & 4/11/05 3/27/05
4/21/05 & 4/18/05 & 4/3/05

See the photo gallery of What’s Blooming at:

In the interest of keeping this  What’s Blooming  page brief, but simultaneously providing access to past reports, we have created an archive of previous reports which can be found at

Many organizations are now offering guided wildflower walks. You can check the Spring calendar of the Santa Monica Mountains NRA, Outdoors, for more details. The on-line version of this printed booklet can be found at

In addition to the Rec Area’s trails many of the roadsides are displaying beautiful stands of flowers. Indeed, some flowers are encountered almost exclusively on the roadsides. Some of my favorites include Mulholland Drive, Westlake Boulevard, Deer Creek Road and Yerba Buena Road. Use caution when driving and walking these roads for they are frequently very winding and have little or no shoulder. Drivers on these roads can be fast and aggressive, especially on the weekends.


Cold Creek Preserve

Stunt High Trail

 Date: 4/27/05



        Parking for this trailhead is on Stunt Road about one mile in from Mulholland Highway. Across the street is the entrance to the Calabasas Fire Road. We parked here and then walked up the trail, about two miles, crossing Stunt Road once before reaching the top trailhead, also on Stunt Road near mile marker three. The two mile trail ascends through the Stunt Ranch property along the creek and then turns left to continue up the hill. Over eighty flowers were found in the lower section with its passage through several different habitats. The top section, which is mostly chaparral, added another half dozen or so bringing the total count to about ninety. The lower section could be given a Very Good designation but the upper section is only Fair. Highlights include Purple Sage, Wild Morning Glory, much Chamise, Monkey Flowers, Blue-eyed Grass, many Golden Stars, Fiesta Flower, Baby Blue-eyes, many Bush Poppy, Globe Lily, Large-flowered Lotus, dense spreads of Chinese Houses, Blue Larkspur, Purple Owl's Clover, Carolina Geranium, California Wild Rose, a few Red Maids, Star Lily, Woolly Blue Curls, and Rock Rose.  (TV)


Naturalist's rating: Good


Triunfo Creek Park

Pentachaeta Trail

 Date: 4/26/05



        This park, tucked away in a corner of Westlake Village at the end of Lindero Canyon Road, is most famous for the very rare Lyons Pentachaeta which blooms here in profusion. The main attraction is the easy, one-mile Pentachaeta Trail which is currently experiencing an explosion of flowers. An afternoon hike here netted an impressive 120 species in bloom some of which carpet the hillsides with spectacular displays of flowers. Highlights include impressive displays of the afore mentioned Lyons Pentachaeta, fields of Coast Goldfields, California Poppy, Purple Owl's Clover, large and very dense stands of Chinese Houses, plentiful and many-blossomed Blue Larkspur (including an unusual pink variation), Ground-pink, frequent Purple, Speckled, Elegant, and Willow-herb Clarkias, Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry, Sticky Cinquefoil, Indian Pink, profuse Chamise, Ceanothus, both Yarrow and Golden Yarrow, Carolina Geranium, Annual Coreopsis, several different Lupines, several different Monkey Flowers, Checker Bloom, Blow Wives, Elderberry, both White and Yellow Pincushions, a good stand of Foothill Penstemon, Curly Dock, Blue-eyed Grass, Woolly Blue Curls, Purple Sage, Wild Morning Glory, California Wild Rose, Common Vervain, Caterpillar Phacelia, Fiesta Flower, Angel's Gilia, Golden Stars, Star Lily, Catalina Mariposa Lily, and even an early Yellow Mariposa Lily. If you go to the park to see the Pentachaeta you might want to look up the difference between this and the Coast Goldfield as they are similar and in places growing together.  (TV)


Naturalist's rating: Excellent


Circle X Ranch

Backbone Trail below Triunfo Peak

 Date: 4/24/05



        We hiked a piece of one of the newest segments of the Backbone Trail from the intersection of the trail with Yerba Buena road at about mile marker 7.5 up to the Triunfo peak access road and then back on Yerba Buena. Altogether about eighty species were encountered although the lack of dense stands of flowers prevents a rating above good. On the other hand some of the flowers here are rather unique. Highlights include Holly-leaved Cherry, Wild Morning Glory, Chamise, Bush Monkey Flower, Yellow Monkey Flower, Fiesta Flower, Hedge Nettle, Fire Poppy, Bleeding Heart, Canyon Sunflower, Chinese Houses, Peninsular Onion, Rock Rose, Pitcher Sage, Blue Dicks, Douglas Sandwort, Lance-leaf Live-forever, Prickly Phlox, Brewer's Red Maids, Woolly Blue Curls, Globe Gilia, Twining Snapdragon, Collarless California Poppy, Caterpillar Phacelia, Parry's Phacelia, Large-flowered Phacelia, Mustard Evening Primrose, Several different Lupines, Catalina Mariposa Lily, Star Lily, Virgin's Bower, Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry, Elderberry, and Yerba Santa.  (TV).


Naturalist's rating: Good


Paramount Ranch

Several Trails

 Date: 4/22/05



         Although Paramount Ranch is best known for its Western Town, the trails in the hills behind are easy, fun to explore, and great for wildflowers. And for a short, half-mile trail, Coyote Canyon has to be one of the best-bangs-for-bucks in the Santa Monica Mountains. Starting just behind the “train station,” it doesn’t look like much–mostly non-natives–but quickly enters the “native and profuse” category as the trail follows a chattering brook. Owl’s clover, dove lupine, golden yarrow, blue dicks, elderberry, and caterpillar phacelia all vie for attention—until you find the volcanic outcrops that add yucca and showy penstemon to the mix. Further up, as the trail winds into mixed chaparral, globe lilies, mariposas, and golden stars appear in the tall grasses, with lots of chia and wooly blue curls, lotus, and yellow monkey flowers just beyond.

        Near its finish (at 45 species), you might turn left on the Hacienda Trail and add purple clarkia, Chinese houses, Johnny-Jump-Ups, silver puffs and gumweed to your list—along with a hillside of deep blue phacelia. After a quarter-mile, another left puts you on the Medicine Woman Trail and bearing left at the junction of Backdrop Trail, get set for the densest stretch of wildflowers you may see this year. It’s a one-way up-and-back trail to the park’s western boundary, and there were tons of popcorn flower, Parry’s phacelia, white pincushion, yellow monkey flower, two different evening primroses, black sage, chia, sticky monkey flower and a dozen others—along the first quarter mile. This one, and parts of Coyote Canyon, earned the “Excellent” rating.

        Returning to the Backdrop Trail and following it around to the Bwana Trail, again, the rolling grass-fields wouldn’t seem to add anything until you cross a few tiny creeks—still with water—and pick up patches of cinquefoil, globe gilia, California poppies, elegant clarkia, Indian pinks, and blue larkspur, among many of the previous varieties.

        The whole 4-5 mile circuit produced about eighty species plus a good number of spring birds: blue and black-headed grosbeaks, lazuli buntings, ash-throated flycatchers, yellow warblers, and orioles. This area should be good until we get a few heat waves — just be sure to pick up a map at the entry kiosk. (JG)


Naturalist's rating: Very Good to Excellent


Topanga State Park

Nature Trail / Musch Trail

 Date: 4/22/05



         I got out early this A.M. and of course at 6:30 some of the flowers are still closed, but I got a pretty good list from a walk on the Nature Trail and on the Musch Trail from Trippet Ranch to the Hillside Dr. cutoff. Canyon sunflower, caterpillar phacelia, black sage, chemise, black mustard, popcorn flower, deer weed, vervain, golden yarrow, buckwheat brush, silver puffs, California everlasting, a lot of bush monkey flower, purple nightshade, white nightshade, twining snapdragon, Turkish rugging, blue dicks, a lot of fiesta flower, California buttercup, hummingbird sage, blue eyed grass, red stem filaree, Catalina mariposa lily, spring vetch, wild radish, owl's clover, bush and other lupine, miner's lettuce, golden stars, morning glory, bush sunflower, scarlet pimpernel, wishbone bush, white nightshade, Chinese houses, Carolina geranium and foothill penstemon. My assessment: a very good display with a lot of mustard, sunflowers, and

bush monkey flower.  (LH)


Naturalist's rating: Very Good


Zuma Canyon area

Miscellaneous Trails

 Date: 4/21/05



        On 4/21/05 we hiked the three trails in the Zuma Canyon area and found 98 species blooming, one of which we could not identify. We would give this a very good rating only because many of the blooms were of alien species which some would classify as noxious weeds. The trails are all well rutted by the recent rains and require care to maintain one's footing. We first went up to the end of the Zuma Canyon Trail and returned to pick up the Canyon View Trail and returned to the parking area via the Ocean View Trail. The flowers are reported as they were first encountered along the hike.

        Departing from the trail head at the end of Bonsall Rd. we encounter elderberry, black mustard, prickly sow thistle, scarlet pimpernel, hare barley, rupgut brome and milk thistle. Both cheese weed and a single bull mallow along with Italian thistle, vervain, deerweed, black sage, bush sunflower and wild radish were abundant. Soft brome, western ragweed, Calif. everlasting, red stem filaree, fuchsia flowered gooseberry, blue dick and bush monkey flower were spotted in that order. White nightshade, horehound, Calif. buckwheat, eucrypta, windmill pink and sugar bush added to the collection. Long beaked filaree, fiesta flower, golden top, creek monkey flower, microseris, succulent lupine, yellow sun cup and heart leaf penstemon added their colors to the trailside. Canyon sunflower, snakeroot, cobwebby thistle, annual bedstraw, curly dock and giant rye were identified in passing. Toyon was starting to bloom and the sycamores were finishing with many catkins hanging from the trees. The hillsides revealed a few yuccas and the spurge called Chinese caps were also found. Calif. figwort could hardly compete with the sticky phacelia and Parry's phacelia for display. Golden yarrow, silver puff, slender bedstraw, big pod ceanothus, and a good quantity of rigid hedge nettle were blooming. The trail edges were sprinkled with sticky popcorn flower and large flowered popcorn flower. Scarlet bugler added to the color diversity and mule fat and snowberry made their own contributions. Cliff aster, wishbone bush, wooly aster, small evening primrose, bajada lupine and the red dotted creek monkey flower were on display. Telegraph weed, slender oats, bush mallow, bush lupine, mustard evening primrose and wild sweet pea were encountered as we continued up the trail. The usual morning glory made its appearance accompanied by the coast paintbrush, Catalina Mariposa lily, red brome, chamise, Calif. sagebrush, hedge mustard and fern leaf phacelia. A few Indian pinks brightened the path along with Chilean lotus, caterpillar phacelia, minute flowered popcorn flower, Turkish rugging and western locoweed. Blue eyed grass, Calif. poppy, American vetch, common yarrow, golden star, gumplant and English plantain as well as coffee berry and pineapple weed concluded the floral display for the day.  (RWM)


Naturalist's rating: Very Good


Saddle Peak Area

Miscellaneous Trails

 Date: 4/18/05



         On 4/18/05 we hiked two adjacent trails; one to the top of Saddle Peak and the other to the Topanga lookout. These are both accessed from the parking area near the Stunt Rd and Schueren Rd intersection. This hike yielded the floral promise we have been expecting all spring. About 70 species were found in bloom, many of which were in large quantities. We had selected the Saddle Peak area on the chance that we would see some early blooming chaparral pea, and we were not disappointed. The masses of Spanish broom near the summit of the trail provided a splendid display of brilliant yellow accompanied by the sweet bouquet of its blossoms. This is one alien plant I do not regret seeing in our hills. Another bonus was several fair sized stands of silver lotus, which I especially appreciated since I had never spotted it before. Another surprise we had was the sight of apparently a mutant bush monkey flower exhibiting red and gold blossoms. A single Matilija poppy was blooming at the lookout site amid a large stand of the plants.

        Reporting on the sightings in color groups, we found the yellow/gold was the largest with only one fewer in the white/cream group. The former group included black mustard, deerweed, golden yarrow, silver puff, bush monkey flower, mustard evening primrose, and both bur and sour clover. The silver lotus, southern tauschia, slender bedstraw, common groundsel, brown microseris and Spanish broom were all plentiful. Prickly sow thistle, large flowered lotus and canyon sunflower were also present  A fair quantity of bush poppy was in bloom as was a few Calif. poppies and telegraph weed. The white/cream group provided flowers from the elderberry, Calif. buckwheat, chamise, and three of the popcorn flower species. Several Catalina Mariposa lilies and a couple of star lilies were also seen. The big pod ceanothus was still blooming up here and a good stand of red skinned onions were present. Eucrypta, velvet leaf everlasting, morning glory, Calif. everlasting and miner's lettuce all contributed to the show. Even bur chervil was found displaying its tiny white flower. Some wild cucumber, hollyleaf cherry, virgin's bower, sugarbush and the aforementioned Matilija poppy conclude this list.

        In the pink/red group we found large areas covered with Chilean clover and windmill pinks. Along with the chaparral pea there was also one fuchsia flowered gooseberry and one lingering chaparral current and several groupings of sweet pea. The lavender/blue/purple colorings were evidenced in the stands of black sage, dove lupine, hairy leaf ceanothus and bush lupine. Also found were redstem filaree, Italian thistle, blue dick, prickly phlox, fern leaf phacelia, purple nightshade and cheeseweed. A beautiful group of notable penstemon was seen and what was tentatively identified as Bajada lupine as well. A colorful group of fiesta flower concludes this group. It should be noted that amongst the usually bright blue dove lupines were several plants with all white flowers on them.

        Amongst the grasses still in bloom were golden top, slender oats, rescue grass, hare barley, rip-gut brome, fountain grass, wild oats, soft brome, red brome and some 4 or 5 others unidentified.

        The impact of the quantities and reasonably large number of species warrants an outstanding rating on ye olde bloom-ometer.  (RWM)


Naturalist's rating: Outstanding


Upper Zuma Canyon


 Date: 4/18/05



         Today we hiked Upper Zuma Canyon and the wildflower display was very good to excellent. There were big stands of bush lupine, black sage, Spanish broom, fiesta flower, deerweed, wishbone bush, sticky monkey flower and canyon sunflower.   Other finds were star lily, globe lily, clematis, blue larkspur, Parry's phacelia, caterpillar phacelia, large flower phacelia, hedge nettle, meadow rue, and prickly phlox. Some of the streams are now dried up and the remaining streams are easily crossed.  (KJ)


Naturalist's rating: Very Good to Excellent


Circle X Ranch

Grotto Trail

 Date: 4/11/05



        This easy-to-moderate trail goes downhill about 1.5 miles through riparian, grassland, and chaparral habitats, in shade and sun, with dramatic views of Boney Ridge and a couple of waterfalls. We counted seventy four species in bloom, not counting a few that we did not recognize. The Grotto remains a bit more challenging to get to since the winter's rains because of the high water levels. We get frequent questions from children regarding the California Newt seen in the stream and pools near the Grotto. Flower highlights include Evening Primroses, Lilies, Phacelias, a grassy field full of Vetches, a huge crop of Chinese Houses, Blue Larkspur, Blue Dicks, Crimson Pitcher Sage, and Nightshades. The appearance of Clarkias (including Purple Clarkia on the Canyon View Trail), and seed heads of the Silver Puffs remind us that Spring is well along now.

        The complete list includes Deerweed, Red-stem Filaree, Black Sage, California Buckwheat, California Filago, Black Mustard, Yellow Monkey flower, Creek Monkey Flower, Bush Monkey flower, Yellow Sweet Clover, Mustard Evening Primrose, Small Evening Primrose, Bush Sunflower, Canyon Sunflower, Bur Clover, Morning Glory, Pineapple Weed, California Everlasting, Two-tone Everlasting, Common Chickweed, Pacific Sanicle, Windmill Pink, Mule Fat, Annual Bedstraw, Climbing Bedstraw, Narrow-leaved Bedstraw, Spring Vetch, Winter Vetch, Blue Dick, Purple Nightshade, White Nightshade, Black Walnut, Silver Puffs, Caterpillar Phacelia, Parry's Phacelia, Fiesta Flower, Blue Larkspur, Chinese Houses, Popcorn Flower, Eucrypta, Miner's Lettuce, Chamise, Scarlet Pimpernel, Blue-eyed Grass, Golden Yarrow, Catalina Mariposa Lily, Star Lily, Bigpod Ceanothus, Greenbark Ceanothus, Wishbone Bush, Hollyleaf Cherry, Hollyleaf Redberry, Strigose Lotus, Coastal Lotus, Yucca, Rattlesnake Weed (Daucus Pusillus), Cliff Aster, Stinging Lupine, California Blackberry, Thread Stem, Common Groundsel, Twining Snapdragon, Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry, Crimson Pitcher Sage, Hedge Nettle, Elderberry, Willow-herb Clarkia, Sugar Bush, Curly Dock, Coffeeberry, Wild Sweet Pea, Sow Thistle, Prickly Sow Thistle, Annual Cat's Ear. (TV)


Naturalist's rating: Very Good


Newton & Upper Solstice Canyons

The Backbone Trail

 Date: 4/9/05



         This hike was the fifth of the NPS 2004-2005 Backbone Trail Series. We will be hiking the entire Backbone Trail, one part each month and reporting on the flowers seen. A couple of the early hikes that were rained out have been re-scheduled for April and May resulting in two hikes in each of these months. This hike was from the Kanan Dume Road Trailhead to the Corral Canyon Road trailhead, about 6.5 miles. This trail drops into cool oak groves and rises up to dry sage scrub several times along its length providing multiple opportunities to see a large variety of flowers. We recorded seeing 119 different species in bloom. Several of the flower displays were quite spectacular, especially among the blue flowers. We are still waiting for that superlative display that will earn an excellent rating.

        Highlights include masses of Fiesta Flowers, frequent Catalina Mariposa Lilies, Star Lilies, Indian Paintbrush, Monkey flowers, good quantities of both Parry's and Caterpillar Phacelias, Sunflowers, several different Lupines, Evening Primrose, Blue-eyed Grass, Chinese Houses, groves of Chamise, Crimson Pitcher Sage, Indian Pink, Woolly Blue Curls, California Poppies, Tree Poppy, many Blue Dick, and Globe Gilia. (BE & TV)


Naturalist's rating: Very Good


Point Mugu State Park

Chumash Trail /
La Jolla Loop Trail

 Date: 4/5/05



         The steep ascent from PCH via the Chumash trail is strenuous and has tricky footing in places. A walking stick might be a good idea. The reward is an unobstructed view of the coast just off of the Seabee firing range. This trail is principally coastal sage scrub but since it is literally right on the coast it shows a slightly different mix of plants than seen in the sage scrub more frequently encountered in the interior of the Rec. Area. At the top I always stop to look at the native bunchgrasses in the wide-open grassland. We continued on to the La Jolla Loop trail and took the lower branch back to the La Jolla Canyon Trail and finally to the Ray Miller Trailhead. Down below you can get the impression that summer is just around the corner as things are really beginning to dry out. We also did a very quick side jaunt up the Mugu Peak Trail to see what was blooming near the creek. Parts of the La Jolla Loop Trail had a great deal of Poison Oak along the trail margin. It could be avoided if you were careful, but if you don't know what it looks like you have almost no chance of avoiding it. In addition, Mosquitoes were thick along a couple of short sections so repellent might not be a bad idea if you plan on stopping near the creek. Highlights include Indian Paintbrush, many Catalina Mariposa Lilies, Blue-eyed Grass, several different Lupines, Bush Monkey Flower, Bush Mallow, Southern California Locoweed, Sticky Cinquefoil, Chinese Houses, Larkspur, and Indian Pink. Altogether about eighty different species were encountered.

        The complete list includes: Deerweed, Indian Paintbrush, Black Mustard, Black Sage, Catalina Mariposa Lily, Wild Morning Glory, White Sweet Clover, Golden Yarrow, Bush Sunflower, Bur Clover Blue-eyed Grass, California Buckwheat, Stinging Lupine, Succulent Lupine, Bush Lupine, Bush Mallow, Parry's Phacelia, Blue Dicks, Oxalis, White Pincushion, Coastal Lotus, Lance-leaf Live-forever, Bush Monkey Flower, Toyon, Giant Coreopsis, Rattlesnake Weed (Daucus Pusillus), Yucca, Small Evening Primrose, Whispering Bells, Narrow-leaved Bedstraw, Wishbone Bush, Shiny Lomatium, California Filago, Snakeroot, Lemonade Berry, Red-stem Filaree, Southern California Locoweed, Horehound, Sow Thistle, California Sagebrush, Wild Cucumber, Cliff aster, Cheeseweed, Pineapple Weed. Eucrypta, Winter Vetch, Italian Thistle, Pacific Sanicle, Poison Oak, Wild Sweet Pea, California Blackberry, Hedge Nettle, Crimson Pitcher Sage, Scarlet Pimpernel, Annual Bedstraw, Strigose Lotus, Coulter's Lupine, Tomcat Clover, Field Clover, Woolly Aster, Sticky Cinquefoil, Fiesta Flower, Purple Nightshade, Chinese Houses, Climbing Bedstraw, Larkspur, Miners Lettuce, Indian Pink, Curly Dock, California Wild Rose, Greenbark Ceanothus, Bigpod Ceanothus, Southern Tauschia, Caterpillar Phacelia, Peninsular Onion, Mule Fat, and Prostrate Coast Goldenbush.  (TV).


Naturalist's rating: Good to Very Good


Zuma & Trancas Canyons

Zuma Loop Trail

 Date: 4/3/05



         About 25 species of wildflowers are in bloom in the lower canyon area. Dominant species include: bush and canyon sunflowers, scarlet pimpernel, black sage, and fiesta flower. Other species along the higher portion of the loop trail include Catalina mariposa lily, Indian paintbrush, bush lupine and blue-eyed grass. There is still a good amount of water flowing through Zuma Creek. All creek crossings are passable with some rock hopping. (KL)


Naturalist's rating: Good


Solstice Canyon

Solstice Canyon Trail

 Date: 3/31/05



         Along the easy 1.25 mile trail to Tropical Terrace, flowers are sparse. Sages, sunflowers, and poppies are common in the re-vegetation area, but outside of that only single specimens are showing here and there. Near the Keller House are the bright oranges, purple and yellow of nasturtium, bull mallow and oxalis – all non-natives. We counted ten species blooming along the by pass road and only 5 more on the way up to the Tropical Terrace. White nightshade and hedge nettle made a nice grouping in the shaded area just before the Sostomo Trail cut off. (SB)


Naturalist's rating: Fair


Cheeseboro & Palo Comado Canyons

China Flat Trail

 Date: 3/30/05



        On 3/30/05 we hiked the China Flat Trail in the Cheeseboro/Palo Comado canyon preserve. The trail was badly rutted by the recent rains, but dry. The flowers were out in large quantities with 82 species identified, warranting a very good rating. Starting immediately at the trail head just off Lindero Canyon Rd. we found a profusion of blooms starting with the mundane prickly sow thistle, sour clover, red stem filaree, hedge mustard, horehound, popcorn flower and bush sunflower. A large stand of Chilean clover and some windmill pinks, bur clover and scarlet pimpernel were scattered along the trail. Chamise, small evening primrose, black sage, hoary leaf ceanothus, bush monkey flower and wooly blue curl were also abundant. Yerba Santa was found all along the trail. The foliage was quite ragged, but many blooms were present. The lavender rock rose (Cistus), mule fat, blue dick, and masses of the long billed filaree were also seen. Annual cat's ear, owl's clover, dove lupine, purple nightshade, and wild cucumber had several representatives in bloom. Many small flowers were present in amongst the grasses including Chile lotus, Minute flowered popcorn flower, strigose lotus, silver puff and angel’s gilia.

        Proceeding further up the canyon we found Calif. buckwheat, mustard evening primrose, fern-leaf phacelia, morning glory, violet snapdragon and chia. Eucrypta, wishbone bush, stinging lupine, yellow monkey flower and common groundsel were also flowering. Deerweed was starting to bloom and many yellow pincushions were present.  We spotted slender bedstraw, tumbling mustard, two toned everlasting, and both the common Calif. poppy and the collarless poppy. Lace pod, Calif everlasting, fiddle neck, collared lupine and cobwebby thistle were plentiful. Several prickly phlox, black mustard, velvet leaf everlasting, sun cup and snake root were seen. The bright blue flowers of the hairy ceanothus and lots of miner's lettuce and some annual bedstraw were found. Fiesta flower, chickweed, spring vetch, pineapple weed, and dandelion were also found. Several elderberry were blooming as were small flowered fiddleneck, western ragweed, shepherd's purse,  and a single purple Clarkia.

        Grasses in bloom include soft brome, wild oats, hare barley, golden top, slender oats, rip-gut brome, Madrid brome, and red brome.  (RWM)


Naturalist's rating: Very Good


Rancho Sierra Vista

Satwiwa Loop / Hidden Valley Overlook

 Date: 3/29/05



         As the meadow grasses go to seed, the hills and canyons are coming into peak bloom with nearly 60 wildflower species seen. The high part of the loop—a half-mile stretch between the windmill and Upper Sycamore Canyon Trail—continues to show the best variety. Notables included hedge nettle, snake root, the last shooting stars, dove lupine, blue-eyed grass, continuing ceanothus, Indian pinks, black sage, fiesta flower, and miner’s lettuce. Better yet, the Hidden Valley Overlook Trail—often “overlooked,” but with great ocean views—turned up a profusion of mariposa lilies and golden yarrow, with lots of bush sunflowers, wishbone bush, and the first CA buckwheat and bush mallow. With this much on the lip of Upper Sycamore Canyon, the trail to the stream, waterfall, and down-canyon should be overflowing with flowers.  (JG)


Naturalist's rating: Good to Very Good


Circle X Ranch

Canyon View Trail

 Date: 3/27/05



        The Canyon View Trail is really one of the best for flowers.  Right off the bat there is chamise, blue dicks, California buckwheat and black sage in bloom.  In the frequent exposed rocky places there is an array of yellow monkey flower, larkspur, parry's phacelia, mustard evening primrose, popcorn flower and chia.  There are big patches of globe gilia along the trail.  In one spot there are caterpillar, big flower and parry's phacelia all growing together.  There is golden yarrow, sticky monkey flower, deerweed, stinging lupine, purple nightshade and woolly blue curls. There are more star lilies this year than I have ever seen before.  There are several lovely groups of mariposa lilies.  There are creeks which are frequently dry that are now flowing with water.  By these creeks red-skinned onion and annual paintbrush are blooming.  There are many clumps of rock rose.  (DS)


Naturalist's rating: Very Good




Contact Information:


Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area


401 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360


Ph. 805-370-2301




Thank you


for your contributions:


Sheila Braden
Burt Elliot
Jack Gillooly
Kathy Jonokuchi
Ken Low
Lynne Haigh
Robert W. Maughmer
Dorothy Steinicke
Tony Valois

If you would like to contribute to the wildflower report:




or phone Tony at 310-457-6408