Page Revised: 7/28/05


Available Sites

Circle X Ranch
Point Mugu State Park
Rancho Sierra Vista
Malibu Creek State Park

Date of Review

7/27/05, 7/10/05.
7/1/05, 6/30/05.

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Circle X Ranch

Mishe Mokwa Loop

   Date: 7/27/05



        What a difference two weeks makes. We are well into summer now with most of the spring and early summer flowers present only as a few scattered examples in sheltered spots. If we include these wilted holdouts than we can bump the species count up to the poor showing of only 34 species. In reality this number is over-generous as a good fraction is uninspiring weedy species or constitutes only a few wilted specimens. Red Shank and California Buckwheat are the only flowers in quantity. The Scarlet Larkspur and Heart-leaved Penstemon, which were both so plentiful recently, still have a fair number of plants in bloom but they will be finished up soon. Other notables include Flax-flowered Linanthus, Twiggy Wreath Plant, Cliff Aster, Chalk Live-forever, California Fuchsia, a few holdout Pitcher Sage, Scarlet Monkey Flower, Bush Monkey Flower, Bird's Beak, a few holdout Bush Mallow, Spanish Clover, Morning Glory, Rein Orchid, Chaparral Honeysuckle, Bush Senecio, Tejon Milk Aster, and a few early Woolly Aster.   (TV)


Naturalist's rating:  Poor


Circle X Ranch

Sandstone Peak Trail

   Date: 7/27/05



        This trail is not known for great flower displays but rather for the sweeping panoramas offered by the highest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains. This time of year the flowers don't add much to the experience and at times the view can be a bit disappointing because of summer haze. We had to include some rather sad looking holdout specimens in order to break a dozen on the species count. Right now the only plants making a good showing are California Buckwheat and Red Shank. A couple others that are interesting if not plentiful are Bush Senecio and Tejon Milk Aster. If we add some of the wilted holdouts to the normal summer bloomers we can also list Bush Monkey Flower, Cliff Aster, Twiggy Wreath Plant, Heart Leaved Penstemon, Slender Tarweed, Prickly Lettuce, and a couple of early Woolly Asters,  (TV)


Naturalist's rating:  Poor


Point Mugu State Park

Serrano Canyon and Big Sycamore Canyon Trails

 Date: 7/1/05



        This report begins in the Serrano Valley and follows a little used trail through Serrano Canyon, down the last mile of Big Sycamore Canyon to the Pacific Coast Highway. I hiked up Sycamore Canyon to Serrano Valley to a destination and the flowers were so good I decided to record them on the return, so this report begins in Serrano Valley. The out and back distance from the day parking lot at Sycamore Canyon is 7.6 miles. Seventy one species were identified. Do be cautious of poison oak on this trail.

        Beginning in the grassland were Bush Mallow, Cliff Aster, California Buckwheat, Chicory, Black Mustard, Slender Tarweed, and Slender Aster. In small clumps of chaparral, becoming denser as the trails dips into the canyon were Laurel Sumac, Chemise, Deerweed, Morning Glory, and Black Sage. There are stands of Toyon with limbs bending, heavy with flowers. One Golden Star was seen among an abundance of Purple Sage, Bird’s Beak, Bush Monkey Flower, and Narrow Leaved Milkweed; and less common are California Fuchsia and Horehound. Creek Monkey Flowers are at most of the many stream crossings, with Scarlet Monkey Flower much less frequent. At the upper end of the canyon are many Heart Leaf Penstemon, Plummer’s Mariposa Lilies, and Scarlet Larkspur. A new sighting for me turned out to be the rare Cream Bush. Only one of the largest plants still had blossoms, but there is a sizable distribution along several hundred feet of trail. Farewell-to-Spring, Honeysuckle, and Indian Pink are distributed along most of the trail. Bright red Rose Hips now outnumber Wild Rose blooms. A few Humboldt Lilies are still blooming along a section of trail where the sound of the rushing stream is muffled by many ferns on both sides of the trail. Also seen in the canyon were Yucca, Twiggy Wreath Plant, Chalk Live-Forever, Lance Leaved Live-Forever, Fleabane Aster, and Hedge Nettle. Turning down Big Sycamore Canyon, the trail is lined with Poison Hemlock, Elderberry, large Datura blossoms, Castor Bean, and Wild Elderberry.  (BE)


Naturalist's rating:  Very Good


Rancho Sierra Vista &

Point Mugu State Park

Upper Sycamore Canyon Trail

 Date: 6/30/05



        We hiked a loop beginning at Rancho Sierra Vista on the Satwiwa Loop Trail and headed out to the waterfalls in Upper Sycamore Canyon. From there we headed down the Upper Sycamore Canyon Trail to the Sycamore Canyon Fire Road and then back to the parking lot at RSV, perhaps a total of four miles. About seventy five different species were encountered, but because many are of the weedy variety or only lightly represented we only give a rating of good.

        Highlights include Slender Tarweed, Turkey Mullein, Spanish Clover, Narrow-leaved Milkweed, Gum Plant, Bush Mallow, Morning Glory, Soap Plant, Long-beaked Filaree, California Poppy, Laurel Sumac, Toyon, Elderberry, Cliff Aster, Twiggy Wreath Plant, a good showing of Plummer's Mariposa Lily, a couple Humboldt Lily, Farewell-to-Spring, Elegant Clarkia, Heart-leaved Penstemon, Scarlet Larkspur, Bush Monkey Flower, Scarlet Monkey Flower, Round-leaved Boykinia, Yarrow, Bush Lupine, California Wild Rose, Fish's Milkwort, Snowberry, Pitcher Sage, Crimson Pitcher Sage, Leather Root, Fleabane Aster, Branching Phacelia, Large-flowered Phacelia, Bird's Beak, and Indian Pink.  (TV)


Naturalist's rating:  Good


Malibu Creek State Park

Miscellaneous trails near the main entrance

 Date: 6/28/05



        We hiked several of the trails between the main entrance parking lot and Century Lake including the whole length of the beautiful Mott Adobe trail. As elsewhere wildflowers are on the wane, but the appearance of some of the summer bloomers reminds us that there are still plenty of reasons to get and enjoy the view. About ninety species were encountered, but because many are of the weedy variety or only lightly represented we only give a rating of good,

        Highlights include Twiggy Wreath Plant, Slender Tarweed, California Wild Rose, Elderberry, Purple Clarkia, Elegant Clarkia, Farewell-to-Spring, Vinegar Weed, Narrow-leaved Milkweed, Bush mallow, Annual Paintbrush, Cattail, Speedwell, Wand Mullein, Turkey Mullein, Cliff Aster, White Sage, Purple Sage, Golden Yarrow, Morning Glory, Turkish Rugging, Caterpillar Phacelia, Sticky Phacelia, Branching Phacelia, Sticky False-gilia, Chaparral Honeysuckle, Foothill Penstemon, Heart-leaved Penstemon, Gourd, Gum Plant, Soap Plant, Datura, Woolly Blue Curls, Fleabane Aster, Matilija Poppy, Toyon, Wild Heliotrope, Long-beaked Filaree, Indian Milkweed, Chalk-leaved Live-forever, Lance-leaved Live-forever, California Fuchsia, and Water Cress.  (TV).


Naturalist's rating:  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:


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

If you would like to contribute to the wildflower report:




or phone Tony at 310-457-6408