Page Revised: 8/20/05


Available Sites

Circle X Ranch
Calabasas Peak Area
Point Mugu State Park

Date of Review

8/18/05 & 7/27/05.


What's Blooming photo gallery:

What's Blooming archive:

Find events in the Santa Monica Mountains:


Circle X Ranch

Grotto Trail

   Date: 8/18/05



        Well into summer now we counted only 37 different species, and several of these were only lightly represented. The area’s summer flowers are now pretty well represented, although some, like the Sawtooth Goldenbush, are still only in bud. Highlights included California Fuchsia, Narrow-leaved Milkweed, Bush Mallow, a few Heart-leaved Penstemon, Mugwort, Wild Tarragon, Woolly Aster, some Bird's Beak, Twiggy Wreath Plant, a nice display of Tejon Milk Aster, Creek Monkey Flower, Scarlet Monkey Flower, Cliff Aster, Fish's Milkwort, Leather Root, and Spanish Clover.  (TV)


Naturalist's rating:  Fair


Calabasas Peak Area

Misc. Trails

   Date: 8/5/05



        On 8/5/05 we hiked along the Calabasas Motorway to Calabasas Peak from the trailhead off Stunt Rd. We had as an objective to find the Santa Susana tarweed that had been seen about five years ago along this trail. We were amply rewarded with a large number of plants in full bloom along a strip about 100 yards long. We also found large quantities of Nevin's brickelbush just starting to bloom along the trail, its silvery foliage brightening the hillsides as we passed. A total of only 25 species were found to be blooming on this day and the drying out process was well underway. As we started up the trail we spotted Calif. buckwheat, hedge mustard, dotter, wand chicory, a few bush mallow and slender tarweed in good quantity, but in the last stages of its bloom. A few morning glories some telegraph weed and a few nine feet tall giant rye plants were also encountered.

        Continuing up the trail (about an 800 feet climb) we saw narrow leaf sunflower, western lettuce, cliff aster, laurel sumac, and sweet fennel. A small blue flower was seen, but as yet has not been identified. On display were prickly popcorn flower, bush senecio, velvet leaf everlasting, hoary fuchsia, wooly aster, bush monkey flower and Spanish broom.

        A rating of fair was given only because of the large quantity of the less seldom seen Santa Susana tarweed and the Nevin's brickelbush.  (RWM)


Naturalist's rating:  Fair


Point Mugu State Park

La Jolla Canyon Trail

Date: 7/29/05



        On 7/29/05 we hiked along the La Jolla Canyon Trail to a side trail looping around to the west then south around Mugu Peak and returning to the point of departure. Our objectives were to see if the creeping buttercups had survived the high water levels that washed away the entire bank on which they had been growing a year ago, and to check the water level at the pond of the first little waterfall on the way up the canyon. We found the water flow to still be very good, keeping the little pond full and providing a residual waterfall as a background. Last June this little pond was bone dry for the first time in several years. On the loop trail heading west from the La Jolla Canyon trail we found that the creeping buttercups had survived, but were not in bloom. Including the grasses we found 53 species blooming, but only in fair quantity, thereby rating a fair grade on the flower affectionata's scale.

         Found in the order first encountered along the trail were cliff aster, black sage, ashy leaf buckwheat, laurel sumac, bush mallow, mugwort, hedge mustard, sweet fennel, deerweed, tree tobacco and slender tarweed. Also spotted were bush monkey flower, sawtooth golden bush, morning glory, and Calif buckwheat. A lot of wand chicory was present but only a single bladder pod. At the little pond was Calif loosestrife, Venus hair fern, umbrella sedge, scarlet monkey flower, narrow leaf cattail, and creek monkey flower. Further up the trail we encountered giant rye, Calif fuchsia, toyon, Indian pink, lance-leaf live-forever and heart leaf penstemon. A greenbark ceanothus was still blooming and a single purple Clarkia was spotted. Several chalk live-forever were in bloom as were some purple sage, coastal paintbrush, bush sunflower, wild rose, gum plant and cudweed. Contributing to the floral color were sticky madia, Calif. everlasting, narrow leaf milkweed, bird's beak, stinging nettle and water cress. In the damp area was tule, on the hillside a yucca and a number of prickly pears. Wooly aster, hoary fuchsia, fountain grass, common yarrow, water parsnip and vervain completed the displays seen for the day.

        A comment must be made relative to the insect infestation encountered on the hike. On the way up the trail we were met with a literal strike force of small black mosquitoes who seemed to dive in head first to sample one's blood. Further up the trail after entering the grass lands covered with shoulder high Harding grass we encountered another strike force of deer ticks with literally dozens found clambering up our trouser legs. Don your "buzz-off" duds and apply the "deet" liberally to survive.


Naturalist's rating:  Fair


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 – not great for six miles of trail. 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




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