Page Revised: 8/29/09


Available Site Reviews

Solstice Canyon

Topanga State Park


Date of Reviews




What's Blooming photo gallery:
What's Blooming archive:
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        It's been quite a while since I've updated this site, mostly because this time of year people stop sending me flower reports. In addition, most of the hikes I've done recently have left me with little to report about from a flower perspective. In my case this is because most of my recent hikes have not been flower hunts but treks through chaparral and sage scrub either on business or just for exercise. Yesterday I went down into a deep drainage to look for an elusive fern and met quite a number of things blooming down near the creek's edge. While a few of our plants merrily bloom the summer away in dry landscapes, some that we normally think of as spring-time flowers can still be found if you search in sheltered locations harboring moisture. For example, the black sage and california buckwheat where I live are still blooming nicely because I throw a little water at them every other week or so.

        Some of the dry landscape plants you might keep an eye out for include California fuchsia, some of the perennial mustards, cliff aster, telegraph weed (and a number of other plants with “weed” in their name), twiggy wreath plant and it's relatives, some of the sages and mints, mugwort and its relatives, and I’ve recently run into the western virgin's bower in a number of different locations.  There are also a lot of plants blooming now with small green flowers that we tend to overlook.  I find this is a good time of year to carry a hand lens and expand my definition of “flower.”

        If you are looking for inspiration you might try using the Flower Finder and searching on “Summer” in our Photo Gallery (see the link above)  I predict you will be totally surprised by the length of the list you receive.

– ed.




Solstice Canyon

Solstice Canyon & TRW Trails

           Date: 8/24



        At Solstice on Aug. 24,  Jack and I saw a fair number of blooms. We only walked from the main parking along the Solstice Canyon Trail to the bridge and up the trail beside the creek (TRW trail). We were going to go to the Keller house, but it was just too hot.

        Western Virgin's Bower climbing all over one of the mallows. Other mallows were blooming profusely throughout the area. Beside the creek on the shaded TRW trail were blooming bird's beak, mugwort and false tarragon. One yellow, one white, with very similar leaves. Lots of crimson monkeyflower in the damp areas, We also saw some tarweed, ashyleaf buckwheat, and white everlasting. Laurel sumac is still blooming. Solstice creek was crowded with young alders growing in the creek bed. It will be interesting to see what happens t them when it rains.

– Sheila Braden & Jack Gillooly.


Topanga Canyon State Park

Santa Ynez Trail

           Date: 7/16



        The Humboldt lilies are still in bloom and are the first flowers you encounter on this trail.  They are spectacular, dangling overhead like chandeliers.  A few other special flowers are blooming but not much overall.  There is a patch of blooming monardella, some scarlet monkey flower blooming in the creek bed, coast boykinia growing from a rock wall above a pool.  Otherwise there is just some bush mallow, cliff aster, and California buckwheat.  The waterfall is down to the merest trickle but the pool underneath was full of newts..

– Dorothy Steinicke.




Contact Information:


Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area


401 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360




If you would like to contribute to the wildflower report:




or phone Tony at 310-457-6408