Available Sites


 Revised: 9/15/04

Rocky Oaks
Rancho Sierra Vista
Circle X Ranch
Point Mugu State Park



See the photo gallery of What’s Blooming at: http://www.nps.gov/samo/bloom/bloom.htm


Flowers are still blooming in spite of mid summer heat and little rainfall this year. Try
some of the walks listed below. Early morning or late days are coolest.


Rocky Oaks


Date Observed:9/08/04

Rocky is another unit with a variety of habitats. The pond is a major feature because of the persistent moisture. Consequently near the pond we see flowers not present in some other locations or flowers that have elsewhere quit blooming. In the low areas we can see Yellow Water Weed, stands of Water Smartweed, Cattail, Wild Heliotrope, Lowland Cudweed, a few scattered Narrow-leaved Milkweed, and some Purple Nightshade still in bloom.

To the west of the pond there is a field enclosed by the Rocky Oaks Loop Trail that is quite dense with summer flowers including Sawtooth Goldenbush, Wooly Aster, Slender Tarweed, Wand Buckwheat, Telegraph Weed, Vinegar Weed, Twiggy Wreath Plant, Common Madia, and the California Poppy. Note that some of these flowers close up in the heat of the day so it is best to try and see them in the morning.

Continuing west we encounter a grassy meadow with the splendid blue blossoms of Chicory. And lastly, almost to the edge of the property, we enter a drainage that still has a nice stand of California Wild Rose blooming. Amongst the roses are bright red California Fuchsia and a more erect example of the delightful Yellow Water Weed.

Elsewhere at Rocky we can see Western Ragweed, Black Mustard, Coyote Bush, Mule Flat, Bull Thistle, Milk Thistle, Horseweed, and tiny (but tall) Field Willow-herb.

Naturalist's rating: Fair



Rancho Sierra Vista


Date Observed: 9/06/2004

Coming to a garden is not the same as finding wildflowers in their natural locations, but those who want to see blooming wildflowers will enjoy the small native plant garden at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa.

Eleven varieties of plants are blooming. Many of them out of season, such as the California wild roses, because of the regular watering. Highlights are the wand buckwheat, yerba mansa and California fuchsia. Also interesting are the large red rose hips on the wild roses and the exploded pods spreading the seeds of the narrow leaved milkweed.

Naturalist's rating: Fair



Circle X Ranch

Grotto Trail

Date Observed:9/03/04

We are pretty much down to the summer bloomers now, many of which will continue to bloom for some time. At the dry top end of the trail you can find Milk-asters (both Tejon and Twiggy Wreath Plant) and the similar Cliff-Aster. The delightful purple and gold Woolly Aster is everywhere as are the Sawtooth Goldenbush. Finally, Both Hoary and California Fuchsia add a striking red to this bone-dry area.

Down near the grotto we encounter Wild Tarragon and the related Mugwort in bloom. Right in the damper area of the creek bed are several excellent examples of the dramatic Scarlet Monkey Flower.

Also seen blooming on the trail are Slender Tarweed, Narrow-leaved Milkweed,

Black Mustard, California Buckwheat, Ashyleaf Buckwheat, Felt-leaf Everlasting, Telegraph Weed, California Sagebrush, and Morning Glory.

And yes, there is still running water and tadpoles at the Grotto.

Naturalist's rating: Fair



Point Mugu State Park    

Ray Miller Trail

Date Observed:8/19/04

This first link of the Backbone Trail starts just off Pacific Coast Highway. The trail was in good condition, the cool ocean breeze was welcoming and the view of the Pacific Ocean (with cavorting dolphins) was grand, but the blooms were poor. The parched condition of the chaparral was disheartening and the flower sightings were limited to 11 species. The yellow blooms included sweet fennel, saw-toothed golden bush, slender tarweed, and hedge mustard. Several hoary fuchsias were the only reds and the pinks seen were wand buckwheat, and ashy-leaved buckwheat. Contributing to the violet tints were a few bush mallow, wooly aster, and wand chicory. Other sightings of note were a few mountain mahogany feathery seed pappi. (RWM)

Naturalist's rating: Poor



Contact Information:


Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area


401 West Hillcrest Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360


Ph. 805-370-2301


web. www.nps.gov/samo

Thank you


for your contributions:


Robert W. Maughmer
Tony Valois

If you would like to contribute to the wildflower report:


e-mail: sheila_braden@nps.gov
or phone her at