Page Revised: 11/19/09


Available Site Reviews

Circle X Ranch

Rancho Sierra Vista

Date of Reviews

11/19 & 11/11.



Photo highlights from the flower reports: What's Blooming Now

Photos of over six hundred species: Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains

What's Blooming flower reports Archive

The Calendar of Events for the Santa Monica Mountains NRA Outdoors


        It's been quite a while since I've updated this web page largely because in the summer people stop sending me flower reports. I continue to run into scattered flowers all summer long but nothing compared to the grand displays we see in the springtime. Consequently I begin to get excited when the first flowers of the new year make their appearance. Almost everything we see beginning to bloom this time of year is a perennial shrub or tree (although there are a few herbaceous perennials that also make a quick appearance.)  That typically means keeping your head up and looking about you well above the ground.

        I’ve made several changes to the layout of the Wildflower website lately and one of them is a new search called What’s Blooming Now.  I will try to keep this up to date with the highlights of the flower sightings people have reported here.

        As always, if you have any comments or questions, or wish to file a flower report, you can email me at address at the bottom of this page.

– ed.




Circle X Ranch

Grotto Trail

         Date: 11/19



        After our hike to Sandstone Peak a week ago we were hoping for some nice spring flowers on this trail as well (I usually expect the Grotto trail to perform better than the Sandstone Peak trail.)  While there were a lot of green plants sprouting up there was very little in flower, mostly just a few holdouts from last season: a few California fuchsia, some sagebrush, coyote bush, and some woolly aster. Up closer to the campground we also saw a single white nightshade, a few telegraph weed, some twiggy wreath plants, mule fat and the usual perennial weeds like Mediterranean mustard, but nothing to make a special trip for. It’s still way too soon for most of our trails to show much activity. On the other hand the trail was in good condition, sprouting greenery and budding plants everywhere, the sycamores and cottonwoods in their fall colors, the air cool and clear with the scent of growing things, and the quiet stillness of nobody else in sight. We had a very refreshing walk.

– ed.


Circle X Ranch

Sandstone Peak Trail

         Date: 11/11



        We made a trip to the top of Sandstone Peak, mostly to replace the log book but also to see if the chaparral current was out.  I’d been seeing a few along the edge of the road that were almost blooming and it seemed likely we’d find some on that trail.  We were not disappointed.  The day was pleasantly cool and quite clear and so it was no surprise that there were quite a few people out enjoying the holiday.  The trail was in good shape but its steepness and the always present loose rocks suggest good footwear (this trail winding it’s way to the top of the highest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains is not a sidewalk in central park!)  Perhaps the biggest surprise was that quite a few of the bigpod ceanothus were starting to bloom.  We also found our chaparral current and some bigberry manzanita both showing their new flowers, and a few California buckwheat with new blossoms among the rusty heads from last year.  At a number of different places we saw the new growth of several different ferns. Nothing spectacular yet but enough to tell us that spring is coming. Other flower sightings were mostly sparse leftovers from last year and included a couple of nice bush senecio, sagebrush, some California fuchsia, cliff aster, a few sad looking sawtooth goldenbush, and quite a few woolly asters still holding on.  All told much better than I expected.  A modest but promising start to the new blooming season.

– ed.


Rancho Sierra Vista / Point Mugu State Park

Satwiwa Loop Trail to the Old Boney Trail

          Date: 11/6



        Bush senecio, narrow-leaved milkweed, coyote bush, California fuchsia, California sage brush, white nightshade, and silktassel bush.

– Fred Nuesca.



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

What’s Blooming

on the web at