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Wildflower Walk Number 3

posted Apr 2, 2016, 3:17 PM by Lynn Moody

More wildflowers!  The blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium bellum) (really a kind of wild iris relative) was blooming strong.  I have never seen a photograph - mine or anyone else's - that does justice to this beautiful flower.   
Filaree (below) is not a native plant, but rather is naturalized, and grows everywhere.  I've even seen it in the Mojave desert.  Sheep love it so I like it.  It has ferny-looking leaves, growing in a rosette, and a pinkish-lavenderish colored flower, small.


On this walk, California poppies were getting started, mostly in sunny areas.  This iconic plant is the state flower of California and as far as I am concerned, welcome anywhere it grows.

Ceanothus is in full bloom now.  Elsewhere - in the Santa Lucia mountains for example, and when it's used in yards as a landscaping plant, they have the blue-flowered species, but ours has white flowers, and the shrubs get pretty big, with an upright habit.

In moist-ish areas - this location is near some drip irrigation emitters - elder grows, and on this walk the flower clusters (shown below) were forming but flowers were not open yet.  I've seen the flower clusters covered with bees when they are in bloom, so that gives us (including the bees) something to look forward to.  The berries (dark purple-black) make a lovely jam, but I haven't made it the past few years - with the drought, the berries haven't been that plentiful so I've left them for the birds.  You can see Petunia in the lower left.

Goldfields - the three photos above - are another favorite of mine.  These tiny little yellow daisy-type composites grow mostly on flat areas on the dry sandy floodplain and on canyon floors.  I love these little guys!  They are particularly abundant this year.

The little flowers in the two photos below - I'll be darned if I can remember what they are called, I should know it...not in the wildflowers of Monterey County book, but I'll find it somewhere - anyway, they are a common sight in the spring, especially abundant on the canyon floor where our house is located.  Five petals, dark spot in the center, flower color white, pink, or lavender... I'll find them out.  Anyway, another very small but pretty flower growing in dry rocky soil.


Yellow flower above, I think is a kind of Malacothrix... and the yellow flower below, that looks like a dandelion but isn't, is another kind of Malacothrix.



The photo to the left, another yellow flower, is another particular favorite.  This is Johnny jump up, a species of Viola, that grows in the shadier spots on the lower sides of the canyons - likes cooler, moister conditions, I believe.  It is a beautiful flower, not uncommon but very welcome.  I think the bulbs must be tasty, because the wild (feral, really) pigs really like digging through the soil where these grow.







On this walk, the owl's clover (Orthocarpus) was just getting started blooming.  Most of ours are pink, but occasionally we get a white one.




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