December 27, 2007
Joe Kohn reports: “On Christmas Day, a group of us went up the Big Rock Ridge trail, and near the top were stunned to see footsteps of spring (Sanicula arctopoides) already in flower.”

December 27, 2007
Doreen Smith reports: “Yesterday we took a hike on Mt. Burdell where there were already a few wildflowers in bloom. There were a few Blennosperma nanum var. nanum, aka. “common stickyseed” some “goldfields”, Lasthenia californica or L. gracilis; “peppercress”, Lepidium nitidum; “buttercups”, Ranunculus californicus; milkmaids, Cardamine californica and even a few “Ca. poppies”, Eschscholzia californica. “

December 3, 2007
Wendy Dreskin reports: “I saw a California Buttercup at Elliott Nature Preserve November 30! Also cow parsnip on November 27 by the Clem Miller Center, and twinflower near the youth hostel, and the first coast strawberry in a sandstorm on McClure’s on December 3!”

Arctostaphylos manzanita
 photo by Doreen Smith
December 2, 2007
Doreen Smith reports: “I did a little reconnoitre about Back Ranch Meadows at China Camp State Park and the common manzanitas (Arctostaphylos manzanita) are in flower and teasing the hummingbirds. Most have white flowers but there are a few with bells of palest pink like the one in the photo.”

Noxious Weed:
Delairea odorata
 photo by Doreen Smith
November 30, 2007
Doreen Smith reports: “It looks pretty but is a real pest. This is a South African native perennial vine called Delairea odorata, Cape-ivy; once it was called Senecio mikanioides, German-ivy. It is spreading about local creeks, climbing up high into the trees and is very hard to get rid of though it rarely sets any seed. Any little bit of stem seems to have the ability to sprout into a new plant, if left unchecked the vine eventually smothers the vegetation upon which it climbs.”

November 29, 2007
Joe Kohn reports: “The first native wildflower of the season was spotted at Roy’s Redwoods. Sitting alone and by itself, A beautiful Ranunculus californicus (California Buttercup) heralded the start of the yearly cycle of birth and renewal.”

Orobanche californicaDS sm






June 25, 2007
Doreen Smith reports from the field trip to Chimney Rock, Point Reyes: “Both Orobanche californica and Gentiana affinis ovata were found, the former in fine photo-ready condition. The Orobanche californica plants are parasitic on Grindelia and are growing at the very tip of the Chimney Rock peninsula on the center of the west-facing slope. Some plant’s flowers are reddish, others purple.”

Allium falcifolium
 photo by Peter Denisevich
May 18, 2007
Peter Denisevich reports: “Allium falcifolium are blooming brightly on Carson Ridge — Oat Hill Road near Old Sled Trail. The rhododendrons are almost in bloom on either side of the ridge in Liberty Gulch and toward Little Carson Falls (Be careful of the frogs!)”

May 4, 2007
Sharon Salisbury reports: “I was at Kirby Cove at the Marin Headlands yesterday and saw several Delphinium californicum ssp. californicum. There were several rising above the surrounding vegetation on the bluff above the beach and were in full bloom or bud. The walk down to Kirby Cove this time of year is lovely with many different flowers in full bloom. The chert cliffs are a stunning foil to the bright splashes of red Indian Paint Brush, orange poppies, yellow Lizard Tails, Seep Monkey flower and Mustard, pink Checkerbloom and Morning Glory, orange Sticky Monkey Flower, blue Blue-eyed Grass and much more.”

April 30, 2007
Doreen Smith reports: “My last field trip Sunday 29th to Azalea Hill and Carson Ridge produced a few new records to add to the plant list. At the moment the area is well worth a visit if only roadside clumps of pale Marin Douglas Iris on the drive up from the Meadow Club and for the meadow of goldfields on the NE slope of Azalea Hill. The pink-purple Allium falcifolium in the barrens between the rocks at the top of the hill and the small, endemic Astragalus gambelianus var. elmeri will be visible for only a little while longer.”

Delphinium variegatum
 photo by Amelia Ryan
April 22, 2007
Amelia Ryan reports: “Royal Larkspur (Delphinium variegatum) is blooming at China Camp State Park, as are Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja affinis ssp. affinis) and Common Owl’s clover (Castilleja densiflora var. densiflora). Golden Pea (Thermopsis californica) is everywhere! Also in bloom: Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium bellum), ground iris (Iris macrosiphon), and Checkerbloom (Sidalcea malviflora).”

Plagiobothrys stipitatus
 photo by Vernon Smith
April 5, 2007
Doreen Smith reports: “I went on the MCOSD hike to Ring Mountain – which event had a very large number of participants eager to experience the wildflowers of this renowned site. Though the flowers aren’t yet at their peak, we saw many Goldfields (Lasthenia gracilis); Woolly Hog-fennel (Lomatium dasycarpum); Oakland star-tulips (Calochortus umbellatus); Tidytips (Layia platyglossa); Morning-glory (Calystegia purpurata ssp. purpurata); Western Cornsalad (Plectritis macrocera); native true clovers (Trifolium spp.); common Owl’s-clover (Castilleja densiflora) and many others. On the very top of the Hill 602 (Ring Mountain) was Marin’s only population of the white native forget-me-not, Plagiobothrys stipitatus, growing in a shallow, dried, vernal depression.”

Dodecatheon hendersonii photo by Doreen SmithMarch 30, 2007
Doreen Smith reports: “Some flowers of the Coast Redwood forest understory seen at Muir Woods N. M. on Tuesday 27th March: Two spp. of Fairybells, Prosartes hookeri (green flowers) and P.smithii (white flowers); Coltsfoot, Petasites frigidus; Wakerobin spp., Trillium chloropetalum and T.ovatum; Redwood violet, Viola sempervirens; Woodsorrel, Oxalis oregana; and Windflower, Anemone oregana.
“Old St. Hilary’s Open Space Preserve, most easily accessed from the Vistazo West fire-road, is also a neat place to visit right now with Shootingstars, Dodecatheon hendersonii; Goldfields, Lasthenia californica,; Ca. poppies, Eschscholzia californica and Tidytips, Layia platyglossa – most are all-yellow, only a few with white tips to the ray florets. There is also its near look-alike Spring Tarplant, Hemizonia congesta ssp. lutescens. The rare Black Jewelflower, Streptanthus niger, is sprouting and almost in bud. Near the chapel are blue Gilia clivorum in the long grass.

March 26, 2007
Sharon Salisbury reports: “On the ridge past Ring-Mountain, the hills are alive with Sun Cups, Buttercups, Checkerbloom, Ground Iris, Douglas Iris, Oakland Star Tulips, Zigadene lilies, California Poppies, False Lupines, Blue-eyed Grass, Blue Dicks, Hog Fennel, Purple Sanicle, Footsteps of Spring, Yarrow, Phacelia californica and more. With views of the bay from every side of the hill and small rills running and pooling down the green-grassed hills, it makes for a breathtaking spring meander.”

March 25, 2007
John Conley reports: “Chimney Rock wildflowers have now burst into prolific bloom. On Saturday, I enjoyed seeing Triphysaria eriantha var. rosea (Johnny Tuck) blooming near the parking area. Calochortus tolmiei (Pussy Ears) is beginning to bloom on the headlands, and there were plenty of Mule Ears (Wyethia angustifolia). San Francisco Owl’s Clover (Triphysaria floribunda) is beginning to bloom near the western tip of the peninsula. Cerastium arvense (Field Chickweed) is blooming in abundance, as is the Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana). Sanicula arctopoides (Footsteps of Spring) is fading, while Ranunculus californicus (California Buttercup) is blooming as profusely as I can recall, in this particular location. Layia platyglossa (Tidy Tips) and Castilleja sp. (Indian Paintbrush) are blooming, as is Amsinckia sp. (Crookneck, aka “Devil’s Lettuce). Erigeron glaucas (Seaside Daisy) is fading, but Goldfields (Lasthenia californica) are just beginning their bloom. Viola adunca (Dog Violet) was also seen, along with Erysimum menziesii (Wallflower). At the Lighthouse, near the parking area, the Point Reyes Checker Lily (Fritillaria affinis var. tristulis) was blooming, along with the Coast Rock Cress (Arabis blepharophylla), Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii), and many others. Too many to list. If anyone’s been waiting to visit Chimney Rock or the Point Reyes Headlands to see wildflowers this season as they reach their full bloom, I’d say that time has now begun. How long it last will depend upon a host of factors, not the least of which is rain. In any event, the next few weeks there should be pretty spectacular.”

March 25, 2007
Paul Furman reports: “I saw some nice orchids on the Matt Davis trail today including a couple of albino Calypso bulbosa, and some Corallorhiza striata. Also Pyrola picta in bud.”

Corallorhiza striata photo by Brenda Lein

March 21, 2007
Brenda Lein reports: “Here’s a striped coral root (Corallorhiza striata) Peter and I spied on the Yolanda Trail, at Deer Park, last week. We ran across another on the Shady Side Trail at Bon Tempe just yesterday. We’ve been keeping our eyes peeled, fruitlessly, for the spotted variety which we often see on the Shady Side. No doubt when we see them, we’ll send on a picture!”

March 20, 2007
The Calypso Orchids (Calypso bulbosa) are blooming on Mt.Tam


Fritillaria affinis var.tristulis photo by Doreen SmithMarch 19, 2007
Doreen Smith reports: “I pre-tripped the March 24 Lake Lagunitas hike today. Luckily there were some fine flowering trees, shrubs and herbaceous spp. Also liverworts, mosses, club-mosses, lichens and ferns. Also waterfowl (merganzers) on the lake with Ospreys fishing in the lake. Particularly good were Acer macrophyllum, Arbutus menziesii, Ceanothus cuneatus, Arctostaphylos glandulosa, A. (hookeri) montana, Iris macrosiphon, Iris douglasiana in pastel shades, Sanicula laciniata, Cynoglossum grande, Pedicularis densiflora, Romanzoffia californica and even Athysanus pusillus. If there is any interest I’ll go up on the Carson Ridge, after the Lake circuit is over, to see serpentinite chaparral. There are Ceanothus jepsonii, C. cuneatus and Arctostaphylos (hookeri) montana in flower plus that large-flowered form of Claytonia exigua. At the weekend (Friday) I scouted out the Pt. Reyes headlands to see if the chocolate lilies (Fritillaria affinis var.tristulis) were performing this year. They were really spectacular on the bluff E. of the winding bit of road between Band A ranches, by Sir Francis Drake Blvd. on the way to the Lighthouse.”

Camissonia graciliflora photo by Doreen SmithMarch 14, 2007
Doreen Smith reports: “The south-facing slopes of Mt. Burdell are bursting into flower. Particularly between San Carlos Dr. and San Mateo Dr. in the fenced area protected from grazing cows. Other serpentinite soil areas have lots of flowers but not in so concentrated a mass of blooms. I didn’t even visit the wooded areas or the upper slopes but today I found Eschscholzia californica, Platystemon californicus, Dichelostemma capitatum, D. congestum, Lasthenia gracilis, Layia chrysanthemoides, Blennosperma nanum, the uncommon Camissonia graciliflora, Monolopia major, Collinsia sparsiflora, Leptosiphon androsaceus, Leptosiphon parviflorus, Castilleja densiflora, Guillenia lasiophylla, Calandrinia ciliata, Thysanocarpus curvipes, Githopsis specularioides, Lomatium dasycarpum and L. utriculatum.”

March 12, 2007
Sharon Salisbury reports: “At the Marin Headlands we saw many Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja franciscana), Suncups (Camissonia ovata), Wall Flowers, (Erysimum franciscanum), Slim Solomon’s Seal, Zigadene Lily, Wild Cucumber, Footsteps of Spring, Checkerbloom, Tree Poppy, Vetch and this was just on a short walk on the cliffs. On March 11 on a new walk (for me) behind Indian Valley Campus in Novato I saw Suncups, Blue Dicks, Trilliums (Trillium ovatum), Sticky Monkey Flower, Slim Solomon’s Seal, Zigadene Lilies, two kinds of Vetch and thousands of Buttercups and Milkmaids the entire way and in one place a veritable forest of Indian Warriors. I saw one huge plant and stepped off the trail and was astonished to see at least 1000 of them… literally covering the ground on all sides and then spilling over a steep hill. Some were at least 2 feet high and thick. Then the display just abruptly stopped. It reminded me of how a huge mycelium pushes out thousands of mushrooms that erupt above ground. Is Pedicularis densiflora partially parasitic, like some of the paint brushes and owls clovers? I could think of no other explanation for this huge but discrete display. The main trees were Madrone…is there some sort of relationship there? Also on the sunnier side of the mountain hundreds of Sanicula (I think crassicaulis). There were also thousands of Shooting Stars the entire way and Madrone and different species of Manzanita were in blooms of pink and white and the deciduous oaks and Buckeyes were unfurling their new leaves as the Live Oaks pushed forth their red new growth. Also, many lizards, birds and butterflies all around and all to the tune of creeks, waterfalls and the smell of honey-scented air. A real zippidy-do-da day!”

Camissonia ovata photo by John Conley




March 10, 2007
John Conley reports: “I hiked at Drake’s Bay this morning. The Douglas Iris has burst into bloom (on the hillsides above the beach) everywhere one looks, and the Coast Suncup (Camissonia ovata) is abundant on the bluffs above Drake’s Bay, as is the Dog Violet (Viola adunca). Sidalcea malviflora, Ranunculus californicus, and several species of Ceanothus are also in full bloom. Cerastium arvense (Field Chickweed) is just beginning to bloom. Indian Paintbrush (several species) is blooming. Spring is here.”

March 2, 2007
Sharon Salisbury reports: “On the old RR grade in Mill Valley the are hundreds of Mission Bells either in bloom or putting out their first huge leaf. I don’t think I have ever seen so many in one place. Also as many Fetid Adder’s Tongues, although most have gone to seed. Milkmaids and Zigadene lilies abound. I love the un-pleating fuzzy green leaves of the Hazelnut and its catkins that appear to hang in mid-air like something in a Harry Potter movie.”

Zigadenus fremontii photo by Amelia Byrd Ryan





February 23, 2007
Amelia Byrd Ryan reports: “Zigadenus fremontii is in full bloom on the Tiburon penninsula. I found it in the Tiburon Uplands Preserve. It was blooming in other locals along Paradise Drive, as well. Milkmaids(Cardamine californica) and Hound’s tongue (Cynoglossum grande) were also in bloom.”

February 18, 2007
Sharon Salisbury reports: “On a quick walk on Homestead Trail in Mill Valley I saw about 100 Fetid Adder’s Tongues, many still in bloom, about 10 Hound’s Tongue in bloom and bud and about 50 Trillium ovatum in full bloom.”

Scoliopus bigelovii
 photo by Arnold Knepfer
February 17, 2007
Arnold Knepfer reports: “I took this picture this morning on the South Trail in Corte Madera. It’s apparently a Fetid Adder’s Tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii). Good thing I didn’t smell it (because I didn’t know what it was until I got home).”

February 17, 2007
Doreen Smith reports: “The Mt. Tam. hike was about the least “floriferous” that I’ve ever led – but the weather was clear and warm and the views tremendous.Total flowering spp. on the Verna Dunshee trail were 4. We COULD see the white snow-capped peaks of the Sierra on the eastern horizon as promised. The “most beautiful manzanita” (Arctostaphylos canescens) had unfortunately mostly finished flowering, there were only a few rosy bells left on shrubs on the south side of the west-facing slope of the parking area. There were plenty of Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. glandulosa, which has white flowers, in various stages of bloom. At Rock Spring we found one open Calypso orchid flower and two in bud.On the lower south-facing slopes of the Mt. by the roadside there were a few Ceanothus cuneatus shrubs in full flower. In Marin most blossoms of this species are blue-purple.”

February 17, 2007
Sharon Salisbury reports: “Today, on a Mt. Tam walk with Doreen Smith, we saw a few buds and flowers of the Calypso Orchid (Calypso bulbosa) in the woods behind the picnic benches at Rock Springs. There were also a few in bloom behind the bathrooms at Laurel Dell. Along the bridge that crosses the creek at Laurel Dell there were many Fetid Adder’s Tongues (Scoliopus bigelovii) still in bloom. On the Verna Dunshee Trail we saw the lovely Castilleja foliolosa and everywhere the elegant urn-shaped flowers of manzanita and madrone were drooping from branches. A beautiful day just to be out and about.”

February 14, 2007
Don Sadowski reports: “Today we saw purple Irises (Douglas) blooming at the top of the hill before one drops down into Limator Beach and the parking area.”

Nemophila menziesii var. atomaria photo by Vernon SmithFebruary 12, 2007
Doreen Smith reports: “Yesterday on David Herlocker’s hike we found 20 flowering plant spp. This did include non-natives, however, but there were Blennosperma nanum var. robustum, Ranunculus californicus, Viola adunca, Nemophila menziesii var. atomaria, Lomatium utriculatum and Calandrinia ciliata too. Thursday is the annual MCOSD group’s trip to Chimney Rock so there may be more things in bloom than would have expected, given the dry, cold winter weather of January. I’m hoping to see the Fritillaria affinis var. tristulis.”

Erigeron glaucus photo by John ConleyFebruary 3, 2007
John Conley reports: “Chimney Rock wildflowers are just beginning to show themselves. Sanicula arctopoides (Footsteps of Spring) is coming up, but is not yet in bloom. Sidalcea malviflora (Checkerbloom) is blooming near the tip of the peninsula, and there were quite a few Seaside Daisies (Erigeron glaucus) in bloom on the western side of the peninsula this morning. The early blooms of Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila menziesii) were seen on the bluffs near the Point Reyes lighthouse.”

February 1, 2007
Don Sadowski reports: “The Zigadenus fremontii (star lillies) are blooming now on Mt. Burdell and so are the Blennosperma.”

January 29, 2007
Sharon Salisbury reports: “The Fetid Adder’s Tongues (Scoliopus bigelovii) are blooming at the parking lot at Cascade Falls and a few plants along the upper trail are also in bloom. However, it appears many more are already going to seed and I didn’t see as many as in past years. At Rush Creek I saw hundreds of Milkmaids blooming last week.”

Ribes sanguineum photo by John ConleyJanuary 6, 2007
John Conley reports: “I hiked at Point Reyes today, making a loop from the Muddy Hollow trailhead up to Inverness Ridge and back, via the Drake’s View, Inverness Ridge, and Bay View trails. The Pink-flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum) is blooming in and around Muddy Hollow. A few Milkmaids were blooming on the Drake’s View trail, where I also saw an amazing abundance and diversity of fungi. Mushrooms of all shapes, sizes, and colors were everywhere to be seen, on the upper trail (as it passes through the “new” Bishop Pine forest there). Two early Douglas Iris were blooming on the lower part of the trail, as were many wild strawberries. On the Bayview trail, there were a dozen or more bright scarlet Indian Paintbrush blooms to be seen. On the lower part of the Bayview trail, I briefly enjoyed the sweet scent of Ceanothus in bloom (somewhere close), but I could not locate the blooms themselves, despite some searching. The Ceanothus that I saw there is still in bud, but should be in full bloom within a week or two.”