Cardamine californica photo by Doreen Smith
December 29, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “Cardamine californica is blooming in “Marinwood” just north of the Mt. Lassen Dr. parking spot for Old Lucas Valley Road.”

Scoliopus bigelovii photo by George McRae
December 21, 2009
George McRae & Heidi Rand report: ” …many Brownies (Scoliopus bigelovii) in bloom in Muir Woods along the main trail just short of Cathedral Grove on Friday December 18th. We took a trip to Cascade falls yesterday Dec 20, but saw none. ”

Arctostaphylos manzanitaphoto by Vernon SmithSolidago californicaphoto by Vernon Smith
December 19, 2009
Vernon Smith reports: “On David Herlocker’s hike today, I saw Common Manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita) and California Goldenrod (Solidago californica) in bloom on Big Rock Ridge. Things seem to be somewhat early.”

Castilleja subinclusa ssp. franciscana photo by Dave Strauss
November 8, 2009
Dave Strauss reports: “It was surprising to see several plants in bloom in the Marin Headlands today including: Eschscholzia californica, Mimulus aurantiacus, and Castilleja subinclusa ssp. franciscana. I also observed Arctostaphylos sp. in bloom high up along Gold Hill Grade in San Rafael yesterday.”

Cordylanthus pilosus photo by Vernon Smith
August 16, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “Several botanically-inclined people from several CNPS chapters braved the mid-day heat and attended Saturday’s hike around the N. edges of Alpine Lake reservoir, MMWD. In addition to the expected (often tiny) wetland plants like Crassula aquatica, Epilobium torreyi, Mollugo verticillata and Gratiola ebractata we found Isoetes howellii, Asclepias fascicularis, Epilobium densiflorum and unexpectedly large numbers of Cordylanthus pilosus at the foot of Azalea Hill, some were even at the reservoir high-water-line mark. The Alpine Lake plant list was amended accordingly.
“Next month (Sept.) there will be a visit to the shores of Nicasio reservoir and the Stafford Lake reservoir E. of Novato with David Herlocker’s Marin Naturalist Program . Last year there were many different shore-line plants to see, some the same but many different from those listed above.They included the native Petunia parviflora, new to Marin, and the non- native arrowhead, Sagittaria brevirostra.”

July 30, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “I pre-tripped the Alpine/Lake Lagunitas area Tuesday and the reservoir isn’t down as much as the photo from last year (see walks description) but it is surrounded by obscure items of Botanical interest: Alisma triviale and Helenium puberulum are the prettiest, Marsilea vestita (four-leaf-clover fern) the most peculiar.”

July 22, 2009
Brad Kelley reports: “The gentians (Gentiana affinis var. ovata) are blooming on Carson Ridge near the Repack junction. West of the junction a large patch of Green Rein Orchid (Piperia elongata) is blooming by taking advantage of fog drip under Sargent Cypress (Cupressus sargentii) in a normally very dry area.
“This is a good year for Rein orchids. Piperia transversa and Piperia elongata are blooming in shady areas on the north side of Mount Tam, Lagunitas and Bon Tempe lakes and many areas of central Marin. Piperia elegans ssp. elegans is blooming along the headlands, Kirby Cove, and Point Reyes; some were seen on Doreen’s Abbott’s Lagoon hike. Over 100 flowering spikes of the rare Piperia michaelii were counted on East Marin Island and seventeen were counted at the only other known Marin population at Point Reyes. A few spikes of the extremely rare Piperia elegans ssp. decurtata are beginning to bloom at Point Reyes.”

Triteleia laxa photo by Jim Rolka
July 18, 2009
Jim Rolka reports: Gentiana affinis var. ovata, Silene scouleri ssp. scouleri, Triteleia laxa (Ithuriel’s spear), and Prunella vulgaris (Selfheal) blooming on the bluff overlooking Abbotts Lagoon. “I went there to see the Blue Gentian and Red-Flowered Catchfly that were mentioned by numerous visitors. (I was staffing a table at the trailhead to provide information on the Snowy Plovers.) ”

Gentiana affinis var. ovataphoto by Vernon SmithSilene scouleri ssp. scouleriphoto by Vernon Smith
July 12, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “There was a big turnout for the Abbotts Lagoon hike and the gentians (Gentiana affinis var. ovata) were found in fine condition at the top of the bluff overlooking the bridge to the dunes. Pink- flowered coastal catchfly, (Silene scouleri ssp. scouleri), also excited the photographers.”

July 3, 2009
Fred Cline reports: Lady tresses (Spiranthes porrifolia) blooming at Rock Spring on Mt. Tam.

July 2, 2009
Mary Stevens and Norbert Jeske report: ” Leopard lilies and Western Azaleas are blooming along the road below the Bootjack parking lot and in Portrero Meadow.”

July 1, 2009
Trevor Simon reports:”We just saw a nice patch of the stream orchid growing in Papermill creek across the road from Devils gulch. Really pretty.”

June 29, 2009
Robert Hall reports:”I biked to the top of Tam starting at Phoenix Lake and noticed that there are still some wildflowers. Of course, monkey flower is blooming everywhere but coyote mint is ubiquitous too. I also saw pearly-everlasting, fading patches of Ithuriel’s spear, western morning glory and one pitcher sage in bloom.”

Lilium maritimumphoto by Vernon SmithRosa spithameaphoto by Roger D. Harris
June 23, 2009
Doreen Smith reports:”The Lilium maritimum should be flowering for this Saturday’s Bull Point trip.”
She also sends a picture of Rosa spithamea taken by Roger D. Harris on her Ring Mountain walk.

Gentiana affinis var. ovataphoto by John ConleyMonardella villosaphoto by John Conley
June 21, 2009
John Conley reports: “The Blue Gentian (Gentiana affinis var. ovata) is in full bloom along the bluffs above Drake’s Bay and Drake’s Estero. There is still some Sidalcea in bloom there, as well as some Ceanothus. Brodiaea terrestris is still in bloom, but is beginning to fade. Lots of Paintbrush, Lotus, Blue-eyed Grass, Ithuriel’s Spear, and Gumweed continue to bloom, and our native Blackberries (Rubus ursinus) are just ripening. The Coyote Mint (Monardella villosa) is currently making a nice show on the path from Drake’s Estero to Horseshoe Lagoon.”

Monardella villosa photo by Dave Strauss
June 20, 2009
Dave Strauss reports Monardella villosa blooming along the Fish Gulch trail above Phoenix Lake.

Calochortus tiburonensisphoto by Doreen SmithHemizonia congesta lutescensphoto by Doreen SmithCastilleja rubicundula lithospermoidesphoto by Doreen SmithHesperolinon congestumphoto by Doreen Smith
June 7th, 2009
Doreen Smith reports from the Marin CNPS/RockGarden Society hike to Ring Mountain. “There’s still time to see the Calochortus tiburonensis before it goes to seed, but for only about one more week! This year was a good year to see plants with multiple blooms. Other notable flowering spp. seen on this date were yellow spring tarplant, Hemizonia congesta lutescens; white tackstem, Calycadenia multiglandulosa; creamsacs, Castilleja rubicundula lithospermoides; pale pink Marin western flax Hesperolinon congestum; purple coyote mint, Monardella purpurea; rose-pink Tiburon buckwheat, Eriogonum luteolum caninum; ruby chalice clarkia, Clarkia rubicunda and the red-flowered Silene californica. Two new species were located to add to the plant list: bright pink Sonoma rose, Rosa spithamea and a pale green rein orchid, Piperia transversa.
“The Carson Falls area is still worth visiting, the new trail off from the main fire-road is much easier to negotiate than the old one. The waterfalls continue to flow and the rare foothill yellow-legged frogs (don’t disturb them) sunbathe in the shallows of the pools. Rock-lettuce, Dudleya cymosa, flowers there on the rocks (of course) attract hummingbirds.”

Calochortus luteusphoto by Dave StraussClarkia amoenaphoto by Dave Strauss
June 6, 2009
Dave Strauss reports: “Today we saw a very nice collection of Calochortus luteus at Camp Tamarancho along the Serpentine trail just below the junction with the fire road to Cascade Canyon. I saw Clarkia amoena at the junction of the White Hill fire road and B-17 extension at Camp Tamarancho.”

Leptosiphon rosaceus photo by Doreen Smith
June 4th, 2009
Doreen Smith reports:”We visited the Bull Point trail with David Herlocker’s Marin naturalist group. The rosy linanthus, Leptosiphon rosaceus, made up for the small size of each plant by occuring in vast numbers and mixed colors of white, pink and rose. The stream orchids, Epipactis gigantea, were flowering in great shape but were nearly trampled to death by their admirers.”

June 2, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “Finally we found Marin’s Fremontia! The outing started favorably when we found several rare plants blooming on the serpentine, Hesperolinon congestum, Eriogonum luteolum var. caninum, Calamagrostis ophitidis, Calochortus umbellatus, Streptanthus batrachopus and Navarretia rosulata. Other herbaceous species not-so-rare were Clarkia gracilis, Hemizonia congesta var. lutescens , Calystegia collina and Hesperolinon micranthum. The pink honeysuckle vine Lonicera hispidula var. vacillans attracted attention with it’s masses of pink flowers and the shrub Rhododendron occidentale was worth braving the surrounding Toxicodendron diversilobum in order to sniff and sample its perfume.
“Finally we got to near the Cascade Canyon fire-road junction with the Pine Mountain truck road and bush-whacked our way through heavy, scratchy chaparral with poison oak and Sargent cypress to reach the Fremontodendron californicum var. napense population. It looks very different forom the usual horticulturally-selected shrubs. The leaves are much smaller and less hairy and the flowers are smaller too, still it was exciting to finally see our local variety.”
Brad Kelley’s photos of the Marin Fremontodendron.

Silene laciniata ssp.californica photo by Dave Strauss
May 30, 2009
Dave Strauss reports: “Today I saw an very nice patch of Silene laciniata ssp. californica (Indian Pink) along the Oat Hill fire road. I did not have a decent camera with me, but I took this rather bad photo with my phone. Earlier in the day I saw a fine pair of ospreys guarding their nest near the shore of Kent Lake, along the section of Pine Mtn. Road that dips down to the lake.&quot

Streptanthus niger photo by Vernon Smith
May 25, 2009
David Herlocker reports: “Streptanthus niger is absolutely exploding at the Vistazo West entrance to Old Saint Hilary’s Open Space Preserve, Tiburon.”

Calochortus tiburonensisphoto by John ConleyCalochortus tiburonensisphoto by John ConleyCalochortus tiburonensisphoto by John Conley
May 18, 2009
John Conley reports: “Calochortus tiburonensis is currently in bloom on Ring Mountain. I saw several plants in bloom yesterday, and many more in bud. The next week or so should see quite a few blooms of this rare plant in the serpentine areas on the North face of the mountain. These photos were taken yesterday (May 17th), during the course of a very warm hike.”

Streptanthus glandulosus on Nicasio Ridgephoto by Doreen SmithStreptanthus glandulosus in Ignaciophoto by Doreen SmithStreptanthus glandulosus ssp. pulchellus on Mt. Tamalpaisphoto by Doreen Smith
Photos by Vernon and Doreen Smith
May 7, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “Today we “rare plant monitored” on Nicasio Ridge, part of the GGNRA. The pink jewelflower there is very abundant this year. It has been previously identified as Streptanthus glandulosus ssp. pulchellus but differs somewhat in appearance from the Mt. Tamalpais plants. Also present in flower at the site were Castilleja affinis ssp. neglecta, Hesperolinon congestum and Gilia capitata ssp. tomentosa.
“The second Strepanthus pictured here is from near the end of Fairway Drive in Ignacio. This also has been listed as Streptanthus glandulosus ssp. pulchellus but is different again from the classic Mt. Tamalpais form, also pictured here for comparison.
“I checked out the Turtleback trail at China Camp and looked for anything resembling “jewelweed” (see reoprt below) -what it is really is the non-native windmill pink, Silene gallica. Also of note was white-flowered Spergularia villosa in large bunches on the lower-lying parts of the S. side of the hill. The trail had a total of 3 species of weedy Spergularia, the other two are S. salina and S. rubra. The new multi-use trail was being carefully groomed yesterday, but there was much invasive French broom, flowering and fruiting, needing removal.&quot

May 3, 2009
Sue “Mazer” Mace reports: “I just got back from a hike around Turtle Back Nature Trail – China Camp State Historic Park and saw 2 wildflowers I had not seen in previous years. A whitish Delphinium and a white jewelweed. Can you help me ID them and are either of them rare??? (Doreen Smith responds: “The white Delphinium at China Camp is D. variegatum, it is uncommon for it to be in that color but that population has been known since the 1950’s. I have never seen a jewel flower about Turtleback, it is an anomalous site for it to be found . On San Pedro Ridge some is at the top of the hill.”)… Ithuriels spear, cream cups, vetch and pea, goldfields and brass buttons (non-native) are numerous on the trail as well. *Also* – The Loma Alta trail area across from from Big Rock just off of Lucas Valley Road is at peak right now with goldfields, tidy tips, cream cups, balloon clover, tomcat clover, field owls clover, purple sanicle, mule’s-ear sunflowers, Leptosiphon androsaceus, jewelflower, blue dicks, blue eyed grass, California poppy, just to name most of them.&quot

Layia chrysanthemoidesphoto by Doreen SmithTriphysaria versicolor ssp. faucibarbataphoto by Doreen SmithStreptanthus glandulosus ssp. secundusphoto by Doreen Smith
May 2, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “The beginning of the Loma Alta trail that starts from Big Rock off Lucas Valley Road is awash with color right now. There are the pinks and purples of Leptosiphon androsaceus and yellows of Triphysaria versicolor ssp. faucibarbata and Layia chrysanthemoides.
“Many other species are in just the first few 100 yards up the trail on the serpentine, Trifolium albopurpureum, Lepidium latipes var.latipes, Gilia capitata ssp.capitata, Streptanthus glandulosus ssp. secundus and Hesperolinon congestum to name just a few of them.”

Angel Island post fire 2009smGuillenia lasiophyllaphoto by Vernon SmithGilia achilleifolia photo by Vernon Smith
Photos by Vernon Smith
April 29, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “Today Vernon and I checked out Angel island for “fire-following” species. The best places to see the recovering landscape are on the upper SW of the island. There are the perennials that have always been colorful at this time of year, Phacelia californica, Castilleja affinis, Eriophyllum lanatum, and Lupinus albifrons. Maybe the fire burned away competing annual exotics. The most noticeable “new” weed was Trifolium tomentosum all over the fire-road. On the unburned sections there was much weediness, especially Myosotis (blue forget-me-not).
“There were some fire-following annuals Uropappus lindleyi, Microseris douglasii, Guillenia lasiophylla and Gilia achilleifolia, mainly on serpentine . On sandstone were Eschscholzia californica, much Chlorogalum pomeridianum in bud and some Stachys rigida. There had been Toxicoscordion (Zigadenus) fremontii, now in fruit. On the whole – not much in the way of hoped-for special flowers.The native perennial grasses such as Nassella and Melica were doing well. There may be masses of later-blooming species – Chlorogalum, Perideridia and Zauschneria.”

Downingia pulchellaphoto by Vernon SmithHesperevax caulescensphoto by Vernon Smith
Photos by Vernon Smith
April 20, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “It was a very hot day out at Glide Tule Ranch open house yesterday, but the outing was well attended by CNPs members from several local chapters. The dried vernal pools were full of yellow goldfields, Lasthenia glabrata and white popcorn flower, Plagiobothrys stipitatus, both var. micranthus and var. stipitatus. We did see lots of “woolly starfish”, Hesperevax caulescens, and the rare Astragalus tener var. ferrisiae once thought extinct. On the main area visited Downingia spp. were unfortunately absent this year but on the exit route a fine patch of Downingia pulchella was seen (and photographed ) flowering in abundance.”

April 15, 2009
Sharon Salisbury reports: “Took my first 2009 walk on the Homestead Trail and amongst the many Iris douglasiana, Slim Soloman’s Seal, flax (non-native) and others, there were about 2 dozen Cahochortus umbellatus… mainly along the sides of the left trail at the top of the hill. There were a few on the steep climb up, but not nearly as many as in the past. Don’t know why…too late, too early…but I did notice a lot more high grass that may be hiding a lot of them. ”

Hemizonia congesta ssp. lutescensphoto by Doreen SmithLayia platyglossaphoto by Doreen Smith
April 11, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “I decided not to do the Marin Open Space’s arduous climb up San Geronimo Ridge today, in spite of there being the prospect of fine flowers there and went to the town of Tiburon Open Space at the top of Gilmartin Drive. It was a marvelous expanse of goldfields, tidy tips, cream-cups, owl’s-clover and all those species Sharon Salisbury mentioned in her piece below. In addition, near the Viola pedunculata patch which is on the NW edge of the site, were many plants of the rare Tiburon paintbrush in full bloom, with pale-yellow and pinkish flowers.
“Old St. Hilary’s Preserve had yellow spring tarplant (Hemizonia congesta ssp. lutescens) plus all-yellow tidy-tips (Layia platyglossa) flowers mixed together to make id difficult.The tidytips have a golden disc-flower center, the tarplant has paler disc flowers with black anthers. Near the creek that crosses the Vistazo fire road there is some leggy blue-flowered Phacelia divaricata. This year the black jewel-flowers (Streptanthus niger) will have some record large size individuals when they flower next month.”

April 11, 2009
Sue “Mazer” Mace reports: “The hillsides above Highway 101 and St. Vincents School for Boys is in color right now. Annual lupine, geranium (non-native), buttercup and California poppies en masse.”

Fritillaria affinisphoto by Robert KatzIris douglasianaphoto by Robert Katz




April 6, 2009
Robert Katz reports Fritillaria affinis and Iris douglasiana in bloom “at Redwood and Carson Rd in Woodacre along west Bank of Woodacre Creek upland portion of riparian zone under the 1 mature doug fir near the road. AKA Carson Country (lowlands) as mentioned in the Marin Flora.”

Corallorhiza striata photo by Peter Denisevich
April 3, 2009
Peter Denisevich reports: ” I found couple of Corallorhiza striata blooming along the Yolanda Trail north of Six Points, MMWD. This doesn’t look like a good year for them, though.”

April 3, 2009
Bob Sills reports: “I took a walk on Mt. Tam today with the Solo Sierrans — Rock Spring, Cataract Trail, Simmons Trail, Laurel Dell Fire Road, Cataract Trail back to Rock Spring. The goal was to find calypso orchids, and they were on all of the trails. In particular, the Laurel Dell Fire Road was lined with them (not densely lined, of course, but with lots of them on both sides). We also saw them along the 75-yard spur to the High Marsh Trail, but that was anticlimactic after all of the other ones we saw.
“Ceanothus jepsonii var. jepsonii is in bloom on serpentine areas of the Simmons Trail between the high point and Barths Retreat. There were lots of other nice flowers too — hounds tongue, baby blue-eye (near Laurel Dell), solomon seal (just below Laurel Dell on Cataract Trail), Indian warrior, bigleaf maple (at Laurel Dell), shooting star (on Cataract Trail, probably near the end of their bloom), popcorn flower, milkmaid, one gooseberry (Cataract Trail, not sure of species), etc. I’m a little surprised at how abundant milkmaids are still.”

Thalictrum polycarpum photo by Sharon Salisbury
March 31, 2009
Sharon Salisbury reports: ” At Miraflores in Tiburon there are Lupines, Tidytips, Buttercups, Suncups, Viola pedunculata, False Lupine, Blue-eyed Grass, Hog Fennel, Checkerbloom, Blue Dicks, California Phacelia, Yarrow, Shooting Stars, Redmaids and more. The Violas have really expanded their patch from a just a few last year to about 100 plus.
“The Miwok Trail in Mill Valley is bursting with blooming Elderberry, Poppies, Hog Fennel, Yarrow, Goldfields, Oregon Grape (a huge patch mixed with Goldfields is a stunning sight), thousands of Coast Rock Cress, Woodland Star, Morning Glory,
Baby Blue Eyes, Cinquefoil, Checkerbloom, Shooting Stars, Piggyback Plant, Beeplants, Blue-eyed Grass, Castilleja affinis, and a first for me, Meadow Rue (Thalictrum polycarpum), and this was just in the first part of the trail.
“At the Laurel Canyon private road at Nicasio there are red Delphiniums in bloom.”

Calypso bulbosa photo by Martin Snider
March 30, 2009
Martin Snider contributes photos of Calypso bulbosa takenon Mount Tamalpais on the Benstein trail between Potero Meadow and Rock Spring. “The woods were full of these blooms.”

March 30, 2009
Dave Strauss reports: “I saw Claytonia gypsophiloides in bloom on Sunday in very rocky serpentine soil along the shore of Alpine Lake (Kent trail). It was abundant.”

Sidalcea malvifloraphoto by Carolyn McDadeLupinus nanus photo by Carolyn McDadeAmsinckia menziesii var. intermediaphoto by Carolyn McDade
March 30, 2009
Niki Beecher and Carolyn McDade report: “We take our dogs walking up at the Terra Linda-Sleepy Hollow Divide Open Space Preserve several times a week, and have been watching the progression of wildflowers up there. We saw the single biggest Checkerbloom we’ve ever seen, in a little group of them on the left of Ridgewood Fire Road at the Y where it meets up with Sun Valley Trail. There are little “pockets” of Sky Lupine on the open hills of the path going to the Crestwood Drive trailhead, and the hills themselves are still a lucious green…but not for long! The puddles the dogs loved to play in are all dried up, and there’s a hint of yellow in the grasses. Our biggest surprise was a whole FIELD of Fiddlenecks off to the right at the trailhead at Ridgewood Drive, right next to Memorial Trail down to Terra Linda; their bright, cheery little yellow-gold heads bobbing in the sunshine among the green of the (now TALL) grasses is lovely to see. ”

March 29, 2009
Dave Strauss reports Calypso bulbosa flowers on the Kent Trail near Alpine Lake.

Fritillaria affinisphoto by Carolyn McDadeDeer Park Lupines photo by Carolyn McDadeIris douglasianaphoto by Carolyn McDadeCastilleja foliolosa photo by Carolyn McDadeTrifolium willdenovii photo by Carolyn McDade
March 27, 2009
Niki Beecher and Carolyn McDade report: “We just hiked up out of Deer Park, and the trail back down from Boy Scout Junction to the fire road at Deer Park is ABLAZE with quite a variety of wildflowers. The hills are still green and beautiful, and I, too, am seeing wildflowers late, and in a couple of cases, seeing late blooms of Spring flowers right beside those of warmer weather, i.e., Shooting Stars and Hound’s Tongue right beside Paintbrush!
“We saw some Mission Bells on the wooded trail from Oak Tree Junction going up to Six Points. It’s so sunny and lovely up there, we ran across picnickers under a tree just enjoying the view. I don’t blame them; The Sky Lupin are ablaze on the trail above Hidden Meadow, to the point where they have given the hills a blue-grey cast, something neither my husband nor I have ever seen there before.
“The trail down to Boy Scout Junction, (real steep), has Baby Blue Eyes blooming just at the start of the trail in whole bunches. The first few Iris are further up that trail, some not even open, some fading; more will come as the season progresses, seen tons of them up there.
“The little trail down from Boy Scout Junction back to the fire road out of Deer Park is just rampant with wildflowers. Bees can be heard everywhere, doing their thing, and there’s still a nice breeze this time of year to keep hiking from getting too hot…we saw everything from Blue Dicks to Blue-Eyed Grass, two different Paintbrushes, Buttercups and Tomcat Clover. It’s a splendid example of a whole bunch of species of our locals, and a treat for the eye! I highly recommend anyone to get up there before they’re all gone.
“It’s gorgeous out there, and it won’t last long…the hills are already getting a slightly yellow tint; get out there and enjoy it, our Spring is too short in Marin and if you don’t get there, it’ll be gone!”

March 22, 2009
Doreen Smith reports on Marin CNPS trip to Kirby Cove: “we DID find Piperia sp. orchid leaves but someone will have to go back to see if the plants flower in order to make a determination of the actual species. It was a fine, clear day for the field trip after the storm clouds blew away. We found some colorful flowers, particularly goldfields (Lasthenia californica) early larkspur (Delphinium patens) coast rock cress (Arabis blepharophylla) chia (Salvia columbariae) small gilia (Gilia clivorum), lemon-scented everlasting (Pseudognaphalium biolettii) and 3 species of Lupine. The sky lupines (Lupinus nanus) made sheets of color on the slopes below the fire-road near the west side of the Golden Gate Bridge overlook. Also we added to and updated the plant check-list.

Acer macrophyllum photo by Sharon SalisburyTrillium ovatumphoto by Sharon Salisbury
March 26, 2009
Sharon Salisbury reports: “Mt. Burdell was a glory yesterday. The vast green bowls, spiked with old oaks, bays and buck-eyes just unfurling their moist green leaves and thousands of wildflowers pooling and winding through the emerald grass, bluebirds hovering over the grass looking for food made for a spectacular afternoon. Thousands of Poppies, Popcorn flowers, Checker blooms, Blue Dicks, Fiddlenecks, Suncups, Buttercups, Shooting Stars, Purple Sanicle, Lupines, Small-headed Clover, Erodiums and Geraniums (sorry, didn’t take my flower book) and many more I couldn’t ID. The vernal pool is the fullest I have seen… couldn’t even walk around it and the many streams were still running tunefully beside us as we hiked. The Maple’s tender green leaves unpleating from the pink wood were stunning. On Old RR Grade in Mill Valley where the largest number of Mission Bells I have ever seen are still blooming along with Trillium ovatum, Fairy Bells and Slim Solomon’s Seal.”

Dichelostemma capitatumphoto by John ConleyCalypsophoto by John ConleyToxicoscordionphoto by John ConleyNemophilaphoto by John Conley
March 23, 2009
John Conley reports: “was a spectacular day for hiking on Mt. Tamalpais, with plenty of sun, a cool breeze, and verdant hills everywhere one looked. Our wildflower bloom seems a bit late to me, compared to some past years. Perhaps our dry January is responsible. In any case, I was surprised not to see some of the blooms I had expected: Red Larkspur was only in bud at one spot, and nowhere in bloom along the Matt Davis, Coast, and Cataract trails; just a couple of Blue-Eyed Grass blossoms were seen; Coral Root Orchids (striped or spotted) were scarce or non-existent in places that I am used to enjoying them at this time of year; even Checkerbloom was just beginning to flower. The Mission Bells also seem late; I found only a few in bloom, with very small flowers. On the other hand, Blue Dicks are beginning to bloom, and the Calypso Orchids are blooming under the Douglas Firs near Pantoll and Rock Spring (although the flowers are small this year, and the early blooms are not profuse). The Star Lilies ( formerly Zigadenus — now Toxicoscordion — fremontii according to Doreen’s earlier note) are beginning to fade a bit. Baby Blue Eyes are blooming on the Coast Trail, as is a bit of Popcorn Flower, a very few Amsinckia sp., some California Poppies, lots of Buttercups, and fading Milkmaids.

March 21, 2009
Lamorna Brown Swigart reports Fritillaria affinis “is blooming in Cascade Canyon open space, in at least two place along side the Carey Camp loop trail.”

March 14, 2009
Sharon Salisbury reports: “Found a new wildflower area to me. We hiked up the Blithedale Ridge where there were stunning far-away views of Mill Valley and closer views of Star Lilies, Grass Iris, Douglas Iris, Suncups, Buttercups, Wild cucumber, either Hog Fennel or Spring Gold…moving fast, and poppies all poised in beautiful settings on bright green grass under large budding oaks, and fallen logs and rocks. So picturesque.The late afternoon light turns this into a fairyland. Then we heard about the trilliums on the Maytag trail that connects the ridge with the Warner Falls trails and saw thousands of trilliums, FAT (fetid adders-tongue) leaves, Wild Cucumbers, Hounds Tongues, Slim Solomon’s Seal, Indian Warriors, Checker Lilies and the tiny, unpleating, soft green leaves of the Hazelnut. ”

March 10, 2009
Ed Ricketts, Jr. reports: blooming on the Coastal Trail, Marin Headlands, near intersection of Conzelman Rd and McCullough Rd.: Aquilegia formosa (Red Columbine), Arabis blepharophylla (Coast Rock-cress), Cardamine californica (Woodland Milk-maids), Marah fabaceus (Manroot), and Vaccinium ovatum (Huckleberry).

March 9, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “This Sunday’s outing was a co-field trip to Mt. Tamalpais’ Rock Spring and Bolinas Ridge with the Santa Clara Valley Chapter.They turned out about 30 members strong with a smaller addition of East Bay Chapter people.
“The pink fairy-slipper calypso orchids are at the beginning of their season, so anyone who wants to see them can find them this month under Douglas’-fir in the forested areas near the Rock Spring parking lot.
“Along the Bolinas Ridge fire-road north of the junction with the (re-opened) Fairfax-Bolinas Road we found flowering Scoliopus bigelovii, Trillium ovatum, Viola sempervirens, Arctostaphylos nummularia ssp. sensitiva, Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. glandulosa, Arctostaphylos virgata, and Ceanothus foliosus var. foliosus. The rarer Ceanothus spp. – C. masonii and C. gloriosus var. exaltatus were still in bud.
“The circum-East Peak summit of Mt. Tamalpais was great with the abundantly-flowering white Arctostaphylos glandulosa and pink A. canescens ssp. canescens. On a clear day the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada are just visible.”

California Poppyphoto by Sarah MinnickFritillaria affinisphoto by Sarah Minnick
March 7, 2009
Sarah Minnick reports: Beginning to bloom on either the Chimney Rock Trail or near the Light House at Point Reyes National Seashore:
Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja sp.)
Seaside Daisy (Erigeron glaucus)
Checkerbloom (Sidalcea malviflora)
Douglas’ Iris (Iris douglasiana)
Coast Fiddleneck (Amsinckia spectabilis)
California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
California Buttercup (Ranunculus californicus)
Footsteps of Spring (Sanicula arctopoides)
Field Chickweed (Cerastium arvense)
Wallflower (Erysimum menziesii ssp. concinnum)
Wild Cucumber (Marah fabaceus)
Beach Strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis)
Baby Blue-Eyes (Nemophila menziesii var. atomaria)
California Blackberry (Rubus ursinus)
Dog Violet (Viola adunca)

Fritillaria affinis photo by Robert Katz
March 1, 2009
Robert Katz sends photo (taken last year) of Fritillaria affinis from ” redwood and carson rd in woodacre along west side of woodacre creek upland portion of riparian zone under the 1 mature doug fir near the road.”

Deer Park Lupinephoto by Peter DenisevichDelphinium nudicaulephoto by Peter Denisevich
February 27, 2009
Peter Denisevich reports “on the trails above Deer Park in Fairfax a large Lupinus albifrons has been blooming for a couple of weeks. Also canyon larkspur (Delphinium nudicaule) is blooming brightly on the cliff below the Yolanda Trail. Fritillaria affinis buds are just about to open in many spots around here.”

February 26, 2009
Sharon Salisbury reports: ” Not seen many reports. Guess nobody gets out in this rain. I hiked up Old RR Grade in Mill Valley today and stopped counting Mission Bells (Fritillaria affinis) when I reached 100. A few Trillium ovatum, Star Lilies and hundreds of Milkmaids.”

February 19, 2009
Doreen Smith reports what was up at Chimney Rock.

Mount Burdellphoto by Doreen SmithFritillaria liliaceaphoto by Doreen Smith
February 10, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “Today I went to see how the Fritillaria liliacea is doing on Mt. Burdell. The eastern population off Simmons Lane is doing fine but the western one above San Mateo Ct. is sparse and many cows are already on the site to eat and trample them.
“The uneaten poisonous Zigadenes (now Toxicoscordion fremontii!) are making a fine display on the south slopes of Mt Burdell at the N. end of Simmons Lane and between the San Carlos and San Mateo gates to the open space “preserve”. Lemon-yellow sticky-seed, Blennosperma nanum, thrives in the grazed area too, while some early goldfields, Lasthenia californica, are flowering in the fenced-off portion.”

February 9, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “Along Shoreline Highway 1 N. of Stinson and S. of the Bolinas junction there were many patches of the bright orange marigold flower, Calendula arvensis, bunches of the orange Chasmanthe sp., and yellow Bermuda buttercup, Oxalis pes-caprae, they are all non-natives . There were some early Ca. natives, however, Calystegia purpurata, Lathyrus vestitus, Cardamine californica, Castilleja subinclusa ssp. franciscana and a few Grindelia sp.”

February 6, 2009
Sharon Salisbury reports: “On the Homestead Trail in Mill Valley, the Fetid Adder’s Tongues are back in their usual place with about 50+ plants. Also many Hounds Tongues and a few Trillium ovatum, Milkmaids, a few Mission Bells and several Indian Warriors. Loved the photos on the last post.”

Spotted Coral Rootphoto by Joseph SkornickaStar Liliesphoto by Joseph SkornickaGround Irisphoto by Joseph SkornickaTrillium ovatumphoto by Joseph SkornickaFetid Adders Tonguephoto by Joseph Skornicka




February 3, 2009
Wendy Dreskin reports: ” I saw the first Spotted coralroots I’ve seen this year on the Dipsea Trail above Muir Woods. Lots of star lilies and ground iris as well. One Trillium ovatum in bloom on Ben Johnson Trail with more to come. Some fetid adder’s tongue in full bloom, some already gone to seed. Shooting stars and CA saxifrage are in bloom at Indian Tree Open Space.”

February 2, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “Yesterday the Marin CNPS hike to Cataract Gulch also included a brief foray along the Alpine Dam to Kent Lake Pump fire road because the Bolinas – Fairfax road is closed to all vehicles at the Cataract Gulch trailhead. The waterfalls were disappointing so far this season because of the record- low January rainfall. The level of Alpine Lake reservoir is way-down.
“There were plenty ferns, vanilla grass and the small, brown- striped lily, fetid adders-tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii). We found several milkmaids flowering (Cardamine californica) one hound’s-tongue (Cynoglossum grande) one spring-gold (Lomatium utriculatum) and buds of California saxifrage (Saxifraga californica). The most unusual plant was (in up-to-date taxonomy) Synthyris cordata (Plantaginaceae) here at it’s southern limit. The leaf rosettes had buds but as yet no open flowers.”

Marah fabaceus photo by John Conley
January 31, 2009
John Conley reports: “There are a few more Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana) in bloom along the shores of Drake’s Bay and the California Buttercup (Ranunculus californicus) blooms are also just beginning to multiply there. The Wild Cucumber (Marah fabaceus), aka “Manroot”, is blooming in abundance at several spots along Drake’s Estero. This perennial is often less noted than many showier, more colorful, Spring blooms in our area — but it always says “Spring” to me, and I love seeing it at this time of year.”

January 30, 2009
Sharon Salisbury reports: ” Nothing new except venue…lots of Hound’s Tongues and Milk Maids on Escalon Fire Rd. in Mill Valley and hundreds of Fetid Adder’s Tongues in full bloom at Cascade waterfall, many around the parking lot and more further up the trail. I am getting worried as this seems early for Hound’s Tongue and I just heard we are in for the worst drought in the state’s history. What next…locust?”

January 25, 2009
Mark from the Point Reyes Habitat Restoration Program reports: “One new and 10 returning volunteers went out to the Estero Hill site. After sweeping the primary site, our group split into two teams – one of four hopping the fence to continue up the ridge and the remaining seven moving across the drainage over to the next hillside. All told, we covered slightly more than 8 acres, removing 1280 broom plants. Most of this area seems now to be clear and can probably be maintained by annual small group sweeps.
“Early wildflowers were present throughout the site, with Douglas iris, California buttercups, footsteps of spring, Indian paintbrush and violas all showing color. ”

Arctostaphylos glandulosaphoto by Amelia RyanAlnus rhombifoliaphoto by Amelia Ryan
January 25, 2009
Amelia Ryan reports: “on Mt. Tam’s East Peak Arctostaphylos glandulosa is just starting to come into bloom. An Arctostaphylos hookeri ssp. montana in the parking lot is just coming into bud, whereas a nearby A. canescens ssp. canescens was nearing the end of its bloom. Several Castilleja foliolosa were also already flowering as were a couple Ceanothus foliosus. &quot

January 25, 2009
Terry Sullivan reports: “…some native flowers we saw in the Marin Headlands on our mushroom hike yesterday: Buttercups, milkmaids, blue-eyed grass, footsteps-to-spring, Indian cucumber, twinberry, strawberry, blue dicks.”

Cynoglossum grandephoto by John ConleyScoliopus bigeloviiphoto by John Conley
January 25, 2009
John Conley reports: “I hiked the Steep Ravine/Dipsea trail loop very early yesterday morning — with a little side trip along the Matt Davis trail west of Pantoll. It rained from time to time, and that added to my pleasure. There are a few California Buttercups in full bloom where the Steep Ravine trail meets Highway 1, and there is quite a bit of Lomatium sp. (Hog Fennel) in bloom on the hills just east of Highway 1 (above the Steep Ravine cabins).
“Hound’s Tongue (Cynoglossum grande) has begun to bloom at the top of the Steep Ravine trail as well as along the Old Mine trail (currently closed for the season, but one can see the flowers from the service road that runs just above the trail). Milkmaids (Cardamine californica) are in bloom on the lower elevations of the trail, and the Scoliopus bigelovii (Fetid Adder’s Tongue) is blooming just a few hundred feet above the ladder on Steep Ravine trail.”

Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosumphoto by Doreen SmithArctostaphylos virgataphoto by Vernon and Doreen Smith
January 21, 2009
Doreen Smith reports: “The hike to Tomales Bay State Park last Sunday to check out mushrooms went off very well and the weather was glorious. Brad. Kelley deputized admirably for Joe Kohn who is unwell. The pink flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum) was just starting to bloom .The rare Marin manzanita (Arctostaphylos virgata) was in full bloom but the blossoms were small and drying up.”

January 19, 2009
Robert Hall reports: “while on a bike ride in China Camp SP, I saw Milk Maids sprinkled everywhere. A few sections of the park also had Indian Warriors in bloom.”

January 13, 2009
Wendy Dreskin reports: “Hound’s tongue in bloom on the Yolanda trail and Taylor Trail. Indian warrior in bloom in Elliott Nature Preserve in Fairfax and on Repack Fire Rd.”

Iris douglasiana photo by John Conley
January 4, 2009
John Conley reports: “I hiked at Point Reyes yesterday and enjoyed seeing a single Douglas Iris in full bloom, near the pond east of the parking area at Drake’s Beach. It was right in the middle of a cow path, yet had somehow survived the trampling hooves and managed to beat its relatives into bloom. The bloom was at ground level, with almost no stalk; perhaps that’s how it’s survived (so far). Buttercups are blooming on the Chimney Rock peninsula.”