December 12, 2010
Bob Sills reports: “I saw a single Fetid Adderstongue (Scoliopus bigelovii) in bloom today in Muir Woods, 160 feet downstream of the Fern Canyon junction.”

Ludwigia peploidesphoto by Vernon SmithPetunia parvifloraphoto by Vernon SmithCuscuta campestrisphoto by Vernon SmithPersicaria maculosaphoto by Vernon SmithPersicaria hydropiperoidesphoto by Vernon Smith
November 7, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “These are Vernon’s photos of wildflowers found still blooming last week on the north-eastern shores of Stafford Lake reservoir, Novato:” Ludwigia peploides, Petunia parviflora, Cuscuta campestris, Persicaria maculosa, and Persicaria hydropiperoides

Lilaeopsis occidentalisphoto by Doreen SmithHydrocotyle verticillata thumbIsolepis cernuaphoto by Doreen SmithJuncus phaeocephalus thumb
September 5, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “We had a foggy day out at Abbotts Lagoon for my hike yesterday, but this helped the photographers get good images, there was no glare. Many plants were still in bloom – or some just starting to flower. The obscure species of the drying flats at the north end of the brackish lagoon are featured here, some, like the false flowering quillwort, Lilaeopsis occidentalis, have flowers only about 1 mm in diameter. It is related to the similarly small-flowered water pennywort, Hydrocotyle verticillata.”

Ceanothus thyrsiflorusphoto by Vernon SmithPiperia elongataphoto by Vernon Smith
August 22, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: from Brad’s field trip to the Jepson Loop, Tomales Bay State Park. “It was a fine day with no fog and clear views! Lots of huckleberries about to eat and other native fruits to see ripening on the bushes including woodland rose, thimbleberry, coffeeberry, salal and the spiny Menzies’ gooseberries. The poison oak was providing lots of red pre-fall color.
“Still in flower were yerba buena (Clinopodium douglasii), coast daisy (Corethrogyne filaginifolia), pink honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula), harebell (Campanula californica), morning-glory vine (Calystegia purpurata), even one blueblossom bush (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus) at the upper picnic ground, overlooking Heart’s Desire beach. We added two orchid species to the plant list: Piperia elongata and a Corallorhiza in fruit, so we’re not sure which species it is.”

Madia elegans
photo by Dave Strauss
August 16, 2010
Dave Strauss reports: “I saw this flower near Brown Bridge in Fairfax. I’ve never seen it before.”
Doreen Smith contributes: “This patch of “common madia” (Madia elegans) has been flowering since spring, a fine vigorous Ca. native Composite. More can be seen opposite the Big Rock on Lucas Valley Road, it often occurs on serpentine.The flowerheads are open in the am, close up in the afternoon.”

Clarkia rubicundaphoto by Doreen SmithPiperia transversaphoto by Doreen SmithPerideridia gairdneriphoto by Doreen Smith
July 31, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “Dabney’s field trip around Lake Lagunitas today was well-attended. There were even some late blooming wildflowers as well as various seeds and berries. We saw the delicate pink Clarkia rubicunda, the Mt. Tamalpais forma with very little red in the center of the petals, Campanula prenanthoides, Piperia transversa and Perideridia gairdneri. We also saw a rare bird, a green heron.”

Cordylanthus maritimus palustris Lim thumbCastilleja ambigua ssp. ambiguaphoto by Doreen SmithPolygonum marinensephoto by Doreen Smith
July 30, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “Last week I went to Limantour to check out the effects of the various re-construction works have had on the marshes and there were lots of spp. blooming still. Among them the rare saltmarsh plants Pt. Reyes birds-beak (Cordylanthus maritimus ssp. palustris) and variable owl’s-clover (Castilleja ambigua ssp. ambigua). I also found what is perhaps a new population of the enigmatic Marin knotweed (Polygonum marinense).
“Other species in the area were 4 yellow Lotus spp. (birds-foot trefoils) 3 native and 1 introduced, and the aromatic tarplant (Deinandra corymbosa). I got reports of rein orchid (Piperia elegans ssp. elegans) on the beginning of path along the sandspit.
“The coast tarplant (Hemizonia congesta) grows by the roadside on the way to Limantour parking lot , it is lemon-yellow here rather than the more inland golden-yellow version.”

Lilium pardalinum thumbSilene californica  01 thumb
July 17, 2010
Dave Strauss reports: “Today we saw spectacular collections of blooming Aquilegia eximia, Aquilegia formosa, Lilium pardalinum, and Silene californica, all close together not far from where where Big Carson creek crosses Pine Mountain fire road near Kent Lake.
“I’ve biked along this fire road in all seasons for at least 17 years and have never seen such an abundant display before. It was amazing.”

July 10, 2010
Alexandra Fraser reports: “It is a fantastic time for late season wildflowers and I saw many species today on my hike through MMWD lands. I wish I’d kept better notes but it was a social hike with non-botanists and a beagle in tow, so I was not able to really hunt for wildflowers in the nooks and crannies. Botanical highlights included Piperia transversa along the shores of Alpine Lake on the Helen Markt Trail, Lilium pardalinum on the southern end of Cataract Trail, and Calachortus luteus in the grasslands especially at Potrero Meadow.”

Clarkia concinnaphoto by Rick WachsLilium pardalinumphoto by Rick WachsPiperia transversaphoto by Rick WachsAntirrhinum vexillo-calyculatumphoto by Rick WachsMimulus cardinalisphoto by Rick WachsSilene californicaphoto by Rick Wachs
June 27,2010
Rick Wachs reports: “A few of my favorite recently sighted flowers:
Clarkia concinna – Big Carson Creek
Lilium pardalinum – Liberty Gulch Trail
Piperia transversa – Pine Mountain Fire Road
Antirrhinum vexillo-calyculatum – Bolinas Fairfax Road near Sky Oaks turn-off
Mimulus cardinalis – Creek along Pine Mountain Road
Silene californica – San Geronimo Ridge Road”

Horkelia tenuilobaphoto by Vernon SmithHorkelia tenuilobaphoto by Vernon Smith
June 6, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “Because of wet and foggy weather I nearly didn’t do my walk on Friday 4th June to look for Gnome Plants (Hemitomes congestum). They usually grow under coast redwoods near the lower part of the fire roads where the Gravity Car grade meets the Double Bowknot .This loop -upon -loop of track was once was the railroad bed for the train that carried tourists up Mt. Tamalpais from Mill Valley. Alice Eastwood used to take Botany visitors to Cal. Academy of Sciences up the mountain by this route.
“Unfortunately we drew a blank on “Gnomes” but did find lots of the rare Santa Rosa Horkelia, Horkelia tenuiloba. The plant was in full flower. It has a very prostrate mat-like habit and grows on the margins of the trail. Also many are in the cleared flat protected by the sit-upon pine log barrier.We counted them for a report to CNDDB – doing the best we could for estimations of numbers of such a rhizomatous clone-making plant.”

Clematis lasianthaphoto by Peter DenisevichPickeringia montanaphoto by Peter DenisevichRhododendron occidentalephoto by Peter DenisevichPickeringia montanaphoto by Peter Denisevich
May 30, 2010
Peter Denisevich reports: “Just a couple of warm days and things at Carson Falls, MMWD are moving rapidly toward summer: the Clematis lasiantha that was in bloom on 4/18 is even more striking “in seed”. The azaleas (Rhododendron occidentale) and the chaparral pea (Pickeringia montana) are starting to bloom and the dry, rocky slopes are covered with sickle-leaf onion (Allium falcifolium) blooms. Still plenty of clarkia, checkerblooms, and poppies in the grassy meadows.”

Castilleja ambigua ssp. ambiguaphoto by Vernon SmithSidalcea calycosa ssp. calycosaphoto by Doreen Smith
May 25, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “…on some special flowers now in flower at Lagunitas Meadows, Sky Oaks MMWD above Fairfax. I went there on Monday with Celia Zavatsky of the East Bay CNPS Chapter.
“These seasonally-wet flatlands host several special plants. Castilleja ambigua ssp. ambigua, Calochortus uniflorus, Trifolium variegatum var. major, Sidalcea calycosa ssp. calycosa (near the dump entrance) and Gratiola ebracteata. You can also see leaves of Perideridia gairdneri and buds of Spiranthes porrifolia. The latter are easily crushed and care must be taken if you visit to not to step on them. They are on a deer-trail near the road near some Deschampsia caespitosa clumps and are marked by pine twigs.”

Navarretia pubescens.jpgphoto by Doreen SmithNavarretia leucocephala ssp. bakeriphoto by Doreen Smith
May 25, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “We were lucky to have a marvelously clear, bright sunny day for the Mt. Burdell/ Hidden Lake hike last weekend. After taking a indirect route uphill to see 3 species of orchids, two of which were in flower, some blue Navarretia pubescens, pink Zeltnera davyi, pink and red Clarkia gracilis ssp. sonomensis, and a few minute yellow Leptosiphon acicularis we wound up at the Hidden Lake by lunchtime.
“There were masses of the rare white Navarretia leucocephala ssp. bakeri on the margins of the pool! Unfortunately the whole site is being invaded by the European weed, Mentha pulegium. Several of us pulled out some of those plants but it would require a lot more work to make a dent in the population.”

Amorpha californica
photo by Doreen Smith
May 22, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “The hike to Alpine Dam 19th May was interesting for forest species. Amongst other flowering plants like Vancouveria planipetala, anomalous Leptosiphon sp. and Clintonia andrewsiana we saw Amorpha californica, the rare shrub that has only one petal on each flower.”

May 8, 2010
Sharon Salisbury reports: “Went up to Rush Creek in Novato to look for birds but also found a stunning display of Linanthus (/Leptosiphon) parviflorus, Collinsia heterophylla (thousands), Scrophularia and Trifolium willdenovii. Also many bushes that at first I didn’t recognize, then thought I did and that they were Wood Roses, but back at home realized they had no thorns. Bright pink buds at the tips of the stems and opposite, smooth leaves. The Linanthus and the Chinese Houses are worth a trip alone. Due to painful knees I only walked a little ways down but sure there are more surprises if one continued on to the end. …Just figured out my mystery shrub…Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus). I knew the plant looked sooo familiar but guess I have only seen it with and never seen the flowers. How cool.”

May 1, 2010
Sharon Salisbury reports: “Today a friend and I went to Lagunitas Lake to bird but found more flowers. The best were Cream Cups (which I hadn’t seen for so long I didn’t recognize them), Delphinium patens, Woodland Stars, Viola ocellata (first for moi) and the delightful (ahem) Suksdorf romanzoffia. We practiced saying that all the way back to the car and I still forgot it. Lots of owl, balloon clovers and other, buttercups, lupines, poppies, Star flowers, Fairy bells, one Castilleja (too far up to id.) etc. But the west-facing slope with the great water weeping, sun-storing rocks was an enchanted garden. Lots of the Sr and where all the delphiniums, cream cups and masses of what I think were Pacific Sedum…a glorious sight with their red stems, flat rosette leaves and bright yellow flowers. Really not a bad way to spend a spring day.”

April 26, 2010
Sharon Salisbury reports: “Found one Striped Coral Root in the woods off the Escalon Fire Trail.”

Happy Crew at Nicasio
photo by Doreen Smith
April 26, 2010
Michael Chassé reports: “It has been a glorious April, with spectacular blooms throughout the Golden Gate National Parks. Our April 15th trip to Nicasio Ridge was an especially satisfying treat, where we saw dozens of native plants in bloom including the endangered Tiburon Paintbrush (Castilleja affinis ssp. neglecta). May promises to be another fantastic month of rare plant treasure hunting.”

Streptanthus glandulosus ssp. secundus
photo by Peter Denisevich
April 25, 2010
Peter Denisevich reports: “Streptanthus glandulosus ssp. secundus among the rocks (and in the middle of the trail!) between Deer Park and Worn Spring Rd.”

April 23, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “We were at Chimney Rock today in preparation for the “Birding Festival” wildflower hikes and still managed to add a few spp. The flowers were really good out on the extreme end of the point. Triphysaria floribunda, San Francisco Owl’-clover has done particularly well this year. Unfortunately on the educational poster at the beginning of the trail it is mis-identified as Triphysaria eriantha. updated Chimney Rock plant list
“Also we did a pre-trip to Abbotts Lagoon. Water levels were unusually high in both lagoons. The flowers were good there too, the rare Layia carnosa and Lupinus tidestromii both were flowering out in the dunes area. Visitors are asked to be particularly careful where they go on the beach now the snowy plovers are nesting.”

Clematis lasiantha
photo by Peter Denisevich
April 18, 2010
Peter Denisevich reports: “Clematis lasiantha climbing on the rocks at Little Carson Falls, MMWD (See the frogs, too.) Also Calochortus umbellatus blooming profusely on serpentinite between the Falls and Oat Hill Rd.”

Triphysaria floribundaphoto by Doreen SmithTriphysaria versicolorphoto by Doreen SmithTriphysaria versicolorphoto by Doreen SmithTriphysaria eriantha ssp. roseaphoto by Doreen Smith
April 17, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “The various “larger flowered” (i.e. compared with T. pusilla) Marin Triphysaria spp. have often been confused on Pt. Reyes, these pix show the differences.”

Nicasio Highlands
photo by Doreen Smith
April 15, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “We (the Rare Plant Monitoring led by Michael Chassé) went up on the Nicasio Ridge (GGNRA) today to monitor Castilleja afffinis ssp. neglecta and Fritillaria liliacea. I have updated the plant list. It was a mass of mainly goldfields and Blennosperma nanum (yellow Compositae.) but many other spp. were flowering as as well. “

March 31, 2010
Sharon Salisbury reports: “At very far end of Ring Mountain thousands of flowers are just starting to show. There were poppies, lupines, Tidytips, Goldfields(gazillions), False Lupines, Oakland star tulips, Douglas Iris, Grass Iris, Blue-eyed grass, Bush Monkey flower, Spring-gold, Snakeroot, Purple Sanicle. Yarrow, California Phacelia, Shooting Stars, Bluedicks, and one lone flower that looked like a jewel flower to me. Have to go back soon and take a photo. Also seeing hundreds of Slim and Fat Soloman’s Seals, Fairy Bells, Star Flowers, Red Bead Lily, Mission Bells and more that I can’t recall. Really beautiful spring that should keep on giving with all of this rain.”

Fritillaria affinisphoto by James SpragueCalochortus umbellatusphoto by James Sprague
March 22, 2010
Jim Sprague reports: “Saw a whole bunch of Mission Bells Fritillaria affinis blooming on the Bootjack Trail out of Muir Woods in between the Bridge and the Meadow. Also tons of Oakland star tulip Calochortus umbellatus in the grassy meadows on The Dip Sea Trail between Pan Toll Ranger Station and Muir Woods.”

Calypso bulbosaphoto by Mark PhaganCynoglossum grandephoto by Mark PhaganClaytonia perfoliataphoto by Mark PhaganDodecatheon hendersoniiphoto by Mark Phagan
March 21, 2010
Mark Phagan reports: “I was hiking up on Mount Tam today, along Old Mine Trail. I saw a variety of flowers. Wildflowers sited were Fairy Slipper Orchids, Hounds Tongue, Miners’ lettuce, Popcorn flower and Shootingstars.”

March 6, 2010
Brandon Andre reports:”There are a handfull of really nice specimens of Fritillaria affinis var. tristulis peaking along the downhill side of the trail to the elephant seal viewing area at the Chimney Rock TH. I did not see any out at Chimney Rock, but they may very well be flowering out there….the ones I just mentioned were the first I had ever seen and it was not until I finally spotted those that I realized how hard they are to see!
“There are many beautiful Iris, Checkerbloom, Nemophila menziesii var. atomaria, Erysimum menziesii var. concinnum flowering all over the Chimney Rock area. There were also a few flowering Delphinium decorum ssp. decorum new the elephant seal viewing area and all the way out at the end of the Chimney Rock Trail.”

Indian Warrior
photo by James Sprague
March 5, 2010
James Sprague reports:”Indian warriors are blooming on the Nora Trail between West Point Inn and The Matt Davis Trail. Also tons of calypso orchids on the Steep Ravine Trail near the Pan Toll Parking lot.”

February 22, 2010
Jim Gratiot reports “Mimulus douglasii, purple mouse ears, are blooming on Mt Burdell.”

February 22, 2010
Christopher Moore reports “Friends and I spotted one small, sodden (but fully bloomed) Calypso bulbosa alongside the TCC trail, about half way between Van Wyck meadow and the the Dipsea junction, on Sunday February 21, 2010. That seems early to me.”

February 21, 2010
Sharon Salisbury reports “On the Warner Canyon Falls trail in Mill Valley there were hundreds of Fetid Adder’s Tongue, many still in bloom, Fairy Bells, Huckleberry, Hound’s Tongue, Trillium ovatum and some Mission Bells about to burst open. At the Blackstone Canyon Trail (made-up name as I don’t know the real name) in Novato, there were a gazillion Milk Maids, many Buttercups, and on one slope a purple haze of Shooting Stars. ..hundreds of them with a few Buttercups just for an accent. There were also some lovely little white flowers, five petals with tiny red stripes on each petal.”

Viola sempervirensphoto by Vernon SmithViola glabellaphoto by Vernon SmithDirca occidentalisphoto by Vernon Smith
February 21, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “A brief report from last Wednesday’s Dirca occidentalis, western leatherwood, monitoring effort at Samuel P. Taylor State Park’s cross-Marin trail. Brad Kelley and Vernon Smith took the long trail from Shafter Bridge to Platform Bridge and saw no Dirca at all, but one patch of the rare bottle-brush grass, Elymus californicus. The others, led by [me], took the path to Stairstep Falls from the Devil’s Gulch trailhead to be sure of actually seeing flowering Dirca occidentalis. We also saw some fine Trillium ovatum, wakerobin, in bloom and one Calypso orchid. The pictures of the yellow violets and Dirca were taken by Vernon. The large-fleshy-leaved one is streamside violet, V. glabella (The Jepson Online Interchange has an inaccurate picture of another sp. of violet, maybe V. purpurea, to illustrate this taxon!). The evergreen one with smaller leaves is redwood violet, V. sempervirens.”

Castilleja foliolosa
photo by Dave Strauss
February 20, 2010
Dave Strauss reports “I saw Zigadenus fremontii in large numbers – just starting to bloom – above the fire house on Throckmorton Ridge, lots of Cynoglossum grande in bloom around Sky Oaks, abundant Pedicularis densiflora along trails through the chapperal above Mt. Home Inn. Castilleja foliolosa… photo taken along Gravity Car.”

February 16, 2010
Michael Chassé reports: “Last week’s trip to Bolinas Ridge was a slightly foggy but spectacular hike along the ridge trail, where we recorded multiple individuals of Arctostaphylos virgata on the GGNRA side. We also got a good look at Ceanothus masonii, Ceanothus gloriosus var. exaltatus, and plants that seem intermediate between the two. Thanks to Doreen Smith, Neal Kramer, and Brad Kelley for joining.”

Arctostaphylos virgata
photo by Neal Kramer
February 14, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “On our rare plant monitoring trip to Bolinas Ridge on Thursday last the views were marvelous and the rare Marin manzanita, Arctostaphylos virgata, was in peak bloom. [Here is a] picture Neal Kramer took of the group with the finest specimen we found of the Marin manzanita. This species can also be found in bloom on Pt. Reyes.”

February 7, 2010
Eva Buxton reports: “On the CNPS hike to Cascade Falls today, we saw California pipevine (Aristolochia californica), a widespread but uncommon plant in Marin. Brad Kelley sent an article reminding me of its pollination by fungus gnats, which are attracted to the flower that emits a foul odor. The gnats enter the “bowl” of the pipe and get trapped for a long enough time to increase the chance of pollination. The flowers form tiny pipes less than a cm before the leaves appear and then continue to grow to a size of 2 – 4 cm. “

February 7, 2010
Wendy Dreskin reports: ” Junior Botanist Trevor found Indian Warriors at Cascade Canyon on January 28. He also found Sanicula laciniata at Lake Lagunitas on February 4.”

February 3, 2010
Sharon Salisbury reports “Today at Homestead were Hound’s Tongues, Trillium ovatum, hundreds of Fetid-Adder’s Tongues, Milkmaids (everywhere). On the firetrail behind the golf course in MV there were Zigadene Liles just about to burst last week…2 weeks ago in the Marin Headlands I saw Wall Flowers, Indian paintbrush, Monkey flowers, California poppies and Foot-steps-to-spring.

January 23, 2010
Bob Sills reports: “Today I saw a lone Trillium ovatum in bloom (although the flower was folded up) in Muir Woods. I also saw a few milkmaids…”

Blennosperma nanaphoto by Doreen SmithNemophila menziesiiAloe arborea
January 18, 2010
Doreen Smith reports: “Vernon and I did some hiking on the weekend to see early flowers before the forecast rainstorms. Mt. Burdell lower slopes: the peppercress, little Blennospermas and Star-lily Zigadenes are starting to bloom. There are a few goldfields in the fenced-off area west of the San Carlos Dr. gate. Pt. Reyes Lighthouse: some baby-blue-eyes, a few giant goldfields and small goldfields, salal, milkmaids, and grindelia can be seen. A red-flowering Aloe, left from a light-house-keepers garden, hangs on to the cliffs.”

Sydney and Grace
January 16, 2010
Wendy Dreskin reports: “St. Rita Junior Botanists Sydney and Grace found and identified the first buttercup on the hill behind their school on January 15. Last year students didn’t see the first one until February 1! “

January 14, 2010
Faith Brown reports: “Hundreds of Indian Warriors (Pedicularis densiflora) on the Wood Oaks Trail off N. San Pedro Road. Some in full bloom, others not open or just popping up.”

January 12, 2010
Wendy Dreskin reports: “Saw the first shooting star of the year on High Water Trail at Cascade Canyon Open Space and two hound’s tongues in bloom at the lower end of Repack. (There’s no trail sign saying Repack, turn left at the bridge.) Lots of Indian warrior in bloom as well!

January 9, 2010
Amelia Ryan reports: “More than a dozen Hound’s tongue (Cynoglossum grande) in bloom already at the Tiburon Uplands Preserve. I also saw a few Indian warriors (Pedicularis densiflora) and a milkmaid (Cardamine californica) in bloom and a death camas in bud. Sadly, I neglected to bring my camera.”

Garrya elliptica
photo by Dean KelchArctostaphylos canescens
photo by Dean Kelch
January 3, 2010
Dean Kelch reports: “Garrya elliptica and Arctostaphylos canescens in full flower on the trail between Mt Theater and West Point Inn on Mt Tamalpais. A. nummularia was flowering along the Matt Davis Trail.”