Recent Wildflower Reports

Recent Wildflower Reports

Photo by Vernon Smith
Leptosiphon parviflorus (variable linanthus)

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 March 17 and 23, 2018

Some of the plants seen by Jim Sprague on Mt. Tamalpais.

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June 14, 2017

Some of the plants seen on a trip to San Geronimo Valley.

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May 26, 2017

Some plants seen at Point Reyes National Seashore.

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May 22, 2017

Some plants seen at Marin Headlands.

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April 30, 2017

It was a four-downingia day at Jepson Prairie Preserve on April 30. Doreen and Vernon Smith saw a selection including Downingia concolor (fringed downingia), Downingia insignis (cupped downingia), Downingia bella (Hoover’s downingia), Downingia pusilla (dwarf downingia), Limnanthes douglasii ssp. rosea (rose-veined meadow-foam), Navarretia leucocephala ssp. bakeri (vernal pool Navarretia), Lasthenia fremontii (vernal pool goldfields), Calochortus luteus (gold nuggets mariposa), Castilleja campestris ssp. campestris (field owl’s-clover), Lasthenia glaberrima (rayless goldfield), Psilocarphus chilensis (wetland woolly marbles), Psilocarphus brevissimus (dwarf woolly marbles), and Pogogyne zizyphoroides (Sacramento pogogyne).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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April 25, 2017

The Delphinium variegatum from China Camp State Park in Marin vary in color from the typical Royal blue-purple through various shades to white. Here are some seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith

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April 20, 2017

Some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith at Soulajule Reservoir and the nearby Marshall-Petaluma Road included Castilleja subinclusa ssp. franciscana (Franciscan paintbrush), Delphinium nudicaule (red larkspur), Iris douglasiana (woodland Douglas’ iris), Leptosiphon sp. (linanthus), Trifolium microcephalum (maiden clover), Acmispon wrangelianus (sub-pinnate lotus), Pogogyne serpylloides (tiny mint), Polytrichum moss, Fraxinus latifolia (Oregon ash), Claytonia perfoliata (miners’ lettuce), Tellima grandiflora (fringe-cups), and Lithophragma heterophyllum (woodland star).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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April 19, 2017

Some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith along the road to the Las Gallinas Water Treatment Plant included Castilleja rubicundula ssp. lithospermoides (cream-sacs), and Delphinium variegatum ssp. variegatum (royal larkspur).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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April 19, 2017

Some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith along Pld Lucas Valley Road included Delphinium patens ssp. patens (woodland larkspur), Plectritis congesta ssp. brachystemon (short-spur seablush), Nemophila heterophylla (small-flowered nemophila), Rubus ursinus (California blackberry), Collinsia heterophylla (chinese houses), Scrophularia californica ssp. californica (bee- plant, figwort), Triglochin scilloides (flowering-quillwort, lilaea), and Stachys rigida var. quercetorum (hedge-nettle).

Photos by Vernon and Doreen Smith.

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April 14, 2017

Some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith n the Mt. Burdell Open Space preserve included Lewisia rediviva (bitterroot), Castilleja densiflora (owl’s-clover), Leptosiphon parviflorus (variable linanthus),  Delphinium variegatum (royal delphinium), Cicendia quadrangularis (tiny timwort, yellow gentian), Layia chrysanthemoides (wetland tidy-tips), and Gilia capitata ssp. capitata (round-headed gilia).

Photos by Vernon Smith

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April 1, 2017

Some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith on a MALT trip to the Leiss Ranch in North-eastern Marin included Layia chrysanthemoides (smooth tidytips), Blennosperma nanum var. nanum (little blennosperma), Platystemon californicus (creamcups), Eschscholzia californica (California poppy), Triphysaria eriantha ssp. eriantha (purple-beak owl’s-clover), Triphysaria versicolor ssp. faucibarbata (yellow-beak owl’s-clover), and Castilleja densiflora var. densiflora (pink owl’s-clover).

Photos by Vernon Smith

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March 31, 2017

Some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith along the Kent Lake Pump Road included Orobanche uniflora (single-flowered broomrape), Synthyris reniformis (pale-flowered snow-queen), Anemone grayi (wood anemone), and Vicia hassei (Hasse’s vetch).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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March 18, 2017

Some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith in the Mt. Burdell Open Space preserve included Leptosiphon androsaceus (white purple-throat linanthus), Platystemon californicus (cream-cups), Sisyrinchium bellum (blue-eyed grass), Collinsia sparsiflora var. collina (small collinsia), Taraxia ovata (sun-cups), Monolopia major (cupped monolopia), Eschscholzia californica (California poppy), Claytonia exigua ssp. exigua (small-flowered claytonia), and Dichelostemma capitatum (bluedicks).

Photos by Vernon and Doreen Smith.

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February 25, 2017

Some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith in the Mt. Burdell Open Space preserve included Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary), Mimulus (Diplacus) douglasii (purple mouse-ears), Tetrapteron graciliflorum (annual suncup), Toxicoscordion fremontii (star-lily, Fremont’s death camas), Castilleja densiflora (owl’s-clover), Thysanocarpus curvipes (fringe-pod), Platystemon californicus (cream-cups), Blennosperma nanum var. nanum (little Blennosperma), Ranunculus californicus (California buttercup), and Lasthenia californica ssp. californica (gold-fields).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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January 30, 2017

Some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith on the bluffs and in the dunes near the parking area for Point Reyes Lighthouse included Nemophila menziesii var. atomaria (baby-white-eyes), Iris douglasiana (Douglas iris), Cardamine californica “var. integrifolia” (meadow milkmaids), Castilleja affinis ssp. affinis (Indian paintbrush), Erysimum concinnum (white wallflower), Ranunculus californicus var. cuneatus (California coast buttercup), Ceanothus thyrsiflorus “var. repens” (creeping blue-blossom), Blennosperma nanum var. robustum (Point Reyes blennosperma), and Calandrinia menziesii (redmaids).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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April 26, 2016

Some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith on a trip to locations in San Geronimo Velley included Viola ocellata (two-eyed violet, western heartsease), Campanula griffinii (serpentine-chaparral harebell), Clarkia gracilis ssp. gracilis (serpentine Clarkia), Clarkia gracilis ssp. sonomensis (Sonoma Clarkia), Leptosiphon parviflorus (variable linanthus), Platystemon californicus (cream-cups), Lasthenia californica (goldfields), and Arctostaphylos montana ssp. montana (Mt.Tamalpais manzanita).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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April 24, 2016

Some plants seen by Les Sogol on the Sleepy Hollow Open Space, and at Deer Park and Lake Lagunitas were Eschscholzia californica  (California poppy), Triteleia laxa (Ithuriel’s spear), Lupinus microcarpus var. densiflorus (gully lupine), Sisyrinchium bellum (blue-eyed grass), and Wyethia glabra (smooth mule-ears).

Photos by Les Sogol.

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April 19, 2016

Some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith on a trip to Pont Reyes included Castilleja ambigua (Johnny-nip), Cerastium viride (field chickweed), Hosackia gracilis (harlequin-lotus), Sagina decumbens ssp. occidentalis (western pearlwort), Triphysaria floribunda (San Francisco owl’s-clover), Iris douglasiana (coastal Douglas’ iris), Clarkia davyi (coastal Clarkia), Gilia millefoliata (dark-eyed gilia), Nuttallanthus texanus (blue toadflax), Sisyrinchium californicum (yellow-eyed grass), Epilobium ciliatumi ssp. watsonii (coastal willowherb), Sisyrinchium bellum (blue-eyed-grass), Camassia quamash ssp.breviflora (small-flowered camas lily), and Bistorta bistortoides (dirty socks).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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April 17, 2016

Some of the plants, including several rare species, seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith on a trip to West Marin were Delphinium luteum (yellow larkspur), Delphinium nudicaule (red larkspur), Amsinckia lunaris (bent-flowered fiddleneck), Orobanche uniflora (one-flowered broomrape), Clarkia concinna ssp. raichei (Raiche’s red- ribbon Clarkia), Aquilegia formosa (red columbine), and Delphinium bakeri (Baker’s larkspur).

Photos by Vernon and Doreen Smith.

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April 13, 2016

Some plants seen at Baltimore Canyon Open Space Preserve by Doreen and Vernon Smith included Kopsiopsis hookeri (Hooker’s ground-cone), Antirrhinum kelloggii (Kellogg’s snapdragon), Lysimachia latifolia (Pacific Starflower, Nemophila parviflora var. parviflora (tiny-flowered nemophila), Maianthemum racemosum (fat Solomon-seal), and Tauschia kelloggii (yellow parsley),

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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April 7, 2016

Vernon Smith visited Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve and some of the plants seen were Leptosiphon androsaceus (Lilac Babystars), Layia platyglossa (tidytips), Calochortus uniflorus (marsh star-tulip), Calochortus umbellatus (Oakland star-tulip), Plagiobothrys stipitatus var. stipitatus (vernal pool popcornflower), Calochortus umbellatus (Oakland star-tulip), Castilleja affinis ssp. neglecta (Tiburon paintbrush), and Lasthenia californica (slender goldfields).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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March 30, 2016

On a visit to various locations on Point Reyes, some of the plants seen by Doreen and Vernon Smith were Calochortus tolmiei (pussy-ears star-tulip), Iris douglasiana (Douglas iris), Fritillaria affinis (mission bells), Prosartes hookeri (Hooker’s fairy-bell), Ceanothus thyrsiflorus var. thyrsiflorus (blue blossom), Ceanothus gloriosus (glory bush), Fragaria vesca (woodland wild strawberry), Phacelia sp. (unknown annual Phacelia), Hesperevax sparsiflora var. brevifolia (coastal evax), Caulanthus lasiophyllus (California white mustard), Nemophila menziesii var atomaria (baby-blue-eyes), Triphysaria eriantha var. rosea (rosy butter-and-eggs), and Pyrgus communis (common checkered-skipper).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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March 15, 2016

Doreen and Vernon Smith took advantage of the fine weather and hiked around the Mountain Theater on Mount Tamalpais.

Some of plants seen were Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis (western calypso orchid), Fritillaria affinis (mission bells), Calandrinia menziesii (redmaids),and Nemophila menziesii var. menziesii (baby-blue-eyes).

Photos by Vernon Smith.

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February 29, 2016

Leap Day proved to be quite warm out at Point Reyes for Doreen and Vernon Smith.
In the vicinity of the Lighthouse parking area they found Blennosperma nanum var. robustum (Point Reyes blennosperma), Phacelia insularis var. continentis (north coast phacelia), Caulanthus lasiophyllus (white-mustard), and Nemophila menziesii var. atomaria (baby-white-eyes).

Photos by vernon Smith.

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 February 21, 2016

Doreen and Vernon Smith pre-tripped the Mt. Burdalll Open Space Preserve in Novato in anticipation of the Field Trip on the next weekend.

Some of the plants seen were Mimulus (Diplacus) douglasii (purple mouse-ears), Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary), Toxicoscordion fremontii “var. minor” (star-lily, Fremont’s zigadene, Claytonia exigua ssp. exigua (small-flowered Claytonia), Ranunculus californicus (California buttercup), Dichelostemma capitatum (bluedicks), Taraxia ovata (sun-cups), Sanicula bipinnatifida (red-purple sanicle), Blennosperma nanum var. nanum (little blennosperma), Calandrinia menziesii (redmaids), Lasthenia californica ssp. californica (gold-fields), Eschscholzia californica  (California poppy), and Iris macrosiphon (ground iris).

Photos by Vernon Smith, except where noted.

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June 6, 2015

Some of the plants seen in the Bull Point area of Point Reyes National Seashore were Clarkia davyi (small-flowered Clarkia), Castilleja ambigua ssp. ambigua (grassland Johnny-nip), Horkelia marinensis (Point Reyes horkelia), Leptosiphon parviflorus (small-flowered leptosiphon), Leptosiphon grandiflorus (large-flowered leptosiphon), Rhododendron columbianum (western Labrador tea), Epipactis gigantea (giant stream orchid), Heterotheca sessiliflora (golden-aster), Epilobium ciliatum ssp. watsonii (coastal willow-herb), Spergularia macrotheca (pink large-fruited spurrey), and Chloropyron maritimum ssp. palustre (Point Reyes bird’s-beak).

Photos by Vernon Smith

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June 3, 2015

Some of the plants seen in the San GEronimo area of Marin were Clarkia amoena ssp. huntiana (Hunt’s Clarkia), Calochortus luteus (yellow mariposa), Gilia capitata ssp. capitata (round-headed blue gilia), Brodiaea elegans (harvest Brodiaea), Triteleia laxa (Ithuriel’s spear), and Campanula griffinii (Griffin’s bellflower).

Photos by Vernon Smith

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May 29, 2015

Some of the plants seen at various locations on Mt. Tamalpais were Cirsium occidentale var. occidentale (cobweb thistle), Minuartia douglasii (serpentine sandwort), Triteleia hyacinthina (white triteleia), Calochortus luteus (yellow mariposa), Clintonia andrewsiana (Andrew’s Clintonia), and Rhododendron occidentale (western azalea).

Photos by Vernon Smith

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May 26, 2015

Some things seen at Ring Mt. Open Space Preserve in Tiburon were Hesperolinon congestum (Marin western dwarf flax), Monardella purpurea serpentine monardella, Clarkia rubicunda (ruby chalice Clarkia), Calochortus tiburonensis (Tiburon mariposa lily), and a fine Anise Swallowtail butterfly.

Photos by Vernon Smith

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May 20, 2015

Some of the plants in flower on a visit to Crown Road extension in Kent Woodlands were Clarkia concinna ssp. concinna (red ribbons Clarkia), and Streptanthus glandulosus ssp. secundus (one-sided jewel-flowe).

Photos by Vernon Smith

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April 28, 2015

Some of the plants in flower on a visit to Lake Lagunitas were Calochortus amabilis (Diogenes’s lantern), Amorpha californica var. napensis (Napa false-indigo), Rosa gymnocarpa (woodland rose), Lithophragma affine (woodland star), Viola ocellata (two-eyed violet), and Calochortus uniflorus (Monterey star-tulip).
The Calochortus amabilis is very uncommon in Marin County.

Photos by Vernon Smith

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April 25 and 30, 2015

We paid two visits to Tomales recently. In part this was to monitor the Clarkia concinna ssp. raichei (Raiche’s red-ribbon clarkia) blooming along the bluffs on Highway 1, south of Tomales. Some of the plants also present in that location were Orobanche uniflora (one-flowered broomrape), and Amsinckia lunaris (bent-flowered fiddleneck). At Elephant Rocks the Brodiaea terrestris ssp. terrestris (dwarf brodiaea) were in fine bloom, and on Highway 1, north of Tomales we saw Limnanthes douglasii ssp. nivea (coast range meadowfoam), and Lasthenia conjugens (Contra Costa goldfields).

Photos by Vernon Smith

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April 25, 2015

On  a MALT Wildflower Walk on April 25, 2015 we visited Leiss Ranch in the Chileno Valley, courtesy of the owner, Nancy Chaffin.
We were fortunate to find Hesperolinon californicum (California dwarf flax) which is very uncommon in Marin County. This ranch is near the border with Sonoma County but still in Marin.
Some of the other species seen were Hemizonia congesta ssp. lutescens (yellow hayfield tarplant), Microseris douglasii (Douglas’ dandelion), Achillea millefolium (yarrow), Sidalcea diploscypha (serpentine annual sidalcea), Castilleja densiflora var. densiflora (pink owl’s clover), Calystegia subacaulis ssp. subacaulis (short-stem morning-glory), and Brodiaea elegans (harvest brodiaea).

Photos by Vernon Smith

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April 6, 2015

We visited Samuel P. Taylor State Park and adjacent areas and saw a selection of the plants of the Redwood Forest, including Anemone grayi (Gray’s anemone), Trillium ovatum ssp. ovatum (white trillium), Oxalis oregana (redwood sorrel), Viola glabella (streamside violet), Prosartes smithii (Smith’s fairy-bells), Prosartes hookeri (Hooker’s fairy-bells), Pectiantia ovalis (Bishop’s cap), Tellima grandiflora (fringe-cups), and Maianthemum stellatum (false Solomon’s seal).

Photos by Vernon Smith

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March 27, 2015

A group of volunteers conducted a ‘Plant Safari’ organized by Andrea Williams of the M.M.W.D. at Nicasio reservoir on March 27, 2015 in search of some specific plants that were known or expected to be there but had not been collected and GPS coordinates obtained.
One group led by Andrea Williams searched the “Island” area, and the other led by Doreen Smith concentrated on the North shores of the reservoir.
Some of the plants seen were Wyethia angustifolia (narrow-leaf mule-ears), Castilleja subinclusa ssp. franciscana (franciscan paintbrush), Lupinus albifrons var. collinus (prostrate silverleaf lupine), Wyethia glabra (large-leaved mule-ears), Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary), and Fritillaria affinis “var. tristulis” (Pt. Reyes chocolate lily).

Photos by Vernon Smith

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March 14, 2015

Doreen and Vernon Smith, Sarah Minnick, and Shelly Benson visited the grasslands of Mt. Burdell on March 14, 2015.
Some of the species seen were Githopsis specularioides (common bluecup), Thysanocarpus curvipes (fringe-pod), Cicendia quadrangularis (square cicendia), Trifolium barbigerum (bearded clover), Layia chrysanthemoides (smooth tidytips), Calandrinia menziesii (redmaids), Leptosiphon androsaceus (showy leptosiphon), and Monolopia major (cupped monolopia).

Photos by Vernon Smith

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March 19, 2015

Jane Huber reports seeing many flowers blooming on the Shadyside of Bon Tempe, including milkmaids, hound’s tongue, iris, shooting stars, and mission bells. On Lagunitas-Rock Spring Fire Road there are one or two spots with dense displays of Claytonia gypsophiloides. Rocky Ridge Fire Road is blazing with manzanitas and ceanothus. I found just one Oakland star tulip and several bush poppies blooming there.

Her photos can be seen at

March 13, 2015

On a trip out to West Marin and back, we saw a variety of species in flower including,
Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary) at Nicasio Reservoir, Ranunculus lobbii (Lobb’s aquatic buttercup) near Hicks Valley School, Iris longipetala (long-petaled iris) near Chilleno Valley School, Lasthenia californica ssp. californica (California goldfields), Sidalcea malviflora (checkerbloom), and Triphysaria eriantha ssp. rosea (Pelican flower) at the Elephant Rocks on the Tomales – Dillon Beach Rd, and an unusually-dark color form of Delphinium nudicaule (red larkspur)Lithophragma affine (common woodland-star), and Romanzoffia californica (California mist-maiden) on the bluffs along Highway 1 south of Tomales.

Text by Doreen and Vernon Smith, Photos by Vernon Smith

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March 7, 2015

Fritillaria liliacea IMG 6666c2Aaron Arthur and Phil Greer visited the population of Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary) on the ‘Island’ at Nicasio Reservoir and report that of the approximately 20% of the population that they sampled, about half is in bloom. Most blooming individuals contained only a single bloom, and there were few unopened buds.  Having visited this site many times, they suspect that we are at the height of the bloom which will probably last for only about 7-10 days, especially given the dry conditions and warm weather forecast.  So anyone wanting to see this population is encouraged to get out there quickly!

Note added by Vernon Smith.
Doreen and I saw another population by the side of the road on Nicasio Valley Road on the reservoir side that were blooming well on March 6, 2015. This location is easier to access than the Island.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Fritillaria liliacea (fragrant fritillary) Photo by Vernon Smith

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