Spring flowers are in bloom throughout the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The 2015 bloom was phenomenal with flowers we had not seen in years popping up all over. The 2016 bloom is more like the typically beautiful display that we have come to expect. The arrival of the first Wild Cucumber flowers started the season, followed by Shooting Stars, Star Lilies, Wild Hyacinth, Milk Maids, Fringed Red Maids and Chocolate Lilies. This list is by no means inclusive of every kind of flower in bloom. If you find something you want to share, please do! Send to our email address or share on our Facebook page.
As the Shooting Stars have faded, their place was taken by Fringed Linanthus, Coastal Goldfields, Fiddlenecks, Peninsular Onion and many others. Next, up should be Golden Stars, Mariposa Lilies, Large Flowered Phacelias and a smattering of Mariposa Lilies in Yellow. The arrival of the Slender Tarweed kept the hillsides covered in yellow as the Goldfields and Fiddlenecks begin to fade. The aptly named Farewell-to-Spring will herald the end of Spring and provide color. As of this update, we are waiting for the arrival of the Chinese Houses, Fairy Lanterns, Soap Plant, Humboldt Lily and the Plummer's Mariposa Lily flowers. After their turn in the Sun, Cliff Asters, Buckwheat, and other small flowers will then keep our pollinators fed and busy until the rains of November.
The ephemeral nature of these flowers allows a short window of time to enjoy them. Set aside some time, grab a camera and head out before the window closes for the year on these beautiful flowers.
P.S. Take your time when viewing the flowers - imagine running through the Louvre to see "everything" - you are going to miss considerable amounts of soul stirring beauty!Pt. Mugu State Park was a hotbed for wildflowers in 2015 because of the Springs fire of 2013 - the fire provided many a seed that had been patiently waiting, an opportunity to grow. Not every year will dazzle the general public but every Spring has the potential to reaquaint you with the promise of Spring!
Pick a trail, any trail and you will be rewarded with the sight of flowers in dazzling colors drawn from a large palette of whites, yellows, reds, blues and purples.
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The Santa Monica Mountains are blessed with more than 1,000 different kinds of plants and flowers. Our Plant of the Month Pages were designed to help us learn the names of the flowers we encounter while enjoying the Santa Monica Mountains. Why not learn to identify a few of the more common flowers?
Knowing the names of flowers only enhances your experience outdoors. During the time of year that wild flowers bloom - whether you run, hike, bike or ride a horse - you are bound to encounter flowers of every color and stripe.
Taking a little time to know and appreciate their names may not result in you being a better athlete but it should help you connect to the open space that hosts your activity.