Greetings, once again!  Although the Figueroa wildflowers started their blossoms early, the late season varieties are still going strong. The California poppies continue showing off their magnificent hues of orange and yellow and the sky lupine are being replaced by other varieties lupine throughout the mountain. I am frequently asked “Are the Figueroa wildflowers gone?” My response is “Not at all. The varieties blooming are abundant, but the density found at the beginning of the season is what’s gone.”  Let’s begin our tour and you’ll see what I mean.

Starting at the first cattle guard, Chinese houses, buttercups, hummingbird sage, blue dicks, fiesta flowers, wild onions and golden yarrow are in bloom.  As one makes the second turn, look to the right and find beautiful Red Indian paintbrush and hummingbird sage. As one arrives under the tree canopy, look for buttercups, Johnny jump-ups, blue dicks, royal lupine, Chinese houses, owl’s clover fiesta flowers, humming bird sage and popcorn flowers as they show off their beautiful array of colors.

As you continue up the hill, bright orange California poppies continue to bloom throughout the mountain. Gypsum weed and coreopsis can be seen in this area as well. On the rocky formation to the right, Chinese houses, golden yarrow, buttercups, goldfields, fiddleneck, blue dicks, prickly phlox, wallflowers, royal lupine and dudleyas are in bloom.  In the grassy areas, look for lovely mariposa lilies as they peep through the tall grass. Also keep your eyes open for canyon peas and purple onion in the shaded areas.

At Vista Point (large gravel turnout about 11.4 miles from the bottom), goldfields, buttercups and blue-eyed grass, can be found. In the serpentine area across the road, you’ll see golden yarrow, blue-eyed grass, fiddleneck, California poppies, coreopsis, royal lupine, blue dicks and Mexican elderberry.

Beyond the station, bush lupine continues to bloom. Bright orange wall flowers, buttercups and fiddleneck can be seen on the rocky area, right before Tunnell Road.

About a half mile beyond Tunnell Road, stunning California poppies and bush lupine continue to beautify both sides of the road, along with the hillsides. Other flowers to see in this area include caterpillar phacelias and sky lupine.

Lookout Road is still stunning as lupine and poppies adorn the hillsides; however, they are going fast. The lupine’s breath taking aroma still fills the air. If you do go up Lookout Road, please be careful as this is a narrow, winding, dirt road.

Beyond the campground, along the corridor that leads to the Davy Brown Trailhead, look for sky lupine, poppies, blue-globe gilias, bush lupine, chias and phacelias.

Beyond the trailhead to Ranger Peak look for buttercups, goldfields, tidy tips, seep spring monkey flowers, Indian paintbrush, wild onion, fillaree, blue dicks, miniature lupine, fiddleneck, popcorn flower, lomatium and royal lupine. If you look closely, a few chocolate lilies can still be spotted, especially on the right hand side, across from the field with the rusty pipe fence.

Right as you start heading up Ranger Peak, charming baby blue eyes and lupine are in bloom. Look for more baby blue eyes, miner’s lettuce and fiddleneck in the shady areas of Ranger Peak.

From Ranger Peak to Cachuma Saddle, the wildflowers continue to decorate this stretch with stunning yellow bush poppies, purple bush lupine, and orange/yellow sticky leaf monkey flowers blooming along the road and on the rocky hillsides. Other wildflowers to look for in this stretch include poppies, purple nightshade, phacelias, black sage, wild canyon peas, royal lupine, wall flowers, Chinese houses, Indian paintbrush, scarlet buglers, blue globe gilias, Mexican elderberry, golden yarrow and the start of farewell to spring, also known as clarkia.

Sunset Valley is filling with gorgeous bush lupine, bush poppies, prickly phlox and sticky leaf monkey flowers. Popcorn flower, milk thistle, Mexican elderberry, fiddleneck, phacelias, poppies, scarlet buglers, blue dicks, golden yarrow, clematis, morning glories, Nuttles larkspur, wild cucumber, Chinese houses, blue globe gilias and chias can be found throughout this area. A variety of lupine, including sky lupine, miniature lupine, royal lupine, spiny lupine and coulter lupine can also be found here.

Happy Canyon continues its’ wildflower frenzy. Aside of bush lupine, bush poppies, sticky leaf monkey flowers and California poppies, which continue to bloom abundantly, vetch, fuchsia flowering gooseberries, pink flowering currant, clematis, royal lupine, blue dicks, fiesta flowers, miner’s lettuce, chia, golden yarrow, popcorn flower, blue dicks, phacelias, morning glories, purple and black sage, spiny lupine, Indian paintbrush, wild cucumber, Chinese houses and wild canyon peas are in bloom. Right across what used to be Cachuma Campground, look for stunning, purple fiesta flowers and vetch. Just beyond, on the rocky section to the right, keep an eye out for vetch, Chinese houses, Indian paintbrush, prickly phlox, sticky leaf monkey flower, Mexican elderberry, dudleyas, and wild canyon peas. Continuing down Happy Canyon, look into the grassy fields and find more mariposa lilies, royal lupine, butter lupine, mustard, seep spring monkey flowers, fiddlenecks, royal lupine, purple sage, and cactus flower.

As you continue your descent down the mountain, again, look for blue-eyed grass, Mexican elderberry, lomatium, blue dicks, butter lupine, prickly phlox, phacelias, fiesta flowers, mariposa lilies, Chinese houses and morning glories as they escort you out of the forest.

That’s all for this update. Look for our next wildflower update in two weeks. Until then, happy viewing!  For more information, please contact Helen Tarbet at 805-925-9538, ext. 246, or by e-mail at htarbet@fs.fed.us.

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