In praise of Wildflowers and wild places

chinese houses_ps9794

Chinese houses

California is one of the two best states for wildflowers in the U.S. – the second being Texas.  Actually I would go so far to say it may have some of the best displays in the world.   It is wildflower season and I have just returned from a jaunt to Monterey County where I spied some beauties along a road near Fort Ord – a promise of what was to come.

The weather was fine and we headed to Garland Park in Carmel Valley.  I think the best trails (but not the easiest) for flowers are in the southern part of the open space.  We followed a trail along the contour lines above a creek that flows into the Carmel River.  Blue Fiesta flower, Pholistoma auritum, greeted us at every bend followed by Chinese houses (photo above) – Collinsea heterophylla.  Chinese houses are often seen in shady spots this time of year.  Next in abundance were little woodland stars, Lithophragma affine, and white globe lilies, Calochortus alba (see photo below), but there were perhaps six or seven other species sprinkled among them.

C alba Grlnd Pk_ps0422

Globe lily

I am also posting a photo of a Trillium (chloropetalum) below; note the three large leaves as well as three ‘main’ petals.



If you should be headed to Garland in more than a week or two, some of these flowers will be past their prime but I saw clarkias in bud that promise to put on a nice show.


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