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The Latest from the Wildflower Hotline: Head to Vasquez Rocks, Wildfire Areas & Eaton Canyon

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Photo by Velo Steve via Flickr

Photo by Velo Steve via Flickr
The Theodore Payne Foundation's weekly Wildflower Hotline, released every Friday, tells us that the Poppy Reserve in Antelope Valley is not ready yet, but there are still places locally to catch them, including an LAist favorite, Vasquez Rocks. Here's what's in store locally:

A scramble among the rocks and a stroll along the trails, at the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area will delight you with sightings of Nemophila menziesii (baby blue-eyes), Lupinus spp. (lupines), Dichelostemma capitatum (blue dicks), Lasthenia californica (goldfields), and Amsinckia sp. (fiddleneck), to name a few. The gorgeous 22-arces grounds and wildflower hill of the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley are bursting with Ceanothus spp., Phacelia campanularia (desert bluebells), Ribes viburnifolium (Catalina currant), Trichostema lanatum (woolly blue curls), Verbena lilacina (lilac verbena), and the Cercis occidentalis (Western redbud) tree in front of the bookstore is in full bloom.

For a splendid view of Coreopsis gigantea (giant coreopsis) take a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway towards Pt. Mugu Beach (), 20 miles north of Malibu, where the coastal bluffs are a vibrant yellow, from this unique member of the Asteraceae family. Continuing with the ocean and wildflowers theme, visit the Charmlee Wilderness Park in Malibu. These 532 acres are featuring a cornucopia of blooms, including: Sisyrinchium bellum (blue-eyed grass), Calystegia macrostegia (wild morning glory), Lupinus succulentus (succulent lupine), Salvia spathacea (hummingbird sage), and Mimulus aurantiacus (bush monkeyflower).

Venture inland to the Angeles National Forest, where warmth is bringing out the wildflowers, especially in the Marek and Sayre fire areas above Lakeview Terrace. In the lower portions of Big Tujunga Canyon, look for purple and white flowering Ceanothus spp., and Rhus ovata (sugar bush) is also quite a sight along the lower Angeles Crest Highway.

Do you remember the areas that burned during the Sylmar fire in October? Well those lower sections of Little Tujunga Canyon Road are now a spectrum of blue and purple from Phacelia minor (wild Canterbury bells), Phacelia distans (wild heliotrope), and Lupinus hirsutissimus (stinging lupine) -- just look past the invasive yellow non-native mustard.

In Pasadena, take a hike in Eaton Canyon and look for Encelia californica (bush sunflower), Dichelostemma capitatum (blue dicks), and Rhus ovata (sugar bush).

The wildflower season lasts from March through May, traveling from the southern end of the state to the central valley. The season is finicky, so when things start blooming, there's only a small window of time to catch them before you have to wait until next year. To see the full statewide update, call 818-768-3533 or
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