Adolphia californica (Spineshrub or Prickbush)

Adolphia californica (California Prickbush, California adolphia, Spineshrub), Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, San Diego, California.

California Prickbush or Spineshrub (Adolphia californica) is considered rare, threatened or endangered by the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), with a threat rank of 2B.1. This means it is seriously threatened in California – where most of it can be found here in San Diego County. It also grows in Baja California (Mexico), and CalFlora has two (obscure?) observations outside of San Diego County.

Read moreAdolphia californica (Spineshrub or Prickbush)

Antirrhinum coulterianum (Coulter’s Snapdragon)

Morning dew on Antirrhinum coulterianum (Coulter's Snapdragon), Rancho Bernardo, California. April 2019.

Perhaps due to the “super” blooms at Anza Borrego, Carrizo Plain and elsewhere this year (thanks to California’s wet winter), I’m looking at our local flora with a more elevated sense of curiosity than during regular walks in the springtime. Because maybe, just maybe, there’s a flower or plant out this year that I haven’t seen before?

Read moreAntirrhinum coulterianum (Coulter’s Snapdragon)

Antirrhinum nuttallianum f. alba (White Nutall’s Snapdragon)

White Antirrhinum nuttallianum flower (Nuttall's Snapdragon), Rancho Bernardo, California. April 2019.

It’s snapdragon season in Southern California! Two years ago, in April 2017*, it was a Coulter’s Snapdragon (Antirrhinum coulteranium), then still unknown to me and an unexpected find on a trail at Lake Hodges, that heightened my attention and focus to the native wildflowers here San Diego County*. So maybe it was fate that a few days ago, I found an almost entirely white Antirrhinum nuttallianum (Nuttall’s or Violet Snapdragon) at Lake Hodges. A coincidence really of course, but it’s like a little snapdragon anniversary for me. :-)

Read moreAntirrhinum nuttallianum f. alba (White Nutall’s Snapdragon)

Ceanothus cuneatus – Amazing Bloom

Ceanothus cuneatus (California buckbrush, Wedgeleaf Ceanothus) in bloom

While in the Lake Elsinore area, I thought we might as well drive up on Ortega Highway a little bit – an area that I have neglected entirely so far. We made a left turn onto South Main Divide Road at the California Firefighters Memorial, just out of curiosity, to see where that road would take us.

Read moreCeanothus cuneatus – Amazing Bloom

Ceanothus verrucosus Bloom – A Wave of White

Blooming Ceanothus verrucosus (White Coast Ceanothus) in sun and shade, Elfin Forest, Escondido, California. February 2019.

While spring in Southern California and in the chaparral is said to begin with the first winter rains, it of course takes a while for it to really show – and even then, it comes in waves. Right now, a wave of white has washed over parts of the landscape, as White Coast Ceanothus (Ceanothus verrucosus) exploded into bloom at the end of January and early February.

Read moreCeanothus verrucosus Bloom – A Wave of White