“I don’t want to leave and go home”, said one of the trip participants after a wonderful, interesting SBBG trip to Figueroa Mountain. It is not an uncommon feeling after each trip to the mountain — which I have visited a few times this year.
(Tufted Poppies, Sky Lupine – March 18, 2008)
In my mind’s eye, Figueroa mountain consists of many garden-like areas interspersed between woodlands where different flowers bloom in a variety of mixes (and times). During the months of March and April, California poppies bloom in large numbers in many of the floral areas. California poppies can be seen with goldfields; tufted California poppies often grow with sky lupine, bush lupine, phacelia, etc. There are two types of poppies on Figueroa – California Poppies and Tufted California Poppies. The latter range from dark orange to bright yellow. Thus, more photos of poppies were taken than any other species in this year’s collection, and have been put into a separate slideshow.
(California Poppy with collar – April 07, 2008)
(Tufted California Poppy without collars – April 10, 2008)
(Tufted California Poppy without collars – April 13, 2008)
There are a large number of other plants on Figueroa that begin flowering in early spring at the bottom of the mountain. As spring progresses, the same species sometimes, and different species usually, start flowering at progressively higher areas on the mountain. When lupine were blooming en masse on a bank just past the ranger station, flowerless lupine were seen at Pino Alto. Shooting stars seemed to have flowered all over the mountain at all heights and in areas that receive different amounts of sun. The first shooting star bloom was seen on February 10th, even though leaves were seen as early as November 24 last year.
(California Gilia – March 18, 2008)
(Little Gilia – April 10, 2008)
(Volcanic Gilia – April 10, 2008)
(Globe Gilia – April 10, 2008)
While the visits to Figueroa Mountain are generally to see the massive flower displays — poppies, lupine and goldflields — some of my trips this year were even more interesting because of a number of plants I had not seen before. I photographed four types of Gilia. One of them, Volcanc Gilia, was seen in very few numbers in the rocky area opposite the first picnic area. After these had disappeared, I encountered the same species higher up on the mountain a couple weeks later – some scattered on what I call Wallflower Rocky Hill and many, many more sharing space in an area where Tidy Tips and Linanthus grow in large numbers.
(California Suncup – April 13, 2008)
I visited Sunset Valley Road for the first time on April 13th, and discovered another new world of flora in a different habitat type. In a small area, three rather interesting yellow flowers, two of them from the Evening Primrose family, and the third a usual fire follower (whispering bells), were discovered. It seems to be warmer along this road than higher up on Figueroa Mountain, and Parry’s Larkspur was seen close to Nira campground.