Monterey County Wildflowers

June 12, 2019 at 5:00 am (California, California Central Coast, California wildflowers, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildflowers) (, )

Harlequin lupine, Lupinus stiversii

We have had six months of pleasantly cool weather with plenty of moisture in California this year, and the Memorial Day weekend was a perfect time to look for tiny treasures in the Los Padres National Forest and environs of southern Monterey County.

The harlequin lupine (above) was perhaps one of the most interesting flowers I found, and it was only in a small patch of ground. They aren’t rare, but I guess they’re also not common.

The color combination of these short lupines is unusual and lovely.

Splendid mariposa lily, Calochortus splendens

There are numerous kinds of mariposa lilies in California, and I’ve seen at least two of them.

Splendid mariposa lily, Calochortus splendens

The splendid mariposa has these white fibers on the inside.

Butterfly mariposa lily

There are several more “normal” types of lupines as well, but even with several guides I’m at a loss to narrow down the species.

I think the lupines with the white tips are Sky Lupines. Several patches of scarlet buglers were alongside the road.

I didn’t realize there were two varieties of the peach colored sticky monkeyflowers until I looked on the Monterey County wildflowers website. Apparently these are Santa Lucia sticky monkeyflowers, Diplacus linearis. When I first saw them last year, they reminded me of the Exbury azaleas common in gardens in the Pacific Northwest.

There were also several types of thistle. I’m going to do my best with the IDs but will change them if somebody more knowledgeable corrects me.

Some flowers had already gone to seed, and I’m thinking the seed display is prettier than the actual blooms. Again, I am giving these IDs my best guess.

Lace parsnip, Lomatium dasycarpum subsp. dasycarpum

Two kinds of clarkia, with one looking more like a miniature magenta poppy.

All of these flowers were on or near the Del Venturi Road that goes through Fort Hunter Liggett into the Los Padres National Forest. Here are some scenes of “The Indians” rock formations and a view off the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.

There were many other flowers as well, and if I know the name, I’ve included it.

The male ruddy duck was displaying at Del Venturi Pond. Well, it took as much time to find IDs for these flowers as it did to make the trip and take the photos! Flowers are a lot harder than birds to identify, but far easier to photograph.

Harlequin lupine

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

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  1. Ramona Pioneer Girl said,

    Thanks for educating me on the hedge parsley. The orangy-yellow flowers that seem to burst in the center, I was told is golden yarrow. There are cute patches of it in our yard 🙂 Pretty examples!

  2. Patti said,

    Cindy I am impressed that you have spent the time to ID the flowers. Thank you!

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