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Wildflowers in Shell Ridge

April 9, 2004

In spite of the recent warm spell, this is a late year, mostly because of the cool rainy weather in February. Therefore, normal blooming is about 2 to 3 weeks overdue. Yet, there are tens of millions of flowers on these hills we will walk today. The trouble is there are only a few different kinds of flowers. Our walk took us from the Sutherland entrance (off of Walnut Blvd.) to Shell Ridge, taking the road to the right past Bramhall Pond, up the hill to Ginder Gap, up the narrow footpath to the crest of Shell Ridge, along the summit, down the switchback, near Indian Valley school, down the hill to Indian Pond and back to the entrance again. This is about a four-mile walk and will take about 90 minutes.

Common Name Color Scientific Name Peterson Refs. Where Seen
Sagebrush ------- Artemisia californica K87 Top of SR
Blue dicks Blue Dichelostemma pulchelum 352 Top of Shell Ridge (SR)
Blue Headed Gilia Blue Gilia capitata 360 Several on Ridge Top
Blue-eyed grass Blue Sisyrinchium bellum 350 Near Bramhall Pond
Wally baskets Blue Triteleia laxa 352 All over lower hills
California Poppies Orange Eschscholzia californica 224 Spread around
Red Owl’s clover Pink Orthocarpus purpurascens 240 One on top of SR
Tom Cat Clover Pink Trifolium tridentatum 320 Roadsides
Vetch, Winter Pink Vicia villosa 326 All over—yet to bloom
Arroyo Lupine Purple Lupinus succulentus 376 Top of SR
Chinese Houses Purple Collinsia heterophylla 234 Top of SR
Filaree—storksbill Purple Erodium moschatum 286 Roadsides
Geranium Purple Geranium dissectum 284 Roadsides
Larkspur Purple Delphinium decorum 356 Ridge Top Trail
Mint Purple Mentha arvensis 314 Ridge Top Trail-yet to bloom
Salsify, Common Purple Tragopogon porrifolius 384 Roadsides
Milk Thistle Red Silybum marianum 330 Back of Fossil Hill
Coast Paintbrush Red? Castilleja affinis 242 Top of SR
Bedstraw White Galium aparine 100 Ridge Top Trail
Miner’s lettuce White Montia perfoliata 294 Millions of blooms
Nemophylla, Meadow White Nemophila pedunculata 74 Almost gone by now
Peppergrass White Lempidium campestre 24 Roadsides
Poison Oak White Toxicodendron diversilobum K112 Top of SR
Shepherd's Needle White Scandix pecten-veneris 66 Trailsides
Shepherd’s purse White Capsella bursa-pastoris 26 Roadsides
Wavy leaf Soap Plant White Chlorogalum pomeridianum 12 All over
Woodland Star White Lithophragma affine 88 Top of SR
Yarrow, Common White Achillea millefolium 108 Ridge Top Trail
Buttercups Yellow Ranunculus eschscholtzii 154 Spread around
Common Sow Thistle Yellow Sonchus oleraceus 218 Top of SR
Fiddleneck Yellow Amsinckia intermedia 226 Top of SR
Lotus, Birdsfoot Yellow Lotus corniculatus 180 Roadsides
Mule Ears, Green Yellow Wyethia glabra 184 Top of SR
Mustard Yellow Brassica geniculata 140 Spread around
Pineapple Weed Yellow Matricaria matricarioides 210 Middle of all roads
Telegraph Weed Yellow Heterotheca grandiflora 214 Ridge Top Trail

(1) Peterson's "Pacific States Wildflowers"
(2) Keater, "Plants of the East Bay Parks