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Wildflowers in Shell Ridge

May 20, 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.

      (1) (2)(3)  
Common Name Color Scientific Name Peterson Refs. Where Seen
Sagebrush ------- Artemisia californica K87 Top of SR
Wally baskets Blue Triteleia laxa 352 A few dried ones
California Poppies Orange Eschscholzia californica 224 Spread around
Curly Dock Pink Rumex crispus 276 Lower fields
Red stem Storks Bill Pink Erodium cicutarium 286 Roads
Vetch, Winter Pink Vicia villosa 326 All over—yet to bloom
Whorled Dock Pink Rumex conglomeratus 276 Near Ginder Gap
Canada Thistle Purple Cirsium arvense 328 Road Sides
Elegant Brodiaea Purple Brodiaea elegans 258 Saw one plant!
Elegant Clarkia Purple Clarkia unguiculata 272 Many thousands--all over
Filaree—storksbill Purple Erodium moschatum 286 Roadsides
Geranium Purple Geranium dissectum 284 Saw one plant!
Mint Purple Mentha arvensis 314 All over ridge top--many
Salsify, Common Purple Tragopogon porrifolius 384 Roadsides--hundreds
Slender Clarkia Purple Clarkia gracilis 272 Saw one plant--switchback
Bedstraw White Galium aparine 100 Ridge Top Trail???
Buckeye White Aesculus californica K48 At their best right now
Morning Glory White ????????? 70 Few on Lower road sides
Poison Oak White Toxicodendron diversilobum K112 Top of SR
Shepherd's Needle White Scandix pecten-veneris 66 Trailsides--perhaps?
Wavy leaf Soap Plant White Chlorogalum pomeridianum 12 All over-blooms in PM
Yarrow, Common White Achillea millefolium 108 Ridge Top Trail
Bellardia White/Pink Belardia trixago 310 Saw one plant!
Common Sow Thistle Yellow Sonchus oleraceus 218 Road Sides
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
Sweet Fennel Yellow Foeniculum vulgare 170 Lower road sides
Telegraph Weed Yellow Heterotheca grandiflora 214 Ridge Top Trail
Yellow Star Thistle Yellow Centaurea solstitialis 210 Ridge Top--a few

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