Backbone Trail Trek
Wildflowers in the Santa Monica Mountains


In the spring, the Santa Monica Mountains turns into a virtual garden of wildflowers. Visitors are often delightfully surprised at the diversity of the flora in the mountains. On the Backbone Trek 2009, we were fortunate to count over 150 species of wildflowers on the trail. The rainfall this year is at or near normal, so we should have another spectacular wildflower season. For those hikers with more than a casual in interest in the wildflowers, we recommend the following guide: Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains, by Milt McAuley, 2nd Edition, 1996, Canyon Publishing Company. This book will be available for sale at the Backbone Trek at a discounted price of $10.00.

A list of the wildflowers sighted in bloom during the Backbone Trek 2009 follows. By default it is sorted by the order the flower was first encountered on the trek. You may also sort by common name, scientific name, or the section of trail where it was first seen by selecting the option and choosing "Re-Sort List".

BACKBONE TREK 2009
LIST OF BLOOMING WILDFLOWERS IDENTIFIED
May 2 - 9, 2009


Sorted by:          

Sequence*Common NameScientific NameSection of Trail
1-Sun Sticky monkey flower Mimulus aurantiacus Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
2-Sun Bush sunflower Encelia californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
3-Sun Yucca Yucca whipplei Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
4-Sun Elderberry Sambucus mexicana Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
5-Sun Black mustard Brassica nigra Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
6-Sun Horehound Marrubium vulgare Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
7-Sun Wild morning glory Calystegia macrostegia ssp cyclostegia Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
8-Sun Black sage Salvia mellifera Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
9-Sun Blue dicks Dichelostemma capitatum Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
10-Sun Golden yarrow Eriophyllum lanatum var.arachn. Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
11-Sun Slender tarweed Hemizonia fasciculata Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
12-Sun Coulter's lupine Lupinus sparsiflorus Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
13-Sun Catalina mariposa lily Calochortus catalinae Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
14-Sun Deerweed Lotus scoparius Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
15-Sun Chamise Adenostoma fasciculatum Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
16-Sun Indian paintbrush Castilleja affins Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
17-Sun Narrow-leaved bedstraw Galium angustifolium Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
18-Sun Stinging lupine Lupinus hirsutissimus Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
19-Sun Red-stem filaree Erodium cicutarium Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
20-Sun Caterpillar phacelia Phacelia cicutaria Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
21-Sun Bladderpod Isomeris arborea Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
22-Sun White pincushion Chaenactis artemisiifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
23-Sun Popcorn flower, large Cryptantha intermedia Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
24-Sun Mustard evening primrose Camissonia californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
25-Sun Collarless California poppy Eschscholzia caespitosa Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
26-Sun Parry's phacelia Phacelia parryi Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
27-Sun California buckwheat Eriogonum fasciculatum Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
28-Sun Purple sage Salvia leucophylla Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
29-Sun White yarrow Achillea millefolium Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
30-Sun Blue eyed grass Sisyrinchium bellum Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
31-Sun Rigid hedge nettle Stachys bullata Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
32-Sun Indian pink Silene laciniata Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
33-Sun Yellow star thistle Centaurea melitensis Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
34-Sun Yellow monkey flower Mimulus brevipes Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
35-Sun Wishbone bush Mirabilis californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
36-Sun Squaw spurge Chamaesyce melanadenia Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
37-Sun Hollyleaf cherry Prunus ilicifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
38-Sun Purple nightshade Solanum xanti Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
39-Sun Common groundsel Senecio vulgaris Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
40-Sun Woolly blue curls Trichostema lanatum Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
41-Sun Cliff-aster Malacothrix saxatilis Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
42-Sun Bush lupine Lupinus albifrons Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
43-Sun California everlasting Gnaphalium californicum Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
44-Sun Silver puffs Uropappus lindleyi Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
45-Sun Bush mallow Malacothamnus fasciculatus Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
46-Sun Prickly phlox Leptodactylon californicum Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
47-Sun Yellow mariposa Lily Calochortus clavatus Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
48-Sun Turkish rugging Chorizanthe staticoides Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
49-Sun Slim Aster Aster subulatus Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
50-Sun Canyon sunflower Venegasia carpesioides Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
51-Sun Two-tone everlasting Gnaphalium bicolor Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
52-Sun Eucrypta Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
53-Sun Golden stars Bloomeria crocea Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
54-Sun Birdfoot trefoil Lotus corniculatus Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
55-Sun California Wild Rose Rosa californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
56-Sun Yellow Sweet Clover Melilotus indica Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
57-Sun California black walnut Juglans californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
58-Sun Blue larkspur Delphinium parryi Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
59-Sun Virgin's bower Clematis lasiantha Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
60-Sun Pineapple weed Chamomilla suaveolens Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
61-Sun Italian thistle Carduus pycnocephalus Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
62-Sun Common fiddleneck Amsinckia intermedia Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
63-Sun Curly dock Rumex crispus Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
64-Sun Chinese houses Collinsia heterophylla Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
65-Sun Fiesta flower Pholistoma auritum Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
66-Sun Purple clarkia Clarkia purpurea Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
67-Sun Wild radish Raphanus sativus Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
68-Sun Mule fat Baccharis salicifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
69-Sun Cheeseweed Malva parviflora Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
70-Sun Goldfields Lasthenia californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
71-Sun Tree tobacco Nicotiana glauca Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
72-Sun Elegant clarkia Clarkia unguiculata Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
73-Mon Feltleaf everlasting Gnaphalium canescens Pt. Mugu State Park; Blue Canyon
74-Mon Western virgin's bower Clematis ligusticifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Blue Canyon
75-Mon Crimson pitcher sage Salvia spathacea Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
76-Mon Poison oak Toxicodendron diversilobum Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
77-Mon Sticky madia Madia gracilis Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
78-Mon Large-flowered phacelia Phacelia grandiflora Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
79-Mon Speckled clarkia Clarkia cylindrica Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
80-Mon Heart-leaved penstemon Keckiella cordifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
81-Mon Peninsular onion Allium peninsulare Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
82-Mon Minute popcorn flower Cryptantha micromeres Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
83-Mon Shiny lomatium Lomatium lucidum Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
84-Mon Hedge mustard Sisymbrium officinale Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
85-Mon Miner's lettuce Claytonia perfoliata Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
86-Mon Chaparral pea Pickeringia montana Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
87-Mon Cobweb thistle Cirsium occidentale Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
88-Mon Purple owl's clover Castilleja exserta Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
89-Mon Windmill pink Silene gallica Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
90-Mon Southern tauschia Tauschia arguta Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
91-Mon Skullcap Scutellaria tuberosa Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
92-Mon Pitcher sage Lepechinia fragrans Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
93-Mon Lance-leaf live-forever Dudleya lanceolata Circle X Ranch NPS; Sandstone Peak Trail
94-Mon Yellow pincushion Chaenactis glabriuscula Circle X Ranch NPS; Sandstone Peak Trail
95-Tue Red-skinned onion Allium haematochiton Circle X Ranch NPS; Sandstone Peak Trail
96-Tue Scarlet pimpernel Anagallis arvensis Circle X Ranch NPS; Sandstone Peak Trail
97-Tue Toyon Heteromeles arbutifolia Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
98-Tue Foothill penstemon Penstemon heterophyllus Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
99-Tue Common vervain Verbena lasiostachys Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
100-Tue Greenbark ceanothus Ceanothus spinosus Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
101-Tue Sugar bush Rhus ovata Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
102-Tue Mountain dandilion Agoseris grandiflora Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
103-Tue Canyon sweet pea Lathyrus vestitus Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
104-Tue Sticky cinquefoil Potentilla glandulosa Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
105-Tue Bur-Chervil Anthriscus caucalis Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
106-Tue California blackberry Rubus ursinus Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
107-Tue Whispering bells Emmenanthe penduliflora Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
108-Tue Slender sunflower Helianthus gracilentus Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
109-Tue California poppy Eschscholzia californica Zuma Ridge Motorway
110-Tue Meadow rue Thalictrum fendleri Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
111-Tue Creek monkey flower Mimulus guttatus Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
112-Tue Fairy Lantern, Globe lily Calochortus albus Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
113-Tue Globe gilia Gilia capitata Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
114-Tue Dove lupine Lupinus bicolor Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
115-Tue Woolly lomatium Lomatium dasycarpum Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
116-Tue Chocolate lily Fritillaria biflora Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
117-Tue Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry Ribes speciosum Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
118-Tue Mountain mahogany Cercocarpus betuloides Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
119-Tue Woodland star Lithophragma affine Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
120-Tue Checker bloom Sidalcea malviflora Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
121-Tue Spanish broom Spartium junceum Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
122-Tue Chaparral honeysuckle Lonicera subspicata Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
123-Tue Coast figwort Scrophularia californica Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
124-Tue California thistle Cirsium occidentale var californium Newton Canyon Trail
125-Tue Sticky phacelia Phacelia viscida Newton Canyon Trail
126-Wed Tree poppy Dendromecon rigida Latigo Canyon Trail
127-Wed Scarlet bugler Penstemon centranthifolius Upper Solstice Caynon Trail
128-Wed Rose snapdragon Antirrhinum multiflorum Upper Solstice Caynon Trail
129-Wed Small evening primrose Camissonia micrantha Upper Solstice Caynon Trail
130-Wed Silver lotus Lotus argophyllus Mesa Peak Motorway
131-Wed Yerba santa Eriodictyon crassifolium Mesa Peak Motorway
132-Wed Telegraph weed Heterotheca grandiflora Mesa Peak Motorway
133-Wed Woolly aster Lessingia filaginifolia Mesa Peak Motorway
134-Wed English plantain Plantago lanceolata Mesa Peak Motorway
135-Wed Spanish clover Lotus purshianus Mesa Peak Motorway
136-Wed Large-flowered lotus Lotus grandiflorus Mesa Peak Motorway
137-Wed Coffeeberry Rhamnus californica Mesa Peak Motorway
138-Thu Milk thistle Silybum marianum Malibu Creek S.P., Piuma Ridge Trail
139-Thu Spring vetch Vicia sativa Malibu Creek S.P., Piuma Ridge Trail
140-Thu Periwinkle Vinca major Malibu Creek S.P., Piuma Ridge Trail
141-Thu Bull thistle Cirsium vulgare Malibu Creek S.P., Piuma Ridge Trail
142-Thu Annual bedstraw Galium aparine Malibu Creek S.P., Piuma Ridge Trail
143-Thu Showy penstemon Penstemon spectabilis Malibu Creek S.P., Piuma Ridge Trail
144-Fri Rock-rose Helianthemum scoparium Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
145-Fri Long-beaked filaree Erodium botrys Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
146-Fri Tomcat clover Trifolium willdenovii Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
147-Fri Bristly ox-tongue Picris echioides Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
148-Fri California buttercup Ranunculus californicus Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
149-Fri Oyster plant Tragopogon porrifolius Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
150-Fri Blow-wives Achillea mollis Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
151-Fri Kern brodiaea Brodiaea terrestris Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
152-Fri Hedypnois Hedypnois cretica Topanga, Musch Camp
153-Fri Gum plant Grindelia camporum var. bracteosum Topanga State Park; Dead Horse Trail
154-Sat White snapdragon Antirrhinum coulterianum Topanga, Musch Trail
155-Sat Chaparral broomrape Orobanche bulbosa Topanga, Rogers Road
156-Sat Violet snapdragon Antirrhinum nuttallianum Topanga, Rogers Road
157-Sat Castor bean Ricinus communis Will Rogers Park; Rogers Road Trail
158-Sat Russian thistle Salsola tragus Will Rogers Park; Rogers Road Trail

* Sequence column denotes the order and day the plant was first encountered on the Trek.

Milt McAuley's 1996 edition of Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains was the primary reference, with the help of the following website to see more views of the flowers and a few updates: http://www.smmflowers.org/bloom/bloom.htm

We listed only those plants that were blooming and left out the plants that we could not identify. Comparing the list with previous years, we can see several more flowers that we must have overlooked on 2009's trek.