BACKBONE TREK
LIST OF BLOOMING WILDFLOWERS IDENTIFIED

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, we usually count 140 to 150 species of wildflowers on the trail. 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.

The following list of the wildflowers sighted in bloom during the Backbone Trek 2009 is typical of the species to be seen on the hike. Some years are better than others (think rain and fire). By default the list 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 any of the column headers.


Date Name Genus & Species Trail
Day 1 Sticky monkey flower Mimulus aurantiacus Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Bush sunflower Encelia californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Yucca Hesperoyucca_whipplei Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Elderberry Sambucus_nigra_caerulea Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Black mustard Brassica nigra Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Horehound Marrubium vulgare Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Wild morning glory Calystegia macrostegia ssp cyclostegia Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Black sage Salvia mellifera Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Blue dicks Dichelostemma capitatum Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Golden yarrow Eriophyllum lanatum var.arachn. Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Slender tarweed Hemizonia fasciculata Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Coulter's lupine Lupinus sparsiflorus Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Catalina mariposa lily Calochortus catalinae Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Deerweed Lotus scoparius Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Chamise Adenostoma fasciculatum Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Indian paintbrush Castilleja affins Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Narrow-leaved bedstraw Galium angustifolium Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Stinging lupine Lupinus hirsutissimus Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Red-stem filaree Erodium cicutarium Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Caterpillar phacelia Phacelia cicutaria Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Bladderpod Isomeris arborea Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 White pincushion Chaenactis artemisiifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Popcorn flower large Cryptantha intermedia Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Mustard evening primrose Camissonia californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Collarless California poppy Eschscholzia caespitosa Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Parry's phacelia Phacelia parryi Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 California buckwheat Eriogonum fasciculatum Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Purple sage Salvia leucophylla Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 White yarrow Achillea millefolium Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Blue eyed grass Sisyrinchium bellum Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Rigid hedge nettle Stachys bullata Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Indian pink Silene laciniata Pt. Mugu State Park; Ray Miller Trail
Day 1 Yellow star thistle Centaurea melitensis Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Yellow monkey flower Mimulus brevipes Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Wishbone bush Mirabilis californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Squaw spurge Chamaesyce melanadenia Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Hollyleaf cherry Prunus ilicifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Purple nightshade Solanum xanti Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Common groundsel Senecio vulgaris Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Woolly blue curls Trichostema lanatum Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Cliff-aster Malacothrix saxatilis Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Bush lupine Lupinus albifrons Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 California everlasting Gnaphalium californicum Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Silver puffs Uropappus lindleyi Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Bush mallow Malacothamnus fasciculatus Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Prickly phlox Leptodactylon californicum Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Yellow mariposa Lily Calochortus clavatus Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Turkish rugging Chorizanthe staticoides Pt. Mugu State Park; Overlook Trail
Day 1 Slim Aster Aster subulatus Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
Day 1 Canyon sunflower Venegasia carpesioides Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
Day 1 Two-tone everlasting Gnaphalium bicolor Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
Day 1 Eucrypta Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
Day 1 Golden stars Bloomeria crocea Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
Day 1 Birdfoot trefoil Lotus corniculatus Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
Day 1 California Wild Rose Rosa californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
Day 1 Yellow Sweet Clover Melilotus indica Pt. Mugu State Park; Wood Canyon Vista Trail
Day 1 California black walnut Juglans californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Blue larkspur Delphinium parryi Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Virgin's bower Clematis lasiantha Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Pineapple weed Chamomilla suaveolens Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Italian thistle Carduus pycnocephalus Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Common fiddleneck Amsinckia intermedia Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Curly dock Rumex crispus Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Chinese houses Collinsia heterophylla Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Fiesta flower Pholistoma auritum Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Purple clarkia Clarkia purpurea Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Wild radish Raphanus sativus Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Mule fat Baccharis salicifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Cheeseweed Malva parviflora Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Goldfields Lasthenia californica Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Tree tobacco Nicotiana glauca Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 1 Elegant clarkia Clarkia unguiculata Pt. Mugu State Park; Big Sycamore Canyon
Day 2 Feltleaf everlasting Gnaphalium canescens Pt. Mugu State Park; Blue Canyon
Day 2 Western virgin's bower Clematis ligusticifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Blue Canyon
Day 2 Crimson pitcher sage Salvia spathacea Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
Day 2 Poison oak Toxicodendron diversilobum Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
Day 2 Sticky madia Madia gracilis Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
Day 2 Large-flowered phacelia Phacelia grandiflora Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
Day 2 Speckled clarkia Clarkia cylindrica Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
Day 2 Heart-leaved penstemon Keckiella cordifolia Pt. Mugu State Park; Boney Trail
Day 2 Peninsular onion Allium peninsulare Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Minute popcorn flower Cryptantha micromeres Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Shiny lomatium Lomatium lucidum Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Hedge mustard Sisymbrium officinale Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Miner's lettuce Claytonia perfoliata Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Chaparral pea Pickeringia montana Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Cobweb thistle Cirsium occidentale Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Purple owl's clover Castilleja exserta Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Windmill pink Silene gallica Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Southern tauschia Tauschia arguta Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Skullcap Scutellaria tuberosa Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Pitcher sage Lepechinia fragrans Pt. Mugu State Park; Chamberlain Trail
Day 2 Lance-leaf live-forever Dudleya lanceolata Circle X Ranch NPS; Sandstone Peak Trail
Day 2 Yellow pincushion Chaenactis glabriuscula Circle X Ranch NPS; Sandstone Peak Trail
Day 3 Red-skinned onion Allium haematochiton Circle X Ranch NPS; Sandstone Peak Trail
Day 3 Scarlet pimpernel Anagallis arvensis Circle X Ranch NPS; Sandstone Peak Trail
Day 3 Toyon Heteromeles arbutifolia Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 Foothill penstemon Penstemon heterophyllus Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 Common vervain Verbena lasiostachys Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 Greenbark ceanothus Ceanothus spinosus Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 Sugar bush Rhus ovata Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 Mountain dandilion Agoseris grandiflora Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 Canyon sweet pea Lathyrus vestitus Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 Sticky cinquefoil Potentilla glandulosa Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 Bur-Chervil Anthriscus caucalis Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 California blackberry Rubus ursinus Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 Whispering bells Emmenanthe penduliflora Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 Slender sunflower Helianthus gracilentus Trancas Canyon Backbone Trail
Day 3 California poppy Eschscholzia californica Zuma Ridge Motorway
Day 3 Meadow rue Thalictrum fendleri Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Creek monkey flower Mimulus guttatus Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Fairy Lantern Globe Lily Calochortus albus Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Globe gilia Gilia capitata Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Dove lupine Lupinus bicolor Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Woolly lomatium Lomatium dasycarpum Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Chocolate lily Fritillaria biflora Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry Ribes speciosum Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Mountain mahogany Cercocarpus betuloides Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Woodland star Lithophragma affine Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Checker bloom Sidalcea malviflora Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Spanish broom Spartium junceum Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Chaparral honeysuckle Lonicera subspicata Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 Coast figwort Scrophularia californica Upper Zuma Canyon Trail
Day 3 California thistle Cirsium occidentale var californium Newton Canyon Trail
Day 3 Sticky phacelia Phacelia viscida Newton Canyon Trail
Day 4 Tree poppy Dendromecon rigida Latigo Canyon Trail
Day 4 Scarlet bugler Penstemon centranthifolius Upper Solstice Caynon Trail
Day 4 Rose snapdragon Antirrhinum multiflorum Upper Solstice Caynon Trail
Day 4 Small evening primrose Camissonia micrantha Upper Solstice Caynon Trail
Day 4 Silver lotus Lotus argophyllus Mesa Peak Motorway
Day 4 Yerba santa Eriodictyon crassifolium Mesa Peak Motorway
Day 4 Telegraph weed Heterotheca grandiflora Mesa Peak Motorway
Day 4 Woolly aster Lessingia filaginifolia Mesa Peak Motorway
Day 4 English plantain Plantago lanceolata Mesa Peak Motorway
Day 4 Spanish clover Lotus purshianus Mesa Peak Motorway
Day 4 Large-flowered lotus Lotus grandiflorus Mesa Peak Motorway
Day 4 Coffeeberry Rhamnus californica Mesa Peak Motorway
Day 5 Milk thistle Silybum marianum Malibu Creek S.P. Piuma Ridge Trail
Day 5 Spring vetch Vicia sativa Malibu Creek S.P. Piuma Ridge Trail
Day 5 Periwinkle Vinca major Malibu Creek S.P. Piuma Ridge Trail
Day 5 Bull thistle Cirsium vulgare Malibu Creek S.P. Piuma Ridge Trail
Day 5 Annual bedstraw Galium aparine Malibu Creek S.P. Piuma Ridge Trail
Day 5 Showy penstemon Penstemon spectabilis Malibu Creek S.P. Piuma Ridge Trail
Day 6 Rock-rose Helianthemum scoparium Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
Day 6 Long-beaked filaree Erodium botrys Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
Day 6 Tomcat clover Trifolium willdenovii Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
Day 6 Bristly ox-tongue Picris echioides Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
Day 6 California buttercup Ranunculus californicus Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
Day 6 Oyster plant Tragopogon porrifolius Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
Day 6 Blow-wives Achillea mollis Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
Day 6 Kern brodiaea Brodiaea terrestris Topanga State Sector; Hondo Canyon Trail
Day 6 Hedypnois Hedypnois cretica Topanga Musch Camp
Day 6 Gum plant Grindelia camporum var. bracteosum Topanga State Park; Dead Horse Trail
Day 7 White snapdragon Antirrhinum coulterianum Topanga SP Musch Trail
Day 7 Chaparral broomrape Orobanche bulbosa Topanga Rogers Road
Day 7 Violet snapdragon Antirrhinum nuttallianum Topanga Rogers Road
Day 7 Castor bean Ricinus communis Will Rogers Park; Rogers Road Trail
Day 7 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.researchlearningcenter.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.