(This article is part of the California Today newsletter. Sign up to get it delivered to your inbox.)
“Driving to Warner Springs, the hairy ceanothus is in eye-popping full bloom along I-15 between Fallbrook and Temecula,” Joe Spano said.
Mr. Spano, the Emmy award-winning actor, is the voice of the Thomas Payne Foundation’s wildflower hotline (yes, a real hotline!), which offers free weekly updates every Friday from March through May, on the best locations for viewing wildflowers in Southern and Central California.
With spring in full swing, and the idyllic super blooms like the ones that took place in 2017 still in people’s minds, you may be wondering how the state’s wildflowers will fare this year.
images of the super bloom in 2019.]
If you’re on the hunt for those native blooms and curious about where to start, the answer isn’t always set in stone. With California’s wide swath of microclimates and dozens of factors that can affect whether there is a bloom or not, Mr. Schreiner said it could be hard to pinpoint exactly which canyon or area is certain to put on a show. But even if you’re not guaranteed those Instagram-worthy, poppies-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see kind of blooms, don’t be deterred.
“If you limit yourself to that, as what you’re looking for in wildflowers you are going to miss so much,” he said. “We have just this amazing diverse array of California native plants that all put on a show, really, throughout the year.”
One way to stay on top of where wildflowers are blooming is, of course the wildflower hotline. There are also other resources, Mr. Schreiner said, like DesertUSA.org. It includes information on nearby states as well, but also keeps track of blooms in Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley and the Mojave National Preserve, to name a few.
on track to lift coronavirus restrictions, we’re still very much in a pandemic. Mr. Schreiner recommends checking with the city or park you’re planning to visit, but count on wearing a mask (some places require it, while others do so only if you’re passing people) and keeping your distance from others on the trail.
Beyond the pandemic, there are also other no-nos if you’re heading to see some blooms. Staying on the trail is critical, Mr. Schreiner said.
“When these blooms are coming up, these are these plants’ shot to make it to next year,” he said. “So if you pick them, if you trample them, if you lay on them to get a really cool picture for your Facebook friends, you may look cool but you’re really destroying the habitat.”