Hillside walk, 24 April 2017

A sure sign that we are in mid to late spring is that all three cactus species on the hillsides are in bloom simultaneously: mesa prickly pear (Opuntia x vaseyi) in the Lida Street horseshoe bend, valley cholla (Cylindropuntia californica) on the south hillside, and the non-native mission prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) on the north hillside.

Other signs of mid spring are the first flowers of golden stars (Bloomeria crocea) on the west hillside and the widespread deerweed (Acmispon glaber var. glaber).

Some species appear to have flowers continuing beyond the usual, such as blue dicks (Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum), which continues to be prolific in many places, although some flowers are old. We also continue to have California suncup (Camissoniopsis bistorta) in multiple places ranging from the north to the south hillsides, mostly now with single flowers at the top of long leafy stems, many of the stems being several inches high.

Morning glory

Pacific orangetip

Pacific orangetip

Bush monkey flower

Caterpillar phacelia

California primrose

Mission prickly-pear

Wild hyacinth

Narrow-leaf milkweed

Vasey's prickly pear

Valley cholla


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