Hillside walk, 22 May 2017

The jewel at this time of year on the hillside is the sapphire woolly star (Eriastrum apphirihum), and today it is in bloom on the mid north hillside. It's a sure sign that warm days have arrived. Somehow it seems to love hot, dry weather.

And now the white sage (Salvia apiana) is is full bloom. It always looks spectacular although it doesn't last a long time. On the north hillside it exists in several stands, distributed from the lower to the upper areas.

While today is certainly warm, the recent nights have been cool. Perhaps this is why the four o'clock (Mirabilis laevis var. crassifolia) is blooming in many parts of the hillside, whereas last week it was represented by just an occasional isolated flower. The story is similar with the strigose lotus (Acmispon strigosus), which now has a good number of flowers on the mid north hillside.

A surprise today was to find a single specimen of California suncup (Camissoniopsis bistorta) in canyon 6 with long leafy stems and several flowers. Prior to this discovery, it looked like the last of the flowers of this species, while widespread, had disappeared about three weeks ago.

Overall the spring bloom is fading, but we still have a good sprinkling of species in flower, albeit many being in small numbers.

California sun cup

Branching phacelia

Sapphire woolly star

Strigose lotus

Common muilla

White sage

American lotus

Mesa prickly pear

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