Wild Wednesday Wildflowers of the California Coast
Posted by E.G.D. on July 18, 2012
I cannot believe it took me this long to think of beach wildflowers for a Wild Wednesday post! Until today, I think the only flower article we’ve featured was Jody’s about ice plants, which are an invasive species (maybe you can call them feral at this point, but certainly not wild!). Isn’t it crazy the things we don’t think of… until we do? I was wandering around the world wide web, and I was inspired to feature beach wildflowers when I stumbled upon John Raithel and Linda Herbert’s incredible pictographic guide to Wildflowers of the Central California Coast. If you enjoy coastal flora at all, you really must swing by their page. It’s basically a spotter’s guide! I plan to print it when next I’m on the central California coast to see which ones are in bloom at that time of year. I assume most of the flowers shown are spring and summer occurrences, but you never know.
Incidentally, the Ventura Botanical Gardens (located in southern California), prints and sells a book called Beach Wildflowers of the California Transitional Coast, and the cover features many of the same flowers as as the website mentioned above. Clearly, the south and central coasts have a lot in common.
Now, if you’re a scholar and connoisseur and you want a really, amazingly comprehensive look at California coastal wildflowers, one photographer’s website takes the cake, though the main site is not exactly visually inclined (or even visually appealing). The site I am referring to is David Senesac’s California Coastal Wildflower Close-ups Species Latin Name Index Table. From this photographer’s table, you can view close-up images of 94 coastal wildflowers, complete with each flower’s Latin name, common name, “links to the University of California Berkeley’s Jepson Flora Project species treatment out of the Jepson Manual that includes California range maps,” and the specific location where the actual photo was taken by Mr. Sensac. Wow! Let me tell you, the photographs are absolutely stellar, though you have to click to see each one, and the information can’t be beat. The old saying about “you can’t judge a book by its cover” clearly applies to websites’ front pages, as well.
I must say, today’s article has been a bit of an enlightening experience for me. I now know where to find a wealth of information about California coastal wildflowers, and the sites I found have piqued my interest. Wildflower spotting will add a whole new dimension to my next trip to the coast of California!
Happy beach-going- E.G.D.