Where to Catch the Best Wildflowers
Get Full-Bloom Fever on Anacapa Island, Guadalupe Dunes, and Figueroa Mountain
Monday, February 13, 2017
With more than 10 inches of much-needed rain soaking Santa Barbara County, it’s time to start thinking about where to go for what could potentially be a spectacular wildflower bloom.
The last great bloom was back in 2010, so it’s been a long dry spell, that California drought hanging tough across Santa Barbara’s diversified landscapes. Nevertheless, water is life, so here’s a go-to list of wildflower hotspots, a fleeting burst of color that will surely splash across the islands, mountains, sand dunes, and front-country canyons come late March into April.
Anacapa Island: There will be island flora blooming across the entire northern chain, but for some concentrated color, head to the second smallest isle in the Channel Islands National Park. The bright, yellow flowers of the California native coreopsis can be seen from miles away while you’re being transported by the Island Packers ferry. Mixed in with the annual herb are Indian paintbrush, blue dicks, and yarrow.
By Chuck Graham
Small though it is, Anacapa Island offers some of the biggest and best wildflower displays anywhere in Channel Islands National Park.
Guadalupe – Nipomo Sand Dunes National Wildlife Refuge: Hidden in the West Coast’s largest, most intact coastal dune ecosystem are wildflowers that endure stinging sand and howling northwest winds, but eventually they help fortify the shifting dunes in northern Santa Barbara County. Look for beach sand verbena, silver lupine, beach morning glory, beach evening primrose, and Indian paintbrush. Occasionally found in the deep dune troughs are coreopsis
By Chuck Graham
Rare plants like these silver lupine help fortify the shifting dunes in northern Santa Barbara County along with beach sand verbena, beach morning glory, beach evening primrose, and Indian paintbrush.
When it’s going off, Figueroa Mountain and its neighbor, Grass Mountain, are some of the most spectacular displays of wildflowers in California.