Help Me Identify these wild flowers


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Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 30, 2010 - 09:46am PT
I am terrible at flower recognition and worse at remembering the names. Couple this with the fact that most ident guides SUCK with crappy photos that don't allow for proper identification and well... you know my pain.\

I tried to name some of them but frankly I'm not optimistic. These are northern Cal interior coast range flowers, all taken in March time frame from the same general location.


Vaca Mountains, northern California, interior Coast Ranges.

Sunflower - Gray Mule Ears

White Yarrow

Poison Oak


Stinky Monkey Flower

California Poppy

Coast Paintbrush (or is this clover?)

Stink Piggies

I think those little blossoms are part of the chamise plant they are located in...


Buttercup??? Poppy? I'm confused

Itchy just looking at it, eh?

Western Wallflower

Western Wallflower

Blue Dicks and paint brush

More paintbrush?

Buckbrush (ceanothus)

Lomatium and blue dicks

Popcorn flowers and blue dicks

Stinky Monkey Flower


Bush Lupine

Foothill Phacelia, blue dicks and poppies.

Whatever their names, sure are pertty!

These weret taken a year earlier, plus 3 days (Mar 28, 2010, Mar 25, 2009)

Popcorn flowers and blue dicks?

Popcorn flowers and poppies.

Poppies and popcorn flowers.


Poppies and blue dicks.


Mar 30, 2010 - 11:18am PT
the first unidentified one is "sticky monkey flower"

great name eh?

Social climber
chica from chico, I don't claim to be a daisy
Mar 30, 2010 - 11:30am PT
The purple ones in most of the pictures are ....Blue dicks..... Dichelostemma capitatum

The white caterpillar looking one is a...Foothill Phacelia.

In picture above the redbuds ....The white flowers mixed with the poppies are. ...popcorn flowers

The Lilic looking bush is a ..Ceanothus.

The yellow plant below the Ceanothus is not a Yarrow, looks more like a Lomatium

Thanks, Purdy pictures , It's a good wildflower year in Callie..

A good book to own..Wildflowers of the Sierra Nevada & Central Valley, Laird Blackwell.

Social climber
chica from chico, I don't claim to be a daisy
Mar 30, 2010 - 12:10pm PT
Dingus, where do you access that area ?

EDIT, Cool... Thanks!!..
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2010 - 12:12pm PT
matisse and nita, THANKS!

Parcel owned by UC Davis, the rest is BLM land. Its close by to me relatively speaking, a place to work the thighs mid-winter.

By end of April... too hot!


Seattle, WA
Mar 30, 2010 - 12:28pm PT
The sunflower looks like it could be an arrow leaf balsamroot?

Notable in that the tap root and young leaves were eaten by the native people of the columbia plateau (and, I assume, other areas)...we get thousands of them every year in the cascades.

Edit: Just did some googleing and i guess the way to tell the difference between mule's ear and arrow leaf is the shape of the leaf.

Social climber
chica from chico, I don't claim to be a daisy
Mar 30, 2010 - 01:27pm PT
ryanb, i also assumed it was a Balsamroot plant..... Balsamroots plants have a shinier look, arrow shaped and smaller flowerheads.

mules ears leaves are quite big , and have soft little hairs..not shiny, and bigger flowers

Trad climber
Mar 30, 2010 - 02:31pm PT
Nice pics. Thanks.

Chamise - The white blossoms are Cudweed or Everlasting (Gnaphalium californicum) I think. Chamise has 5 petaled flowers like others in the rose family.

Buttercup??Poppy??: Poppy. Poppies lack sepals when opened, those little green bracts under the petals. Plus the orange poppies (Papaver spp) have 4 petals.

Buckbrush: This is likely Deerbrush, in the Ceonothus genus as is Buckbrush. Both in the Buckthorn family, the Rhamnaceae.

Yarrow: Biscuitroot, Lomatiun spp.

Don't know either of these: white - the compound leaves and long anthers suggest a Phacelia or other member of the waterleaf family. blue - blue dicks or ookow, or blue eyed grass maybe.

A good book is A Field Guide to Pacific States Wildflowers by Niehaus and Ripper - a Peterson field guide.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Why'djya leave the ketchup on the table?
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2010 - 02:35pm PT
Mucho gracias my friends. Making progress, thanks!


Social climber
chica from chico, I don't claim to be a daisy
Mar 30, 2010 - 07:06pm PT
Cliffhanger, It is not a maybe .. i can tell you with complete certainty i see Blue dicks, Poppies, Phacelia, popcorn flowers, Balsamroot,...

My husband is also a smartass flower dude, i will have him take a peek...

Dingus, the pic below the Lomatiun... is not popcorn flower...It may be a spent Phacelia, can't tell.
Many people refer to Ceanothus as California Lilac.
Timid TopRope

Social climber
Paradise, CA
Mar 30, 2010 - 08:22pm PT
Smart ass flower dude here with my burden of flower knowledge to unload on the unweary.

I'm too lazy to learn the nomenclature of definitive field guides but if you want to cut to the chase, go get a copy of Laird Blacknell's Wildflowers of the Sierra Neveda and Central Valley, Lone Pine Press. Great photos, well organized and his enthusiasm is on par with John Muir. Speaking of John, I also recommend John Muir Law's Natural History of the Sierra Nevada.

Here goes. Most of this has been pointed out already.

Pic 1 and 2 probably are Balsamroot which is closely related to Mules Ear's (Wyethia) as it flowers in early spring and grows lower. Mules ears are more mid to high elevation.

You may want to label the monkey flower as Sticky rather than Stinky but maybe it does stink.

Poppy vs Buttercup, Poppy

Paintbrush vs Clover, Paintbrush. Note; botanists have recently lumped many plants with the name clover in them into the paintbrush family, Castilleja.

The photo labeled Popcorn flower & Blue dicks is probably a white phacelia and blue dicks.

Nita and I walked in wildflowers all weekend and now have a burden of photos. Thanks for sharing yours,


Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Mar 30, 2010 - 08:39pm PT
Whatever they are called, they are gorgeous, except for the poison oak photos, which make my skin crawl!

I just drove back from Vegas thru the Tehachapi area yeasterday. The rolling green hills with swaths of purple and orange were so beautiful...

Social climber
Santa Cruz Mountains/Los Gatos
Mar 30, 2010 - 08:41pm PT

Trad climber
northern CA
Mar 30, 2010 - 09:37pm PT
A nice resource for the region is:


Not great as a general field guide but it's got black & white diagrams of the more common flora and fauna in the area, and complete lists in the appendices.

There's also some good information on this page (can be linked through from the site you posted earlier):

For example, a blooming calendar
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Apr 1, 2010 - 02:46am PT

Trad climber
the middle of CA
May 3, 2013 - 01:24am PT
Credit: limpingcrab
leaves in bottom of picture
leaves in bottom of picture
Credit: limpingcrab

At 1,600 ft. in sequoia national park.

Anyone? I only have these two pics and I can't figure it out.

Social climber
May 3, 2013 - 01:30am PT
yellow sego lily

EDIT: Sego lilies have three petals.

My arithmetic skills were a bit off last night...doh....

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
May 3, 2013 - 01:53am PT
Limpingcrab & Crunch....I don't know this flower, but pretty sure it's not a Sego lily.
Calochortus, have only 3 petals and 3 sepals.....

Hey ..... Mr Hartouni, ask Miss Debbie to take a look at the above flower...

Edit~ Ed, thanks...I think you are on the right track. (-;
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 3, 2013 - 02:23am PT
she's asleep right now...
I'll ask her in the morning...

my guess was some sort of poppy... but I couldn't match it up on Calflora in Tulare Co. the leaves aren't right...

Stephen McCabe

Trad climber
near Santa Cruz, CA
May 3, 2013 - 02:57am PT
Appears to be Papaver heterophyllum. WInd poppy.
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