May - October observations not online.
2 November - 7 December observations: on Vernal Pool, S. Trans Preserve, Granite Loop and N. Lomas Trails; Waterline, Tenaja and Ranch Roads.
Plants blooming now are still those from last year's (2001-2002) growth. Next year's (the 2002-2003) bloom will begin around January, but at least four species will not bloom next year, no matter how much rainfall we get, because they were unable to set flower buds this year. (The four species are Eastwood manzanita, mission manzanita, sugar bush, and hoaryleaf ceanothus. Perhaps squawbush also falls into this category.)
Despite the almost complete absence of useful rainfall last year, somehow, someway, some members of most species have been able to produce at least some blooms. However, about 20% of all species essentially skipped their bloom this year, the total number of blooms is way down, and the length of time each species is in bloom is much decreased. As a result, the showiness of the bloom is much less than that of last year.
Peak bloom ended in late April. In many places, such as most of the Granite Loop Trail, no annual plants grew this year, leaving only the plant remnants from last year. See The 2002 Plant Display Vs. Time for the progress of the bloom so far in 2002, and a comparison with the 2001 bloom.
New species beginning their show recently (dates are when I first observed them; (1) means only a single plant was in bloom):
- 7 December: (none).
- 16 November: (none).
- 2 November: (none).
- 26 October: coast jepsonia (observation by Kay Madore).
There are currently 0 species not yet at full show, 5 species in full show, 8 species ending their show, and 133 species that are finished with their display this year. Of these, 17 species had fewer than 1% of their normal blooms; an additional 12 species did not bloom at all this year.
List of plants in bloom or displaying colorful seeds, fruit or leaves:
Best-guess overall summary (see caveat below) on 12/7:
Full: coast jepsonia, telegraph weed, bristly goldenaster, twiggy wreath, toyon (red berries).
Ending: long-stemmed buckwheat, wild heliotrope, California aster, sticky tarweed, San Diego tarweed, shortpod mustard, California poppy, mule fat.
Ended: knotweed, vinegar weed, sourclover, slender tarweed, California thistle (1), sow thistle, golden yarrow, purple needlegrass, scarlet pimpernel, yellow pincushion flower, English plantain, poison oak (red leaves), Crete weed, curly dock, deerweed, narrowleaf filago, redstem filaree, short-fruited filaree, white-stem filaree, goldentop, horehound, small-flowered melica, southern California morning-glory, foothill penstemon, prickly pear, rattlesnake weed (Chamaesyce), white sage, watercress, California buckwheat, coyote gourd, lanceleaf dudleya, leafy daisy, elderberry, California everlasting, white everlasting, California filago, flax-flowered linanthus, white-whorled lupine, mission manzanita (last year's brown berries), chamise, dove weed, Himalaya berry, knot grass, alkali mallow, San Diego button celery, baby blue eyes, climbing bedstraw, common bedstraw, narrowleaf bedstraw, blue dicks, blue-eyed grass, bowlesia, earth brodiaea, thread-leaved brodiaea, California bur clover, California buttercup, hoaryleaf ceanothus, checkerbloom, Chinese houses, chocolate lily, winecup clarkia, tree clover, cottonweed, prickly cryptantha, wild cucumber, white-flowered currant, eucrypta, two-tone everlasting (flowers and dried flowers), fiddleneck, fiesta flower, Howell's foxtail, cutleaf geranium, angel's gilia, goldfields, common groundsel, pineapple weed, ground pink, wild honeysuckle, johnny-jump-up, locoweed, common lomatium (flowers and seeds), bishop's lotus (2, on Via Volcano), bush lupine, dwarf lupine, slender madia, Eastwood manzanita, mission manzanita (this year's flowers), splendid Mariposa lily, milk maids, miner's lettuce, bush monkeyflower, muilla, hedge mustard, purple nightshade, coast live oak, Engelmann oak, scrub oak, red-skinned onion, purple owl's clover (on Via Volcano), pepper grass, California peony, California plantain, rusty-haired popcorn flower, tall popcorn flower, vernal pool popcorn flower, redberry (1), hollyleaf redberry, red maids, poison oak, black sage, San Diego pea (1, on VP Trail), sand spurrey, silver puffs, purple sanicle, Pacific sanicle, sharp-toothed sanicle, shepherd's purse, shooting stars, hollyleaf skunkweed, smooth cat's ear, wild sorrel (1), spoked fringe pod, squaw bush, sticky cinquefoil, sugar bush, California sweet cicely, three spot (1), windmill pink, winter vetch, woolly marbles, yellow carpet (blennosperma).
Species that didn't bloom this year: most baby blue eyes, most climbing bedstraw, big squirreltail, brass buttons, most hoaryleaf ceanothus, most lakeside ceanothus (found only planted at the Adobes), most chamise, balloon clover, most deerweed, most doveweed, downingia, most wild honeysuckle, fairy lantern, most knot grass, blue larkspur, most leafy daisy, most owl's clover, most California peony, branching phacelia, common phacelia, most redberry, most hollyleaf redberry, spike rush, most California thistle, three-spot (only 1!), blue toadflax, most toyon, most wild sweet peas, water crowfoot. ("most" means that fewer than 1% of the plants bloomed this year.)
Caveat: Because it is not possible to hike all the trails each week, the summary above is my best guess at to the overall bloom status. You may find different bloom status on a trail I did not cover recently. Also, there are often one or two plants that behave very differently from the majority of plants of a given species, usually due to their unique location.
Copyright © 2000-2003 by Tom Chester and Jane Strong.
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Updated 27 January 2003.