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“Driving to Warner Springs, the hairy ceanothus is in dazzling full bloom along I-15 between Fallbrook and Temecula,” said Joe Spano.
Mr. Spano, the Emmy Award-winning actor, is the voice of the Thomas Payne Foundation Wildflower hotline (yes, a real hotline!), which offers free updates every Friday from March through May on the best wild flower viewing locations in Southern and Central California.
With spring in full swing, and the idyllic super likes to bloom those that took place in 2017 Still in people's minds, you may be wondering how the state's wildflowers will fare this year.
With the drought returning, there won't be a super bloom this year, says Casey Schreiner, founder and editor of the Modern Hiker website. But of course that doesn't mean that flowers don't bloom at all.
"It is still blooming all over California and it will take months and months to come," said Mr. Schreiner. "You probably won't get those gorgeous fields of endless California poppies this year."
If you're looking for those native flowers and curious about where to start, the answer isn't always set in stone. With California's wide range of microclimates and dozens of factors that can affect whether or not a bloom is blooming, Mr. Schreiner that it could be difficult to determine exactly which rift or area is sure to show up on a show. But even if you're not guaranteed to have those Instagram-worthy, poppies-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see blooms, don't be put off.
"If you limit yourself there to what you're looking for in wildflowers, you're going to miss so much," he said. "We just have this amazing diversity of California native plants that are all put on show all year round."
One way to keep track of where wildflowers bloom is of course the Wildflower hotlineThere are other sources too, said Mr Schreiner DesertUSA.orgIt also includes information about nearby states, but also keeps track of the flowers in Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley, and the Mojave National Preserve, to name a few.
But even if you don't try to plan ahead, you can be sure to find beautiful native plants all over the place.
"When you are out for a walk," said Mr. Schreiner, "open up to the flowers you are looking at and, if possible, try to learn about them." He recommends using an app like iNaturalist, a free app that lets you take photos of plants and tag them so other users can help you identify what you're seeing.
Mr. Schreiner, who has lived in Southern California for 18 years, said he had the most fun this time of year by not doing any research at all and only checking out the trails he wanted. "For me, you get the element of surprise, you learn what you see, and that way you are always more pleased," he said, instead of setting expectations and then being disappointed.
And while the state may be on track to lift the restrictions of the coronavirus, we are still in a pandemic. Mr. Schreiner recommends contacting the city or park you intend to visit, but expect to wear a mask (some places require this, while others only do this when you pass people) and keep your distance from others on the course.
In addition to the pandemic, there are other no-nos if you're on your way to see some flowers. Staying on track is critical, said Mr Schreiner.
"When these flowers arrive, these will be the plants that they are ready for next year," he said. "So if you choose them, if you trample them, if you lie on them to take a really cool photo for your Facebook friends, you might look cool, but you're really destroying the habitat."
“Most of these flowers don't last until a week or two before they go,” he said. "So let them be there."
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Priya Arora was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and graduated from U.C. Irvine. They are currently a social media editor on the Audience team and also write about South Asian pop culture for The Times.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.