Flowers of the California Redwood Forests and environs on the Berry Creek Falls Loop of Big Basin State Park

Compiled by J. Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Flower species in the Coast Redwoods

This table shows when these flowers have been seen in blossom in the first weeks of the month on the Berry Creek Falls Loop Trail. See the graphs of flowers seen in different years.

Flowers: White.
Alum root (a.k.a. crevice heuchera or small-flowered heuchera) (Heuchera micrantha).
The petals of this flower curl back.
JanFebMar MayJune JulAugSep OctNovDec
Bedstraw a.k.a. Cleavers (Galium aparine).
Tiny flowers.
AprMayJune
Boykinia: Coast Boykinia (a.k.a. brook foam) (Boykinia elata).
5 open white petals. The flowers are attached to red branching stems.
MayJune JulAugSep OctNov
Boykinia: Mountain Boykinia (Boykinia major ssp. intermedia).
Flowers are attached to green branching stems.
June JulySep Oct
Branched (or Fat) Solomon's seal (Smilacina racemosa).
Compare: Star (or Slim) Solomon's seal (Smilacina stellata).
Mar AprMayJune
Brittle-Leaved manzanita: showy flowers. Mar Apr
Bur chervil (Anthriscus caucalis). [ALIEN] 5 small white wedge-shaped petals with straight wide ends. AprMayJune July
California (or Pacific) blackberry (Rubus ursinus). FebMar AprMayJune JulAug
California strawberry (Fragaria californica). FebMar AprMayJune Jul
Chamise (Adenostoma fasiculatum) MayJune JulAug
Coastal onion (Allium dichlamydeum). May
Coffee berry. 5-pointed small white star. June Jul
Coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus). FebMar Apr
Coyote brush flowers (Baccharis pilularis ssp. consanguinea). White often tinged yellowish or greenish. Jul NovDec
Cudweed (Gnaphalium). JulyAug Oct
Elks Clover (a.k.a. Spikenard). White flowers, huge leaves, always near water. June JulAug
Hairy star tulip a.k.a. Fuzzy pussy ears (Calochortus tolmiei). MayJune
Heart-leaved manzanita (a.k.a. Santa Cruz Mountains manzanita) Mar Apr
Hooker's fairy bell (Disporum hookeri). Flowers and berries are hidden in pairs under the ends of the twin leaves at the end of the stalks. Mar AprMayJune
Huckleberry. White. Flowers shaped like upside-down hurricane lanterns, like the Manzanita, but the leaves are small and shiny. FebMar AprMayJune
Inside-out flower (Vancouveria planipetala). (Not a fern, but its leaves are similar to Maiden Fern.) AprMayJune
Lily: Fremont's star lily Zigadenus fremontii).
6-pointed (star-shaped) petals on each flower at end of alternate-branched stems. Main stem is 2-foot tall.
MayJune July
Madrone AprMay
Miner's Lettuce (Montia perfoliata). AprMayJune
Montia: Small-leaved montia (montia parvifolia). White, 5 petals, small alternate leaves and basal rosette. Looks similar to (few-seeded) (Western) Bittercress, but has a 5-petaled flower. June Jul
Nightshade: Douglas' Nightshade (Solanum douglasii). Mar AprMayJune JulSep Dec
Pearl orchid (Piperia candida). White flower and white-greenish stem. June Jul
Popcorn flower (Plagiobothrys nothofulvus). Ground-hugging plant in sunnier spots. Small flower; five rounded petals. June
Salal (Gaultheria shallon). White flowers; big shiny leaves. AprMayJune Jul
Sensitive manzanita (a.k.a. Small-leaved manzanita). JanFebMar AprMayJune NovDec
Star (or Slim) Solomon's seal (Smilacina stellata).
Compare: Branched (or Fat) Solomon's seal (Smilacina racemosa).
May
Sugar-scoop (a.k.a. saxifrage or False mitrewort) (Tiarella unifoliata).
Many stamens protrude from the flower.
JanFeb MayJune JulAugSep OctNovDec
Summer aster (Aster radulinus).
Large daisy-like three-quarter-inch flower with thin white petals; yellow center cluster; composite on a slightly zigzag stem.
Sep
Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor). June JulAugSep
Thimbleberry AprMayJune Jul
Trefoil: Small-flowered Trefoil (Lotus Micranthus).
Blooms white; flower turns red with age.
AprMay
Orchid: Rein Orchid (Habenaria unalascensis). Greenish white. JulAug
Orchid: White Rein or royal orchid (a.k.a. white-flowered bog orchid) (Habenaria dilata). Aug
Toyon. Greenish white. June JulAug
Trail Plant (Adenocaulon bicolor).
What appears to be a tiny flower at the top of this plant is actually a cluster of 5 or more 5-petaled flowers.
June JulAugSep Oct
Two-eyed violet (Viola ocellata). FebMar AprMayJune JulAugSep
Western bittercress (Cardamine oligosperma).
4-petal small flower. Leaves mainly in basal rosette. Straight erect seedpods.
Mar AprMay
Western wood anemone (a.k.a. Wind flower or Oregon anemone) (Anemone oregana). Mar Apr
White-flowered hawkweed (Hieracium albiflorum). May (2008)June JulAugSep OctNov
* White globe lily (Calochortus albus).
Tinged slightly peach.
This 3-petaled globe-like flower hangs like a delicate lantern from a slender stem; it is one of the most beautiful flowers in this area.
MayJune Jul
Wood sweet cicely (a.k.a. Mountain sweet cicely) (Osmorhiza chilensis). Apr
Woodland star (Lithophragma affinis). V-shaped ovary base. [Compare with coastal area Hill star (Lithophragma heterophylla), whose ovary base is rounded or squared.] Mar AprMay
Yerba de selva (a.k.a. Weed of the Woods) (Whipplea modesta).
Pompom-like clusters of tiny petal-less flowers, each with five well-separated petals; soft and opposite slightly furry leaves; forms a dense ground cover.
Mar AprMayJune Jul

Flowers: pink to red.
California hedge nettle (Stachys bulleta). Not a true nettle, so you may touch it painlessly. Jan MayJune JulAugSep OctNov
California milkwort (Polygala californica). Rose/blue/purplish flowers. MayJune JulAug
Hairy honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula). Pink. MayJune Jul
Broad Leaved Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine) ALIEN cousin of the stream orchid. Pink with lower lip or tongue; in dry area. June Jul
Pacific star flower (Trientalis latifolia).
The flower hovers on an almost-invisible stem 1.5 inches above the leaf cluster.
AprMayJune Jul
Pink Boykinia. (But Scott Peden recommends that we not count it as a separate species from Coast Boykinia).
5 pink petals; 5 long stamens.
AugSep
Red clintonia (Clintonia andrewsiana). When fruiting, this is called Bluing Balls or Bead Lily for its large blueberry-colored fruit. AprMayJune
Spotted coral root orchid (Corallorhiza maculata). Red flower, red spots on the white lower lip.
Have also seen a "Red unspotted variety" (red flower without spots on the white lip).
And a yellow variety without spots on white lower lip.
MayJune JulAug
Wild ginger (Asarum caudatum). Maroon. AprMayJune Jul
Western burning bush (Euonymus occidentalis). Brownish red flowers under the outermost leaves. June JulAugSep OctNov
Western wake robin (Trillium Ovatum). FebMar AprMay
Wintergreen (Pyrola picta var. aphylla). Pink. MayJune JulAug
Wood rose (Rosa gymnocarpa). Short, straight, thin spine (as opposed to curved spine of Rosa californica. Smooth underside of leaf (as opposed hairy underside of Rosa californica. AprMayJune Jul

Flowers: Mauve, Purple.
Collomia: Varied leaved Collomia. (Collomia heterophylla).
Lacy-leaved small plant with a small purple flower.
May
Lupine: Sky Lupine (Lupinus nanus). AprMayJune Jul
Milkmaids (Dentaria californica, var. californica)
and/or toothwort (D. californica, var. integrifolia),
which interbreed.
Pale mauve, blue, or pink.
JanFebMar AprMayJune Jul
Pea: Torry's or redwood pea (Lathyrus torreyi). MayJune
Redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana). Mauve, pinkish, bluish, and white.
Mistaken by some as clover.
JanFebMar AprMayJune JulAugSep
Vetch: Greater vetch a.k.a. Giant vetch (Vicia gigantea). Mar AprMayJune

Flowers: Bluish.
Blue Dicks (Closely related to the Forktooth and Roundtooth Ookow , Lily Family) (Brodiaea pulchella). AprMay
Blue Witch. Dark blue flower with bright yellow center. Mar AprMayJune Jul
California harebell (Asyneuma prenanthoides). June JulAugSep OctNov
California wild lilac (a.k.a. Blue bush lilac) (Ceanothus thyrsiflorus). AprMayJune
Dannie's Skullcap (Scutellaria tuberosa). 5-petaled, 2-lipped tubular flower (mint family). MayJune Jul
Forget-me-not (ALIEN). AprMayJune
Lupine: Bush lupine. Jul
One-leaved onion (Allium unifolium). Bluish or purplish color. MayJune JulAug
Yerba Buena (Good Herb) (Satureja douglasii). Light blue. MayJune Jul
Yerba Santa (Holy Herb) (a.k.a. California mountain balm) (Eriodictyon californicum). Blue. MayJune Jul

Flowers: Green or brown.
Bull rush. Greenish-brown. Sep
California Fetid Adder's Tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii); greenish slim-petalled. JanFebMar
Cicely: Western sweet cicely (Osmorhiza occidentalis) Greenish flowers; long, smooth, sharp-pointed seeds. AprMayJune
California hazel [or hazelnut] (Corylus cornuta, ssp. californica): greenish-brownish male catkins and small reddish female flowers. Mar June Jul
Checker lily (a.k.a. mission bells). Greenish-yellow with purple spots. Mar Apr
River sedge (a.k.a. Purple nutsedge). Greenish-brown. MayJune JulAugSep
Rush. Greenish-brown. Feb June JulAugSep
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Green. Painful. ALIEN. June JulAug
Tan oak. June JulAug

Flowers: Yellow.
Bush Poppy. Mar AprMayJune JulAug
Butterweed (a.k.a. California butterweed) (Senecio aronicoides ) MayJune Aug
California Broom a.k.a. deerweed (Lotus scoparius).
Yellow and red.
AprMayJune Jul
[California] False Lupine (Thermopsis macrophylla). Jul
Diffuse Cinquefoil (Potentilla millegrana). May
Golden Brodiaea (a.k.a. Pretty face or Golden Tritelia) (Brodiaea Lutea ) June Jul
Groundsel.
To differentiate these common ALIENS:
Common groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) has black-tipped brackts;
Wood groundsel (S. sylvaticus) does not and is less common.
AprMay Aug
Hairy cats ear. A.k.a. Spotted cats ear.
It looks like a 'tall dandelion'. It is not a dandelion but, like the dandelion, is in the 'Chicory Tribe'.
May
Honeysuckle: Prostrate honeysuckle
This lies on the ground, instead of being upright. It had green-cream scaly flowers coming from the leaf axis.
May
Iris: Douglas's Iris (Iris douglasiana).
Leaves twice as broad and a little more glossy than those of Fernald's Iris (Iris fernaldii).
Top of ovary "nipplelike". Creamy yellow to indigo petals; purple veins visible on pale petals. High ovary. Corolla or perianth tube (above ovary) about 1 inch and same length as the pedicel (below ovary).
[Contrast with Fernald's Iris (Iris fernaldii).]
AprMay
Iris: Fernald's Iris (Iris fernaldii).
Leaves a third as wide and a little less glossy than those of Douglas's Iris (Iris douglasiana).
Pale creamy yellow; indistinct veins. Low ovary. Corolla or perianth tube (above ovary) very long funnel and much longer than the pedicel (below ovary).
[Contrast with Douglas's Iris (Iris douglasiana).]
AprJune
Madia (Madia exigua). Yellow flower; leaves are alternate; contrast with Woodland madia (a.k.a. tarweed) (Madia madioides). MayJune Jul
Orange Sticky Monkey Flower (Diplacus aurantiacus). Orange. AprMayJune JulAug
Triplet lily (a.k.a. Common triteleia, Grass nut, or Ithuriel's Spear (Brodiaea laxa). June Jul
Redwood violet (a.k.a. Evergreen violet) (Viola sempervirens). JanFebMar AprMayJune JulAug NovDec
Stream orchid (Epipactis gigantea) Yellow-green flower with orange lower lip striped with red; broad leaves with strong parallel veins that clasp the stem). Jul
Leopard lily (Lilium pardalinum). (a.k.a. Panther or Tiger lily) Orange with leopardish spots (NOT tigerish stripes). JulAug
Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale). Cream. The most gorgeous perfume in the forest: you must stick your nose in this one. MayJune JulAug
Woodland madia (a.k.a. tarweed) (Madia madioides) Yellow flower; leaves are opposite; contrast with Madia (Madia exigua). AprMayJune JulAug
Yellow flowers, like Sow Thistle, but with geranium type of leaves (actual name unknown). May
Yellow Marsh Flower (actual name unknown). May
Yellow sanicle (a.k.a. snakeroot) Sanicula arctopoides. AprMay
Yellow yarrow (a.k.a. Golden yarrow) Eriophyllum confertiflorum. 5 petals, 2 lines down length of petal. June Jul

See also these books

Plants of the Coast Redwood Region Beautiful field guide to plants common in coast redwood forests like Big Basin.
Color photos of each plant accompany informative text.
Wildflowers are grouped by color, to simplify identification.
Plants of the Coast Redwood Region
by botanists Kathy Lyons and Mary Beth Cooney-Lazane; photographs by Howard King.
Beautiful field guide to plants common in coast redwood forests like Big Basin. Color photos of each plant accompany informative text.
Wildflowers are grouped by color, to simplify identification.
Buy Trees of California Trees and Shrubs of California
by John Stuart and John Sawyer.
California's native California tree species and most of its common shrub species in one accessible field guide.
Over 100 line drawings, 300 range maps, and 40 color photographs.
Redwood Region Flower Finder Redwood Region Flower Finder : A Guide to Identifying Wildflowers of The Coastal Fog Belt of California
by Phoebe Watts, Sarah Ellen Watts (Illustrator).