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Wildflower walk Friday

April 6, 2011

The wet winter and warming spring weather promise an excellent wildflower display this year in the Owens and Long Valley areas, beginning now.

The southern end of the Owens Valley, south of Bishop, is already beginning to bloom and wildflower lovers will have a chance to see the spring display in the Alabama Hills this Friday, led by Bureau of Land Management botanist Martin Oliver and Steve McLaughlin, with the Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. This is one of the Bristlecone Chapter’s annual wildflower walks.

Participants should meet at 9:30 a.m. at the intersection of Whitney Portal and Movie Flat roads. Bring water, snacks or lunch, and standard field items.

For more information, contact Martin Oliver at (760) 872-5035 or email at martin_oliver@blm.gov

Flowers now showing include:

• Scarlet Milk-Vetch (Astragalus coccineus)
– Low-growing deep red, fluted flower with oval, fuzzy leaves.
• Tidy tips (Layia glandulosa)
– White flower with notched petals and yellow center.
• Desert pincushion (Chaenactis sp.)
– White composite flower with all disk flowers, stems often reddish.
• Easter bonnets (Eriophyllum wallacei)
– Tufted, low growing, small, yellow flower.
• Desert Paintbrush (Castilleja chromosa)
– Showy red flower generally occurring in clumps – the color is actually from the bracts that surround the flower.
• Yellow Throats (Phacelia fremontii)
– Pink low-growing flowers with bright yellow throats and scalloped leaves.
• Fremont Gold (Syntrichopappus fremontii)
– Tiny yellow flower generally with five “petals” (flowers) with distinct notches.

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