• Two

    John Day Fossil Beds

    National Monument Oregon

2013 Spring Wildflower Updates

April 26, 2013 Update:

Painted Hills Unit:

Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) and hedgehog cactus (Pediocactus simpsonii) are blooming, and should remain in bloom for about 2 weeks. Due to low rainfall, most of the golden bee plant (Cleome platycarpa) and chaenactis (Chaenactis douglasii) on the hills have fizzled out. None of these flowers will be blooming on the hills, though a small number in other locations will probably bloom in more favorable locations.

Interested in joining Ranger Scott for a Wildflower Photography Shoot on May 18th? He will lead groups from 9am - 11am and 5pm - 7pm. Participation is by reservation only. Call 541-987-2333 extention 1240 to make arrangements. Be sure to include the number of people in your party and a phone number you can be contacted at in your message if no one is available to answer the phone.


April 6, 2013 Update:

Clarno Unit:

Cushion phlox (Phlox hoodii) has also started to bloom.

Painted Hills Unit:

A small scattering of yellow bells (Fritillaria pudica) are presently blooming. Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) will likely blossom within the week and hedgehog cactus (Pediocactus simpsonii) should blossom in about 2 weeks. Golden bee plant (Cleome platycarpa) and chaenactis (Chaenactis douglasii) are starting to sprout in large numbers. If weather conditions remain favorable (continued rain is vital to their survival), they will probably peak in mid-May.

Sheep Rock Unit:

A few isolated red desert paintbrushes (Castelleja sp.) have bloomed. Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) are starting to blossom, with more on the way within the week, especially in the wash along the Flood of Fire trail at Foree.

March 26, 2013 Update:

Clarno Unit:

Fiddleneck (Amsinckia sp.), Yellow Desert Paintbrush (Castilleja chromasa), and wool-pod locoweed (Astragalus dimorpha) are in full bloom.

Painted Hills Unit:

Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) and hedgehog cactus (Pediocactus simpsonii) are still showing signs of a good year. They will probably blossom in late April. No signs of other flowers as yet.

Sheep Rock Unit:

Sagebrush buttercup (Ranunculus glaberrimus), yellow bell (Fritillaria pudica), and red stem filaree (Erodium cicutarium) are blooming in small numbers throughout the unit. The first few prairie star flower (Lithophragma sp.) blossoms are opening, with more expected in the next few days.

March 13, 2013 Update:

Clarno Unit:

Yellow bells (Fritillaria pudica) are starting to bloom.

March 9, 2013 Update:

Clarno Unit:

Grass widow (Sisyrinchium inflatum), lomatium (Lomatium hendersonii), and prairie star (Lithophragma bulbifera) are in bloom. Yellow bell (Fritillaria pudica), red stem filaree (Erodium cicutarium), and wool-pod locoweek (Astragalus dimorpha) have sprouted and should blossom any day now. Prairie rocket (Erysimum asperum), buttercup (Ranunculus glaberrimus), and larkspur (Delphinium sp.) are just starting to come up.

Painted Hills Unit:

Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva) and hedgehog cactus (Pediocactus simpsonii) are starting to show signs of a good year. They will probably blossom in late April. No signs of other flowers as yet.

Sheep Rock Unit:

Lomatium (Lomatium hendersonii) is in bloom at the Foree trail and picnic area.

Did You Know?

Image of  fossilized amynodont skulls.

The best place to see the monument's fossils is inside the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center at the Sheep Rock Unit.