Wildflowers

Hot-rock penstemon (white morph)

A rare white morph of slender penstemon, penstemon gracilentus

Unlike arid landscapes of the Southwest and elsewhere, the wildflowers here do not come-and-go in one dramatic spring pulse. Instead, plants stagger their blooms over the course of the warmer seasons providing a long, varying flower show that starts when the snow melts in March and lasts into September.

Listed below, in order of blooming season, are some of the most common or notable species. Dates should be taken as rough guidance, since variable seasonal weather does affect when these plants bloom, and in differing ways: A late, cold spring my cause one flower to bloom profusely through mid-summer, while another may skip blooming altogether. This is not an all inclusive list: for a more complete list of plants, read the Plants of Lava Beds brochure.

DO NOT PICK FLOWERS
Please leave flowers for other visitors to enjoy. Wildflowers, like all natural, cultural and historic things in the park, are protected and preserved for the enjoyment of all.

 
Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup
Ranunculus glaberrimus

Best viewed: March-April
Habitat: Sheltered under shrubs, rock outcrops
Flower size: 2 cm
Type: Perennial
Notes: Shy, often hidden under sagebrush, other shrubs in sheltered places, or rock cracks. By far our earliest bloomer during the last weeks of winter.

 
Carpet Phlox

Carpet Phlox & Spreading Phlox
Phlox hoodii & Phlox diffusa

Best viewed: April-May
Habitat: Open areas, rock outcrops
Flower size: 1.5 cm
Type: Perennial
Notes: Grow in low, spiny clumps in most open areas of the park and put on an impressive show when many plants live together. White, pink, or both.

 
Woodland-Star

Woodland-Stars
Lithophragma tenellum.

Best viewed: April-May
Habitat: Shade, open woodlands.
Flower size: 1 cm
Type: Annual
Notes: Easily found along the lower portion of the Schonchin Butte Trail. Two species are common: bulbous and slender woodland-stars.

 
Yellow Fritillary

Yellow Bell / Yellow Fritillary
Fritillaria pudica

Best viewed: Late April-May
Habitat: Open shrub or grasslands
Flower size: 2 cm
Type: Perennial
Notes: Found at the top of Gillem Bluff. The flower changes color from bright yellow to shades of orange and red as it ages.

 
Biscuit Root

Biscuitroot
Lomatium sp.

Best Viewed: Late April-June
Habitat: Open shrub or grasslands
Flower Size: 2-5 cm
Type: Perrenial
Notes: Members of carrot family, has edible roots. Several species with white to yellow umbels of flowers. The top of Gillem Bluff is a reliable spot.

 
Daggerpod

Daggerpod
Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides

Best Viewed: Late May-June
Habitat: Open shrub or grasslands
Flower Size: 4-5 cm cluster
Type: Perennial
Notes: White to pink in clusters of 15-25 flowers. Seen on of Gillem Bluff. Named for long pointed seed pods typical of the mustard family.

 
Granite gilia
Granite gilia
Leptodactylon pungens

Best viewed: May-June
Habitat: rocky outcrops
Flower size: 1 inch long
Type: perennial
Notes: white flowers open at night to attract moths
 
Arrowleaf balsamroot

Arrowleaf balsamroot
Balsamorhiza sagittata

Best viewed: May-June
Habitat: Juniper woodlands and ponderosa pine forest
Flower size: 3 inches
Type: perennial
Notes: can be multiple flowers on stems with some leaves


 
Desert Indian Paintbrush

Desert Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja angustifolia

Best viewed: May-June
Habitat: sagebrush and rabbitbrush
Flower size: 2-7 cm leaves hide the yellow-green flowers
Type: perennial
Notes: semi-parasitic

 
Winecup Clarkia

Winecup Clarkia
Clarkia purpurea quadrivaulnera

Best viewed: May-June
Habitat: grasslands and scrub
Flower size: 3/4 inch
Type: annual


 
Thread-Leaf Phacelia
Narrow-leaved or thread-leaf phacelia
Phacelia linearis
Best viewed: May-July
Habitat: sagebrush
Flower size: 1/2 inch wide
Type: annual
 
Grand collomia
Grand collomia
Collomia grandiflora

Best viewed: May-August
Habitat: open slopes, shrubland
Flower size: 1 inch long
Type: annual
Notes: occasionally seen in open areas in northern portion; often abundant after fires
 
Wild Blue Flax
Wild Blue Flax
Linum lewisii

Best viewed: May-August
Habitat: slopes and ridges in Pinyon-Juniper woodland
Flower size: 6-15 mm
Type: perennial

 
California Poppy
California Poppy
Eschscholzia californica

Best viewed: May-August
Habitat: Common in gravel or pumice areas throughout monument
Flower size: 1-5 dm
Type: perennial, sometimes annual
Notes: official state flower of California
 
Tapertip Hawksbeard
Tapertip Hawksbeard
Crepis acuminata

Best viewed: June-July
Habitat: shrublands and open ponderosa pine forest
Flower size: 1/4 inch wide
Type: perennial
 
Narrow-leaved milkweed
Narrow-leaved milkweed
Asclepias fascicularis

Best viewed: June-August
Habitat: dry, flat slopes and common along road shoulder
Flower size: 1/3 inch
Type: perennial
Notes: umbel-like clusters of gray-pink or rose flowers
 
Yarrow
Yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Best viewed: June-August
Habitat: Dry to moist, open, disturbed areas
Flower size: 1/3 inch
Type: perennial
Notes: Has medicinal use. Flower heads are flat-topped clusters.
 
Coyote Tobacco
Coyote Tobacco
Nicotiana attenuata

Best viewed: June-August
Habitat: dry, open areas; common along roads or burned areas
Flower size: 2.5-4.5 cm
Type: annual to biennial
Notes: can be toxic to livestock and other animals
 
Dwarf monkeyflower
Dwarf Monkeyflower
Mimulus nanus

Best viewed: June-August
Habitat: dry pumice or gravelly soil
Flower size: 1/3 inch
Type: annual
Notes: occurs in loose pumice
 
Mariposa Lily
Sagebrush Mariposa Lily
Calochortus macrocarpus

Best viewed: July-August
Habitat: sagebrush scrub and slopes
Flower size: 1 1/2-2 inches wide
Type: perennial
Notes: Mariposa is butterfly in Spanish
 
Blazing Star
Blazing Star
Mentzeila laevicaulis

Best viewed: June-October
Habitat: shrublands and open forest
Flower size: 2-6 inches
Type: biennial or perennial
Notes: often seen on slopes and along road
 
Sulphur Buckwheat
Sulphur Buckwheat
Eriogonum umbellatum

Best viewed: June-September
Habitat: widespread; common in open sites
Flower size: 1 inch wide umbels on stems 5-10 inches long
Type: perennial
Notes: bright yellow flowers

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