• Schonchin Butte

    Lava Beds

    National Monument California

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.

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.

 



Early Spring: March - Early May

 
Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup
Ranunculus glaberrimus

Best Viewed: March - April
Habitat: Sheltered under shrubs, rock outcrops
Flower size: 2 cm
Type: Perrenial
Notes: Shy, often hidden under sagebrush or 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: Perrenial
Notes: Grow in low, spiny clumps in most open areas of the park and put on an impressive show wherenever a dozen or so plants live together. White, pink, or both.

 
Woodland-Star

Woodland-Stars
Lithophragma sp.

Best Viewed: April - May
Habitat: Shade, open woodlands.
Flower size: 1 cm
Type: Annual
Notes: Easilly found along the lower portion of the Schonchin Butte Trail. Two species are common: bulbus 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: Perrenial
Notes: Found at the top of Gillems 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 the carrot family and named for their eddible roots. Several species with white to yellow umbels (broad clusters) of flowers. Top of Gillems Bluff a reliable spot for most kinds.

 
Daggerpod

Daggerpod
Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides

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

 

Late Spring: May - June
 
Under Construction; many more flowers to go.

Did You Know?

Captain Jack's Stronghold

During the Modoc War about 150 Modoc men, women, and children lived in Captain Jack’s Stronghold, a natural lava fortress, for four months from November 1872 until April 1873.