North Table Mountain Madness

Sky Lupine, Lupinus nanus

Hey there! It’s been a long time since we last blogged and as you can see much of our old blog is gone and replaced with only our most popular posts and weird t-shirts for sale. Well, I’ve had it with Facebook and Instagram, so we’re bringing it back to our own web page. After uploading 1000’s of pictures trapped in the cloud to our Flickr account, while trapped inside I realized how many more blog posts we still have in us. I’m starting with a bunch of new California native wildflowers posts to add to what we’ve already got up. We’ll still use social media to tell you about new posts. I’ve turned in to a Twitter and TikTok fan since ditching Mark Zuckerberg’s platforms.

Rusty haired popcorn flower, Plagiobothrys nothofulvus and Sky Lupine, Lupinus nanus

We finally left the house for the first time in months to go check out the wildflowers near Oroville at North Table Mountain. It was a Wednesday morning the first week of April and I was not prepared for the large numbers of maskless and incredibly proud about it folks. It was really weird to be ridiculed for wearing masks by strangers. Luckily it’s a big place, so you can get away from the assholes fairly easy. Anyways… the sheer numbers of sky lupine were crazy town. I’ve never seen anything like it and I think we were there towards the end of the bloom. I’ve known about this pretty consistent wildflower bloom spot for years, but never made the trip until this year.

Sierra Mock Stonecrop, Sedella pumila

Check out this crazy “mock stonecrop” growing in the basalt. I’m a little confused though. It’s in the crassula family, so it technically IS a stonecrop. What’s up with the “mock” part in the common name? Look at it literally growing in rocks in the picture.

White meadowfoarm, Limnanthes alba

This all white Limnanthes was a cool surprise. I’m better than the average person you’d find walking down the street when it comes to identifying California natives, but I rely heavily on my phone for figuring out what stuff is for sure. We’ve grown meadowfoam (Limnanthes douglasii) before and have a cool picture of the golden ssp. sulphurea version en masse at Tilden, but I’d never seen the white version before.

Sky Lupine, Lupinus nanus and Oak trees

So many lupines.

Poppy freak out

We showed up around 9am, so the poppies were still sleeping, but as we hiked around they started to open up. As I was uploading my pictures thinking these were all plain old California poppies or Eschscholzia californica, just super short ones, I did a little more research and they’re really frying pan poppies or Eschscholzia lobbii that are only found inland as opposed to the common California poppy found all over California including the coast.

Frying Pan Poppies or Eschscholzia lobbi

I only freaked out at yelled at one lady picking poppies next to her friend who was literally laying on a pile of flowers. The amount of Instagram bouquets tossed on the ground was gross. We saw all kinds of flower smashing shenanigans at Lake Elsinore, so it wasn’t a big surprise.

Frying Pan Poppies or Eschscholzia lobbi

I think that’s Gilia tricolor all bright and bushy in the upper left hand corner. These are all pretty easy to grow from seed. I’ve always had issues with snails eating my lupines, but with some Sluggo foresight you should be good. Pest wise, it’s the only thing I’ve used for killing things in my garden for years. A little goes a long way, especially if you think like a snail and sprinkle it near the prime hiding spots when it starts to rain.

Purple owl’s clover, Castilleja exserta

As a long time lover of the red “paintbrushes” we often spotted on the coast, it was fun to see some decent sized clusters of their close relatives, owl’s clover shooting up. Apparently they’re both part of the unfortunately named Orobanchaceae (broomrape) family.

Purple owl’s clover, Castilleja exserta

More broomrapes… what a terrible common name.

Gilia tricolor party

I’m a little mad at myself for not getting better pictures of all the Gilia tricolor growing everywhere. I’ve been growing it from seed for years and LOVE it. Heck, Select Seeds has a crazy super purple version of it I’ve posted tons of pictures of on Instagram, but to see it growing in nature is so much fun.

Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva)

On our way back to the parking lot I spotted a bunch of pink blooms. We were all pretty crabby at this point, but I still ran up and took pictures of my first endemic lewisia spotting ever! I’ve grown them a bunch of times, but to see them all growing in nature was pretty amazing.

Cows and sky lupine

The entire time you wander this vast wildflower sweet spot, there are cows all over the place, mostly congregating peacefully under the oak trees keeping cool.

2 thoughts on “North Table Mountain Madness

  1. Rosemary Carey says:

    Hi Megan,

    I’m glad that you’re posting again. This is a nice post hat really gives a good overview of the plants at North Table Mountain, one of many premier wildflower hot spots in the foothills and Sierra. I’m assuming the Sedilla is mock stonecrop because it isn’t a Sedum. Other early spring wildflowers I would have expected are blue dicks (Dipterostemon capitatus) five-spot, (Nempophila maculata), a very cheerful annual, and Blue field gilia (Gilia capitata). It’s still too early for clarkias, which will flower in a couple of weeks. I live in the foothills and see firsthand how areas that are lightly grazed, basically rotation grazing, have spring wildflowers, while un-grazed areas are choked out in thick, tall, annual Mediterranean grasses.

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