California Bulbs blooming on Hite Cove Trail

Mary Sue Ittner
Mon, 09 May 2005 23:11:55 PDT

I'm still working on all the pictures I took during the week we toured 
mostly the central part of California looking for flowers in April. We knew 
we had missed the wonderful displays in the  desert, but we went to other 
areas where there were still some spectacular flowers and I saw a lot of 
bulbs. It's going to take some time for me to get them all on the wiki, but 
I made an attempt to add pictures taken along the Hite's Cove Trail which 
climbs above the south fork of the Merced River off Highway 140 before you 
get to Yosemite. We arrived late afternoon and spent about three hours 
hiking the trail and looking at the gorgeous flowers. There were masses of 
a small annual orange California poppy, Eschscholzia caespitosa, a pretty 
blue and white Lupine, Lupinus bicolor, and lots and lots of Owl's Clover, 
Castillja exserta. We saw the latter almost every day on our trip. There 
were many other wonderful flowers like Chinese houses (Collinsia 
heterophylla), Fiesta Flower (Pholistoma auritum), Indian Paintbrush 
(Castilleja applegatei), Indian Pink (Silene californica), Mustang Clover 
(Linanthus montanus), and an orange Dudleya, Dudleya cymosa. But these 
plants are off topic as our forum is about bulbs and there were were three 
that were evident all along the trail. We also saw some Calochortus 
venustus over the side of the cliff toward the river, but none of us were 
brave enough to try to get close enough to photograph it.

Dichelostemma volubile was climbing through trees, shrubs, poison oak, all 
over annuals, and even twining around itself. The most bizarre was seeing 
it on a rock ledge with the Dudleya. We wondered if it had help getting 
there, but couldn't really tell. Somehow growing this one in a container 
just doesn't do justice to how it is in the wild.…

Triteleia ixioides ssp. scabra we had seen it earlier in Kern County 
growing in grass, a pale yellow form which I also added pictures of to the 
wiki so people could see a common habitat. Along the Hite's Cove Trail it 
was growing with Chinese Houses and in many other delightful combinations 
and some of the plants had purple stripes on the flowers.…

Finally everywhere was Calochortus albus which is one of my favorite 
Calochortus. I was having a lot of trouble getting my digital camera to 
focus on the flowers and not something else so took a lot of pictures I 
deleted. The ones I added were the best of the lot including one that shows 
how lovely the Collinsia was.…

I hope you all enjoy seeing some of California's treasures in the wild. 
I'll be adding more as I have time.

Mary Sue

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