Mendocino Sonoma Coast Four

This wiki page shows pictures of geophytes growing in the wild in northern California along the Sonoma Mendocino coast arranged alphabetically from E through Maianthemum. Rainfall in this location starts in the fall with the most rain coming in December and January with less rain continuing sometimes as late as May. Summers are dry although there are periods of fog in summer which brings some moisture. Temperatures are moderate year round. Habitats are mixed evergreen and Redwood forests, bluff scrub, riparian and some limited grasslands, but much of this latter habitat (grasslands) is now gone. Most flowers bloom late spring into summer.


Mendocino Sonoma Coast Index - Allium to Calypso - Camassia to Dodecatheon - Marah to Spiranthes - Toxicoscordion to Zigadenus


Epipactis gigantea with a common name of stream orchid does not appear until spring and then flowers in the summer. These photos by Bob Rutemoeller was taken near a river in Northern California. During the winter it is likely occasionally covered with water when the river is high, but the water had retreated and it was blooming in July 2003.

Epipactis gigantea, Bob RutemoellerEpipactis gigantea, Bob Rutemoeller

Erythronium californicum known as California Fawn Lily grows in openings in woods and on slopes. The first photo shows one blooming in March 2005 and growing with Scoliopus bigelovii, Oxalis oregana, and Maianthemum racemosum on a wet mostly shady bank. The second taken April 2006 shows a number of them growing along Skaggs Springs Road in Sonoma County. The last three were taken April 2011 along the same road with companions Trillium ovatum, Scoliopus bigelovii, and Prosartes smithii, syn. Disporum smithii shown in photo #3.

Erythronium californicum, Mary Sue IttnerErythronium californicum, Mary Sue IttnerErythronium californicum, Mary Sue IttnerErythronium californicum, Mary Sue IttnerErythronium californicum, Mary Sue Ittner

Fritillaria affinis is found in various spots, near the coast and sometimes more inland. It usually grows in the shade so may not be easily spotted since the flowers are often brown. Only when the sun catches it, you may see it. The first three photos by Mary Sue Ittner were taken in late March 2005 a bit inland on a shady bank alongside a road in Sonoma County and the fourth March 2016 in a different, but similar location.

Fritillaria affinis, Mary Sue IttnerFritillaria affinis, Mary Sue IttnerFritillaria affinis, Mary Sue IttnerFritillaria affinis, Mary Sue Ittner

Goodyera oblongifolia is commonly called the Rattlesnake Orchid or Rattlesnake Plantain because of its leaves. It is found in shady woods in the Pacific states and blooms late summer into fall. The first two photos were taken at Stillwater Cove where one was in bloom. The third was taken on The Sea Ranch. Photos by Bob Rutemoeller.

Goodyera oblongifolia, Stillwater Cove Regional Park, Bob RutemoellerGoodyera oblongifolia, Stillwater Cove Regional Park, Bob RutemoellerGoodyera oblongifolia, Bob Rutemoeller

Iris douglasiana Herbert is a native of California and Oregon growing on the edge of coastal forests and on bluffs and prairies overlooking the sea. Flower color ranges from blue to violet to cream and blooming time from late winter into late spring. The first four pictures below were taken at Manchester State Beach (Mendocino County) in the spring. The fifth was taken at Salt Point State Park and the last on The Sea Ranch, both in Sonoma County, California. Photos by Mary Sue Ittner.

Iris douglasiana at Manchester State Beach, Mary Sue IttnerIris douglasiana, Manchester State Beach, Mary Sue IttnerIris douglasiana, Manchester State Beach, Mary Sue IttnerIris douglasiana, Mary Sue IttnerIris douglasiana, Salt Point State Park, Mary Sue IttnerIris douglasiana, The Sea Ranch, Mary Sue Ittner

Iris purdyi is found in the coastal forests of the north Coast ranges. It has narrow leaves and pale yellow flowers, often tinted purple or veined with purple or brown. The first two photographed by Bob Rutemoeller growing wild along the road in Northern California and the third taken in April 2006 by Mary Sue Ittner.

Iris purdyi, Bob RutemoellerIris purdyi, Bob RutemoellerIris purdyi, Mary Sue Ittner

Kniphofia uvaria is native to South Africa, but you see it naturalized in a number of places near the ocean. Photos taken by Bob Rutemoeller at Salt Point State Park, January 2009.

Kniphofia uvaria, Salt Point State Park, Bob RutemoellerKniphofia uvaria, Salt Point State Park, Bob Rutemoeller

Lilium maritimum is a rare lily with red tubular flowers and is found in California in the southern part of the North Coast ranges where it is found in scrub, fens, or gaps in the closed-cone forests, usually in low places where it stays wet longer. The first two photos by Bob Rutemoeller of a Mendocino County location. The second two were taken by Mary Sue Ittner in an area next to a road when they get extra water. One shows the leaves and another is a close-up.

Lilium maritimum, Bob RutemoellerLilium maritimum, Bob RutemoellerLilium maritimum, Mary Sue IttnerLilium maritimum, Mary Sue Ittner

Lilium pardalinum is native to the Pacific Coast (southern Oregon to southern California.) It is a woodland species, often found growing near streams. In these photos by Bob Rutemoeller it is pictured growing near the Gualala River in California in exactly that habitat in photos from July 2002.

Lilium pardalinum, Bob RutemoellerLilium pardalinum, Bob Rutemoeller

Lysichiton americanus or the western Skunk Cabbage grows in cool swamps and bogs near the coast from Central California north to Alaska. Photos taken by Rozann Grunig at the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands.

Lysichiton americanus, Rozann GrunigLysichiton americanus, Rozann GrunigLysichiton americanus, Rozann Grunig

Maianthemum dilatatum (False Lily of the Valley) is found in moist shady woods where it is often seen in large colonies. Photos of the leaves taken at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens by Mary Sue Ittner and of the flowers in Sonoma County and the berries in various stages in Mendocino County by Bob Rutemoeller.

Maianthemum dilatatum, Mary Sue IttnerMaianthemum dilatatum, Bob RutemoellerMaianthemum dilatatum berries, Bob RutemoellerMaianthemum dilatatum berries, Bob Rutemoeller

Maianthemum racemosum syn. Smilacina racemosa (False Solomon’s Seal) is found in moist woods and stream banks to open forests. The first two photos by Bob Rutemoeller of plants in flower in May 2003 and fruit June 2004. The second two by Mary Sue Ittner were taken in Sonoma County one month apart in March 2016 and April 2016.

Maianthemum racemosum, Bob RutemoellerMaianthemum racemosum, Bob RutemoellerMaianthemum racemosum, Mary Sue IttnerMaianthemum racemosum, Mary Sue Ittner

Maianthemum stellatum syn. Smilacina stellata (Star Solomon’s Seal) is found in moist woods, along streams and on well-drained hillsides where it often forms colonies. Photos by Mary Sue Ittner. The first picture was taken near Alder Creek and the next two at Stillwater Cove Park. The last two photos of mature berries were taken in Gualala Point Park.

Maianthemum stellatum, Mary Sue IttnerMaianthemum stellatum, Mary Sue IttnerMaianthemum stellatum berry, Stillwater Cove, Mary Sue IttnerMaianthemum stellatum berry, Gualala Point Park, Mary Sue IttnerMaianthemum stellatum berry, Gualala Point Park, Mary Sue Ittner


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Page last modified on July 15, 2016, at 09:39 PM