Mendocino Sonoma Coast Three

This wiki page shows pictures of geophytes growing in the wild in northern California along the Sonoma Mendocino coast arranged alphabetically from Camassia through Disporum. 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 - Epipactis to Maianthemum - Marah to Spiranthes - Toxicoscordion to Zigadenus


Camassia quamash growing in a wet spot close to the ocean. In the large patch all but one of the flowers were purple. In the midst was one white one. Photos by Bob Rutemoeller. The last photo shows them blooming in mass on the Mendocino ridge in a wet grassy spot.

Camassia quamash, Bob RutemoellerCamassia quamash, Bob RutemoellerCamassia quamash, Mary Sue Ittner

Cardamine californica is found in shady canyons and woods from Baja California to Oregon. It is one of the first flowers to bloom each year. Photos from Mary Sue Ittner taken in Sonoma County. The first was taken on Skaggs Springs Road and the next two on The Sea Ranch bluffs. The final photo shows the cauline leaves of a plant growing along Fort Ross Road April 2016.

Cardamine californica, Mary Sue IttnerCardamine californica, Mary Sue IttnerCardamine californica, rhizome leaves, Mary Sue IttnerCardamine californica, cauline leaves, Mary Sue Ittner

Cardamine californica var. integrifolia is a form no longer recognized as a variety with white flowers. It is found in open fields, in mostly heavy wet soils. In a wet year you can sometimes see a mass of white flowers and wonder what it is. This photo by Bob Rutemoeller shows a close-up of flowers. These flowers are some of the first to bloom each year.

Cardamine californica var. integrifolia, Bob Rutemoeller

Chlorogalum pomeridianum known as soap plant grows on grassy road banks, open meadows, and slopes. It has basal rosettes of attractive wavy margined leaves that appear late winter and widely branched small star like fragrant flowers that bloom in summer. The flowers open late afternoon, are pollinated by night insects, and fade by morning. Photos by Mary Sue Ittner.

Chlorogalum pomeridianum, Mary Sue IttnerChlorogalum pomeridianum leaves, Mary Sue Ittner

Clintonia andrewsiana is a beautiful plant with bell shaped red flowers and broadly ovate shiny leaves. The flowers are followed by blue berries if the deer don't eat them first. It is found in the coastal fog belt of northern California and southern Oregon. It is often found growing in or at the edge of the forest with Trilliums and other forest plants. The leaves stay green throughout the dry summer and sometimes almost until new ones are produced in winter. The first three photos by Bob Rutemoeller of wild plants blooming in Sonoma County May 2003 and a later one another year of plants in fruit. The last photo by Mary Sue Ittner shows it growing with companions Oxalis oregana and Trillium ovatum.

Clintonia andrewsiana, Bob RutemoellerClintonia andrewsiana, Bob RutemoellerClintonia andrewsiana, fruit, Bob RutemoellerClintonia andrewsiana, Mary Sue Ittner

Corallorhiza maculata (spotted coralroot) is found in shaded coniferous forests. It has red brown to pink spotted petals and a white spotted lip. It is a saprophyte, a plant without green parts that receives its nutrients from decaying plant material. The first photo by Bob Rutemoeller taken in Kruse Rhododendron State Park and others more taken by Mary Sue Ittner in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.

Corallorhiza maculata, Kruse, Bob RutemoellerCorallorhiza maculata, Mary Sue IttnerCorallorhiza maculata, Mary Sue IttnerCorallorhiza maculata, Mary Sue IttnerCorallorhiza maculata, Mary Sue Ittner

Corallorhiza mertensiana is found in shaded to open mixed-evergreen or coniferous forests in decomposing litter. It has pink to red sepals. The first four photos taken by Bob Rutemoeller in Kruse Rhododendron State Park different years. Photos show a rare white form seen for the first time in 2010. The last two pictures were taken at Salt Point State Park by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner.

Corallorhiza mertensiana, Bob RutemoellerCorallorhiza mertensiana, Bob RutemoellerCorallorhiza mertensiana, Bob RutemoellerCorallorhiza mertensiana, Bob RutemoellerCorallorhiza mertensiana, Bob RutemoellerCorallorhiza mertensiana, Mary Sue Ittner

Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora is a frequently cultivated hybrid from South African species of Crocosmia. It has sword shaped leaves and orange-crimson flowers. It can be very invasive where happy as it spreads by stolons which create new corms. Even though it originates in summer rainfall areas and blooms in summer, it has naturalized in areas of the coast where you can find it growing in pockets that retain moisture in summer like road ditches. Photo from Mary Sue Ittner.

Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora, Mary Sue Ittner

Delphinium hesperium subsp. hesperium has dark blue purple flowers. This photo was taken on the Mendocino Sonoma Coast where it was overlooking the ocean. Photos by Bob Rutemoeller.

Delphinium hesperium, Bob RutemoellerDelphinium hesperium, Bob Rutemoeller

Delphinium nudicaule (red larkspur) with its red flowers is often found on shady banks and road verges, sometimes in large numbers. The first one photographed by Bob Rutemoeller was growing along Skaggs Springs Road and blooming 2003. Second photo from Mary Sue Ittnertaken April 2006.

Delphinium nudicaule, Bob RutemoellerDelphinium nudicaule, Mary Sue Ittner

Dichelostemma capitatum commonly known as Blue Dicks is an early spring bloomer often found growing in the grass. The first two pictures taken by Bob Rutemoeller show it found in two places in Sonoma County. One is the typical grass-weed habitat (sorry for the hand, but it was windy and blowing out of the frame) blooming May 2003 and the other an amazing clump growing in the rocks above Highway one, safe from all predators (and people) I'd expect blooming April 2004. The last pictures was taken in 2007 with a zoom lens in the same place by Mary Sue Ittner.

Dichelostemma capitatum, Bob RutemoellerDichelostemma capitatum, Bob RutemoellerDichelostemma capitatum, Mary Sue Ittner

Disporum smithii see Prosartes smithii


Dodecatheon hendersonii known as Henderson's shooting stars and mosquito bills grows in grassland communities and oak and conifer woodlands where it is found in sunny or often shady places from British Columbia, Canada, south to California. Photos from Mary Sue Ittner were taken March 2016 where it was growing in Sonoma County on the bank on a shady forested road.

Dodecatheon hendersonii leaves, Mary Sue IttnerDodecatheon hendersonii, Mary Sue IttnerDodecatheon hendersonii fruit, Mary Sue Ittner

Mendocino Sonoma Coast Index - Allium to Calypso - Epipactis to Maianthemum - Marah to Spiranthes - Toxicoscordion to Zigadenus


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Page last modified on August 09, 2016, at 07:28 AM