Far Out Flora

Fort Funston’s Wildflower Freakout

July 8, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 10 Comments

Abronia latifolia

Last Sunday morning Matti, Max and I hit up Fort Funston about four miles south of our place for some wildflower hunting. Thanks to Anni J. at Annie’s, know that the above clump of round yellow blooms is Abronia latifolia, or Sand Verbena. It’s very succulenty. According to Las Pilitas Nursery it likes to be really, really close to the beach, like a couple hundred feet from the surf close. It’s also the sole food source for the almost endangered Copablepharon fuscum or Sand Verbena moth.

Dudleya farinosa

This is why we really came to Fort Funston. It’s Dudleya flowering season which means you can actually find them via their red stems and flowers all over the place. Sweet! Pretty sure these are all Dudleya farinosa. We saw some less frosty green guys, too.

Cirsium occidentale

One of the coolest things about being the plant sign maker at Annie’s is seeing plants I’ve only read about in the wild for the first time. The even cooler part is being able to identify them. This Cirsium is one of those plants. Here are a few more favorites from the wander around.

Coast Paintbrush - Castilleja affinis

Erigeron glaucus

Camissonia cheiranthifolia, I think.

Mystery Ferns

Anyone know what these sand/sun loving ferns are?

Happy Dog Max

Fort Funston’s still full of tons of beachy blooms. It’s chock full of Eriogonums in all shapes and sizes, and oh yeah it’s also an off-leash dog park so bring the puppy. You can check out all our Fort Funston pics are here, including many of Matti looking super excited.


Ferry Ride to Wild Tiburon Flower Fun

June 6, 2011 by Megan Speckmann | 5 Comments

Leaving the Ferry Building

Memorial Day I took the ferry over to Tiburon to check out Old St. Hilary’s. I was googling around about wildflowers in Marin, and found this description from the landmarks society website “Wildflowers surround Old St. Hilary’s, Tiburon’s iconic hillside landmark, which was originally a mission church named for St. Hilaire, Bishop of Poitiers. The heirs of John Reed—who held title to El Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio, the Mexican land grant that included the Tiburon Peninsula—deeded the one-quarter acre site for $2 to the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which built the church as a place of worship for local railroad workers in 1888.”

Old St. Hillary's in Tiburon

I was sold, and love any excuse to get on a boat in the bay. It’s not a long walk from the ferry drop off to Old St. Hillary’s. In early spring you can find the super rare Tiburon Paint Brush (Castilleja neglecta). I was able to track down a couple wildflowers while I was there. Didn’t see a single other person the whole time I was there except for a lone jogger.

Calochortus luteus loveliness

Mariposa lily cuteness was in bloom all over the place. Lots of little black beetle like bugs in most of them.


Thanks to Annie’s I can identify crap loads of plants I was clueless about earlier, but I’m still a rookie. As a junior level California native plant identifier, I think the above is a Brodiaea of some sort, but that’s all I know. They were everywhere!

Cute little Dudleyas

Keep an eye out for Dudleya blooms this time of year if you live near the coast. Guessing this is Dudleya farinosa. All of our backyard duds are in flower right now.

Old St. Hillary's

California Poppies

Lots and lots and lots of California poppies blooming all over the place. They were the cute little light orange guys.

Gosh Darn Yellow Composites (GDYC)

I have four guesses of what this might be, but for now I’m going to call it Gosh Darn Yellow Composite. Update, thanks to a helpful flickr member help I have a positive id: Hemizonia congesta ssp. lutescens

Silene californica

This was another unknown (to me) until a kind flickr member ID’ed it for me as Silene californica. I love you flickr! Next year we’ll get our wildflower searching happening a little earlier when more is going on.

August 21, 2010
by Megan

Bluff Lettuce Blooming

Megan has the eyes of an eagle.  Driving to down Skyline Highway to Fort Funston, she was able to spot a bunch of Bluff Lettuce (Dudleya species) in bloom. Fort Funston is one of the coolest dog parks in San … Continue reading

April 27, 2010
by Megan

I’m a Dudleya Dork

I freaked out after spotting this Dudleya during a beach hike.  I mean we see succulents everyday in the garden setting, but to see CA native Dudleya growing amongst the other wildflowers is pretty cool. These succulents were growing about … Continue reading