Our dry winter hasn’t given much hope for bountiful spring wildflowers, but you can get weekly updates on what is blooming where on the Theodore Payne Foundation Wildflower Hotline at (818) 768-1802, extension 7.
Since 1983, the Wildflower Hotline has been offering free reports on the best places to see spring wildflowers in Southern and Central California. The locations are easily accessible public lands, ranging from urban to wild, distant to the midst of Los Angeles.
The reports are posted each Friday from March through May. Emmy Award-winning actor Joe Spano is the “Voice of the Wildflower Hotline.” Printable PDFs are available online, covering locations, types of flowers and interesting information about the landscape. These also include photographs and identifications for common plants and flowers you might see.
The reports cover more than just the blooming of California’s iconic poppies. They include a wide range of native plants growing wild in Southern and Central California. The PDFs also include links to live feed cameras at the Antelope Valley State Poppy Reserve and to events at various preserve and environmental centers. There are plenty of ideas for interesting day trips here.
If you want to visit the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, check their web cam first to see what the blooming status is. The lack of rain this winter and the bouts of cold weather may affect how generous the bloom is. Plan to be there around mid-morning when the flowers unfurl.
If you visit the wildflowers, please be sure to:
- Stay on the paths
- Stand on bare ground
- Don’t harm the flowers
- Take only photographs
The Theodore Payne Foundation seeks to inspire and educate Southern Californians about the beauty and ecological benefits of California native plant landscapes. You can visit the 22-acre canyon site. From the site’s retail plant store, you can walk the Wild Flower Hill Trail, a three-quarter-mile walk through chaparral and coastal sage scrub. At the top of the hill are a picnic bench and panoramic views of the Verdugo Mountains and the San Fernando Valley.
The site is free, open year-round and friendly to dogs on leash.