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Thank you for your patience and understanding as we recover from the damage from the Thomas Fire on our trails. In the coming months trails will likely open and close depending on rain and changing trail conditions. Click here for current information and trail notifications »

What’s In Bloom? Spring ’20

By on July 27, 2020 in News with 0 Comments

Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea)

Unlike other sages, it’s the only native sage with reddish-pink flowers, and instead of behaving like a shrub, it grows from rhizomes and forms dense colonies that provide wonderful ground cover in areas like Wills Canyon.


Woolly Bluecurls (Trichostema lanatum)

This evergreen shrub looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, but it’s one of our favorites! The next time you’re out hiking on the backcountry trails of the Ventura River Preserve treat your nose to the wonderful scents of woolly bluecurls. You’ll smell hints of lavender, cedar, and possibly even mint. It’s in the mint family, after all!


Sticky Monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus)

Named for its resinous leaves and flowers resembling the face of a grinning monkey, sticky monkeyflower is a great pollinator. They attract bees, birds, butterflies, and are seemingly deer resistant. You can spot this beauty in bloom on any one of the preserves and in restoration zones!


Elegant Clarkia (Clarkia unguiculata)

The elegant clarkia is having a great year. Found in dense little patches of oak woodland understory on the Ventura River Preserve and coloring the hillsides of Valley View Preserve, the four-parted bright pink flowers of the elegant clarkia will certainly brighten your day.


Deerweed (Acmispon glaber)

Are you wondering why the mountains are looking so yellow and vibrant this year? Well that’s because the native shrub commonly known as deerweed is playing an important role in ecosystem recovery after the Thomas Fire. Deerweed seeds have a thick coating that sometimes only a fire can crack, and typically two to four years after a fire deerweed will dominate the landscape. The deerweed is currently playing a crucial role by transferring nitrogen from the air back into the soil. This much needed nitrogen was lost during the fire and many of the larger plants that will come in the next stage of recovery need this nitrogen to grow. Deerweed can be found throughout the Ventura River, Valley View, and Ilvento Preserves.


Scarlet Bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius)

This herbaceous perennial with it’s fiery red hot bugle-shaped flowers is a tough plant to miss. Predominantly pollinated by hummingbirds, scarlet bugler differs from many other plants found in chaparral as all parts of the plant are smooth and hairless. This is probably due to the fact that the plant likes to live in well-drained soil with little water retention. Scarlet bugler would make a perfect drought tolerant plant for your yard. Be on the lookout for this gem when you’re hiking the preserves.

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