The Year of Spectacular Wildflowers

By David Powdrell

In the course of a lifetime, we get an occasional spectacular display of bright color, bold blooms, and blankets of natural beauty. Thanks to the significant level of rainfall this year, the wildflowers in Santa Barbara County are already putting on quite a show. Bold yellows, deep purples, electric oranges, and soft blues line the local bluffs and local trails.

California poppies, canyon sunflowers, evening primrose, lupine, prickly phlox, purple sage, woolly blue curls, bush poppies, deerweed, bush monkey flowers, and the elusive Humboldt Lily are in full force.  Other previously dormant seeds are sprouting up too.

March to May is typically the best viewing window. With so many trails in our local foothills with varying levels of difficulty, I hope you’re able to get out and see some of the splendor. Keep an eye out for poison oak and poison ivy, watch for fallen trees, and stay on the marked trails, but catch this exciting display of natural beauty if you can.

There’s magic in rainwater.

David Powdrell – Co-author, “Wildflowers of the Santa Barbara Foothills” and “A Field Guide to Common Plants of Santa Barbara” with Hugh Margerum. 

Humboldt Lily

Wild Iris

Cactus Flowers


Canyon Sunflower

Chalk Live Forever


Written by bigwavedave

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  1. Great photos Dave. I often see Canyon Sunflowers on the west side of Gaviota State Park (which is still closed). Didn’t know you had two books published:
    That looks like a chia sage in your field guide. I call them “Space alien death stars” haha.

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