View Full Version : Lucas Valley and Big Rock Ridge

Sandy S
04-13-2013, 10:45 PM
We drove along Lucas Valley Rd. from highway 101 to about a mile west of Big Rock Ridge looking for wildflowers. We also did a short walk on the fire trail which is on the south side of Lucas Valley Rd. right at Big Rock Ridge. Big Rock Ridge is part of the Lucas Valley Preserve, which is a Marin Open Space land. The Marin Chapter of the CNPS has an excellent plant list for the area at their website: http://www.marin.edu/cnps/MarinCNPS_Plant_Lists.html

Between 101 and Big Rock we did several short pullovers in areas that looked flowery. We found Buttercups, California Poppies, two species of Lupines, Hog Fennel, Hedge Nettle, Douglas Iris Galium, a pink clover (trifolium sp.), Blue-eyed Grass and a small yellow lotus, Blue Dicks ,Woodland Star and Poison Oak (in flower).

At Big Rock there were some displays of Buttercups, Goldfields, and Lilac-Shower Babystars (Linantus androsaceus). It was one of the more flowery places I have been this season. Poppies were also plentiful. Other plants in bloom included Blue-eyed Grass, Yarrow, Cream Cups, Blue Dicks, Yellow Monkeyflowers, Checkerbloom, Hedge Nettle,Flax, a small yellow lotus, a yellow lomatium, Iris, Popcorn, Purple Sanicle, and California Phacelia. Several birds were seen including Red-tailed Hawk, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Mourning Doves and the bird of the day Lark Sparrow. There were also a number of butterflies but the only one successfully identified was a Tiger Swallowtail.

We drove about a mile west of Big Rock Ridge and made two stops at pullovers on the south side of Lucas Valley Rd. The first was sunny and had Buttercups, Goldfields, a red clover (trifolium sp.) and and Cream Cups.

The second was mainly shady and even included some early season flowers still in bloom . Here we found Woodland Star, Alum Root, Red Larkspur, Houndís tongue, Milkmaids, Star Zigadene, a yellow lomatium, and Minerís Lettuce.

Photos at: http://naturalhistorywanderings.com/2013/04/13/wildflowers-of-lucas-valley-and-big-rock-ridge-41313/