Take a hike around the trails at Kirkwood during the summer months and you won’t be disappointed! Hikers will be rewarded with seemingly endless fields of vibrant wildflowers in shades of orange, purple, pink and red. For an extra breathtaking view, stick around for the sunset!
Wildflowers are typically most plentiful during July and early August. Here are some of the usual suspects you can look out for at Kirkwood. These are some of our more common varieties but there are plenty more out there, you just need to look!
Wyethia mollis is a species of flowering plant in the sunflower family known by the common name woolly mule's ears. The plant is hairy to woolly in texture, and produces golden-rayed wildflowers that resemble miniature sunflowers. The species name mollis means "soft", in reference to the soft hairs on the leaves.
The edible flowers of the Indian paintbrush were consumed in moderation by various Native American tribes as a condiment with other fresh greens. These plants have a tendency to absorb and concentrate selenium in their tissues from the soils in which they grow, and can be potentially very toxic if the roots or green parts of the plant are consumed. Highly alkaline soils increase the selenium levels in the plants. Indian paintbrush has similar health benefits to consuming garlic if only the flowers are eaten in small amounts and in moderation. The paintbrush is also is partially parasitic, feeding on the roots of other plants.
Lupinus, commonly known as lupin or lupine (North America), is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family . The genus comprises about 280 species. You can spot about 5 different varieties at Kirkwood. The plants often cover large areas of the hillside and are distinguishable by their indigo flowers.
Guided Wildflower Hikes
Renowned wildflower expert and author Laird Blackwell will be hosting a series of guided wildflower hikes in July. These special hikes are a must for nature lovers and photographers, and advance reservation is recommended as they will sell out.
Hikes are Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Each hike is limited to 18 people with advance reservations strongly recommended. $35 per person.
For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.thekca.org.
Happy wildflower hunting and we’ll see you on the trails!
Guest post provided to us by our friends at Kirkwood.