It seems like we see more yellow wildflowers than any other color, but maybe that's because they grow in such large patches as opposed to a small blue Chicory flower here and there.
Yellow Star Thistle (Centaurea solstitialis) might not be the most unique yellow wildflower, but there are so many purple Milk Thistle at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge that I like seeing the burst of yellow along the auto tour route.
See what I mean about those purple Milk Thistles! These were at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area in mid-April, creeping in on a bunch of White Mustard (Sinapis alba). White Mustard can be seen growing everywhere in the central valley and is anything but white.
I couldn't do a post about yellow wildflowers without mentioning the Mule's Ears (Wyethia) of Lassen VNP. These cheery beauties cover a huge amount of the mountainside when you're driving through the park and look just as pretty from up-close.
Snow Plant (Sarcodes) was one of the easiest flowers for me to identify. The first time I ever saw this unique plant, I couldn't believe it had no leaves! How strange to see a flower with no greenery or stems. Sometimes it even emerges when there is snow still on the ground.
Crimson Columbine (Aquilegia formosa) is a strikingly beautiful red wildflower. These flowers prefer moist locations, and the few times we've spotted it have been near the creekbed on the Brokeoff Mountain trail and along Manzanita Creek.
I think my favorite red wildflower in the park has to be the Skyrocket (Ipomopsis aggregata). What a great name for a cool-looking flower! We saw the greatest concentration of these beauties on the hiking trail along Manzanita Creek.
And finally, Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja). This flower can be found growing all over the park in many different species. There were a ton of these vibrant flowers growing on the hillside of the Brokeoff Mountain trail in mid-August.
Carpobrotus chilensis is a species of succulent plant known by the common name sea fig. My succulents at home don't look quite this happy in the summertime because they've got to deal with the triple-digit heat of the valley. Apparently, sea fig is also edible, but you won't find me snacking on any while I'm kicked back on the beach!
There are several different variations of Indian Paintbrush that grow in Lassen Volcanic National Park, but I'm pretty sure this is the wavy-leaved type. Identifying wildflowers can be quite the challenge and I'm finding it to be very time-consuming, too. But, I'm enjoying learning the names of the pretty blooms I see when we're hiking. It's always nice to put a name to a face.
We spotted this little firecracker blooming all along the side of the mountain when we hiked to the top of Brokeoff Mountain in late August. Castilleja is also known as prairie-fire, an appropriate name in my opinion.
Can you spot the tiny little spider on the right of the flower? Nature's pretty incredible, isn't it?