When I think of the beach, I don't tend to think of wildflowers. But, between the acres of toasty-warm sand, frothy waves and talkative seagulls, you just might find some pretty little blooms, soaking up all that seaside sunshine...
💜 Purple is my signature color, so I'm extra excited about picking out my favorite purple wildflowers for today's post!
Imagine my delight when we saw thousands of pretty Penstemons while hiking all throughout Lassen Volcanic National Park this summer! There are dozens of different species, but I'm almost positive these are Slender Penstemons (Penstemon gracilentus).
One of my absolute favorite flowers is Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum). They have the most beautiful purple blooms along with contrasting spikes that make this one fierce flower. They grow all around the wildlife refuges here in the central valley.
I'm pretty sure this Vervain is the Brazilian variety (Verbena brasiliensis) and I saw it growing at the Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. Why are most my favorite flowers considered invasive weeds???
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!