Tag Archives: Cardamine californica

Milkmaids, Cardamine californica, are members of the Mustard Family. They are one of the earliest blooming wildflowers on the Mendonoma coast. Jinx McCombs recently found one in bloom.

Western Trilliums, Trillium ovatum, are up too! Rick and I found a half dozen today in the forest. Members of the Lily Family, they are sometimes called Wake Robin because their bloom can coincide with American Robins returning from their wintering grounds. Here is one just appearing on the forest floor.

Native wildflowers are a treat to find. Thanks to Jinx for allowing me to share her photo with you here.

We are having warm, dry weather. It doesn't feel like winter here on the Mendonoma coast today. No rain in the forecast for the next week. We may have to start planning for a rain dance.

Karen Tracy found the delicate-looking Milkmaids, Cardamine californica, blooming.

It is one of our earliest blooming wildflowers. Rick and I are seeing them begin to flower in our forest alongside the creek.

We are having wild, cold weather. Rain followed by sunshine that then turns to rain seems to be the order of the day. Some call it zany weather!

Thanks to Karen for allowing me to share her photo with you here.

Many of our native wildflowers are quite small so you need to pay close attention when hiking in forests or on bluffs. Here are a few that are currently blooming.

Milkmaids, Cardamine californica, a member of the mustard family.

Milkmaids by Amy Ruegg

And Hooker's Fairybells, Disporum hookeri, a member of the lily family. The flowers shyly hid underneath this plant's leaves.

Fairy Bells by Amy Ruegg

Slink Pod, aka Fetid Adder's Tongue, Scoliopus bigelovii, also a member of the lily family.

Fetid Adder's Tongue, the first wildflower of the year, by Craig Tooley

All of these and more are blooming now, though the Slink Pod bloom may be over. I will share more of our coastal wildflowers soon.

The first two photos were taken by Amy Ruegg and the last was taken by Craig Tooley. I thank them for allowing me to share their photos with you here. To see much more of Craig's nature photography, here is his website: www.ruffimage.com

Since Rick and I found Trilliums blooming recently it shouldn't be surprising to also find the first Milkmaids, Cardamine californica. They belong to the mustard family. Cardamine means "strengthen the heart" from its reputed medicinal qualities. The flowers are said to be edible, with a peppery taste. But why pick these delicate beauties when we can enjoy them for weeks in the forest? These wildflowers are California natives, just like me.

 Huckleberry, our golden retriever, must have been checking out this wildflower as his paw is in the photo below. This plant is unusual in that it has two types of leaves - the oval one, which appears first and then the flower stalk with the slender long leaves. The oval leaf is a short distance from the flower stalk. You can see this in the bottom right-hand corner of the photo below. The flowers are just about ready to open.