Wildflowers in the Central Region of California


  • The Central Region of the Department of Fish and Game extends from the ocean to the desert, crossing two mountain ranges and the Central Valley. As you can imagine, we have a large diversity of wildflowers due to the wide variety of habitat types.
  • There are over link opens in new tab or window7,000 species and varieties of native plants in California. Not all are wildflowers, because that number includes trees, shrubs, and grasses too. It's hard to say exactly but perhaps half of the species known from the state are found in the Central Region.

Viewing Wildflowers

  • You can see wildflowers throughout the Central Region, especially in the springtime.
  • The link opens in new tab or windowTheodore Payne Foundation maintains a statewide wildflower hotline. Select "Special Events" > "Wildflower Hotline", or call (818) 768-1802 ext. 7.
    For links to other wildflower hotlines, select "Special Events" > "Wildflower Hotline" > Wildflower Site Links".
  • The link opens in new tab or windowKern County Board of Trade has a hotline for Kern County. Select Wildflower Sightings > Recent Sightings, or call (666) 322-WILD.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does CDFW control weeds?

There are more than link opens in new tab or window1,000 non-native plants in California that are naturalized (growing without cultivation). Many of these plants are link opens in new tab or windowinvasive, choking out our native plants and reducing habitat quality for animals. We use various forms of management to control invasive plants on CDFW lands, including grazing, hand-pulling, and the judicious use of herbicides.

What are some good references about wildflowers in our area?

Where can I find photographs of California plants?

Where can I get help identifying a wildflower?

  • See References
  • There are eight CNPS chapters in the Central Region. a href="http://www.cnps.org/cnps/chapters/" target="_blank">link opens in new tab or windowContact the one serving your county
  • Try your local college or university.

How can I find out about wildflower field trips in my area?

Local land trusts, nature centers, and conservation organizations offer field trips. Here are some field trip resources arranged by county.

When is the best time to view wildflowers?

In most areas, spring is the best time to view wildflowers, but the dates vary each year due to weather patterns. In general, higher elevations reach peak bloom later than lower elevations. To find out what is blooming at a given time, call or check the wildflower hotlines.

Where can I go to see wildflowers in the Central Region?

There are many places to see flowers throughout the blooming season.

How can I keep deer from eating my garden?

Where can I get more information on rare plants?

How many rare plants are in the Central Region?

There are 640 rare, threatened, and endangered plant species in the 12 counties that make up the Central Region, according to the link opens in new tab or windowCalifornia Native Plant Society’s Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants, 7th Edition. This represents 29% of the 2,177 rare plants in the state and includes plants on CNPS lists 1A through List 4.  For definitions of the lists, see:

Which plants are rare?

The California Natural Diversity Database maintains a list of all rare plants (PDF) in the state.

Where can I find lists of plants that grow on DFG lands?

Where can I pick wildflowers?

Sorry, but you shouldn’t pick them anywhere. You will enjoy them for only a short while, but by picking them you may damage the long-term health of the population. Besides, it’s against the law, even on roadsides. Take pictures instead!

Why aren't there good wildflower displays every year?

Many of our wildflowers are annuals, meaning that the plants die at the end of the growing season. They produce seeds one year that sprout the next time the conditions are right. Our variable weather means that conditions are not right every year. Sufficient rainfall is needed at the appropriate times in the growing season, and temperature plays a role, too.