Floresteria Garden Flowers

Hotline Gives Heads Up on Best Places to See Wild Flowers in California


March 15, 2004--March marks the beginning of the wildflower season, so from March 5 through the end of May, twenty-four hours a day, callers to (818) 768-3533 and visitors to www.theodorepayne.org will receive the latest information on the best places to view wildflowers. The hotline message is narrated by Emmy Award winning actor Joe Spano (Hill Street Blues, Apollo 13, NYPD Blue) and is updated every Thursday evening with new information from over 90 wildflower sites throughout Southern California.

In addition, the web site, www.theodorepayne.org, will feature expanded weekly reports covering the entire State of California. The site provides Web links to dozens of flower-watching destinations and lists both the common and botanical name of each flower mentioned, and where and when it is blooming,

The Wildflower Hotline: A Continuing California Tradition

This year marks the 22nd Anniversary of the Wildflower Hotline. A free public service of the Theodore Payne Foundation, its goal is to help Californians appreciate the diversity and breadth of our state’s beautiful and unique native plants, which range from the State Flower, the showy orange California Poppy, to the sublime blues of the wild lilac, Santa Barbara ceanothus. With its wide range of habitats, from coastal sage scrub to deserts to alpine meadows, California enjoys one of the most diverse and spectacular arrays of endemic plants in the world.

Popular area destinations covered by the hotline include the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, Joshua Tree National Park, Carrizo Plain National Monument, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, and all of our local mountain ranges, including The Santa Monica Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains. Foundation staff and volunteers work together to gather up-to-date bloom information from experts including park rangers, botanists, conservation specialists and members of the California Native Plant Society. Hikers, tourists, activity leaders and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds use the information to plan trips to the week’s best bloom destinations.

Expanded Coverage at www.theodorepayne.org

In the past, the wildflower hotline and web site concentrated primarily on Southern California wildflower destinations. However, as a new service this year the Foundation will greatly expand its web site coverage to include sites in Central and Northern California. Places to be covered include the San Francisco Bay Area, the north coast, the Central Valley, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Information will be collected from over 160 sources, including state and national parks and national forests. The web site, www.theodorepayne.org will serve as a statewide clearinghouse for wildflower lovers everywhere.

2004 Season Looks Promising

Wildflower Hotline Coordinator Sid Dutcher forecasts a later-than-usual flower season in 2004. “We won’t have the spectacular carpets of flowers we would have after an El Nino year, but nonetheless the wildflower season should be good. The last couple of storms have helped out a lot.” However, he reports that, in many areas, needed rainfall was spotty. “In the Mojave Desert, for example, some areas received ample rain and snow, while an area only a mile away might have received no precipitation at all. The Wildflower Hotline and the web site will help wildflower enthusiasts pinpoint the areas that will have the most colorful shows.” Find out more by calling (818) 768-3533 or logging on to www.theodorepayne.org on March 5 for the Foundation’s first report of the season.

About the Theodore Payne Foundation

The Theodore Payne Foundation for California Wildflowers and Native Plants is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of California’s rich and diverse flora. Theodore Payne, who opened his first nursery in downtown Los Angeles in 1903, dedicated his life to promoting the use of native plants in home gardens and community landscape projects. He was involved in landscaping projects at, among other places, Cal Tech, Torrey Pines, Washington Park, Exposition Park, and Descanso Gardens. He was one of the first to recognize the value of using native California plants in everyday garden situations, from both aesthetic and practical points of view. Quite obviously, native plants are at home in the very habitat in which they evolved, and require far less water than their imported counterparts. Moreover, many native plants are spectacular in both foliage and flower and make a beautiful and unique addition to any landscaping project.

Today, the Payne Foundation continues his work and provides a variety of educational programs, including garden design classes, and talks on plant propagation and natural history. The Payne Foundation also operates a retail nursery offering hundreds of California native perennials, shrubs, trees and wildflower seeds for use in home gardens. The native plant nursery, bookshop, and seed store is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday. Its 22 acre canyon setting in Sun Valley also includes Flower Hill (a trail winding through chaparral above the nursery), demonstration gardens, a picnic area, and extensive areas of natural wildlife habitat just minutes from the bustling city. For more information, contact the Foundation at (818) 768-1802 or visit on line at www.theodorepayne.org.



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