After you’ve roamed the wildflower areas described in this issue, stop by the Oakland Museum of California for the 2002 California Wildflower Show on May 11-12. The museum’s crew gets up before dawn on Saturday and collects wildflowers from the Sierra foothills to bring back to the museum for this glorious and fleeting two-day display. While you’re there, stop by their Scene in Oakland, 1852-2002 exhibit, where you’ll find numerous paintings and photographs of pre-pavement Oakland.
Now that you’ve seen native wildflowers in the parks and in the museum, perhaps you’d like to try growing them in your own yard. Check out Strybing Arboretum’s annual native plant sale in Golden Gate Park (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) on Saturday, May 4. For years, staff and volunteers at Strybing have propagated a large selection of California natives. The sale will feature 300 to 400 varieties of native plants, including 40 varieties endemic to San Francisco. Highlights include Arabis blepharophylla, or coast rock cress, a pretty flowering ground cover with delicate fragrant rose-purple blossoms; beach strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis, which used to grow wild in the sandy dune landscape that is now Golden Gate Park; a dozen varieties of native irises propagated without hybridization; and flannel bush (Fremontodendron californicum), a large native shrub with two-inch wide showy yellow flowers (415-661-1316 or www.strybing.org). Across the Bay, the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park (Berkeley hills) is holding its annual spring sale of California native plants on Saturday, April 20, 2002, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (510-841-8732 or www.nativeplants.org).