Winter showers bring spring and summer flowers! If you’re looking for the best California flower fields, wildflower trails, gardens, and more, here are the best in the state. The California flower bloom starts as early as February and continues well into fall. From wildflowers on the hiking trails to gardens full of color, here are the California flowers that are blooming this year.
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California Flower Fields
There are tons of beautiful flowers that bloom each year in California. Below are some of the best California flower fields along with where and when to find them.
California’s Wild Calla Lilies
When: mid-January to April
Where: Calla Lily Valley
The Calla Lilies near Big Sur at Calla Lily Valley bloom starting in mid-January to April. And the best time to visit is mid-February to March. It’s along a short trail in Garrapata State Park and a must-stop if you’re visiting the area as these are some of the coolest flowers in California to see along the coast.
Almond Blossoms Flowers in California
When: late February to early March
Where: Bakersfield, Modesto, Visalia, Dixon, and Woodland
The almond blossoms in California usually bloom from late February to early March. If you’re driving through Central California you’ll see these beauties from the 99 and 5 freeway around Bakersfield. You can also see them in the Modesto area, Ripon, Woodland, and Dixon. This is one of my favorite spring flowers California has to offer.
California Desert Wildflowers
There are a variety of desert wildflowers that bloom in California, especially after a good rainy season. The best places to see these desert wildflowers include: Anza Borrego State Park, Death Valley National Park, Carrizo Plain National Monument, and Joshua Tree National Park. These flowers include Parish’s Poppy, Hairy Desert-Sunflower, Desert Lily, Sand Verbena, Dune Evening Primrose, Indigo Bush, and more.
There are plenty of desert flowers in Southern California and but you’ll often find the most information about the wildflowers at Anza Borrego State Park, including the bloom status. Additionally, the Visitor Center usually has good information that will be helpful during your visit.
Ranunculus “The Flower Fields” in Carlsbad
When: March 1 to May 14
Where: The Flower Fields in Carlsbad
Ranunculus season starts at the beginning of the year but if you’re in the SoCal area you can see these at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad from March 1 – May 14, 2023. You’ll want to book tickets in advance as weekends can fill up quickly. Do check the “bloom status” on their website before booking as the beginning of the season is still not at peak bloom. This is one of the best flower fields in Southern California and is not to be missed.
Wild Mustard “Yellow Flowers”
When: March to May
LA County – Griffith Park, Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu, Turnbull Canyon (Whittier/Hacienda Heights)
San Bernadino County – Chino Hills State Park
Orange County – Water Tank Trail (Laguna Beach), Crystal Cove State Park (Laguna Beach)
San Diego – San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and Nature Center (Cardiff)
Northern California – Icopi Farms – Half Moon Bay
The Wild Mustard wildflowers at Chino Hills State Park are one of the most popular places to see these wildflowers in Southern California. These yellow wildflowers are actually invasive black mustard flowers that tend to grow like crazy each spring. If you’re looking for these yellow California wildflowers there are a ton throughout the state.
If you’re looking for flower fields in Los Angeles, then Malibu Canyon is the place to go. Malibu Creek State Park has a ton, and Solstice Canyon and Charmlee Wilderness are great places to hike that are full of these yellow flowers. And for flower fields in the bay area, Icopi Farms in Half Moon Bay is worth the drive.
Poppies Flower Fields in California
When: mid-March to early May
Southern California – Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, Walker Canyon (closed to the public but you can see from the freeway), Carrizo Plain National Monument, Santa Monica Mountains, Chino Hills State Park, Malibu Creek State Park, Figueroa Mountain
Northern California – Coyote Hills Regional Park, North Table Mountain, Pacheco State Park, Briones Regional Park
Poppies are California’s state flowers and every spring, especially after a Superbloom, you’ll see them pop up all over. They typically bloom in California between mid-March and early May. There are many places to see them but if you want to experience an orange sea of poppies head to Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve.
If you’re looking for poppy flower fields in Northern California I recommend North Table Mountain and Coyote Hills Regional Park. North Table Mountain is especially incredible during a Superbloom as there are a variety of flowers that bloom, including the beloved poppy.
Cherry Blossoms in California
When: March to April
LA – Descanso Gardens, Huntington Library
San Diego – Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park
San Francisco – Japanese Tea Garden San Francisco
Cherry blossoms in California happen sometime between the very end of February until mid to late April. However, in Los Angeles, it can vary a bit. Some of the best places to see Cherry Blossoms in California are Japanese gardens or botanic gardens.
Larkspur, Sweet Pea, Bells of Ireland & More
When: April through September
Where: Lompoc Flower Fields
The town of Lompoc isn’t large in population but there are TONS of fields here. You’ll find Stock, Larkspur, Delphinium, Queen Annes Lace, Bupleurum, Bells of Ireland, and more. The Flower Fields are privately owned. Anyone visiting should NOT walk into the fields without permission. Check out this flower map for a scenic drive through Lompoc.
Purple Ice Plant “Magic Carpet” in Monterey
When: mid-April to mid-May
Where: Pacific Grove (you can find this all around the central coast but there are tons in Pacific Grove), between Perkins Park to Esplanade Park
Have you heard of the Magic Carpet in Pacific Grove, adjacent to Monterey, California? Every spring these purple flowers bloom along the Monterey Peninsula and it’s absolutely beautiful! The drosanthemum floribundum bloom purple flowers and it looks absolutely magical. If you’re heading to the Monterey Bay/Big Sur area it is a must-stop!
Where to Find Wisterias
When: mid-April to May
Where: Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge, LA Arboretum, Arlington Gardens in Pasadena, Lake Balboa Park in Van Nuys, Potrero Hill in San Francisco (corner of Mariposa & Connecticut), Filoli Historic House & Garden
There are various types of wisteria plants. Some, such as the Pink Japanese Wisteria bloom in early spring while others bloom in mid to late spring. You’ll likely see wisterias in botanical gardens. The locations above all have wisteria however keep in mind that they bloom at different times.
Jacarandas Flowers in California
When: late April to early June
Where: Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Francisco (Mission, Potrero Hill, & Castro)
A street lined with Jacarandas in bloom is a stunning sight to see! You can find these beautiful trees throughout Los Angeles and in various spots in Long Beach and San Francisco. If you Google “Jacaranda map Los Angeles” or “Jacaranda map Long Beach” there are maps that tell you exactly where they are in bloom. For San Francisco, type in “Jacaranda” into the San Francisco Street Tree Map.
Lavender Fields in California
When: Typically mid-May to July
SoCal – 123 Farm, Clairmont Farms, Fork & Plow Lavender
NorCal – Araceli Farms, Monte-Bellaria, Pageo Farms
Lavender season in Southern California usually starts in mid-June to mid-July. It can start a little early in Northern California. There are plenty of lavender fields, and these are truly the best California summer flowers! Northern California, and Central Valley as well. Places like 123 Farm in Cherry Valley are perfect to visit because they make an experience out of lavender season. You’ll find a marketplace, live music, a food court & bar, and more.
Sunflower Flower Fields in California
When: usually starting around June but it varies
Southern California – Hana Field in Costa Mesa, Carlsbad Strawberry Company, Pumpkin Station
Central Califonia – Murray Family Farms in Bakersfield
Northern California – Andreotti Family Farms in Half Moon Bay, The Cloverleaf Farm in Davis, Swank Farms in Hollister, fields in Dixion
Sunflowers start to bloom in the summer but you can find fields all over California as late as October. There are various farms that offer u-pick sunflowers throughout SoCal and NorCal including Hana Field, Pumpkin Station, Murray Family Farms, Andreotti Family Farms, The Cloverleaf Farm, and Swank Farms. The Carlsbad Strawberry Company doesn’t offer u-pick flowers but they do have a sunflower maze you can walk through. There are so many California flower farms with sunflowers!
There are also sunflower fields in Dixion. These are private but you can take photos from the road.
I hope this list helps you explore a blooming California flower season this year! Have you been to any of these flower fields in California? Let me know in the comments.
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