Springtime Splendor: A Guide to California Wildflowers in April

The Malibu Life April 25, 2024

Springtime Splendor: A Guide to California Wildflowers in April

Rain! Flowers! Let’s go!


Pack your Zyrtec and head out up into the mountains because with this year‘s rains the flowers are out in full force. The superbloom we saw years ago is predicted to repeat itself this spring and if you are looking to impress your hiking friends with superior knowledge on these wildflowers - keep reading. We’ll tell you:

  • what they are - and -
  • where to find them!


As the sun begins to warm the hillsides and valleys of California and Malibu in particular, a vibrant tapestry of wildflowers bursts into bloom, painting the landscape with hues of purple, yellow, orange, and pink. Sounds rad - right? April marks the peak of wildflower season in many parts of the state, including Malibu. Here’s what you will most likely see if you hike Escondido falls, Charmalee, Solstice Canyon, Malibu Creeks State Park or any of the other spectacular trails throughout the 21 miles of Malibu scenic beauty.


California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

No discussion of California wildflowers would be complete without mentioning the iconic California Poppy. This vibrant orange flower blankets hillsides and meadows, creating a breathtaking display that attracts visitors from near and far. The California Poppy typically blooms from late February through April, with peak blooming occurring in March and April. Its cheerful blooms are a symbol of the Golden State and are protected by law, so don’t disturb!

Purple Nightshade (Solanum xanti)

With its delicate purple flowers and lush green foliage, Purple Nightshade adds a touch of elegance to the California landscape. Often found along roadsides and in open fields, this native plant blooms from March through June, with April being an excellent time to catch it in full bloom. 


Sticky Monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus)

Named for its sticky, glandular leaves and monkey-like appearance, Sticky Monkeyflower is another common sight in the wildflower fields of California. This vibrant plant produces tubular flowers ranging in color from yellow to orange, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies with its sweet nectar (yum!). Blooming from March through July, Sticky Monkeyflower can often be found in moist, shady habitats such as stream banks and canyon bottoms.


Wild Lilac (Ceanothus spp.)

As April unfolds, the hillsides of Malibu are adorned with the delicate blossoms of Wild Lilac. These fragrant clusters of tiny blue or white flowers blanket the landscape, filling the air with their sweet perfume. Look for them in sunny, open areas and enjoy their beauty while it lasts, as they typically bloom from March through May.


So go on a hike and stop to smell the wildflowers (see what we did there?).


Stay on designated trails to avoid trampling delicate wildflower habitats - take only photographs and leave only footprints. Enjoy!!

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