Tue, May

Native California Plants and Wildflower Hotline: Get the “411”

CALL THE HOTLINE --Now is the time to enjoy the lovely wildflowers of So Ca. The Theodore Payne Wildflowers and Native Plants Hotline is an excellent resource to start planning your trip. You will hear the voice of Emmy Award winner, actor extraordinaire, Joe Spano, most currently on NCIS, giving a weekly report on where to go and what to see at each location in local Southern California sites. The hotline is only available during the spring months of March through May with an updated voice recording every Friday. 

THIS WEEK--Though it is a recorded message, it sounds like Joe is reciting poetry as he describes blankets of color such as the pink of the monkey flower, yellow of California poppies, purple of the desert lupine, deep burgundy of the desert willows, and the dainty white and yellow desert lilies. 

Expect to see a great display throughout this entire season everywhere with a variation of terrain, elevations and sun exposure. This week Joe talks about four locations to catch these beauties in different desert regions in So Ca: First, the Anza Borrego Desert State Park with 600,000 acres to explore, then Santa Rosa Plateau in Riverside, the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach and finally Placerita Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains. 

A BLOOMIN’ BONANZA--With the deluge of rain this winter, this year’s wildflower season is going to be a specular. So go explore. Enjoy your senses. See the colorful beauties to behold against the desert terrain, take in the aromatic floral scents in the air, hear the gentle trickling of the water in the streambeds and waterfalls, and feel the sunshine and breeze. You might want to keep a printout of the hotline recording handy to help identify the wildflower species. Here’s the PDF

Keep updated with the TPF Wildflower Hotline each Friday. You might enjoy this free resource so much that you will feel compelled to get involved in the organization by becoming a member or volunteering. I did, I am now a proud TPF member and owner of a TPF coffee mug!  



The TPF is everything California native wildflowers, plants and gardening to promote reduce water usage, cutting down on pesticides and fertilizers, encouraging natural pollination through birds and bees, and reducing maintenance. With its staff members and generous volunteers it maintains an educational center, nursery on it 22 acre property, a gift shop and art gallery, hike site, and hotline. 

10459 Tuxford

Sun Valley, CA 91352

(818) 768-1802


NURSERY--The retail nursery carries over 900 unique high quality California native plants. 75% of the plants are grown on premises. There is a helpful and extremely knowledgeable staff who can help you pick out plants according to what kind of soil, lighting, and to attract hummingbirds, songbirds and butterflies. The identification placard on each plant species is very detailed saying everything you need to know. There were over ten different kinds of buckwheat plants for sale!

So much to write about, check it out.   


Poppy Days Plant Sale 

Saturday, March 18, 2017, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

The region’s best selection of California native plants. Discounts for being a TPF member. 

Annual Native Plant Garden Tour (Year of the Buckwheat!) 

Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2, 2017, 10 am -5 pm      

A self-guided tour of 32 inspiring gardens. Learn about native plants, landscape design and wildlife habitat

For tickets


(Sue Helmy has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. She is currently providing superb administrative services at a financial management firm in Century City. She is active in countless church and civic organizations and spends every minute she can spare dancing to the Zumba beat.)