Wildflowers

Wildflowers bloom in a field along East Butte Road on March 20 in Sutter County.

Carpets of colorful flowers are popping up in the area and experts say it’s more abundant than other years. This year is known as a super bloom.

Barbara Kiernan, the University of California master gardener coordinator for community outreach in Yuba-Sutter, said years of drought are part of what makes the super bloom show of colors so impressive.

“Throughout the years of drought, plants put out more seeds because they think they’ll expire – it’s basically self-preservation,” Kiernan said. “The seeds will sit dormant until the conditions get right, and those are the conditions we’re seeing now.”

She said throughout the foothills and around the Sutter Buttes are two close places to view the fleeting blankets of floral color palettes.

“All the flowers that are blooming now will produce more seeds and it’ll get event bigger, especially if it rains a lot next year,” she said. “It’s also really good for insects and butterflies especially with the migration of butterflies.”

She said poppies, lupin and buttercups are a few of the wildflowers that are common in this area.

Lori Dieter, a wildlife interpreter with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, said the valley has some wildflowers but the foothills are far more abundant.

“The lowlands are not as impressive as the foothills and the deserts, which are really blooming,” she said. “I live in Chico and Bidwell Park and Table Mountain are really nice now.”

Every Saturday and Sunday through mid-May starting at 11 a.m., South Yuba River State Park offers a docent-led wildflower walk where people can learn about and see wildflowers.

“Early flowers are starting to show their heads and we anticipate a lovely year, depending on weather,” said Ann Wright, a South Yuba River State Park docent, in an email. “I will be leading a wildflower walk April 6 and I will have first hand knowledge of how the flowers are coming. We hope to have a good showing this year.”

Rain may cancel the wildflower walks.

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