Nature Experts Warn Pasadena Wildflower Watchers to 'Take Pictures, Don't Pick Flowers' During Super Bloom Frenzy

Published : Sunday, March 24, 2019 | 4:41 AM

A patch of superbloom blossoms in Eaton Canyon. Image via YouTube.

A super bloom of wildflowers is emerging in the areas surrounding Pasadena, but nature experts are asking the public to not trample or disturb the native plants.

This year, the blooms and bloom lovers are both springing out in large amounts, but to keep the flowers thriving and enjoyable for all to see requires not trampling them. A surprising number of social media users have inflicted damage taking pictures which engender walking out into the flower fields, or worse yet, lying on them.

George Watland, Senior Chapter Director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Sierra Club, said the rain has brought out a remarkable year in wildflower blooms.


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“We’re expecting a large amount of wildflowers after the wet winter and of course it’s a great time to view them, but we encourage people to take pictures and not pick the flowers,” Watland said. “Stick to trails and walkable areas to view them.”

Scientists and nature experts are asking people not to trample flowers and respect the growth of all the plants emerging between now and May. Many nature experts point out that the widespread destruction led to new rules at Lake Elsinore, where recently hordes of bloom admirers wrought havoc.

With the Santa Monica mountains burned, and a particularly cold winter, there are other sites people can see, said Christopher Nyerges, wilderness expert and survivalist.

“I don’t like people disturbing the wildflowers,” Nyerges said. “People who don’t appreciate nature just pick the flowers and want their selfie. Don’t damage the flowers.”

Local experts agreed with Jonathan Reinig, the natural resources manager for Riverside County Parks told SF Gate social media plays a role in traffic and destruction.

“We’ve had a huge influx of people,” Reinig said. “There’s traffic every day from it. The county says it’s their most accident-y time of year. I think social media has played a huge role.”

Helen Sweany, a local nature expert, said the environment is so frail that people need to be aware of the tiniest little beings.

“There is a species that grows among the poppies and they’re so tiny and people wouldn’t see them,” she said. She added that people won’t actually ever see the species if it becomes extinct. That’s what will happen if people trample on flowers going to seed.

Sweany said the Joshua Trees are all blooming now as well and she says that’s more exciting because they’re all blooming at the same time right now, and that’s unusual.

“Something triggers them and they don’t know if it’s pollinators or the trees are talking to each other, but nobody knows what really does that. When you’re talking about superbloom you should be there’s so much more than poppies happening now.

And soon there will be Lupins and Mariposa Lillies, the No. 2 choice for California state flower.

“But so many people have picked them, it makes it very unusual to find them now.”

She said rules may be imposed in other state parks if people are not more observant of the rules. “It’s not fair because it punishes the people who are following the rules.”

And to avoid trampling flowers completely, there’s one really easy way, said Nyerges.

“There are plenty of great blooms to see from your car from the freeway,” Nyerges said. He said people can see blooms even from the 210 freeway.

Sweany said Clarkia and Monkey Flower will bloom next.

“The weather has been cooler than normal in addition to unusual rain,” Sweany said. “And so for some plants they don’t bloom on schedule you can’t mark your calendar for it. There are other things that we may have seen but they’re taking their time to bloom.”

Sweany said there is no rush and there’s no need to go follow the herds of people as the best blooms are yet to come.

“Do you know why the poppy is the California state flower? It’s because they found that any month of the year, somewhere in our state a poppy is blooming,” she said.

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