The Many Wildflowers in Mount Diablo’s Missing Mile

Nemophila menziesii var. menziesii baby blue eyes
Nemophila menziesii var. menziesii baby blue eyes

Diablo is an oasis of nature in the urban East Bay. However, the mountain we have grown to love is very different from the mountain centuries ago. Development, cattle grazing, and homesteading have altered the mountain’s terrain and wildlife. Many non-native life species, such as the pesky barbed goat grass, thrive on Mount Diablo.

Among the mountain’s many phases and changes, there is a window offering a glimpse of the natural flora of Mount Diablo. On the northern slopes of Mount Diablo’s North Peak, in the “Missing Mile,” is the land owned by the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association. Throughout the decades, they have been excellent stewards of their land.

Right now, Save Mount Diablo is working to raise about $1 million to protect 154 critical open space acres owned and stewarded by the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association (CMDTRA) through our Forever Wild Campaign. We’re getting closer to the finish line every day!

According to a botanical survey completed by Heath Bartosh and George Phillips, 92 percent of the plant species found on CMDTRA land are native to California. The property also hosts an incredible diversity of flora, with many plants considered rare both locally and statewide.

The many wildflowers on this property display a vast spectrum of hues that brighten and enrich the Missing Mile. Here are some pictures of the plants that grow on CMDTRA’s lands (not all of these photos were taken on CMDTRA property, but all of these plants grow there). Give them a look:Shooting star (Primula hendersonii), Eagle Peak Trail, Mount Diablo State Park

Shooting star (Primula hendersonii)

western wallflower (Erysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum)

Western wallflower (Erysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum)

woodland star (Lithophragma affine)

Woodland star (Lithophragma affine)

yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

serpentine bedstraw (Galium andrewsii ssp. gatense)

Serpentine bedstraw (Galium andrewsii ssp. gatense)

sticky monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus var. aurantiacus)

Sticky monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus var. aurantiacus)

California hop tree (Ptelea crenulata)

California hop tree (Ptelea crenulata)

California saxifrage (Micranthes californica)

California saxifrage (Micranthes californica)

death camas (Toxicoscordion fremontii)

Fremont’s star lily (Toxicoscordion fremontii)

Hospital Canyon larkspur (Delphinium californicum ssp. interius)

Hospital Canyon larkspur (Delphinium californicum ssp. interius)

Castilleja affinis ssp. affinis (Indian paintbrush)

Indian paintbrush (Castilleja affinis ssp. affinis)

hound's tongue (Cynoglossum grande)

Hound’s tongue (Adelinia grande)

virgin's bower (Clematis ligusticifolia)

Virgin’s bower (Clematis ligusticifolia)

Mt. Diablo fairy lantern (Calochortus pulchellus)

Mount Diablo fairy lantern (Calochortus pulchellus)

purple navarretia (Navarretia pubescens)

Purple navarretia (Navarretia pubescens)

Nemophila menziesii var. menziesii baby blue eyes

Baby blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii var. menziesii)

Amsinckia intermedia common fiddleneck

Common fiddleneck (Amsinckia intermedia)

blue dicks Dichelostemma capitatum

Blue dicks (Dipterostemon capitatus)

Discover more of Mount Diablo’s plants here!

Photos by Heath Bartosh, Bob Brittain, Scott Hein, Al Johnson, Tom McCormack, and David Ogden

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this blog post included some incorrect names and photos of wildflowers. Thanks to all who responded, letting us know what to correct. We’re extremely grateful for our wonderful community!

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