After a long dry spell, the rains of March and April have brought Edgewood County Park & Preserve back to life. Because of the late rain and the unusually cool Spring, it will be another week or two before the wildflower display reaches its peak.
On April 14 I lead my College of San Mateo class on a 4.2-mile ramble through the serpentine grasslands and woodlands to view the emerging explosion of blooming plant life. We met at the Clarkia Trail head along Canada Road, just south and east of Highway 280. We then combined the Clarkia Trail, Serpentine Trail, Franciscan Trail, Old Stage Road, and Edgewood Trail, which took us back to the Serpentine Loop and Clarkia Trail.
The tidy tips and goldfields are out in force in the serpentine grasslands. We also enjoyed lots of poppies, cream cups, sun cups, buttercups, lomatiums, and some purple bush lupines in full bloom. It was a beautiful sunny day. Serpentine, the state rock of California, is associated with fault zone and provides poor soil for non-native grasses because of its high toxicity and low water holding capacity. This leaves room for native plants which are adapted to the serpentine soil to thrive.