8 early blooms herald spring’s approach

Watch for these wildflowers in coast redwood forests

Snow lies around red flowers will broad, mottled leaves.
Giant wake robins stand above the snow. These showy trilliums thrive in moist areas. Photo by Laura Lalemand, Save the Redwoods League

Spring doesn’t start until March 20, but that doesn’t stop the blooms in the coast redwood forests, even in the recent, unusual snow.

Look out for these beauties, blooming now and in the coming months.

Western trillium

A white flower stands in the foreground. Coast redwoods stand in the background
Western trilliums have white, pink, or purple flowers. Photo by Max Forster, @maxforsterphotography


Five white flowers and a green stalk.
Milkmaids grow in moist areas such as streambanks in coast redwood forests. Photo by Laura Camp, Flickr Creative Commons

Redwood sorrel

A pink flower surrounded by heart-shaped leaves.
Redwood sorrel covers the shady, moist forest floor. It’s often mistaken for clover. Clover leaves are rounded; redwood sorrel leaves are shaped like hearts. Photo by Michael Carl

Redwood violet

Seven yellow flowers with dark centers and round leaves
Redwood violets aren’t violet, but yellow. They’re abundant in moist creek valleys. Photo by randomtruth, Flickr Creative Commons

Woodland forget-me-not

A cluster of blue flowers with yellow centers.
The woodland forget-me-not is lovely, but invasive. It’s native to Europe. Photo by Kev22, Wikimedia Commons

Mission bells

Three droopy, bell-shaped red-and-green flowers
Mission bells, also known as chocolate lilies and checker lilies, droop on a 1-3-foot-tall stem in coast redwood forests. Photo by Andy Kraemer, Flickr Creative Commons

Calypso orchid

A magenta flower with a round leaf and a dark stalk
The sublime Calypso orchid, also known as the fairyslipper orchid, grows in the forest and near streams. Look closely at the forest floor; it can be as short as 3 inches tall. Photo by Max Forster, @maxforsterphotography


About the author

Since 1918, Save the Redwoods League has protected and restored redwood forests and connected people with their peace and beauty so these wonders of the natural world flourish.

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One Response to “8 early blooms herald spring’s approach”

  1. Tito

    Thank you for helping me figure out what some of the gorgeous plants and flowers we see on our walks are called!


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