Happy Mother’s Day!

As a mom myself, I love the idea of having a special Mother’s Day tradition that I can do with my family for years to come.

And, even better than those lovely Mother’s Day bouquets are the blossoms you find among the redwoods, and spring is the perfect time to see them. The forests are abloom right now, so why not take your mom or kids (or both!) to see some beautiful wildflowers? The memories of a flower-filled day will last forever.

Here are three of my favorite redwood forest wildflowers and where you can go to find them!

Calypso orchid. Photo by Justin Rohde, Flickr Creative Commons
1. Calypso orchid. Photo by Justin Rohde, Flickr Creative Commons

Trillium growing among the redwoods.
2. Trillium

Hairy star tulip. Photo by Dan and Raymond, Flickr Creative Commons
3. Hairy star tulip. Photo by Dan and Raymond, Flickr Creative Commons

1. The Calypso Orchid’s name is derived from the Greek word for “concealment,” as they tend to favor sheltered areas on conifer forest floors. Look out for a single, mottled pink flower on a 3- to 10-inch-long stem. Also known as the fairy slipper or Venus’s slipper, in the spring (March through June) you can find them blooming throughout the coast redwood range, including at Butano State Park, Humboldt Redwoods State Park and Bothe Napa Valley State Park.

2. Look out for trillium in Muir Woods, Purisima Creek Redwoods,  Henry Cowell Redwoods and many other coast redwood forests. There are 44 species of trillium, but western white trillium and giant trillium are both found in the understory of the coast redwood forest. Trillium are characterized by three-petaled flowers on a long stem atop three large leaf-like “bracts.” Over time, the flower petals can change from white to a deep purple.

3. As far as flower names go, “hairy star tulip” has got to be one of the most vividly descriptive! This white, six-petaled flower is covered in soft, fuzzy “hairs.” It grows on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, so look for it under the giant sequoias at Calaveras Big Trees, Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and Yosemite National Park.

Whether you’re a mother yourself or celebrating your own mother, grandmother or maternal figure, let us know what you’re doing this Mother’s Day!

About the author

Jennifer joined Save the Redwoods League in 2007 as the Director of Outreach and is now the League's Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. A Bay Area native, Jennifer brings several years of journalism, marketing communications and media relations experience in the public and private sectors to her work. Jennifer is charged with leading the organization's marketing communications and outreach efforts to connect people to the peace and beauty of the redwood forests.

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