Spring-like weather is upon us! Time to enjoy the flowers.

Yes, there is more rain in the forecast (that’s okay); but Spring is coming. As most park-users know, Martin Fontana Parks Association, (MFPA), has introduced many California native plants in our parks, both TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana. Now, and for the next two weeks, many of the most colorful native plants will be in bloom.

*Video produced by MFPA member Sunny Wagstaff


The flowering period of the Manzanita was earlier; but now it is the Ceanothus turn and other native plants. Walk the garden at the west end of TJ Martin Park where Fleet Street ends. Member Larry Sasscer has introduced many flowering native plants in the gardens. On Oakglen Way, take time to stop and look at the many plants in bloom at Glowing Court. In Jeffrey Fontana Park west, the Five Island Project is worth a visit; as well as the other two islands just east of there. There is one Concha Ceanothus in the largest island which is in full bloom, and its bright blue inflorescence are something to see. Further east, near the intersection of Golden Oak Way and Castello Dr by Tree 13 there are Ceanothus Ray Hartmanns, tall shrub-like Ceanothus, and they too are in full bloom. The flower color of the Ray Hartmann is a softer blue than Concha. These Ceanothus are loaded with inflorescence making it hard to see the leaves! Look just south of Tree #13, at the five Ray Hartmann Ceanothus along the peripheral fence.

Don’t forget the colorful show along the northern periphery of Fontana near McAbee Road and across the street.  There you will see more Ceanothus and soon, a Cistus display.  If you continue to Almaden Expressway, more flowering native plants will await your glance.

By the way, there were butterflies all over our parks! I believe they are the Painted Lady Butterflies,

but I am no expert. They may be drifting through the parks on their way to other places; but they seem awfully happy to stop and visit our native plants and flowers.  You will see them flutter across your field of view if you are only patient and take the time to stop and focus in one area of the park.

Patrick P. PIzzo

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