Wildin’ Out: The Ultimate Guide to Spring Wildflowers in Marin From our Friends at MALT

Interested in seeing what colors pop up in Marin this spring? Here’s our guide to viewing local wildflowers.

Early Bloomers

Forget Me Nots Wildflower
Forget Me Nots, Photo by Victor Volta.

Wildflowers help us mark changes in the seasons. And the most spectacular displays, especially in West Marin, are in the spring when early blooming flowers are abundant.

  • California buttercup
  • Ranunculus californicus
  • Footsteps of spring
  • Sanicula arctopoides
  • Hound’s tongue
  • Cynoglossum grande
  • Milkmaids
  • Cardamine californica
  • Red maids
  • Calandrinia menziesii
  • Sun cup
  • Taraxia ovata

Serpentine Soils

Blue Dicks Wildflower
Blue Dicks Wildflower, photo by Victor Volta.

Wildflowers are connected to places. And one of the key components of place is the soil beneath our feet. The serpentine soil that snakes through hillsides in West Marin is rich in magnesium and surprisingly poor in nitrogen and provides a unique environment in which certain native wildflowers thrive.

  • California goldfields
  • Lasthenia californica
  • Shooting star
  • Primula hendersonii
  • Purple sanicle
  • Sanicula bipinnatifida
  • Butter ‘n’ eggs
  • Triphysaria eriantha
  • Purple owl’s clover
  • Castilleja exserta
  • Blue dicks
  • Dipterostemon capitatus


California Poppy Wildflower
California Poppy. Photo by Victor Volta.

Wildflowers play an important role in healthy ecosystems, providing nectar to robust populations of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Farmers and ranchers know better than anyone that these pollinators are crucial to California’s agricultural food economy playing a key role in the production of food, fiber and edible oils.

  • Tidy tips
  • Layia chrysanthemoides
  • California poppy
  • Eschscholzia californica
  • Cream cups
  • Platystemon californicus
  • Pacific bleeding heart
  • Dicentra formosa
  • Blue eyed grass
  • Sisyrinchium bellum
  • Western yarrow
  • Achillea millefolium
Look, Don’t Touch

View responsibly by following a few simple guidelines.
1. Never pick wildflowers. Please leave them in place.
2. Do not illegally dig up wildflowers to transplant to your garden.
3. Do not enter private property to view wildflowers. This especially includes private ranches and farms.
4. Be aware of sensitive, overused areas and stay on trails and roads during hikes.