You will hardly meet a person who has never been excited about finding the first spring flowers in the forest, in the park or on the field. Carefully selected garden flowers are beautiful, however, those growing in the nature always attract people with the beauty of diversity and freedom of not being perfect. Whether you are an artist, a scientist or just a person who enjoys exploring natural sights, you will be amazed by the variety of wildflowers which can be found in Santa Cruz.
Here you will find amazing places for admiring the natural beauty of the flora of Santa Cruz.
Quail Hollow is one of the places in Santa Cruz with particularly diverse ecosystems. As you can imagine, such a diversity includes a variety pf wildflowers. Here you can find absolutely different plants including yellow bushpoppies as well as monkey flowers. The rock faces are covered with Indian Paintbrush whereas the shades are occupied by beautiful Hairy-Leaf Ceanothus.
If you are planning to come here by car, you will be able to park it by the Ranch House.
Wilder Ranch State Park
How about spending an afternoon admiring the natural beauty of wild Irises or daffodils? These magnificent flowers as well as many others such as Trilliums, California Poppies, Jewelweeds as well as Pacific Hound’s tongue. At Wilder Ranch, you will be able to see these beautiful flowers right from the parking lot!
The Sandhills at Henry Cowell
If you are looking for a unique place with unique flora, you should absolutely visit The Sandhills at Henry Cowell. The Sandhills at Henry Cowell is located in Henry Cowell State Park. This park is known for its ecosystem which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
This coastal area is featured by rare sand hills which used to covered with ocean 15 million years ago. In fact, this makes The Sandhills at Henry Cowell a beach in the mountains. You will hardly find any other place like this in the world. Needless to say, this fact is making The Sandhills at Henry Cowell a home to unique plants and animals.
If you are in a hunt for unique wildflowers, you should pay your attention to such rare species as Bonny Doon Manzanita, Ben Lomond Buckwheat, the Santa Cruz Wallflower, and Ben Lomond Spineflower.
Less rare, albeit still extremely beautiful Sticky Monkey Flower can also be found on the sandy soil of The Sandhills at Henry Cowell.
West Glenwood Preserve
The area of West Glenwood has been protected since 2013. The parking lot near the preserve is free, although it is a bit too small. If you have problems with parking your car there, you can always go to a larger lot which is situated nearby Scotts Valley High School. Note that the preserve is open to dog walkers, bikers and hikers, so you can really plan a great time for you and your family.
Among the species of wild flowers which can be found here are purple lupines, California buttercups and white popcorn flowers.
Corralitos and South County
Providing you are searching for particularly picturesque places, Santa Cruz is one of the best areas for you. Just try to drive along the roads in Corralitos aligned by trees with orchard blooms. Pleasant Valley as well as Hames road are particularly impressive. Your trip around Corralitos and South County will be even more pleasant if you decide to visit one of the numerous wineries and vineyards located in this area. Keep on moving and you will get to San Andres Road surrounded by agriculture fields, an abundance of wildflowers as well as gorgeous views of the ocean.
Natural History Museum
Do not forget about the small gardens of Natural History Museum in Santa Cruz which are also filled with amazing flowers. All in all there are four gardens where the native plants of the California Coast are growing. These gardens are opened through the entire year. You can visit them free of charge.
UCSC Arboretum and Botanical Garden
If you re interested in seeing not only the wildflowers and other native plants of California Coast, you should plan a visit to UCSC Arboretum and Botanical gardens.
The Arboretum has 135 acres which are comprising six gardens. A great feature of this place is that it has rather rare and even threatened plants. Needless to say, it is not only great to enjoy the variety of plants in this place for satisfying your hunger for beauty, but also UCSC Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a place of a great scientific interest.
The gardens are a beautiful spot for having a picnic with your family. There are special places where you can sit conveniently with your family. The entrance fee for an adult is 5 USD here, whereas children over 6 years of age will have to pay 2 USD.
Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Seymour Marine Discovery Center which is a crucial place of scientific research and nature preservation in Santa Cruz is also a great place to admire wildflowers of this area. Enjoy the trail near the Pacific Ocean and explore the gardens of the centre.