A Home to California State Flower, Rock, and Grass
State Flower: The Golden Poppy, which can be found blooming somewhere in California during every part of the year, became the State Flower in 1903. April 6th is designated “California Poppy Day”. California Indians valued the poppy as a food source and for the oil extracted from the plant. Also known as the flame flower, the poppy grows wild throughout California.
State Rock: In 1965, Serpentine, a blue or green colored stone was adopted by the legislature as the official State Rock.
State Grass: In 2004, Nassella Pulcha or Purple Needlegrass as it is commonly known, was designated the State Grass. It is the most extensive and wildspread native perennial bunchgrass found in the state, with a range extending from the Oregon border into northern Baja California. It is a symbol of the heritage, splendor, and natural diversity found in the early days of California.
Purple Needlegrass, the California State Grass
Flora and Fauna History
Ralph Hunter, a geologist on the Hill with botany expertise, has compiled an extensive list of California Native Plants which grow naturally at Starr King Open Space, and leads the Wildflower Walks. Ralph was originally mentored by Jake Sigg of the California Native Plant Society. Susanne Shields, prior Board secretary, compiled an archive of information about the history of Starr King Open Space and its plant life, along with information about the rocks, animals, birds and butterflies.