9 Best Folsom Lake Wildflowers To Spot On Your Next Adventure

Folsom Lake Recreation Area surrounds Folsom Lake, the ninth-largest reservoir in California. Found in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, it’s only a short journey east of Sacramento. It’s near Folsom, so you must visit the Recreation Area if you’re in the area.

9 Best Folsom Lake Wildflowers To Spot On Your Next Adventure

When you visit Folsom Lake, you’ll find out why it’s so popular for recreational activities, including hiking, picnicking, and horseback riding. Go for a trek around Folsom Lake and find 9 of the best wildflowers you need to spot when you embark on your next adventure.

1. Lupine

Folsom Lake is famous for its Lupine Superbloom. Visitors flock to the Lake to see the ground take on a beautiful shade of purple, and it’s become a perfect destination for any budding photographer.

It’s best to visit to see this sight during spring when they are most visible from March to May. However, you should check when the super bloom happens, as it usually changes yearly.

They grow for four weeks during April, so this is your best time to see them. Folsom Lake is the best place to see them, but they also grow around other hills and valleys in California.

They usually grow on stalks that can grow up to 12 inches, and their leaves have a feathery texture. However, they are magnificent flowers that normally take up to 2 to 5 feet of space. Still, at Folsom Lake, they’re known for expanding across the entire lakeside. 

2. California Poppy

The California Poppy is the state flower of California for a reason. It grows in California, throughout Baja California, and even into Western Oregon.

They’re tolerant to drought, which makes them the perfect summer plant. They are known to close their beautiful vibrant flowers at night or even when it’s overcast and rainy. You might think that they wouldn’t appear at Folsom Lake but also survive well in moist soil.

If traveling around Folsom Lake or anywhere in California, you must see the California Poppy. You can’t visit California without appreciating these flowers that usually grow between 6 and 12 inches.

The flowers themselves can even grow up to 8 inches wide. It’s hard to miss them; they’re always a sight to see in the summer sun. 

3. Redmaids

Fringed Redmaids, or Redmaids as they’re more commonly shortened, are a common sight around North America.

However, that doesn’t stop them from being a welcome sight for many travelers. They are known for having a vibrant pink color, but you might also find red ones occasionally. 

If you enjoy bright flowers, you need to look for Red Maids. They can vary in size, with the tallest of them being 16 inches.

Due to being so widespread, it’s no surprise that they have a hardy nature, and so you’ll find them throughout the world.

While some people may see them as a minor weed, they’re a versatile wildflower that is not appreciated enough. In California, it’s a native sight and a much more common sight than in other states.

4. White Globe Lily

The White Globe Lily is named for its globe-like appearance and is known for its beautiful white color scheme and lax petals.

It hangs upside down and is distinct from other types of lilies due to how it hangs. Due to its unique appearance, the White Globe Lily has been referred to by many other names, including the White Fairy Lantern and the Snowy Lily-Bell.

This is because they usually bloom in winter and are known to go dormant until the rain begins in the fall.

These are a curious sight at Folsom Lake, where they are a popular attraction. They’re usually found in woody, open areas, where they are usually in partial shade.

Unlike your average lily, the White Globe Lily keeps its petals closed at the tip, where they overlap slightly. Inside, they conceal their stamens.

Suppose you want to see this unbelievable plant. In that case, you should visit Folsom Lake during fall or winter, proving you can see beautiful sights even in the worst weather.

5. Ithuriel’s Spear

While its name may make you believe it’s an ancient weapon from a fantasy novel, Ithuriel’s Spear is a beautiful perennial that boasts star-shaped blue or purple flowers from spring until the early summer.

They have a tubular appearance and look similar to a six-pointed star. They grow from slender stalks and continue to open for a month until they go dormant once more in the latter half of the summer.

Not only are they native to southern parts of California, but you can also find them in the southern regions of Oregon.

They usually grow in groups and usually grow up to 15 inches high, but they can reach as high as 28 inches. Due to the excellent growing conditions at Folsom Lake, you’ll find they can appear year after year. 

6. Prettyface

The Prettyface, or Golden Star as it’s also known, is a stunning yellow flower that looks like a golden star. It has six petals and six stamens that form a tube emerging from the center and a selection of anthers of varying colors within.

They’re hard to miss and stand out among other types of flowers for their distinct appearance. You’ll find they vary in shades of yellow, with the petals often being lighter than the stamens.

Prettyfaces can be found throughout California, especially in northern and central regions. Still, you might also find them in the southwestern parts of Oregon.

As a perennial, they continue to come back every year, so you know they’re going to be a welcome sight. They will always return if you want to find them around Folsom Lake.

7. Scarlet Pimpernel

It may be small and weedy, but that doesn’t stop the Scarlet Pimpernel from being the enduring flower it is. Growing from spring through to fall, the Scarlet Pimpernel has bright orange-red petals.

They also have five yellow stamens that appear from their stalks. However, you don’t want to let your dogs get too close, as the Scarlet Pimpernel is toxic to them. 

They can grow up to 8 to 10 inches tall and often appear in clusters that are between 1 and 2 feet wide. While they work best in undisturbed conditions, they love to have access to full sunlight. Scarlet Pimpernels is a known sight worldwide and still prevalent around Folsom Lake. 

8. Purple Chinese Houses

Purple Chinese Houses have towers of flower clusters that give them the appearance of an old Chinese pagoda.

They usually bloom from the middle of spring and into mid-summer, where their towers summon a host of butterflies, bees, and other known pollinators.

A layer of vibrant purple petals from their stem begins white from the center and steadily grows brighter. They can grow up to 24 inches tall maximum and are perfect for rich, moist soils.

Naturally, Purple Chinese Houses are a popular sight in Folsom Lake. It’s one of the best places to look for them, as they are a known California native.

However, you might also find them in Baja California. Outside of California, they’ve been sighted in Illinois and Kentucky, but if you’re looking for a photo of them, we recommend searching for them at Folsom Lake for the best results.

9. Common Madia

The Common Madia is a bright yellow annual that might have the color scheme of small sunflowers, but in fact, they share many similarities with daisies.

They usually bloom until they’re 2 inches wide. A reddish-brown dot at the base of its bright yellow petals makes it distinct from other flowers. Due to their bright colors and beautiful scent, they’re attractive to a host of different bees and butterflies.

Despite their bold colors, they’re actually sensitive to sunlight and may respond by curling their ray flowers in the daylight.

By closing the flowerhead, they can reduce the amount of water that evaporates from them, so they can survive for longer.

Undoubtedly, the Common Madia is a beautiful sight around California and any sunny areas. If you’re looking for them, they’re a popular sight around the western United States, so keep a lookout for your next adventure. 


We hope you enjoyed our selection of the best wildflowers you’ll find at Folsom Lake. They’re a sight to behold, and while the Lupine takes center stage, you can find a host of different flowers on your next adventure. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Are The Lupine Flower Fields At Folsom Lake?

If you’re looking for the super bloom, you should head to Beeks Bight on the western side of the Lake. This is one of the most beautiful areas to see the Lupines and is the best area for photos.

What Is Folsom Lake Known For?

Folsom Lake is popular for outdoor activities. You can go hiking, biking, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, boating, fishing, and even water skiing. 

Where Is Folsom Lake? 

Folsom Lake is only 25 miles east of Sacramento. You can reach it from Highway 50 or take I-80. 

Diane Peirce
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