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Home » Santa Clarita News » Environment » SCV Outdoor Report » SCV Outdoor Report: Fresh Blossoms On Aisle 11

SCV Outdoor Report: Fresh Blossoms On Aisle 11

By Wendy Langhans

The blossoms of grape soda lupine change color to a monochrome purple after pollination.

Did you know that some flowers color-code their blossoms to indicate freshness?  


Earlier this week I walked to the narrows in Towsley Canyon and during the walk I spotted the grape soda lupine I had seen the week before.  But this time the colors were subtly different.  I noticed the blossoms had shifted from a mixture of lavender/yellow/white to a monochrome deeper purple.  What was going on?


Just like in a grocery store, the stock was being rotated.  When you buy a loaf of bread, have you ever noticed how closure tabs are often color coded as well as date coded?  When a new a new shipment of bread arrives, the clerks restock the shelves, placing the new bread at the back and moving the older bread towards the front.  The different color tabs makes it quicker and easier for the clerks to rotate their stock.


When the grape soda lupine blossoms are pollinated, they also change color.  We know that flowers exist to attract pollinators.  So once a blossom has been pollinated, its main job is done.  It can, however, still attract pollinators; it just needs to point them in the right direction, to those un-pollinated blossoms full of fresh nectar.  So the pollinated blossom changes color to indicate it is no longer “fresh” and points the fussy and discriminating bee in the right direction.


I am a fussy and discriminating bread shopper.  (That’s because I HATE IT when bread goes moldy and I have to throw it away.)  But I don’t know the color code, so I have to read the date on the closure tabs (which is always in small print).


The bees, however, DO know the color code.  So although we are both fussy and discriminating food shoppers, they are much smarter than I am.


Upcoming Outdoor Events:  


Saturday, April 19, 8:00-10:00 am.  Towsley Canyon.  Early Morning Bird Hike

It’s that magical time of year and birds are part of the magic. Join us on an easy hike to see which birds make Towsley Canyon home and those fabulous travelers that are flying through town. Beginners are welcome. Bring your binoculars and meet at the entrance to the park.

For directions and a trail map, click here .

Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

Saturday, April 19 & 20, 10 am – 6:00 pm.  Lancaster City Park.  California Poppy Festival. 

It’s a good weekend to visit the nearby Poppy Reserve and stop at the festival.  For more information, click here .

Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. East/Rice Canyon. 

Join the Community Hiking Club as they help refresh our native plant garden at East Canyon.

For directions and a trail map click here .
For additional information contact Dianne Erskine at or go to   Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and the Community Hiking Club.


Saturday, April 26, and every Wednesday, 8:00 am.  Trail Maintenance Volunteers at Towsley Canyon.

Come join our trail maintenance volunteers for camaraderie and a heart-thumping workout.  For more information call Steve Ioerger at 661-291-1565 or
Sponsored by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on "The Hike Report", brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM 1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, go to

SCV Outdoor Report: Fresh Blossoms On Aisle 11

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