Rare Form

One of the rarest flowers in California can only be found right here in Tulare County and parts of Kern County.

The state-threatened bulb flower known as striped adobe lily (Fritillaria striata) only grows in 15-20 locations within the two counties, one of them being Lewis Hill Preserve near Porterville. The flower is a favorite among visitors due to its fragrant aroma, one-inch, white to pink petals and narrowed rid stripes.

In order to give residents the opportunity to catch a glimpse of this extremely endangered flower, Sequoia Riverlands Trust is offering a rare opportunity to access the 110-acre preserve, which is only open to the public once per year for a nature walk. This year’s guided walk and wildflower show will take place from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, March 3 at the Lewis Hill Preserve.

Botanist Fletcher Linton will guide those in attendance through fields of stunning wildflowers, which also include the federally protected and state-threatened San Joaquin adobe sunburst (Pseudobahia peirsonii). Fletcher Linton, botanist for the Sequoia National Forest, will present this program about the unique geology that creates just the right conditions for the rare striped adobe lily. The open grassland and blue oak woodland of the southern Sierra Nevada foothills provide critical habitat for these exceptional flowers.

The hike is on uneven terrain with some hill climbing and requires crawling under a fence to access the preserve. There are no restroom facilities. Those interested in going on the walk should bring water, snacks, layered clothing, sturdy walking shoes, sun screen, hat and binoculars. Dogs are not permitted on this walk.

A donation of $10 is requested by Sequoia Riverlands Trust members and a $15 donation for non-members. Memberships begin at $35 for an individual or $50 for a family. There will be an opportunity to become a member that day and attend the walk for free.

The Lewis Hill Preserve is located just north of Porterville. From Highway 190 in Porterville, exit at Plano, one-and-a-half miles east of Highway 65. Drive north four miles to the crest of the first hill. The preserve is on the west side of the road. Park along the roadway at the top of the hill. Carpooling is encouraged.

Lewis Hill Preserve is one of seven preserves owned and managed by Sequoia Riverlands Trust. Sequoia Riverlands Trust is a 501(c)(3), community-based non-profit organization dedicated to conserving the natural and agricultural legacy of the southern Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley.

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