Species to Look Out For:

poppy circle

California Poppy

About the Park

Cupertino, Ca – Santa Clara County Park

Science Spotlight: State Flower at Rancho San Antonio

When strolling along the trail at Rancho San Antonio County Park, Dan and I were struck by the sheer numbers of bright California poppies we encountered.

California poppies are bright, adaptable flowers native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. They were first named by a naturalist aboard a Russian ship exploring California and Alaska.

California poppies can be found in a variety of habitats, from California’s coasts to the Mojave Desert. Their bright flowers are composed of four petals, and can range in color from yellow to orange. They are symbols of the “Golden State”, earning the title of California’s state flower in 1903.

On any Bay Area hike, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for blooming poppies in the spring and summer!

Poppy 2 Logo.jpg

California poppy at Rancho San Antonio County Park.

Park History

Prior to European settlement, the Ohlone Native Americans inhabited the area for over 3,000 years. Following the arrival of Juan Baptista de Anza to the Bay Area in 1776, the area around Rancho San Antonio was transformed into ranchland. The ranch changed ownership several times in its lifetime.

The Santa Clara County Parks department began to purchase the land in 1977, eventually accruing over 3,988 acres of land. Today, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Preserve manages the entire park.

For a more detailed history of the park, check out the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Preserve’s page on Rancho San Antonio history.

Visit the Park

Please note that there is no entrance fee to enter the park. Dogs are not allowed.

Here are some helpful resources to plan your visit:

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Posted by Taylor Crisologo

Taylor studied biology at Cornell University, where she worked with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology on projects ranging from breeding herring gulls off the coast of Maine to dancing lyrebirds in Australia’s Blue Mountains. When she’s not researching great places to experience Bay Area nature, you can find her birding or reading a book at home with her husband and their two indoor cats (Max and Penelope).

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