Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

A Poppy-Adjacent Info Center Opens Its Petals

The Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center, located at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, is welcoming visitors.

Charles O'Rear

What to Know

  • Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center at the the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
  • The center, which offers information on all sorts of local wildflowers (and not just poppies), traditionally opens on March 1 each year
  • The reserve's famous poppies are not yet blooming in profusion, though a few are springing up around the reserve

Are you currently seeking small circles of sunshine, those orange-bright discs of petal-fluttery beauty, on the hillsides of Southern California?

That's what plenty of flower fans are doing these days, now that March is here and the season for poppy-seeking enjoyment has moved into glorious gear.

Of course, a sprinkling of poppies made an early appearance, back near the beginning of February, around the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

But March 1 is a new window onto that world, for that is the date when the Jane S. Pinheiro Interpretive Center opens, each and every year, all to give visitors more insight into the California poppies and the many wildflowers that are synonymous with the area.

And, as is tradition, the center did open, on March 1, 2022, even though there are still very few poppies around the reserve as the third month begins.

Still, if you stop by in the weeks ahead — the center is open from March 1 through Mother's Day, which is May 8 in 2022 — you'll be able to peruse "... wildflower and wildlife exhibits, an orientation video, a gallery of Jane's botanical watercolor paintings, and a gift shop benefiting our non-profit association."

As for what the blossom outlook is, as the center begins its seasonal run?

The team at the reserve shared this in a Feb. 27 post: "The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve has received less rain than average so we are not sure how lustrous the poppy displays will be this year."

"There are many poppy plants, and if they all make it to bloom, then we will have a nice bloom."

The informative post also reveals where a few (as in a few dozen) poppies are currently blooming, and the other flowers to watch for, from fiddlenecks to forget-me-nots.

And, as always, the all-important reminder to stay on the trails when visiting, however many poppies happen to be popping at any given time.

Always a wise move? Eyeing the live Poppy Cam before you plan your adventure.

Pictured: A poppy bloom from a previous year.

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