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California Goldfields
Lasthenia californica

About California Goldfields (Lasthenia californica) Lasthenia californica is a widespread species of flowering plant in the Asteraceae (Sunflower) family, among a number of species in the genus Lasthenia all known by the common name goldfields. This species is native to a large part of California, Oregon and surrounding areas, where it is a very common member of the flora in a number of habitat types. This is an annual herb approaching a maximum height near 40 centimeters but generally staying much smaller. The plant is quite variable in appearance across locations and climates. The leaves are hairy, somewhat linear in shape, and one to seven centimeters long. Individuals growing along the coast may have fleshy leaves. Atop the hairy stems are flower clusters of flower heads with hairy phyllaries. The head contains many yellow disc florets with a fringe of small ray florets. Large populations of this species bloom at once in the spring to produce the carpets of yellow on hillsides and in meadows that give the plant its common name. In the garden it is most often grown from seed which germinates readily.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
0.5 - 1.3 ft (0.15 - 0.4 m)

Max. Width
.5 ft (0.2 m)

Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Many settings including coastal prarie, meadows, flats, native grasslands, damp areas, woodland understory, along the immediate coast, Coast Ranges, and Sierra foothills

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
-75' - 7267'

Annual Precip. ?
4.3" - 111.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.13" - 3.29"

Coldest Month ?
38.1° F - 59.1° F

Hottest Month ?
55.6° F - 87.6° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 38.46 vpd

Soil Description


Sunset Zones ?
7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11, 12, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Goldfields occurs with many other plants, but in the garden it is best used in a dense patch with other annuals such as Blue Gilia (Gilia capitata), Baby Blue-eyes (Nemophila menziesii), Clarkia sp., Lupines (Lupinus sp.), Checkerbloom (Sidalcea sp.), as well as succulents such as Dudleya sp. and Sedum sp.

Wildlife Attracted
Numerous insects including bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers

Butterflies hosted ?


Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low, Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
1x/month, 2x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
By seed

Common uses
Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Common Goldfields, Valley Goldfields

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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