The Flower Fields

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch are comprised of more than 50 acres planted in flowers and are quite spectacular when in bloom. The flowers are planted in rows with different colors in different sections which creates a striped patchwork pattern of colors.

The flowers in the fields are all ranunculus flowers which are a large genus of about 600 species of plants in the Ranunculaceae. The variety grown here is Ranunculus asiaticus or Persian buttercup and is native to Asia Minor.

The fields got their start in the early 1920s when Luther Gage brought ranunculus seeds to grow in fields in south Oceanside. In 1933 a neighbor Frank Frazee started growing ranunculus flowers and his son Edwin became interested in the flowers. Originally the flowers were single petal in shades of of red and yellow.

Over the years Edwin bred the flowers and due to careful selection by him there are now 13 colors many of which can be seen the the mixture of flowers in the foreground.

Here are some violet and white flowers.

In 1965 the Freeze family moved the ranunculus growing operation to the current location near the ocean in Carlsbad. It can be seen from interstate 5 so many people can enjoy the flowers as they drive by.

The flowers die back and will produce seed for next years replanting in these fields. Here some of the flowers have shed their petals.

A closer view of the flowers..

Some flowers are sold as cut flowers. The Flower’s bulbs are harvested by machines and some are also sold.

This picture appears a little surrealist to me and is almost like a painting rather than a photograph. This as the way the camera captured it as I did not do any editing of the picture.

The ranunculus flowers sometimes are confused with roses as they can look similar. At one time ranunculus were popular in Europe before roses became more so.

Even though in this picture it looks like people are walking in the flowers they are not. There are roads inbetween sections of the fields for the people to walk so the flowers do not get trampled.

One way visitors can view the flowers is in wagons pulled by antique tractors.

Another tractor and wagon in another part of the fields.

A red and white flower.

Several red flowers.

The fields are generally planted in four or so sections over a period of a few weeks. They typically bloom over approximately ten weeks but for each year will vary somewhat due to weather conditions. When I was there in early April one section was past, two sections were in bloom, and a fourth had not yet started to bloom.

This is a 180 degree panorama of the flower fields that were in bloom which gives an idea of the expanse of the fields.


The last two pictures are 90 degree panoramas. I took a number of panoramas and each of the these three panoramas are made up of different pictures so are unique.



More Info:

Wikipedia entry on Ranunculus.

The Flower Fields website.


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