The Vascular Flora of the Yaqui Pass Area, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Pinyon / Yaqui Ridge is the prominent ridge seen south and southwest from the Borrego Valley that forms the southern boundary of Borrego Valley. The Ridge has been raised along faults on its north and south side, creating very steep slopes for much of its north and south slopes.
The Ridge is cut near its eastern end at Yaqui Pass, which is traversed by Highway S3, the Yaqui Pass Road, which is renamed Borrego Springs Road when it enters the Borrego Valley. The portion of the Ridge east of Yaqui Pass has been named Yaqui Ridge.
The Yaqui Pass area is shown in Fig. 1, along with the routes we have surveyed, and the area searched for vouchers. We define the Yaqui Pass area to be that area of Pinyon / Yaqui Ridge which is most easily accessed from Highway S3, excluding the area of San Felipe Creek, which has a very different flora. The southern boundary is therefore fairly well defined, but the northern boundary is nebulous, where Pinyon / Yaqui Ridge grades into the alluvial slopes of Yaqui Meadows / Borrego Valley.
Fig. 1. The Yaqui Pass area. The area searched for vouchers is outlined by the black rectangle. Five surveys have been done in this area, two in the area north of Yaqui Pass from S3 to a major drainage to the west, two along the ridge west of Yaqui Pass, and one along the ridge area east of Yaqui Pass, labeled by the dates of the surveys. The unlabeled red surveys at upper left are part of the Glorietta Canyon flora.
We first became interested in this area when Charlie Jones told James Dillane about the Scutellaria mexicana (=Salazaria mexicana) he had confirmed here on 28 April 2009 with Charles L. Bennett, after Charlie had spotted them blooming a few years previously at this location. Pictures of these plants are here. The location of these plants is shown in Fig. 1 at the far left, at the location of the flag with the hard-to-read reduced label of Salazaria.
This checklist is only a start at a flora of Yaqui Pass, since we have done only five surveys here, sampling only a small fraction of the total area. Also, our surveys were never done in a good rainfall year.
The surveys done so far are:
- Three surveys on the ridge west of Yaqui Pass. The number of plants from the union of those three surveys are given in the column Rdg in the checklist below.
- A mostly-hike on 3 December 2010 of 3.3 miles of the ridge west of Yaqui Pass, by Tom Chester, James Dillane, and Charlie Jones, from 1700 feet to 3367 feet. This trip had the specific goal of vouchering the Scutellaria mexicana (=Salazaria mexicana) discovered by Charlie Jones there a few years earlier. Only 27 species were recorded on that trip: those that were in bloom, associates at the Salazaria voucher location, and a few other species found only on the plateau area that contained the Salazaria. After the trip, additional species were recorded from memory, and abundance estimates were made, resulting in a total of 65 species.
In 2014, we have memories of Oligomeris linifolia from this survey, but since it wasn't recorded in a timely manner, and human memories sometimes confuse different trips years later, we haven't placed it in the checklist.
- A survey on 5 December 2014 of 1.6 miles of that ridge, by Tom Chester, Adrienne Ballwey, Jim Roberts and Jeff Field, from 1700 feet elevation to 2880 feet. This survey found 56 species. A somewhat different route was taken on the way back from the farthest point reached along the ridge, for 1.05 miles, but no additional species were found.
- A survey on 23 November 2019 of 1.0 miles of that ridge, by Tom Chester, Nancy Accola, Don Rideout, and for part of the time, Joe Woods, from 1750 feet elevation to 2545 feet.
- Two surveys in the area north of Yaqui Pass, extending from Highway S3 to a major drainage on the west. The number of plants from the sum of those two surveys are given in the column Cyn (for Canyon) in the checklist below
- A survey on 15 February 2013 reaching 1.75 miles of the area west of Highway S3, beginning at S3 1.3 miles north of Yaqui Pass, just south of the small hill Ship on the topo map, by Tom Chester and Adrienne Ballwey. The survey reached a major drainage to the west, and surveyed up that canyon for 0.13 mile. A total of 2.5 unique miles were covered, by taking a different route for part of the way back. A total of 77 species were found.
- A survey on 10 March 2013 of 0.8 miles of that major drainage, and 0.8 miles of the minor drainage to its immediate east that joins the major drainage at the lower end of this survey, by Tom Chester, Kate Harper and Lance Holmberg. A total of 2.4 additional miles were surveyed, with an additional 35 species found, for a total of 112 species in this area.
- One survey in the area east of Yaqui Pass, including the Bill Kenyon Overlook Trail (see San Diego Reader Canyoneers page and Hikespeak.com page), part of Highway S3 and the wash north from Yaqui Pass, on 23 December 2014, by Tom Chester, Keir Morse, and James Dillane. That survey covered 4.2 miles, finding a total of 75 species.
A total of 141 taxa were found in the union of all five surveys. (Numbers not updated from additional surveys after 2014.)
Vouchers from the Yaqui Pass area were obtained from a search on 16 February 2013. The Consortium records were searched for vouchers with coordinates between 33.14 and 33.17° N. Latitude, and -116.37 and -116.31 E. Longitude. An additional search was made for vouchers with Yaqui Pass in their locality. A review of the localities resulted in eliminating 14 vouchers as not being in the target area, leaving 117 vouchers, of 67 unique taxa.
This voucher search box is smaller than the area we define as the Yaqui Pass Area, but there were no vouchers with coordinates in the area of Pinyon / Yaqui Ridge to the west of this search box, and the only vouchers to the north of the search box were well away from the Yaqui Pass area, in the transition to the alluvial plain.
Species found in those vouchers to the north, that are not present in this Yaqui Pass Area checklist, are:
- Calycoseris wrightii
- Chaenactis stevioides
- Cryptantha angustifolia
- Logfia depressa
- Malacothrix glabrata
- Nemacladus rubescens
- Psathyrotes ramosissima
The combined checklist from surveys and vouchers contains 156 taxa. Of those 156 taxa, 89 were found only from our surveys; 52 were found both in our surveys and in vouchers; and 15 were found only from vouchers. (Numbers not updated from additional surveys after 2014.)
For photographs of 400 observations from this area as of 26 November 2019, see the Inaturalist observations from this area.
For a hike description from Yaqui Pass to the Sheep Guzzler on the ridge west of Yaqui Pass, along with many photographs of this area, see Fred Melgert and Carla Hoegen's Yaqui Ridge Peak.
- Notes on the Scientific Names Used At This Site and
- Information about the links from the Scientific Name and Common Name.
The column with header Famil gives the first five letters of the plant family name. See Plant Family Abbreviations.
An asterisk before the common name indicates a non-native species.
The column with label BW links to the photo gallery page for each species at Fred Melgert and Carla Hoegen's BorregoWildflowers site.
The column #V gives the number of vouchers found in this area.
The columns #Plants gives a minimum estimate of the number of plants from the field surveys in the separate areas surveyed, up to a maximum of 99 plants, for species for which abundances were estimated. The main intent of this estimate is to indicate the species for which we found very few plants.
The column RdgW is for the three surveys along the ridge west of Yaqui Pass, and the column RdgE is for the single survey along the ridge east of Yaqui Pass, including part of the road and wash north from Yaqui Pass. Note that no survey has been done at prime time in either of these areas, and thus these columns are missing most spring annuals and perennials.
The column Cyn (for Canyon) is for the area north of Yaqui Pass that included a major drainage to the west.
It is possible that Oligomeris linifolia should be added to the checklist; we'll search for this in future surveys.
See also the neighboring Glorietta Canyon flora.
Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (4 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (1 double-sided page). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)
# Family Scientific Name
Link goes to the Jepson eflora
(*) Common Name
Link goes to Calphotos
BW #V #Plants RdgW Cyn RdgE Lycopods 1 Selag Selaginella eremophila desert spike-moss BW 99 99 Ferns 2 Pteri Cheilanthes parryi woolly lipfern BW 55 40 99 3 Pteri Notholaena californica ssp. californica California cloak fern BW 11 2 10 Gymnosperms 4 Cupre Juniperus californica California juniper BW 30 5 Ephed Ephedra aspera Mormon tea BW 99 40 10 Eudicots 6 Acant Justicia californica chuparosa BW 4 50 99 50 7 Amara Amaranthus fimbriatus fringed amaranth BW 1 99 8 Apiac Spermolepis lateriflora bristly spermolepis 1 9 Apocy Asclepias subulata rush milkweed BW 2 6 6 10 Apocy Funastrum hirtellum rambling milkweed BW 1 15 11 Apocy Matelea parvifolia spearleaf BW 6 1 12 Aster Adenophyllum porophylloides San Felipe dogweed BW 99 20 20 13 Aster Ambrosia dumosa burroweed BW 2 99 50 99 14 Aster Ambrosia salsola var. salsola cheesebush BW 10 60 5 15 Aster Baccharis brachyphylla short-leaved baccharis BW 2 16 Aster Bahiopsis parishii Parish's viguiera BW 20 20 17 Aster Bebbia juncea var. aspera sweetbush BW 99 75 99 18 Aster Brickellia frutescens shrubby brickellia BW 3 19 Aster Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia pebble pincushion BW 99 15 20 Aster Chaenactis fremontii Fremont pincushion BW 99 21 Aster Dicoria canescens desert dicoria BW 1 22 Aster Encelia farinosa brittlebush BW 1 99 99 99 23 Aster Ericameria brachylepis boundary goldenbush BW 99 24 Aster Gutierrezia sarothrae matchweed BW 99 19 25 Aster Logfia filaginoides California filago BW ~20 26 Aster Monoptilon bellioides desert star BW 1 27 Aster Palafoxia arida var. arida Spanish needle BW 1 28 Aster Pectis papposa var. papposa chinch-weed BW 4 29 Aster Perityle emoryi Emory's rock-daisy BW 1 10 1 2 30 Aster Pleurocoronis pluriseta arrow-leaf BW 55 5 31 Aster Porophyllum gracile odora BW 5 4 32 Aster Rafinesquia neomexicana desert chicory BW 15 33 Aster Senecio mohavensis Mojave ragwort BW 2 20 34 Aster Stephanomeria pauciflora wire-lettuce BW 1 99 40 50 35 Aster Trichoptilium incisum yellow-head BW 1 1 36 Aster Trixis californica var. californica California trixis BW 1 70 25 15 37 Aster Uropappus lindleyi silver puffs BW 1 38 Borag Amsinckia intermedia common fiddleneck BW 25 39 Borag Amsinckia tessellata var. tessellata bristly fiddleneck BW 4 sp15 40 Borag Cryptantha barbigera var. barbigera bearded cryptantha BW 3 ~99 41 Borag Cryptantha maritima Guadalupe cryptantha BW 99 99 42 Borag Cryptantha nevadensis var. nevadensis Nevada cryptantha BW 1 11 43 Borag Cryptantha pterocarya var. cycloptera Tucson wing-nut cryptantha BW 99 44 Borag Cryptantha racemosa bushy cryptantha BW 1 45 Borag Emmenanthe penduliflora var. penduliflora whispering bells BW 1 5 99 46 Borag Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. bipinnatifida eucrypta BW ~3 8 47 Borag Nama demissum var. demissum purple mat BW 22 48 Borag Pectocarya recurvata curvenut combseed BW 1 99 49 Borag Phacelia cicutaria var. hispida caterpillar phacelia BW 1 50 Borag Phacelia crenulata var. minutiflora little-flowered heliotrope phacelia BW 1 99 99 51 Borag Phacelia distans common phacelia BW 1 99 99 52 Borag Phacelia pedicellata pedicellate phacelia BW 1 3 53 Borag Pholistoma membranaceum white fiesta flower BW 99 54 Borag Tiquilia canescens var. canescens gray coldenia BW 3 45 11 55 Brass Brassica tournefortii *Asian mustard BW 1 5 99 99 56 Brass Caulanthus cooperi Cooper's jewel-flower BW 99 18 57 Brass Caulanthus lasiophyllus California mustard BW 99 5 58 Brass Descurainia pinnata western tansy-mustard BW 5 16 59 Brass Descurainia sophia *herb sophia BW 1 60 Brass Hirschfeldia incana *shortpod mustard BW 1 61 Brass Lepidium lasiocarpum ssp. lasiocarpum hairy-podded pepper-grass BW 1 99 2 62 Brass Lyrocarpa coulteri Coulter's lyrepod BW 14 5 40 50 63 Brass Sisymbrium irio *London rocket BW 1 64 Brass Streptanthella longirostris longbeak streptanthella BW 1 65 Cacta Cylindropuntia bigelovii teddy-bear cholla BW 99 99 99 66 Cacta Cylindropuntia ganderi Gander's cholla BW 99 99 99 67 Cacta Echinocereus engelmannii Engelmann's hedgehog cactus BW 50 10 30 68 Cacta Ferocactus cylindraceus California barrel cactus BW 99 99 99 69 Cacta Mammillaria dioica California fish-hook cactus BW 70 20 99 70 Cacta Mammillaria tetrancistra fish-hook cactus BW 11 2 71 Cacta Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris beavertail cactus BW 99 30 99 72 Cacta Opuntia phaeacantha desert prickly-pear BW 20 73 Campa Nemacladus glanduliferus glandular nemacladus BW 1 ~5 74 Cheno Atriplex polycarpa cattle saltbush BW 4 75 Cheno Chenopodium murale *nettle-leaved goosefoot BW 1 76 Cheno Monolepis nuttalliana Nuttall's poverty weed BW 1 77 Crass Crassula connata pygmy-weed BW 37 78 Crass Dudleya saxosa ssp. aloides desert dudleya BW 68 9 25 79 Eupho Chamaesyce micromera Sonoran spurge BW 2 80 Eupho Chamaesyce polycarpa small-seeded spurge BW 1 50 99 99 81 Eupho Chamaesyce setiloba starfish (Yuma) spurge BW 15 99 99 82 Eupho Ditaxis lanceolata narrowleaf ditaxis BW 1 99 75 99 83 Eupho Ditaxis neomexicana New Mexico ditaxis BW 25 84 Eupho Euphorbia eriantha beetle spurge BW 2 40 12 99 85 Fabac Acmispon glaber var. brevialatus short-winged deerweed BW 99 86 Fabac Acmispon maritimus var. brevivexillus short-bannered coastal lotus BW 99 87 Fabac Acmispon rigidus desert lotus BW 3 5 4 2 88 Fabac Acmispon strigosus strigose lotus BW 99 10 89 Fabac Astragalus palmeri Palmer's milk-vetch BW 1 90 Fabac Hoffmannseggia glauca hog potato BW 99 91 Fabac Lupinus concinnus bajada lupine BW 1 ~2 17 92 Fabac Parkinsonia florida blue palo verde BW 1 93 Fabac Psorothamnus schottii indigo bush BW 5 75 75 94 Fabac Psorothamnus spinosus smoke tree BW 2 40 20 95 Fabac Senegalia greggii catclaw BW 1 5 99 20 96 Fabac Senna armata spiny senna BW 1 5 97 Fouqu Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens ocotillo BW 1 99 99 99 98 Geran Erodium cicutarium *redstem filaree BW 99 99 99 99 Geran Erodium texanum Texas filaree BW 50 6 100 Krame Krameria bicolor white rhatany BW 1 35 15 50 101 Krame Krameria erecta Pima rhatany BW 30 45 20 102 Lamia Hyptis emoryi desert-lavender BW 1 15 99 50 103 Lamia Salvia columbariae chia BW 40 20 104 Lamia Salvia vaseyi Vasey's sage BW 15 6 50 105 Lamia Scutellaria mexicana Mexican bladder sage BW 99 8 106 Loasa Mentzelia albicaulis white-stemmed blazing star BW 99 107 Loasa Mentzelia involucrata bracted blazing star BW 20 5 108 Malva Ayenia compacta ayenia BW 2 10 1 109 Malva Hibiscus denudatus rock hibiscus BW 3 55 5 30 110 Malva Sphaeralcea ambigua var. ambigua apricot mallow BW 10 111 Nycta Allionia incarnata trailing four o'clock BW 20 112 Nycta Boerhavia coccinea scarlet spiderling BW 23 113 Nycta Boerhavia triquetra var. intermedia fivewing spiderling BW 20 2 99 114 Nycta Mirabilis laevis var. retrorsa Bigelow's desert four-o'clock BW 1 99 50 10 115 Oleac Menodora scabra var. glabrescens broom twinberry BW 99 116 Onagr Chylismia cardiophylla ssp. cardiophylla heartleaf suncup BW 2 117 Onagr Chylismia claviformis ssp. peirsonii brown-eyed primrose BW 99 118 Onagr Eulobus californicus California suncup BW 99 99 119 Papav Eschscholzia minutiflora ssp. minutiflora small-flowered poppy BW 1 99 120 Papav Eschscholzia parishii Parish's poppy BW 4 50 121 Phrym Mimulus bigelovii var. bigelovii Bigelow's monkeyflower BW 3 1 99 122 Plant Mohavea confertiflora ghost flower BW 1 3 123 Plant Plantago ovata desert plantain BW 99 45 1 124 Polem Eriastrum eremicum ssp. eremicum desert woolly-star BW 99 15 125 Polem Gilia stellata star gilia BW 99 3 126 Polem Langloisia setosissima ssp. setosissima bristly langloisia BW 1 127 Polyg Chorizanthe brevicornu var. brevicornu brittle spineflower BW 5 4 128 Polyg Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium California buckwheat BW 75 30 40 129 Polyg Eriogonum inflatum desert trumpet BW 3 99 99 99 130 Polyg Eriogonum maculatum spotted buckwheat BW ~1 131 Polyg Eriogonum reniforme kidney-leaf buckwheat BW 1 132 Polyg Eriogonum thomasii Thomas' buckwheat BW 1 10 75 133 Polyg Eriogonum wrightii var. nodosum Wright's buckwheat BW 99 99 50 134 Ranun Delphinium parishii ssp. subglobosum intermediate larkspur BW 1 6 46 135 Rubia Galium stellatum star-flowered bedstraw BW 1 99 25 10 136 Rutac Thamnosma montana turpentine broom BW 1 25 30 10 137 Simmo Simmondsia chinensis jojoba BW 4 75 99 50 138 Solan Datura discolor desert thornapple BW 1 139 Solan Lycium andersonii Anderson's desert-thorn BW 2 10 92 20 140 Solan Nicotiana obtusifolia desert tobacco BW 3 5 141 Solan Physalis crassifolia thick-leaved ground cherry BW 1 10 9 10 142 Urtic Parietaria hespera var. hespera pellitory BW 99 143 Visca Phoradendron californicum desert mistletoe BW 1 1 60 3 144 Zygop Fagonia laevis California fagonia BW 4 99 99 30 145 Zygop Kallstroemia californica California caltrop BW 2 146 Zygop Larrea tridentata creosote bush BW 3 99 99 99 Monocots 147 Agava Agave deserti var. deserti desert agave BW 1 99 99 99 148 Agava Yucca schidigera Mohave yucca BW 2 149 Lilia Calochortus splendens splendid mariposa lily BW 99 150 Poace Aristida adscensionis six-weeks three-awn BW 20 8 99 151 Poace Aristida purpurea purple three-awn BW 5 12 152 Poace Bouteloua aristidoides var. aristidoides needle grama BW 5 153 Poace Bromus diandrus *ripgut brome BW 1 154 Poace Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens *red brome BW 99 99 155 Poace Bromus tectorum *downy brome BW 5 156 Poace Cynodon dactylon *Bermuda grass BW 30 157 Poace Dasyochloa pulchella fluff grass BW 2 45 3 158 Poace Hilaria rigida big galleta BW 1 1 159 Poace Schismus barbatus *Mediterranean schismus BW 99 99 160 Poace Stipa speciosa desert needlegrass BW 1 161 Themi Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum blue dicks BW 1
Voucher data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria (ucjeps.berkeley.edu/consortium/).
We thank Charlie Jones for telling us about the Salazaria here, and for providing a picture to give the Calochortus determination. We thank Joe Woods for his help with part of the 23 November 2019 survey.
Copyright © 2014-2019 by Tom Chester, Adrienne Ballwey, Keir Morse, James Dillane, Jim Roberts, Jeff Field, Kate Harper, Nancy Accola, and Don Rideout.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 27 November 2019.