Plants of Southern California: Comments On James Lightner's San Diego County Native Plants
Table of Contents
Completeness of Coverage of San Diego County Taxa
Number of Species by Family and Habit
Please read the introduction to this page first!
This delightful 2006 book is dense with information; Lightner has clearly worked hard on the book to make it as useful as possible. This second edition of his book is vastly expanded from the first edition, and is now almost a mini-Jepson Manual accessible now to the beginning botanist!
I reviewed his book for Fremontia (in press); after publication, if they grant permission, I'll reproduce my book review here.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about the book is the very high completeness of the book for common species in San Diego County. Lightner's book is an astounding 95% complete for the most common species in the County (see below).
The most critical part of the book, the accuracy of the species identifications, is quite high, since Dr. Jon Rebman, the expert on plants of San Diego County, reviewed the book. Lightner even has six accurately-identified Cryptantha species, instead of the typical Cryptantha sp. given in most such books!
However, in an essentially new book with 1,102 taxa, it would be surprising if there weren't a few items that will need revision in the next edition. The lists below resulted from a complete read-through of the entire book. The lists are separated into substantive comments and typos. Some of the typos listed here are from Lightner.
Although the list may seem long, all the comments listed here apply to an extremely-small percentage of the text. Overall, this is a very high-quality book.
A copy of the book can be ordered online from Lightner's website (no, I do not get a referral fee! This link is provided solely as a convenience.)
Lightner's website also contains a list of Modifications And Corrections To 2nd Edition.
Completeness of Coverage of San Diego County Taxa
Lightner has identified pictures of 1,023 taxa, and at least mentions how to discriminate another 79 taxa. (These numbers are not quite exact, since not every picture in the book is labeled as to species. I used my judgment as to which species were actually pictured but not labeled. It is often hard to be sure of a species from just a single picture, which is why the numbers are not exact.) The 2001 Checklist of the Vascular Plants of San Diego County by Simpson and Rebman list 2,147 total taxa. In raw numbers, Lightner thus includes a bit over 50% of all the taxa in San Diego County.
Because common species are rare; rare species are common (see How Common Are The Plants Of Southern California?), it is much more useful to ask how complete the book is for common species in the County.
To derive that figure, I took all the San Diego County lists in my database (trail guides and floras), as well as lists from the Santa Rosa Plateau and Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve, which are both adjacent or very close geographically to San Diego County. I then selected only taxa on the 2001 San Diego County Checklist as well as taxa found in Lightner that have more recent vouchers from the San Diego County Plant Atlas. I then counted the number of lists for each species, and histogrammed those numbers separately for species in or absent from Lightner's Book.
The results are shown in the following plots. The first plot below gives the raw numbers in each bin of the number of lists, showing the number found in Lightner's book and the number not found in Lightner's book as a function of the number of lists:
The plot has been truncated at 200 occurrences, and is missing a single point at # = 1 that has 643 taxa not found in Lightner's book.
The following examples will make clear what is plotted above.
First, there are a total of 74 lists used here, 54 plant trail guides and 20 floras. Thus the maximum possible number of occurrences is 74.
However, some of the lists are incomplete. For example, a trail might only have one day of fieldwork in October, and might be missing some annuals. The observed maximum number of lists for any species is 60. Two species are both found on 60 lists, redstem filaree, Erodium cicutarium; and red brome, Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens, both non-native weedy virtually-omnipresent species.
Thus the maximum number of occurrences in the plot above is set to be 60. Lightner's book contains both of the species with that number of occurrences, so the blue diamond is plotted at # of trail guides plus floras =60 with value 2. That diamond is just barely visible above the pink rectangle, plotted at 0 since there are no species with 60 occurrences that are missing from Lightner's book.
Two more examples:
- For species contained on exactly 10 trail guides and floras, the plot shows that there are 27 species contained in Lightner's book (the value represented by the blue diamond), and 10 species not contained in the book (the value represented by the pink rectangle). Thus Lightner's book contains 27 / (27 + 10) = 27 / 37 = 73% of all species found on exactly 10 trail guides and floras.
- For species contained on exactly 2 trail guides and floras, the plot shows that there are 93 species contained in Lightner's book (the value represented by the blue diamond), and 173 species not contained in the book (the value represented by the pink rectangle). Thus Lightner's book contains 93 / (93 + 173) = 93 / 266 = 35% of all species found on exactly 2 trail guides and floras. This makes sense; species contained on only 2 trail guides and floras are rare, and it wouldn't be smart to include them in the book at the expense of more wide-spread species, unless there was something special about them.
For species contained on many trail guides and floras, above about 15, essentially every species is found in Lightner's book, since the pink curve almost always has a value of zero above 15. Thus above roughly 15 occurrences, Lightner's book is very highly complete. Below that point, the number of missing species begins to rise.
The curves above have the standard shape found anytime one counts the number of occurrences of species, and directly shows that common species are rare; rare species are common. There are only two species found on 60 lists, the highest number found. In comparison, 643 of the taxa are found on only a single list! This point is missing from the plot, since I truncated the vertical scale at 200 occurrences. If I had changed the scale to include this point, all the other points would have been smushed together. The lowest number for which the plot is complete is two lists, for which there are 266 taxa, 93 (35%) of which are in Lightner and 173 which are not.
The plot below converts the numbers in the previous plot to percentages, as shown above in some examples, and plots both the percentage in each occurrence bin, as well as the cumulative percentage above a given number of occurrences:
This plot is truncated below at 40%, and omits the value of 19% completeness in the bin #=1, 35% completeness in the bin #=2, and 37% completeness in the bin #=3. This truncation was done to show the variation better for the more common species.
The points in each occurrence bin shown with the pink rectangles, are the values as calculated above within each bin. The points represented with blue diamonds are calculated by taking all species found in a given bin and in all bins with higher occurrence numbers as a whole. Hence the blue diamond at a value of 15, with a value of 95%, comes from the 312 species found in Lightner's book found with an occurrence value of 15 or higher, and the 18 species not in Lightner's book also found with an occurrence value of 15 or higher.
The plot shows that the completeness is roughly 95% above 15 occurrences, and declines for rarer taxa.
The 18 species with 15 or more occurrences not found in Lightner's book are given below. I strongly suspect they will be in the next edition of the book!
# Common Name Scientific Name Family 40 *prickly sow thistle Sonchus asper ssp. asper Asteraceae 40 pygmy-weed Crassula connata Crassulaceae 39 fragrant everlasting Gnaphalium canescens ssp. beneolens Asteraceae 31 Pacific sanicle Sanicula crassicaulis Apiaceae 29 branching phacelia Phacelia ramosissima var. latifolia Hydrophyllaceae 28 *rattail fescue Vulpia myuros var. myuros Poaceae 27 cotton-batting plant Gnaphalium stramineum Asteraceae 25 Vasey's prickly-pear Opuntia vaseyi Cactaceae 24 *common cudweed Gnaphalium luteo-album Asteraceae 19 *short-fruited filaree Erodium brachycarpum Geraniaceae 17 seashore bentgrass Agrostis pallens Poaceae 16 *hedge parsley Torilis nodosa Apiaceae 16 prickly cryptantha Cryptantha muricata Boraginaceae 16 chick lupine Lupinus microcarpus var. microcarpus Fabaceae 16 minute-flowered cryptantha Cryptantha micromeres Boraginaceae 15 Pomona locoweed Astragalus pomonensis Fabaceae 15 black-hair nettle Hesperocnide tenella Urticaceae 15 knot grass Paspalum distichum Poaceae
It may not be a coincidence that Gnaphalium luteo-album was also missing from Beauchamp (1986).
Although Gnaphalium stramineum is listed as being in the book, it is actually misidentified. In contrast, Gnaphalium canescens ssp. beneolens is actually in the book, but it is labeled Gnaphalium canescens ssp. microcephalum (see below for more details on both).
Number of Species by Family and Habit
Of the 1,102 taxa in Lightner's book, 286 of them are shrubs or trees and 816 are herbs. These numbers are broken down by Jepson Manual family (not the updated families used in the book) in the second table below.
The first table below gives the most common families by total number of taxa. All 28 families with 10 or more taxa in the book are listed, which contain 79% of all the taxa in the book. The other 21% of all taxa in the book are contained in 83 families.
Nearly one-quarter of all taxa are found in just two easy-to-recognize families, the Asteraceae and Fabaceae. Half of all taxa in the book are found in just nine families, which is typical of Southern California floras. Thus any reader that can identify those nine families can immediately restrict the search for an unknown species to a small subset of the entire book.
In the following, I have used Lightner's classification for habit. See below for additional information.
Families with 10 or more taxa in the book
JM Family # shrubs/trees # herbs Total Per Family Cumulative % of All Taxa Asteraceae 43 142 185 17% Fabaceae 16 59 75 24% Poaceae 2 66 68 30% Brassicaceae 42 42 34% Scrophulariaceae 5 37 42 37% Liliaceae 8 29 37 41% Polemoniaceae 35 35 44% Onagraceae 31 31 47% Polygonaceae 6 25 31 50% Hydrophyllaceae 3 24 27 52% Rosaceae 20 5 25 54% Lamiaceae 8 16 24 56% Cactaceae 21 21 58% Solanaceae 6 15 21 60% Euphorbiaceae 5 15 20 62% Chenopodiaceae 8 11 19 64% Rhamnaceae 17 17 65% Apiaceae 16 16 67% Boraginaceae 16 16 68% Malvaceae 4 12 16 70% Caryophyllaceae 15 15 71% Cyperaceae 14 14 72% Papaveraceae 3 10 13 74% Pteridaceae 13 13 75% Ericaceae 11 11 76% Nyctaginaceae 11 11 77% Ranunculaceae 11 11 78% Fagaceae 10 10 79% Complete list of families
JM Family # shrubs/trees # herbs Total Acanthaceae 1 1 Aceraceae 1 1 Aizoaceae 5 5 Amaranthaceae 6 6 Anacardiaceae 7 7 Apiaceae 16 16 Apocynaceae 1 1 Arecaceae 3 3 Asclepiadaceae 6 6 Asteraceae 43 142 185 Bataceae 1 1 Berberidaceae 3 3 Betulaceae 1 1 Bignoniaceae 1 1 Blechnaceae 1 1 Boraginaceae 16 16 Brassicaceae 42 42 Burseraceae 1 1 Cactaceae 21 21 Campanulaceae 6 6 Cannabaceae 1 1 Capparaceae 1 1 2 Caprifoliaceae 4 4 Caryophyllaceae 15 15 Celastraceae 1 1 Chenopodiaceae 8 11 19 Cistaceae 1 1 2 Convolvulaceae 8 8 Cornaceae 2 2 Crassulaceae 8 8 Cucurbitaceae 3 3 Cupressaceae 4 4 Cuscutaceae 2 2 Cyperaceae 14 14 Datiscaceae 1 1 Dennstaedtiaceae 1 1 Dipsacaceae 1 1 Dryopteridaceae 2 2 Ephedraceae 3 3 Equisetaceae 3 3 Ericaceae 11 11 Euphorbiaceae 5 15 20 Fabaceae 16 59 75 Fagaceae 10 10 Fouquieriaceae 1 1 Frankeniaceae 1 1 Garryaceae 2 2 Gentianaceae 2 2 Geraniaceae 6 6 Grossulariaceae 8 8 Hydrophyllaceae 3 24 27 Hypericaceae 1 2 3 Iridaceae 2 2 Juglandaceae 1 1 Juncaceae 9 9 Krameriaceae 2 2 Lamiaceae 8 16 24 Lauraceae 1 1 Liliaceae 8 29 37 Limnanthaceae 1 1 Linaceae 3 3 Loasaceae 1 5 6 Lythraceae 2 2 Malvaceae 4 12 16 Marsileaceae 1 1 Myoporaceae 1 1 Myrtaceae 3 3 Nyctaginaceae 11 11 Oleaceae 2 2 Onagraceae 31 31 Orchidaceae 1 1 Orobanchaceae 1 1 Oxalidaceae 3 3 Paeoniaceae 1 1 Papaveraceae 3 10 13 Pinaceae 9 9 Plantaginaceae 5 5 Platanaceae 1 1 Plumbaginaceae 3 3 Poaceae 2 66 68 Polemoniaceae 35 35 Polygonaceae 6 25 31 Polypodiaceae 1 1 Portulacaceae 9 9 Primulaceae 2 2 Pteridaceae 13 13 Ranunculaceae 11 11 Rhamnaceae 17 17 Rosaceae 20 5 25 Rubiaceae 6 6 Rutaceae 2 2 Salicaceae 7 7 Saururaceae 1 1 Saxifragaceae 5 5 Scrophulariaceae 5 37 42 Selaginellaceae 1 1 Simaroubaceae 1 1 Simmondsiaceae 1 1 Solanaceae 6 15 21 Sterculiaceae 1 1 2 Styracaceae 1 1 Tamaricaceae 3 3 Tropaeolaceae 1 1 Typhaceae 2 2 Urticaceae 2 2 Verbenaceae 1 1 Violaceae 4 4 Viscaceae 4 4 Vitaceae 1 1 Zosteraceae 3 3 Zygophyllaceae 2 1 3 Total 286 816 1102 Substantive Comments
- Plant habit. Lightner's classification of plants into shrubs/trees and herbs is highly accurate overall, and in fact was more accurate than the same classifications in my database taken from Calflora. The Calflora classification is highly accurate as well, but was not perfect. I have sent Calflora a list of corrections I found when comparing to Lightner.
A minor difficulty with both Lightner's and Calflora's classifications is the omission of the subshrub category. A subshrub is a plant that is mostly herbaceous, but has some woody portions of its stems. Lightner defines it as weak shrub or hardy perennial herb. If you omit the category of subshrub, it clearly is ambiguous as to which category to put these in. Lightner has put essentially all subshrubs into the herb category, which is probably the best way to treat them if you don't have a subshrub category.
The following taxa are generally agreed to be shrubs, but are given as herbs in Part 2 of Lightner's book. The wording from Munz (1974) and the JM is reproduced below.
Name Munz Jepson Manual Asclepias albicans shrubby shrub Coreopsis gigantea stout erect fleshy arborescent few-branched shrub shrub Lupinus excubitus var. medius shrubby subshrub Lupinus excubitus var. hallii stems woody at base shrub Galium stellatum var. eremicum bushy, much branched above, woody base shrub
One taxon, Iva hayesiana, was called a shrub in Lightner's book, whereas Munz calls it a per and the Jepson Manual says per to subshrub.
Also note that Lightner has put two shrubs, Genista monspessulana and Hypericum canariense, into Part 2 of his book, but still calls them shrubs. He did this so that they could be placed with the rest of Hypericum and treat them all together.
- Order of families and species in the text: The reader should be aware that families and species do not appear in strict alphabetical order in the text. This is mentioned on p. xvii, but it is easy to overlook: While families and genera are usually listed alphabetically, some deviations have been made if necessary to improve the lay-out of the book.
There are two main reasons for having species out of order. First, Lightner tried to keep similar species together, an excellent goal. For example, pines are arranged such that the desert pines are given first, followed by the pines of the mountains, arranged by similar species.
Second, Lightner arranges species to keep all the pictures for a given species on the same page. For example, Rhus integrifolia is given first, occupying a whole page, with Malosma laurina given second, since it fits on a page with Rhus ovata. Similarly, Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus is given five pages later than its alphabetical place, in order to keep Ambrosia, Artemisia and Baccharis species together.
- Taxa mentioned in the text, but which do not appear in the index or in the taxa name heading where mentioned: Cannabis sativa (p. 196), Carex athrostachya, Dudleya blochmaniae ssp. blochmaniae; Nemophila pedunculata, Trifolium gracilentum, and Trifolium bifidum.
Comments By Page
- Table 1, p. VIII. This is a very nice addition to the book, giving the variation in annual temperatures and rainfall. It would be even more instructive to give average summer high/low temperatures and average winter high/low temperatures, then to quote the average yearly high and low temperatures.
- Jepson Manual discussion on p. XVIII. The Jepson Manual has not become "obsolete in many parts". Lightner is referring to the fact that recent DNA work has combined or separated a small number of families, and a small number of species have been switched to other genera. This DNA work is of course fascinating, with interesting results, but to a high approximation has not changed any species delineation. The same species are still around, with the same characteristics; they just may have new names or be classified in new families.
In fact, Munz (1974) is still a very useful reference for Southern California species, and I wouldn't call Munz obsolete for anything other than some name changes and some lumping of some taxa.
- Species discussion on p. XIX. Plants do not have the same species circumscription as do large animals; in particular, many plant species are quite able to breed with other species. There is much discussion about this point, but it is widely agreed that separation of species using an interbreeding test is not useful in plants. See Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach by Judd et al, pp. 144-149 for a full discussion.
- Fourth paragraph, p. XXIII. Calflora does not collect the photos; the photos are collected by Calphotos. Calflora does make the photos available in their interface.
- Baccharis discussion at top of page 16. Lightner says "Some spp. commonly confused; ..., Desert Baccharis and Short-leaf Baccharis", but then doesn't repeat the common name with the Scientific Name for Short-leaf Baccharis, which is Baccharis brachyphylla, under the entry with the common names "Waterweed or Desert Baccharis" on p. 17.
- Cacti flowers, p. 39. The book states Flowers of cacti atypical as sepals are indistinguishable from corolla-petals; sepals merge into petals becoming "tepals" around inner perianth. Actually, tepals is a term that refers to all the perianths parts that might be described as sepals or petals, not just the innermost ones. The word is made from both petal and sepal.
- Opuntia ficus-indica, p. 40. The book states spines inconspicuous, but occasionally this species has honking spines. Examples of both are found on the Guy Fleming Trail at Torrey Pines.
- Lomatium utriculatum, p. 136. This species is mentioned, but not discussed or photographed.
- Sanicula bipinnatifida, p. 137. The purple flowers are definitely those of this species, but the leaves visible in the photograph are not those typical of specimens of S. bipinnatifida that I have seen. Instead, the leaves look like those of some S. tuberosa plants, but that species only has yellow flowers.
Lightner has more detailed photographs from the same area showing the typical leaves of S. bipinnatifida, which have broad lobes. The Jepson Manual does say that S. bipinnatifida does have "gen narrow divisions" in its entire wide range throughout most of cismontane California. So this is possibly just an uncommon variant in San Diego County.
- Gnaphalium canescens ssp. microcephalum, G. stramineum, p. 155. The pictures of G. canescens ssp. microcephalum appear to show Gnaphalium canescens ssp. beneolens due to the greenish ~linear leaves, which are ascending to appressed in the infloresence. The pictures of G. stramineum, at least the one on the right, appear to show G. canescens ssp. microcephalum, with white spreading leaves in the inflorescence, and the habit of a perennial, not an annual.
These taxa often give botanists fits, and in fact Munz says that G. stramineum is the species most often brought into the Rancho Santa Ana Herbarium to get an identification.
In fact, I was confused for years about beneolens, because Lathrop and Thorne had called all the specimens at the Santa Rosa Plateau microcephalum. In my pre-keying days, I could see that there were two distinct but similar taxa there, one green and one white, but since Lathrop and Thorne only had that single taxon there, in my novice days I wasn't about to argue with them about it.
Finally, James Dillane showed me the two different taxa at Daley Ranch, and this led me to realize that Lathrop and Thorne had not distinguished the two taxa.
So Lightner is in good company here!
See Gnaphalium canescens subspecies for pictures that show the difference between these three taxa.
- Stephanomeria diegensis, S. virgata, S. exigua, p. 170. The plant labeled as S. virgata is actually S. diegensis. This is probably the single most common mistake in all floras, wildflower brochures, and wildflower books in Southern California. The mistake is usually made because "everyone knows" that plants which look like this are the familiar twiggy wreath, S. virgata.
Calling this a mistake is actually too strong a word; instead, this misidentification simply reflects how slowly new botanical information travels throughout the community and takes root.
This error stems from confusion prior to 1971, when S. diegensis was separated from S. virgata by Gottlieb. Munz in his 1974 Flora of Southern California did not incorporate S. diegensis, so it was not until 1993, when the Jepson Manual came out, that most botanists were even cognizant of the distinction.
The species are clearly separate, distinguished most obviously by the number of ligules. S. diegensis has 5-15 ligules per head, whereas S. virgata has 5-9. A more robust technical distinction is that the achenes of S. diegensis are grooved, and those of S. virgata are not. Also, the pappus bristles of S. diegensis are plumose only 75-90% to their base, whereas the pappus bristles of S. virgata are plumose all the way to their base.
The misidentification in Lightner was opportune; as a result, I discovered that S. diegensis extends much farther inland than anyone ever expected, all the way to the Laguna Mountains! Lightner identifies the location for his picture as Japatul Valley, which is some 30 miles from the coast. As far as I know, the previous record was 20 miles from the coast.
I then plotted the confirmed vouchers from the San Diego County Plant Atlas. Vouchers for S. diegensis extend a full 45 miles from the coast, all the way to the boundary with Anza-Borrego Desert State Park! There is even a voucher of S. diegensis from Japatul Valley, by a jl#1 (whoever might that be!), shown in the purplish rectangle marked [Plant Atlas Grid Cell] Q18 in the map.
In addition to the voucher determination, the plant in the photo of "S. virgata" has 12 ligules per head, making it a very clear S. diegensis. I frequently see plants of S. diegensis next to each other at the Santa Rosa Plateau with one showing the weak white five ligules in Lightner's picture on the left and with the neighboring plant showing heads with ~12 pinkish ligules. Lightner's pictures thus nicely capture the range of variation within this taxon.
See S. diegensis for more information.
- S. diegensis grows much taller than the < 6' ht quoted in the book, which was taken from the Jepson Manual. Both S. diegensis and S. virgata frequently grow to 10 feet tall, and some specimens are even taller.
- S. exigua also grows much taller than the usually <2' ht. quoted in the book, which was also taken from the Jepson Manual. Only desert plants are typically that height; cismontane plants are typically 3-4 feet tall. See S. exigua for more information.
- "Tragopogon porrifolius", p. 171. The picture shows T. dubius, which has yellow ligules; T. porrifolius has purple ligules. Perhaps it is no coincidence that T. dubius was not in Beauchamp (1986).
- Phacelia campanularia, P. minor, p. 177. The book states P. campanularia desert; P. minor mainly cismontane... desert plants said to have bluer (less purple) flowers.
There is much confusion about P. campanularia in the desert. The most common of these two taxa by far in Borrego Palm Canyon is P. minor. Yet many botanists call these plants P. campanularia because of the "common wisdom" that "desert plants are P. campanularia"! Thus the statement in the book is understandable, being based on conventional wisdom, but is not correct.
There is also much confusion about blue versus purple in floras. Some "blue" flowers are indeed bluish-purple. But in this case, P. campanularia apparently indeed does have blue flowers, not less purple flowers. (I say apparently since I have yet to see a P. campanularia.) See the following pictures:
- California Nativescapes Garden, San Diego Wild Animal Park
- Joshua Tree National Park
- unknown location
Compare the picture immediately above showing blue flowers to this pix of P. minor taken by the same photographer and same camera.
An interesting aside: I, along with Kay Madore, specifically went hunting for P. campanularia in Borrego Palm Canyon in February 2005, since I had seen a picture of a very clear blue-flowered plant taken by someone in January 2005 there. We didn't find any P. campanularia; instead, we found a new native species for San Diego County: P. nashiana! That's how uncommon P. campanularia seems to be in Borrego Palm Canyon!
- Phacelia tanacetifolia, p. 179. This is another taxon that is widely confused with another, in this case P. distans. Many botanists called the plants in Borrego Palm Canyon "P. tanacetifolia", when they are actually P. distans, due to the long-exserted stamens of P. distans.
In this case, it does look like Lightner correctly shows a picture of P. tanacetifolia, at least as judged by the very long-exserted stamens and linear calyx lobes. However, P. tanacetifolia is not on the latest (2001) San Diego County Plant Checklist by Simpson and Rebman. Lightner says he suspects that this specimen at Boulder Creek was planted from a seed packet, since it was accompanied by other suspicious species.
- Polycarpon tetraphyllum, p. 191. We also have a native species, P. depressum, which is very similar to P. tetraphyllum and more common in 1986 in San Diego County according to Beauchamp, although I've not yet found a specimen. I suspect the non-native P. tetraphyllum has eliminated the native species in many places.
These two species are difficult to distinguish; the stipules are 0.4-1.2 mm long and the sepals are 1.0-1.5 mm long for P. depressum, and 1.8-2.8 mm long and 1.8-2.2 mm long, respectively, for P. tetraphyllum.
- Stellaria pallida, p. 194. There is no discussion of how to distinguish S. pallida from S. media, which is easy to do. S. pallida has no petals!
- Calystegia macrostegia sspp. arida, "intermedia", "tenuifolia", p. 195. After Lightner's book was published, I made a somewhat-surprising discovery that subspecies "intermedia" and "tenuifolia" are bogus! All the plants formerly referred to subspecies "intermedia" and "tenuifolia" should be combined into ssp. arida.
- Castilleja minor ssp. "m.", p. 237. This is probably just a typo; the only subspecies in Southern California is ssp. spiralis.
- Collinsia concolor; C. heterophylla, p. 246. The book states C. concolor (R-R) top lip notched, implying that the top lip for C. heterophylla is not notched, as shown in the other pictures. However, C. heterophylla usually does have a notched upper lip, as do all Collinsia.
- Plantago ovata. This picture is a bit confusing, since the most obvious species in the picture is the Cryptantha at upper left on the leftmost picture. This species is extremely common in the desert, so much so that some botanists suspect it is a non-native species.
- "Allophyllum integrifolium", p. 250. Lightner speculates that the white-colored Allophyllum pictured may be A. integrifolium. That is extremely unlikely; the long-exserted stamens strongly conflict with the included stamens of A. integrifolium, which is not known to occur south of the San Gabriel Mountains. It is much more likely that this is simply a white variant of A. gilioides or A. glutinosum. Color variants, especially white ones, are found in so many species that I have given up adding more to my list; a list of species without color variants might be shorter!
- "Brodiaea jolonensis", p. 284. Mistake is also too strong of a word for this misidentification, since nearly every botanist has followed the determinations of the expert on Brodiaeas, T. Niehaus, and the erroneous key in Munz 1974. Using the Jepson Manual key, Lightner even shows a picture of an ovary with some purple on it, which might be the closest the green ovary of B. terrestris ssp. kernensis gets to purple! However, it is far different from the true purple ovaries of Brodiaea jolonensis; see Wayne Armstrong's pictures. It is not uncommon for any species of Brodiaea to have some purplish portions on their green ovary. But Wayne and I have never seen any population of Brodiaea in Southern California, including ones from the locale where Lightner took his picture, whose average ovary color is anything but green.
Niehaus put his stamp of approval on specimens from coastal Southern California as being "B. jolonensis" in 1971, even though it turns out his own vouchers from Southern California are not that taxon using Niehaus' own characteristics. The whole history of Brodiaea classification shows that this is a genus where it is extremely important to have fresh samples and field observations of the various species.
It was only in 2005 that Wayne Armstrong and I determined definitively that B. jolonensis does not exist in Southern California; all specimens so determined are misidentified B. terrestris ssp. kernensis. The latest count gives 12 or 13 significant differences between plants in Southern California and the true B. jolonensis found in Monterey County.
- p. IX. Paciifc in the first line should be Pacific; indian in line 25 should be Indian.
- p. XIII. Deparment in line nine should be Department.
- p. XXI. The last word in the text, verify, should be complete.
- p. 36. Chollar in the second line should be Cholla.
- p. 76. inlcude in line 3 should be include.
- p. 117. Lightner says that the upper elevation for Agave deserti should have been 3500 feet (near Jacumba), not 2000 feet.
- p. 149. In description for Coreopsis maritima, scub should be scrub.
- p. 158. Delete tar in (see tar, R-L).
- p. 187. The third line ends with a cutoff sentence; just replace the word "around" with a period.
- pp. 192-194. Carophyllaceae should be Caryophyllaceae.
- p. 194. The spelling of Spergularia bocconii is much debated! The Jepson Manual spelled it in two different ways on the same page! On p. 494, in the key it was spelled S. bocconii, but in the description it was spelled S. bocconei.
The online Jepson Interchange uses S. bocconei as of 2/9/06, and for at least several years previously.
Jon Rebman informed me that the Flora of North American has gone with S. bocconi, which states:The spelling of the epithet bocconi, often "corrected" to bocconii, is debatable. It commemorates Paolo Boccone, suggesting a correction to bocconei, but he also used the Latinized form Bocconus, allowing bocconi. We have used bocconi, following the first usage by Scheele
- p. 211. The Jepson Manual spelling of Melilotus indica and M. alba has returned it to M. indicus and M. albus.
- p. 242. (top R) should just be R.
- p. 244. Top line: Phrymaceaea should be Phrymaceae.
- p. 244. Text under Mimulus bigelovii that says also sw.US. colonies should probably just be also sw.US..
- p. 310. Batis maritima, not Batis maritime
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