Flora of Santa Rosa Mountains Above 7800 Feet Elevation
shaggy-haired alumroot, Heuchera hirsutissima
© Tom Chester
rose sage, Salvia pachyphylla
© James Dillane
This is a preliminary checklist for the highest elevations of the Santa Rosa Mountains, the area around Santa Rosa Mountain Peak and Toro Peak above an elevation of 7800 feet. This checklist has been compiled from three days of surveying, from online vouchers, and from Zabriskie's Flora of Deep Canyon.
We decided to compile this flora above 7800 feet, for three reasons:
- An elevation of 7800 feet corresponds to the minimum elevation we surveyed, and our three surveys represented a significant sampling of the area above 7800 feet.
- An elevation contour of 7800 feet delineates well the highest portion of the Santa Rosa Mountains.
- The area above 7800 feet contains no springs, and few significantly-wet areas. Thus this checklist gives a fairly pure view of the species that are found in this ridge-top habitat. This checklist thus excludes many of the species that grow in moist areas, which tend to be widespread species, growing wherever there are moist conditions.
An overview of the San Jacinto Mountain / Santa Rosa Mountain area is given in the Overview to the Flora of Santa Rosa Mountains.
The following topographic maps show the area covered by this checklist, and the detailed paths covered in the three days of surveying:
Santa Rosa Mountain Peak Survey (= Santa Rosa Peak Survey)
Toro Peak Surveys
Note that peak 7928 is found in both maps, at the lower right in the first map and the upper left in the second map. See also a single larger map that contains both of the above maps.
The surveys were as follows, in time order:
- Toro Peak East, 19 July 2008. This survey was done by Tom Chester, Anne Kelly and Brendan Crill. We surveyed a linear distance of 1.6 miles, shown by the heavy dark blue line on the lower right of the above map. This was the initial survey of this area. We decided to cut off the survey at an elevation of 8000 feet, since that contour, shown by the dotted red line on the above map, nicely delineated the area of Toro Peak.
- Santa Rosa Peak, 18 July 2009. This peak is shown on the topo map above as Santa Rosa Mountain, which causes no end of confusion since this has the same name as the entire mountain range, yet this is not even the highest peak here! To avoid confusion, we'll refer to that peak as Santa Rosa Peak in the following.
This survey was done by Tom Chester, James Dillane, Dave Stith, Mike and Lolly Crouse, and Pam Pallette. We surveyed a linear distance of 2.0 miles, as shown by the heavy dark blue line in the upper left of the map above. The intent was to cover as much as possible of the area above an elevation of 7800 feet, shown by the dotted red line, which is a more appropriate contour to delineate the area around Santa Rosa Peak.
- Toro Peak West, 23 July 2009. This survey was done by Tom Chester, James Dillane, Dave Stith, Anne Kelly, Mike Crouse, and Alexis Kim. This survey covered the ridgeline west of Toro Peak and the drainage from the saddle to the west of Toro Peak. We surveyed a linear distance of 1.7 miles, as shown by the portion of the heavy green line above the 8000 foot contour.
In addition, we also recorded new species seen below the 8000 foot contour, on the 0.7 miles of that portion of the heavy green line. However, we did not consider this area part of the survey to estimate plant abundances, in order to be consistent with the previous Toro Peak survey. This area was above an elevation of 7800 feet, so it fit well with the Santa Rosa Peak survey.
The view of this area as seen looking south from Red Tahquitz Peak is shown in the next photograph (note that west is on the right in this photograph, and on the left in the above topo map):
See also unlabeled image.
See also a larger scale view of the entire Santa Rosa Mountains ridge taken from Red Tahquitz (unlabeled image)
Interestingly, each of our three surveys found almost exactly the same number of species: 69, 70 and 67, in the survey order given above. Together, our surveys found 94 taxa, of which 29 were found in only one of the surveys; 18 in exactly two of the surveys, and 47 in all three surveys.
Amazingly, this distribution is almost exactly that predicted from the usual "Number of species is proportional to roughly the third root of the area" power law distribution. Using the numbers from a fit to our trail data from 2002, the predicted numbers are 30 found in only one of the surveys; 18 in exactly two of the surveys, and 46 in all three surveys. See How Common Are The Plants Of Southern California? for more information.
The Zabriskie Survey
There are three drainage basins in the Santa Rosa Mountains in the area above 7800 feet elevation here. One of those basins, Deep Canyon, has a very comprehensive previous survey for plants. The northern side of the Toro Peak ridge, east of the peak directly south of Stump Spring, is the head of the Deep Canyon drainage.
Jan Zabriskie produced a Flora of Deep Canyon in 1979, which Tom Chester updated in 2006. Species recorded by Zabriskie as occurring above 7800 feet are given in the checklist below.
The other two drainage basins are as follows. West of that drainage divide, the northern side drains into Palm Canyon. The south side drains into Coyote Creek, which initially flows west, turns south at Horse Canyon, and then flows southeast into Borrego Springs.
Santa Rosa Mountains Vouchers
In 2006, Tom Chester compiled a Flora of the Santa Rosa Mountains From Vouchers, which he has updated as he has come across further vouchers from there. The current list was reviewed for species that might occur above 7800 feet, but that were not recorded in our surveys or by Zabriskie as occurring above 7800 feet. A new search for vouchers of those species above 7800 feet elevation was made, which added a few species to the list.
Analysis and Discussion of Checklist
This section has not been written yet. These are just notes to ourselves to expand into this section in the future.
This checklist contains 115 taxa. Of those, 94 were found in our surveys.
correct placement of below 8000 feet surveys in table below, and put it in original spreadsheet.
species previously unrecorded in snrsmtns.
new elevation records.
Remarkable change of vegetation as one crosses over the ridge.
carex, draba in toro east.
sedum just below; draba missed near saddle, but found below, and possibly within toro 1 survey.
Of missed species, High % of annuals.
() for species below 8000 feet at toro.
Z wet species possibly in unsurveyed drainage.
Voucher taxa rejected from checklist: Astragalus purshii, etc.
Checklist for Santa Rosa Mountains Above 7800 Feet Elevation
The checklist follows the taxonomy in the Jepson Manual.
The columns in the checklist are as follows:
- Fam. the Jepson Manual Family.
- An asterisk before the common name for a species indicates a non-native taxon.
- # Plants / # Locations. This is our minimum estimate of the number of plants for each species found in each survey, as well as the minimum number of separate locations in which each species was found. A single location is roughly what can be seen from a given spot in the survey. Maximum values are 99 plants and 9 locations.
The main intent of this abundance estimate is to indicate which species are uncommon, with only a few plants and/or only a few locations.
- V. The number of vouchers for each taxon, to a maximum of 9, found anyplace in the Santa Rosa Mountains, regardless of elevation.
- Z. If this column has a Z in it, this taxon was in the Zabriskie Flora of Deep Canyon, regardless of elevation. Note that it is to be expected that some species found in the Palm Canyon or Coyote Creek drainage basins would not be found in the Deep Canyon drainage basin.
Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (6 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (2 double-sided pages). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)
# FAM Scientific Name (*)Common Name # Plants / # Locations #V Z Santa
1 Dryopteridaceae Cystopteris fragilis brittle bladder fern / / / Z 2 Dryopteridaceae Woodsia oregana Oregon cliff fern / / 10/1 4 Z 3 Pteridaceae Pellaea mucronata var. californica California cliff-brake 10/5 20/3 1/1 3 Z 4 Selaginellaceae Selaginella watsonii Watson's spike-moss / / / 3 Z 5 Cupressaceae Calocedrus decurrens incense-cedar 30/3 1/1 1/1 7 Z 6 Pinaceae Abies concolor white fir 99/9 99/9 99/9 6 Z 7 Pinaceae Pinus flexilis limber pine / 10/2 10/1 6 Z 8 Pinaceae Pinus jeffreyi Jeffrey pine 99/9 99/9 99/9 1 Z 9 Pinaceae Pinus lambertiana sugar pine 3/2 / / 1 Z 10 Apiaceae Sphenosciadium capitellatum ranger's buttons / / / Z 11 Apiaceae Tauschia parishii Parish's tauschia 20/3 3/1 / 2 Z 12 Asteraceae Artemisia dracunculus wild tarragon 50/9 99/9 40/9 3 Z 13 Asteraceae Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. incompta mountain mugwort 50/5 99/9 20/3 2 Z 14 Asteraceae Bahia dissecta ragged-leaf bahia 20/3 50/3 / 2 Z 15 Asteraceae Chrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrush 50/9 99/9 99/9 2 Z 16 Asteraceae Chrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. consimilis threadleaf common rabbitbrush 30/3 30/2 / 1 17 Asteraceae Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus ssp. viscidiflorus sticky-leaved rabbitbrush 5/1 / / 18 Asteraceae Cirsium occidentale var. californicum California thistle 1/1 / / 1 Z 19 Asteraceae Ericameria cuneata var. spathulata wide-leaved rock goldenbush 20/5 50/5 10/1 3 Z 20 Asteraceae Erigeron foliosus var. foliosus leafy daisy 5/2 1/1 10/2 4 Z 21 Asteraceae Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum golden yarrow 99/9 99/9 10/1 8 Z 22 Asteraceae Gnaphalium palustre western marsh cudweed / / / 1 Z 23 Asteraceae Gutierrezia sarothrae matchweed / / 20/1 5 Z 24 Asteraceae Hieracium horridum prickly hawkweed / 20/3 2/1 1 Z 25 Asteraceae Hulsea vestita ssp. callicarpha beautiful hulsea 15/7 15/6 / 9 Z 26 Asteraceae Hymenopappus filifolius var. lugens Columbia cutleaf 30/4 / / 3 Z 27 Asteraceae Lessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia California-aster 20/5 20/3 10/3 1 Z 28 Asteraceae Machaeranthera canescens var. ziegleri Ziegler's aster 20/5 50/9 30/5 9 Z 29 Asteraceae Solidago californica goldenrod 99/9 99/9 99/9 1 Z 30 Brassicaceae Arabis holboellii var. pinetorum pinewoods rock-cress 10/3 10/4 10/1 1 Z 31 Brassicaceae Draba corrugata var. saxosa Southern California rock draba / / / 4 Z 32 Brassicaceae Erysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum western wallflower 2/2 99/5 30/9 4 Z 33 Brassicaceae Thysanocarpus curvipes fringe-pod / / / 2 Z 34 Cactaceae Opuntia erinacea var. erinacea Mojave prickly-pear / / 5/1 6 Z 35 Caprifoliaceae Sambucus mexicana blue elderberry / / 1/1 2 Z 36 Caprifoliaceae Symphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii Parish's snowberry 10/4 99/9 99/9 6 Z 37 Caryophyllaceae Silene parishii Parish's campion 20/3 20/7 10/5 9 Z 38 Caryophyllaceae Silene verecunda ssp. platyota white catch-fly 50/9 20/4 1/1 1 Z 39 Chenopodiaceae Chenopodium fremontii Fremont's goosefoot 1/1 40/2 50/9 3 Z 40 Chenopodiaceae Salsola tragus *Russian thistle / / 20/1 2 Z 41 Convolvulaceae Calystegia occidentalis ssp. fulcrata western morning-glory 30/4 80/2 / 1 42 Crassulaceae Sedum niveum Davidson's stonecrop / / / 4 Z 43 Ericaceae Arctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea pink-bracted manzanita 50/9 10/2 / 9 Z 44 Ericaceae Pterospora andromedea pinedrops / / (1) 1 45 Ericaceae Pyrola picta white-veined wintergreen / / / 1 Z 46 Ericaceae Sarcodes sanguinea snow-plant 10/5 1/1 / 7 Z 47 Euphorbiaceae Euphorbia palmeri woodland spurge 50/5 30/5 1/1 6 Z 48 Fabaceae Amorpha californica var. californica California false-indigo 1/1 / / 7 49 Fabaceae Astragalus bicristatus crested milk-vetch / 3/1 20/2 7 Z 50 Fabaceae Astragalus douglasii var. parishii Parish' Jacumba milk-vetch 30/9 / / 9 Z 51 Fabaceae Astragalus leucolobus Big Bear Valley woollypod 30/9 99/9 10/2 6 Z 52 Fabaceae Lotus argyraeus var. argyraeus canyon lotus 20/3 40/9 5/1 5 Z 53 Fabaceae Lotus nevadensis var. nevadensis Sierra Nevada lotus 99/9 / (10) 4 Z 54 Fabaceae Lupinus excubitus var. austromontanus mountain grape-soda lupine 99/9 30/4 20/9 6 Z 55 Fabaceae Lupinus hyacinthinus San Jacinto lupine 99/9 99/9 50/9 4 Z 56 Fabaceae Trifolium repens *white clover / / / Z 57 Fagaceae Chrysolepis sempervirens bush chinquapin / / 10/1 3 58 Fagaceae Quercus chrysolepis canyon live oak 99/9 40/5 10/1 4 Z 59 Grossulariaceae Ribes cereum var. cereum wax currant 50/9 99/9 30/9 7 Z 60 Grossulariaceae Ribes nevadense mountain pink currant / 10/1 / 2 Z 61 Lamiaceae Monardella nana ssp. tenuiflora short-flowered monardella 99/9 99/9 50/9 9 Z 62 Lamiaceae Salvia pachyphylla rose sage 99/9 99/9 50/3 9 Z 63 Linaceae Linum lewisii var. lewisii Lewis' flax 30/3 / / 1 Z 64 Loasaceae Mentzelia congesta clustered blazing star / / / Z 65 Onagraceae Epilobium canum ssp. latifolium mountain California-fuchsia 50/3 20/4 20/1 7 Z 66 Onagraceae Gayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorum groundsmoke / 10/2 20/2 3 Z 67 Orobanchaceae Orobanche fasciculata clustered broom-rape / / / Z 68 Philadelphaceae Philadelphus microphyllus little-leaf mock orange / 2/1 / 3 Z 69 Polemoniaceae Eriastrum sapphirinum sapphire woolly-star 4/1 / / 2 Z 70 Polemoniaceae Gilia diegensis coastal gilia / / / 9 Z 71 Polemoniaceae Gilia ochroleuca ssp. exilis volcanic gilia / / / 5 Z 72 Polemoniaceae Leptodactylon pungens granite prickly phlox 20/5 50/9 20/9 9 Z 73 Polemoniaceae Phlox austromontana southern mountain phlox 50/9 99/9 2/2 9 Z 74 Polygonaceae Eriogonum apiculatum San Jacinto buckwheat 99/2 50/7 99/9 9 Z 75 Polygonaceae Eriogonum nudum var. pauciflorum naked buckwheat 99/9 50/3 30/9 2 Z 76 Polygonaceae Eriogonum wrightii var. membranaceum Wright's buckwheat 10/1 50/3 / 9 Z 77 Polygonaceae Eriogonum wrightii var. subscaposum Wright's buckwheat 99/9 99/9 50/9 1 Z 78 Polygonaceae Polygonum arenastrum *knotweed / / 1/1 Z 79 Portulacaceae Calyptridium parryi var. parryi Parry's sand cress / / / 1 Z 80 Ranunculaceae Aquilegia formosa western columbine / 3/1 / Z 81 Ranunculaceae Thalictrum fendleri Fendler's meadow-rue / / 10/1 1 Z 82 Rhamnaceae Ceanothus greggii var. perplexans cupped-leaf ceanothus / / 5/1 9 Z 83 Rhamnaceae Rhamnus californica (including R. tomentella) California coffeeberry 3/1 / 3/1 1 Z 84 Rosaceae Cercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides birch-leaf mountain-mahogany 1/1 / 1/1 4 Z 85 Rosaceae Cercocarpus ledifolius curl-leaf mountain-mahogany / / 1/1 86 Rosaceae Holodiscus microphyllus var. microphyllus mountain spray / 20/5 / 87 Rosaceae Potentilla glandulosa ssp. reflexa sticky cinquefoil / / (1) 1 Z 88 Rubiaceae Galium angustifolium ssp. jacinticum San Jacinto Mtns. bedstraw 99/9 40/3 20/1 2 89 Rubiaceae Galium parishii Parish's bedstraw 50/9 99/9 50/9 6 Z 90 Saxifragaceae Heuchera hirsutissima shaggy-haired alumroot 2/1 99/9 50/5 5 Z 91 Scrophulariaceae Castilleja applegatei ssp. martinii Martin's paintbrush 20/5 50/9 30/9 2 Z 92 Scrophulariaceae Cordylanthus nevinii Nevin's bird's beak 99/9 20/1 30/9 1 Z 93 Scrophulariaceae Mimulus floribundus floriferous monkeyflower / / / 6 Z 94 Scrophulariaceae Mimulus pilosus false monkeyflower / / / 7 Z 95 Scrophulariaceae Pedicularis semibarbata pine lousewort 10/3 20/4 5/1 2 Z 96 Scrophulariaceae Penstemon grinnellii var. grinnellii Grinnell's beardtongue 25/3 10/2 30/3 2 Z 97 Scrophulariaceae Penstemon labrosus San Gabriel beardtongue 99/9 99/9 99/9 6 Z 98 Solanaceae Nicotiana attenuata coyote tobacco / / 2/1 2 Z 99 Solanaceae Solanum xanti purple nightshade 20/4 / 20/3 1 Z 100 Viscaceae Arceuthobium campylopodum pine dwarf-mistletoe 50/9 / / 2 Z 101 Viscaceae Phoradendron pauciflorum fir mistletoe 2/2 / 1/1 2 Z 102 Cyperaceae Carex rossii Ross' sedge 99/9 30/3 1/1 103 Liliaceae Calochortus invenustus plain mariposa lily / / 1/1 3 Z 104 Poaceae Achnatherum hymenoides Indian ricegrass / / / 1 Z 105 Poaceae Achnatherum lettermanii Letterman's needlegrass / / / Z 106 Poaceae Achnatherum occidentale ssp. pubescens Elmer's needlegrass / / / Z 107 Poaceae Achnatherum parishii Parish's needlegrass 15/3 10/4 10/1 1 Z 108 Poaceae Agropyron sp. wheatgrass / / / Z 109 Poaceae Bromus carinatus var. carinatus California brome 20/3 / / 1 Z 110 Poaceae Bromus grandis tall brome / / 10/1 2 111 Poaceae Bromus richardsonii fringed brome / 10/4 30/9 1 Z 112 Poaceae Bromus tectorum *downy brome 20/1 99/5 99/9 2 Z 113 Poaceae Elymus elymoides squirreltail 99/9 99/9 30/9 5 Z 114 Poaceae Elymus glaucus ssp. virescens Virginia wildrye / / / Z 115 Poaceae Poa fendleriana ssp. longiligula Fendler's blue grass 40/9 50/9 30/9 2 Z
Copyright © 2009 by Tom Chester, Anne Kelly, James Dillane, Dave Stith, Mike Crouse and Brendan Crill.
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 30 July 2009.