Plant Guide to Devils Slide Trail, San Jacinto Mountains

Introduction and Explanation of Plant Trail Guides

Introduction
Highlights of This Trail
Fieldwork Dates and Summary of List Changes With Time
Botanical Trip Reports
The Plant Guide
Comments On Specific Species

Introduction

The Devils Slide Trail begins in Humber Park two miles above the town of Idyllwild at the end of Fern Valley Road. A free wilderness permit is required for day use, and the number of permits is limited on summer weekend days and holidays. The permit is not available at the trailhead, and there are often rangers at the trailhead or along the trail checking permits on heavy use days. We have personally run into rangers checking permits on several different days. The permit can be picked up at the Forest Service office at 54270 Pinecrest, which is just east of SR243 in downtown Idyllwild.

The Devils Slide Trail ends at Saddle Junction, and there are four trails you can take from that point to continue. Guides to three of those trails are here.

Highlights of This Trail

The botanical highlights of this trail are:

Number of Unique Taxa On This Trail

The following histogram gives the number of trails in our database that contain each taxon on this trail. We had 116 trails in our database when this histogram was made; 16 of those trails, including this one, are in this area of San Jacinto Mountain. A number of "1" means the taxon has only been found on this trail among the trails in our database; numbers of "16" or smaller may indicate taxa found only in this area of San Jacinto Mountain.

Number of Trails
Containing A Taxon
Number Of Taxa
On This Trail
% of Taxa
On This Trail
133%
211%
3109%
433%
533%
 
1-52019%
6-103129%
11-152321%
16-20109%
21-251211%
26-3022%
31-3522%
36-4011%
41-4500%
46-5022%
51-5522%
56-6000%
60-6511%
66-7011%
Total Taxa107100%

We found 3 additional species not in the above table, since they have not been fully identified yet. The unidentified ones are marked with ? or sp in the id? column in the guide, and have no entries in the #all column.

The taxa that are unique to this trail, or are found on only up to four other trail guides, are:

#allScientific NameCommon Name
1Juncus tiehmiiTiehm's rush
1Mimulus breweriBrewer's monkeyflower
1Phacelia ramosissima var. ramosissimabranching phacelia
2Streptanthus bernardinusLaguna Mtns. jewel-flower
3Carex multicaulisforest sedge
3Claytonia parviflora ssp. viridisgreen miner's lettuce
3Garrya fremontiiFremont silk tassel
3Geranium californicumCalifornia geranium
3Hieracium horridumprickly hawkweed
3Hypericum anagalloidestinker's penny
3Juncus macrandruslong-anthered rush
3Luzula comosahairy wood rush
3Sagina saginoidespearlwort
4Arctostaphylos patula X A. pringlei ssp. drupaceahybrid manzanita
4Juncus phaeocephalus var. paniculatusspreading brown-headed rush
4Lotus grandiflorus var. grandifloruschaparral lotus
5Boschniakia strobilaceaCalifornia groundcone
5Pyrola pictawhite-veined wintergreen

Fieldwork Dates and Summary of List Changes With Time

The following table gives the dates the trail was walked and taxa recorded. After each visit, the table gives the total number of taxa on the list and the breakdown of the taxa without positive identification. See Explanation of Plant Trail Guides to understand the symbols below.

Visit DateVisit ## taxa# "?"# "sp"# "~"# "ssp"
6/13/200214227  2
6/20/200225612473
9/9/20023577272
9/13/20024599352
8/28/20035713251
9/2/20036763350
9/7/20037783360
10/3/20038793450
10/21/20039803370
4/10/200410804340
9/5/200411824441
10/1/200412833341
10/5/200413833341
7/7/200614893231
7/10/2006151002120
7/19/2006161011130
7/26/2006171031140
8/2/2006171031140
8/11/2006181081140
8/16/2006191092130
8/21/2006201092130
9/29/2006211092130
3/14/2007231092150
10/10/2007351102130

Since this trail gets traveled a lot as a gateway to the other trails from Saddle Junction, we have not listed every separate trip in the table above after #21.

The fieldwork on 7/7/06 was only to mile 0.94 since it got interrupted by a heavy downpour.

Botanical Trip Reports

10 April 2004
7 July 2006
10 July 2006
14 July 2006
19 July 2006
26 July 2006
2 August 2006
11 August 2006
16 August 2006
8 July 2007

The Plant Guide

See also:

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (8 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (2 double-sided pages). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

The mileages in the guide are not as good as in other field guides that have been fit to GPS data. The relative mileages here are probably correct to ~0.01-0.02 miles, but the absolute mileages could be in error by ~0.05 miles or so.

The problem is the poor conditions to receive GPS signals caused by dense tree cover and the restricted sky field of view caused by the mountain. For example, I GPS'd every species and every turn in the trail on 7/14/06, but that turned out to be almost useless. Typical errors noted in the field were ~60 feet, and several times the unit lost all satellites. This unfortunately seems typical for GPS tracks here; I compared against previous ones I've made, and they all have significant systematic errors in places. I.e., the problem isn't just the ~0.01 mile claimed accuracy of individual points; there is a bias in the position reconstruction that can be larger than the claimed accuracy.

See Explanation of Plant Trail Guides for an explanation of the column headers.

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here#all
0.00   Beginning of trail in southeast corner of parking lot, to right of sign with introductory information; 6480 feet (1975 m) elevation.
0.00l1 mountain whitethornCeanothus cordulatus99 / 956
0.00l2 incense-cedarCalocedrus decurrens15 / 751
0.00   Trail turns left 90°
0.01r3 California black oakQuercus kelloggii15 / 730
0.01l4 canyon live oakQuercus chrysolepis99 / 968
0.01b5 ponderosa pinePinus ponderosa+10 / 515
0.01r6 white firAbies concolor99 / 978
0.01l7 sugar pinePinus lambertiana99 / 956
0.01r  Sign: San Jacinto Wilderness, San Bernardino National Forest
0.01l  Sign: "Be prepared for hazardous conditions beyond this point. Permit required beyond this point. Bikes are not permitted within the San Jacinto Wilderness or on the PCT"
0.03l8 fir mistletoePhoradendron pauciflorum99 / 924
0.04   (incense-cedar mistletoe, Phoradendron libocedri)
0.04b9 Sierra Nevada lotusLotus nevadensis var. nevadensis40 / 242
0.04l10 former first location of chaparral lotus, last seen here in [2005?]Lotus grandiflorus var. grandiflorus20 / 24
0.04l11 Indian milkweed (usually off trail, but on trail in some years)Asclepias eriocarpa10 / 224
0.08r  Huge boulder ~20 feet tall next to a huge dead white fir, showing how its trunk is made of wood spiraled around.
0.13r12 Coulter pinePinus coulteri4 / 225
0.13l  (pink-bracted manzanita, Arctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea)
0.13   Switchback right, #1.
0.15l  first location of chaparral lotus, Lotus grandiflorus var. grandiflorus, in 2011
0.15l13 Davidson's buckwheatEriogonum davidsonii+2 / 229
0.16l14 snow-plantSarcodes sanguinea3 / 332
0.17b15 California-aster (not seen in 2011 except at mile 2.27)Lessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia+50 / 490
0.18l  (narrowleaf bedstraw, Galium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium)
0.18l  (Grinnell's beardtongue, Penstemon grinnellii var. grinnellii)
0.22l  (forest sedge, Carex multicaulis)
0.23   Switchback left, #2. Old trail continued down straight ahead.
0.24l16 white-veined wintergreenPyrola picta5 / 216
0.24l17 spotted coralrootCorallorhiza maculata1 / 120
0.25r18 naked buckwheatEriogonum nudum var. pauciflorum30 / 348
0.25r19 forest sedgeCarex multicaulis10 / 310
0.25r20 prickly cryptantha (waifs)Cryptantha muricata+4 / 228
0.27r  (first California-aster in 2011, Lessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia)
0.28r21 splendid giliaGilia splendens ssp. splendens25 / 320
0.31l22 southern honeysuckleLonicera subspicata var. denudata5 / 563
0.33r23 interior live oak (at northwest side of 10' boulder)Quercus wislizeni var. frutescens+4 / 130
0.36l24 pinedropsPterospora andromedea6 / 637
0.37r25 mountain grape-soda lupineLupinus excubitus var. austromontanus5 / 125
0.37r  (beautiful hulsea, Hulsea vestita ssp. callicarpha)
0.37r26 San Jacinto buckwheatEriogonum apiculatum+1 / 131
0.38r27 golden yarrowEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum10 / 192
0.38r28 silky lotusLotus heermannii var. heermannii5 / 112
0.39r29 twiggy wreath plant (waifs)Stephanomeria virgata+2 / 216
0.40r  (short-flowered monardella, Monardella nana ssp. tenuiflora, here and at mile 0.49)
0.41l  (oak mistletoe, Phoradendron villosum)
0.46r  pine died in August, 2006.
0.46r  (beaked penstemon, Penstemon rostriflorus)
0.46r  (California-fuchsia, Epilobium canum ssp. latifolium)
0.49l30 pink-bracted manzanitaArctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea10 / 530
0.49r31 *downy bromeBromus tectorum+3 / 166
0.50r  Leafless form of white-veined wintergreen, Pyrola picta, in 2011 and 2012
0.54l  (San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrush, Chrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus)
0.57l32 Grinnell's beardtonguePenstemon grinnellii var. grinnellii30 / 638
0.60l33 beaked penstemonPenstemon rostriflorus50 / 943
0.66r  (Laguna Mtns. jewel-flower, Streptanthus bernardinus)
0.68   Switchback right, #3; elevation 6900 feet (2100 m). Old trail continued up straight ahead.
0.76   Switchback left, #4. A "mirror-image" switchback of the old trail is immediately next to this switchback.
0.78r34 Laguna Mtns. jewel-flowerStreptanthus bernardinus2 / 15
0.79l35 bush chinquapinChrysolepis sempervirens5 / 548
0.81r36 pine lousewort (in area shielded by sugar pine roots of big tree with two small trees)Pedicularis semibarbata2 / 144
0.88r37 Yosemite rockcressArabis repanda var. repanda10 / 17
0.89l  (little prince's pine, Chimaphila menziesii, not seen since [2005?])
0.89   The following three Mimulus species are only at this location in wet years (they are present in subsequent locations most years):
0.89b38 Brewer's monkeyflowerMimulus breweri99 / 314
0.89b39 floriferous monkeyflowerMimulus floribundus99 / 320
0.89b40 false monkeyflowerMimulus pilosus20 / 221
0.89r  (pinegrove groundsmoke, Gayophytum oligospermum)
0.89b41 mountain California-fuchsiaEpilobium canum ssp. latifolium30 / 484
0.93r42 common monkeyflowerMimulus guttatus20 / 232
0.93l43 groundsmokeGayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorum10 / 119
0.94r44 sticky cinquefoilPotentilla glandulosa ssp. reflexa50 / 334
0.94r45 Idaho bentgrassAgrostis idahoensis40 / 341
0.94b46 streambank lotusLotus oblongifolius var. oblongifolius50 / 223
0.94r47 fragile sheath sedgeCarex fracta30 / 947
0.94b  (Fendler's blue grass, Poa fendleriana ssp. longiligula)
0.94l  (deergrass, Muhlenbergia rigens, in drainage far below trail)
0.94r48 bearded flatsedgeCyperus squarrosus4 / 12
0.94r49 Suksdorf's monkeyflowerMimulus suksdorfii50 / 16
0.94r50 Tiehm's rushJuncus tiehmii50 / 13
0.94r51 long-styled rushJuncus longistylis15 / 315
0.95r52 glaucus willowherbEpilobium glaberrimum ssp. glaberrimum30 / 225
0.95r53 pinegrove groundsmokeGayophytum oligospermum30 / 334
0.95b54 western azaleaRhododendron occidentale40 / 434
0.95b55 Scouler's willowSalix scouleriana+12 / 546
0.95r56 western marsh cudweed (waif)Gnaphalium palustre+1 / 115
0.95r57 white catch-fly (seen here last in 2006)Silene verecunda ssp. platyota5 / 253
0.95r58 mountain pink currantRibes nevadense15 / 444
0.95r59 Parish's lupineLupinus latifolius var. parishii1 / 123
0.95r60 willowherbEpilobium ciliatum ssp. ciliatum4 / 228
0.95r  (hairy wood rush, Luzula comosa)
0.95   Cross first small wet drainage (only one from Jolley Spring); elevation 7120 feet (2170 m)
0.95r61 slender hairgrassDeschampsia elongata3 / 234
0.96r62 broad-leaved lotusLotus crassifolius var. crassifolius7 / 225
0.96r63 California bee plantScrophularia californica ssp. floribunda10 / 232
0.97l64 former first location of Parish's snowberry, not seen since [2005?}Symphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii20 / 554
0.97r  (Fremont silk tassel, Garrya fremontii)
1.05r  Tree struck by lightning, which exited along its exposed root (add link to pix)
1.08l  (green-leaf manzanita, Arctostaphylos patula, in front of pink-bracted manzanita, Arctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea, on ridgeline)
1.10l65 hybrid manzanitaArctostaphylos patula X A. pringlei ssp. drupacea+2 / 25
1.12l66 Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi+30 / 976
1.14r67 Fendler's blue grassPoa fendleriana ssp. longiligula1 / 113
1.19l  Dead tree with rocks 10 feet off ground  at top. How did the rocks get there? Try to explain it, then check our answer.
1.19l  (Sierra gooseberry, Ribes roezlii var. roezlii, just below trail.)
1.20r68 Parish's bedstrawGalium parishii15 / 428
1.24l69 goldenrodSolidago californica10 / 192
1.24l  (thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus)
1.24   first location of Parish's snowberry, Symphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii, in 2011
1.25   Note impressive rocks on other side of drainage.
1.25b70 scarlet monkeyflowerMimulus cardinalis20 / 236
1.25r71 Cleveland's horkeliaHorkelia clevelandii+20 / 230
1.25r  (arroyo willow, Salix lasiolepis)
1.25   Cross small moist drainage #2 (first of four crossings of Powderbox Spring drainage); elevation 7320 feet (2230 m)
1.25l  (western wallflower, Erysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum)
1.25b72 western columbineAquilegia formosa10 / 348
1.25l73 giant red paintbrush (died here in [2007?])Castilleja miniata ssp. miniata10 / 334
1.25r74 Fremont's goosefootChenopodium fremontii20 / 236
1.25   best location for broad-leaved lotus, Lotus crassifolius var. crassifolius
1.25r75 granite prickly phloxLeptodactylon pungens10 / 434
1.25r76 San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushChrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus+10 / 758
1.25r77 Fremont silk tasselGarrya fremontii30 / 45
1.25l78 narrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium5 / 368
1.26r79 Martin's paintbrushCastilleja applegatei ssp. martinii6 / 348
1.26l80 California coffeeberryRhamnus californica+30 / 522
1.31l81 *prickly lettuce (waif)Lactuca serriola+1 / 160
1.32r  (bracken, Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens)
1.35b82 forest goosefootChenopodium atrovirens20 / 525
1.36l83 branching phaceliaPhacelia ramosissima var. ramosissima10 / 33
1.37r  (blue elderberry, Sambucus mexicana)
1.37   Cross small wet drainage #3 (first of two of drainage containing Middle Spring; second is above Middle Spring); elevation 7380 feet (2250 m)
1.37r84 baby brittle bladder fern (not seen since [2007?])Cystopteris fragilis4 / 338
1.37r85 green miner's lettuceClaytonia parviflora ssp. viridis4 / 112
1.37r  Very small Mimulus guttatus and M. floribundus, just 2-4 cm (1-2 inch) tall
1.38r86 Sierra gooseberryRibes roezlii var. roezlii15 / 438
1.41l87 little prince's pineChimaphila menziesii6 / 423
1.42   Wet seep on trail not shown on topo map
1.42r88 thimbleberry (small plant never seen to bloom)Rubus parviflorus6 / 326
1.42l89 brackenPteridium aquilinum var. pubescens20 / 357
1.46l  Second location of hybrid manzanita, Arctostaphylos patula X A. pringlei ssp. drupacea
1.46   Trail turns 90 degrees right.
1.48   Cross dry bouldery drainage
1.50   Switchback right, #5; elevation 7500 feet (2290 m).
1.54   Cross last dry bouldery drainage again at higher elevation.
1.57r  (white fir, Abies concolor, tree that fell over when it had a good-sized trunk, grew a new erect trunk which was lost, and now has two side branches competing to be the new main trunk)
1.59r  View of Tahquitz Peak Lookout
1.60r  View of Lily Rock, Palomar Mountain Range, San Diego County coastline, Santa Margarita Mountains and closer ranges.
1.66r  (California chicory, Rafinesquia californica, seen only in 2010)
1.69   Cross wet drainage #4, a large one ~80 feet above Middle Spring, second of the two crossings of this drainage; elevation 7600 feet (2315 m)
1.69r90 blue elderberrySambucus mexicana20 / 485
1.70   Cross separate branch of same drainage
1.70l91 red-stemmed spring beautyClaytonia rubra20 / 12
1.70l  first mature brittle bladder fern, Cystopteris fragilis
1.76   Trail turns left 50 degrees; tall rock walls on right.
1.80l  (California cliff-brake, Pellaea mucronata var. californica)
1.80l92 green-leaf manzanitaArctostaphylos patula30 / 943
1.81l93 coyote tobacco (waif)Nicotiana attenuata+3 / 15
1.85   Enter Powderbox Spring drainage with lots of western azalea, probably the best display on the trail.
1.85   first live giant red paintbrush, Castilleja miniata ssp. miniata, in 2011
1.85l94 Nevada cinquefoilPotentilla glandulosa ssp. nevadensis30 / 225
1.85b95 western wallflowerErysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum10 / 263
1.85   Cross wet drainage #5, second of the four crossings of Powderbox Spring drainage; elevation 7680 feet (2340 m)
1.85   First good stand of thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus
1.85r  (San Jacinto Mts. Keckiella, Keckiella rothrockii var. jacintensis)
1.86b96 wax currantRibes cereum var. cereum10 / 452
1.91   Switchback left, #6. (A blocked-off old trail continues down straight ahead.)
1.99   Switchback right, #7, near drainage from Powderbox Spring again.
2.02   Switchback left, #8, with a massive rock fortress above the switchback.
2.02r  (Just off-trail beyond the switchback, in the boulders at head level and above, is San Jacinto prickly phlox, Leptodactylon jaegeri; and western polypody, Polypodium hesperium. ~25 feet farther to south is little-leaf mock orange, Philadelphus microphyllus, at trail level.)
2.02l97~*bull thistle (waif)Cirsium vulgare+1 / 128
2.02r98 Parish's campionSilene parishii10 / 223
2.04l  Sign: "Soil in the area is fragile. Please stay on the trail."
2.07r99 musk monkeyflowerMimulus moschatus99 / 235
2.07r100 San Jacinto Mts. keckiellaKeckiella rothrockii var. jacintensis10 / 330
2.07r101 hairy wood rushLuzula comosa20 / 225
2.07r sspCheck subspecies of these Epilobium ciliatum plants
2.07   Cross wet drainage #6, a small one immediately above Powderbox Spring; third of the four crossings of this drainage; elevation 7840 feet (2390 m); curve left
2.07r  (vari-nerved sedge, Carex heteroneura var. heteroneura; California geranium, Geranium californicum)
2.07r102 changeable phaceliaPhacelia mutabilis+10 / 137
2.07r103 "Holboell's rock-cress""Arabis holboellii"+10 / 226
2.07b  Best spot for Cleveland's horkelia, Horkelia clevelandii
2.07r104 blue-eyed grassSisyrinchium bellum+1 / 127
2.07r105 larger mountain monkeyflowerMimulus tilingii30 / 143
2.07b106 rigid hedge-nettleStachys ajugoides var. rigida+3 / 152
2.08r107 Jepson's blue wildryeElymus glaucus ssp. jepsonii5 / 221
2.08l  View of Diamond Valley Reservoir, shaped like an hourglass.
2.08r108 California groundconeBoschniakia strobilacea10 / 26
2.13   Trails turns 90 degrees right at ridge
2.14r  (Large numbers of California groundcone, Boschniakia strobilacea)
2.20   Switchback right, #9.
2.25l109 southern mountain-monardellaMonardella australis5 / 222
2.25r  Trail gradually bends left. Note the window formed by the boulders on right
2.27l110 prickly hawkweedHieracium horridum10 / 117
2.27l  Best location for "Holboell's rock-cress, Arabis holboellii"
2.27l  (western polypody, Polypodium hesperium, just above head level hidden behind boulder between white fir and canyon live oak)
2.27l  first on-trail California-aster, Lessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia, in 2011
2.27l111 Watson's spike-mossSelaginella watsonii5 / 110
2.27l112 southern Sierra phaceliaPhacelia austromontana40 / 13
2.27l113 *brome fescue (waif)Vulpia bromoides1 / 121
2.27l114 squirreltailElymus elymoides1 / 148
2.28l115 rock buckwheatEriogonum saxatile2 / 118
2.35r  (field of swamp sedge, Carex senta. Wide-leaved Parish's yampah, Perideridia parishii ssp. latifolia, 30 feet below trail)
2.35   Enter seep area
2.35l116 long-anthered rushJuncus macrandrus80 / 129
2.35l117 Kentucky blue grassPoa pratensis ssp. agassizensis10 / 130
2.35b118 California geraniumGeranium californicum5 / 126
2.35l119 plain mariposa lilyCalochortus invenustus1 / 134
2.35l120 lemon lilyLilium parryi+1 / 113
2.35l121 glandular willowherbEpilobium ciliatum ssp. glandulosum2 / 114
2.35l122 primrose monkeyflowerMimulus primuloides ssp. primuloides10 / 115
2.35l  Best location for streambank lotus, Lotus oblongifolius var. oblongifolius
2.35l123 abrupt-beak sedgeCarex abrupta10 / 120
2.35l124 pearlwortSagina saginoides20 / 125
2.35l125 tinker's pennyHypericum anagalloides50 / 112
2.35r  First location of white catch-fly, Silene verecunda ssp. platyota, in 2011 inside Keckiella plant
2.35   Cross shallow drainage at head of Powderbox Spring drainage; last of the four crossings of this drainage; elevation 8010 feet (2440 m)
2.37   Switchback left, #10. (on right: jct. with a blocked-off old trail; a path straight ahead leads to the hanging "picture window" rock seen from here; and six plants of San Jacinto prickly phlox, Leptodactylon jaegeri).
2.44r126 San Gabriel beardtonguePenstemon labrosus5 / 126
2.44r  (Elmer's needlegrass, Achnatherum occidentale ssp. californicum / pubescens)
2.45r127 pussy pawsCalyptridium monospermum3 / 120
2.52   End Devils Slide Trail at Saddle Junction, 8075 feet (2460 m) elevation, a jct. with 4 other trails.

Comments On Specific Species

Pinus ponderosa, P. jeffreyi. These two similar yellow pines are easily discriminated on this trail by the length of the cones and elevation. P. ponderosa has small cones 6.5 to 9.5 cm (2.5 to 3.7 inches) long; P. jeffreyi cones are nearly twice as long, 12.0 to 17.2 cm (4.7 to 6.8 inches).

P. ponderosa is found at the trailhead up to mile 0.25 below an elevation of 6660 feet; most of the specimens in this area are at elevations below this trail. P. jeffreyi is found only on the upper part of the trail, beginning at mile 1.10 at an elevation of 7200 feet; most of the specimens in this area are in Tahquitz Valley above this trail.

See Pinus jeffreyi and P. ponderosa for a map of the distribution of these species on this trail, discussions of the unreliable commonly-used discriminants of these species, and pictures of the cones.

Lessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia. These plants key out to Corethrogyne filaginifolia var. glomerata in Munz. Also, some of these plants are unusual in having two-lipped corollas. The usual ligule is spreading, but the other ligule is erect, forming a cylinder around the disk flowers!

Quercus wislizeni var. frutescens. As far as we know, this is the highest elevation specimen of this species, at ~6500 feet. Munz gives an upper elevation of 5000 feet, and the Jepson Manual gives 2000 m = 6500 feet.

Chrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus. The first occurrence of this species on trail in 2002 was no longer present in 2003, and has been removed from the guide. It was approximately at the location of the first off-trail specimen at mile 0.53.

Epilobium canum. These plants, like many of the ones we see at high elevations of the San Gabriel Mountains, seem to be hybrids between the two subspecies. See Comments on the Jepson Manual and A Flora of Southern California by Munz: Epilobium canum.

Rhamnus californica. If one takes the taxa in the Jepson Manual seriously, there would be three on this trail:

Clearly, it is crazy to declare that there are three taxa on this trail, and we treat these all as R. californica, without subspecies.

Salix scouleriana. These were keyed out using blooms in April 2004, four plants from the drainage at mile 0.95 and one plant from the drainage at mile 1.23. All plants were males, and are only consistent with a S. scouleriana id from the JM staminate key.

The plants at mile 0.95 show a lot of similarity to Salix lasiolepis. The leaf margins are not uniformly turned down, which is more akin to S. lasiolepis than to the other S. scouleriana on the trail at higher elevation. Many of the leaves, especially on the young whips at the base of the taller trunks, are dead ringers for S. lasiolepis leaves, being elliptic/symmetric and thus very un-Scouler-like.

The plants at higher elevation all have leaves with uniformly-turned down margins, and are clearly all S. scouleriana, with the exception of the single off-trail location of S. lasiolepis at mile 1.28.

Arctostaphylos patula X A. pringlei ssp. drupacea. These specimens caused me great grief for their determination until I finally figured out and proved that these were hybrids of these two species. See Hybrids of Arctostaphylos patula and A. pringlei in the San Jacinto Mountains.

Dead tree with rocks 10 feet off ground near top of tree. Presumably, the ground level has not changed since the tree was alive, since the trunk/root junction is still at ground level. The area has the usual steep slope, so it is highly likely that the slope is the same as it always was, except for the trail construction.

Possible explanations:

Nick Nixon informs us that this tree is known as the Wishing Tree, and that he knows hikers that make a point of bringing a rock or two to throw at the tree. If the rock catches in the tree, those hikers believe their wish will be granted.

Tom picked up a rock, and lodged it in the tree with his first toss. (;-)

Horkelia clevelandii. The first occurrence on the trail is a single specimen that usually hides under a rock or another plant. The second occurrence at mile 2.04 has bunches of the plants.

Lactuca serriola, Cirsium vulgare. These non-native plants are probably waifs brought in by hikers or horses, and are weeded out when seen.

Eriogonum apiculatum, Nicotiana attenuata, Cryptantha sp.?. These plants were only seen in one year, 2003, with only a single specimen of each, and are possibly waifs brought in by hikers or horses.

Arabis perennans. The plants here have white to pinkish-purple flowers, despite the floras only giving purple to pinkish for the petals. This species is very similar to A. holboellii var. pinetorum, with only one clear difference, which is the separation used in the key in both Munz and the Jepson Manual:

- pedicels spreading at base and recurved ...A. perennans
- pedicels deflexed at base and straight... A. holboellii

All plants observed in 2004 and 2005 had pedicels that emerged from the stem at precisely 90° and then curved downward.

The floras give only two other distinctions:

I've seen both species along the Fish Creek Trail in the San Bernardino Mountains. The species differ most noticeably there in their cauline lvs, with A.h. having obvious auriculate lobes at their base, and A.p. having much less noticeable auricles, if any. The plants here look precisely like the A.p. at Fish Creek.

It is interesting that one of the Hall vouchers from his 1902 Flora called A.p. has been annotated to be A.h., and his other voucher is just Arabis sp..

Species that did not bloom in 2003:

Common NameLatin Name
Perennial species that were old enough to bloom, but did not bloom
Indian milkweedAsclepias eriocarpa
golden yarrowEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum
 
Species with all plants too young to bloom in 2003, probably due to the 2001-2002 drought
California geraniumGeranium californicum
lemon lilyLilium parryi
larger mountain monkeyflowerMimulus tilingii
California beeplantScrophularia californica ssp. floribunda
hedge-nettleStachys ajugoides var. rigida


We thank Nick Nixon for finding the Pinus coulteri on the trail; Michael Charters for finding the Corallorhiza maculata, taking the picture to help identify the Streptanthus bernardinus, and determining that the Sagina was a perennial, not an annual; an anonymous reader for finding the Cystopteris fragilis; Jim Adams for sighting the Muhlenbergia rigens off-trail while he was running the trail; and Keir Morse for spotting the Cyperus squarrosus.


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Copyright © 2002-2012 by Tom Chester, Dave Stith, James Dillane and Jane Strong.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
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Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 15 July 2012.