Plant Guide to Nature Trail, James Reserve, San Jacinto Mountains

The guide has been updated from work in 2013 and 2016, but the text has not yet been updated.

Introduction and Explanation of Plant Trail Guides

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


This trail is within the James Reserve, which is closed to the public except by advance arrangement for scientific or educational purposes.

This is a ~1.0 mile loop hike, with ~400 feet of elevation gain and loss.

This guide was created on a preview trip for a Sierra Club Natural Science Section outing, and has not yet been field checked. The guide was made in a severe drought year in the summer, and hence is undoubtedly missing a number of species that would be present in wetter years and earlier in the year. The number of plants for some species will be much higher in wetter years as well.

Some of the determinations were made from the James Reserve Plant List, which made the identification task much easier. We thank Ken Berg for originally creating that list, all the collectors who contributed to that list, and the James Reserve staff and the UCR Herbarium for updating that list in March 2007. (Note that the online file has not yet been updated.)

Whenever we could not independently verify the determination of a specimen in the field, and there are species that could be confused with the determination on the Plant List, we have placed a "~" or "sp" on the determination in the guide as appropriate.

The end of the guide also lists species found in several spots along the entrance road to the Reserve, as well as additional species found on the continuation of that main road past the Trailfinders Lodge.

We thank Michael Hamilton for permission to botanize the James Reserve, and for his hospitality during our visit.

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 (not including the taxa seen only off-trail given at the end of the guide). We had 107 trails in our database when this histogram was made; 10 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 "10" 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
Total Taxa70100%

We found 5 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.

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"

Botanical Trip Reports

The Plant Guide

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (5 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (2 double-sided pages). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

The mileages in the guide come from a pedometer reading on the preview hike, and thus are not terribly precise. They could easily be off by 10% or more. An attempt to GPS the trail at the same time mostly failed due to poor conditions on the trail.

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here
0.00Begin trail at northeast end of parking area, at sign "Nature Trail"; elevation 5400 feet (1646 m)
0.00l1Sierra Nevada lotusAcmispon nevadensis var. nevadensis20 / 4
0.00l2wild tarragonArtemisia dracunculus50 / 2
0.00l3wild pepper-grassLepidium virginicum ssp. menziesii1 / 1
0.00r4incense-cedarCalocedrus decurrens99 / 9
0.00b5*downy bromeBromus tectorum99 / 5
0.00l6Jepson's blue wildryeElymus glaucus ssp. glaucus99 / 9
0.00l7brackenPteridium aquilinum var. pubescens99 / 9
0.00r8canyon live oakQuercus chrysolepis99 / 9
0.00r9Sierra hoary coffeeberryFrangula californica ssp. cuspidata50 / 9
0.00l10ponderosa pinePinus ponderosa var. pacifica99 / 9
0.01r11western columbineAquilegia formosa20 / 2
0.01r12Parish's burning bushEuonymus occidentalis var. parishii50 / 2
0.01r13Fendler's meadow-rueThalictrum fendleri var. fendleri15 / 3
0.01l14stinging nettleUrtica dioica ssp. holosericea10 / 1
0.01First crossing of Indian Creek
0.01l15fragile sheath sedgeCarex fracta50 / 9
0.01b16mountain pink currantRibes nevadense99 / 5
0.01r17woodland strawberryFragaria vesca99 / 2
0.02l18mountain California-fuchsiaEpilobium canum ssp. latifolium99 / 9
0.02l19sticky cinquefoilDrymocallis glandulosa var. viscida30 / 4
0.02l20Cleveland's horkeliaHorkelia clevelandii var. clevelandii20 / 1
0.02b21California black oakQuercus kelloggii50 / 5
0.02l(western azalea, Rhododendron occidentale; pinedrops, Pterospora andromedea)
0.02l22Mexican rushJuncus mexicanus99 / 2
0.02l(white-veined wintergreen, Pyrola picta)
0.02l23~*mouse-ear chickweedCerastium glomeratum99 / 1
0.03l24silky lotusAcmispon heermannii var. heermannii30 / 5
0.03l25whisker-brushLeptosiphon ciliatus99 / 1
0.03r26California bromeBromus carinatus var. carinatus99 / 1
0.03b27narrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium40 / 5
0.03r28broad-leaved lotusHosackia crassifolia var. crassifolia5 / 1
0.03r29deergrassMuhlenbergia rigens99 / 9
0.03r30mustang mintMonardella breweri ssp. lanceolata99 / 9
0.03l31mountain red-root cryptanthaCryptantha micrantha var. lepida99 / 3
0.03l(pink-bracted manzanita, Arctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea; Coulter pine, Pinus coulteri; sugar pine, Pinus lambertiana; goldenrod, Solidago velutina ssp. californica)
0.03r(naked buckwheat, Eriogonum nudum var. pauciflorum)
0.03eSign: “Camp Limit”
0.03l32pinegrove groundsmokeGayophytum oligospermum20 / 1
0.03r33San Bernardino suncupCamissoniopsis confusa20 / 2
0.04r34swamp sedgeCarex senta50 / 9
0.04l35Wright's buckwheatEriogonum wrightii var. membranaceum99 / 9
0.04b36groundsmokeGayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorum99 / 1
0.05r37short-flowered monardellaMonardella nana50 / 9
0.05r38curve-flowered skullcapScutellaria siphocampyloides99 / 3
0.05l39coastal giliaGilia diegensis8 / 1
0.05r40San Jacinto Mtns. bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. jacinticum99 / 9
0.06r41rigid hedge-nettleStachys rigida30 / 2
0.06r42goldenrodSolidago velutina ssp. californica99 / 5
0.06r43Parish's lupineLupinus latifolius var. parishii2 / 2
0.06r44green miner's lettuceClaytonia parviflora ssp. viridis10 / 1
0.07Second crossing of Indian Creek
0.07r45pinedropsPterospora andromedea20 / 5
0.08b46smooth scouring rushEquisetum laevigatum99 / 1
0.10l47sugar pinePinus lambertiana50 / 9
0.11r48Coulter pinePinus coulteri50 / 9
0.12l49white firAbies concolor20 / 2
0.12r50little prince's pineChimaphila menziesii50 / 1
0.12lJct. use trail to Creek
0.14l51Palmer's ceanothusCeanothus palmeri30 / 1
0.14l(subarctic lady-fern, Athyrium filix-femina var. cyclosorum)
0.16l52thimbleberryRubus parviflorus20 / 1
0.16l53western azaleaRhododendron occidentale99 / 5
0.16r54white-veined wintergreenPyrola picta30 / 3
0.17b55spreading dogbaneApocynum androsaemifolium30 / 2
0.17l(lemon lily, Lilium parryi)
0.19l(snow-plant, Sarcodes sanguinea)
0.21l56spotted coralrootCorallorhiza maculata30 / 2
0.23First branch of third crossing of Indian Creek
0.25r57lemon lilyLilium parryi15 / 1
0.25Second branch of third crossing of Indian Creek, on a wood plank
0.31Switchback left
0.31b58forest sedgeCarex multicaulis5 / 3
0.31l59western morning-gloryCalystegia occidentalis ssp. fulcrata20 / 2
0.31r60western lupineLupinus formosus var. formosus20 / 1
0.32Switchback right
0.33l61pink-bracted manzanitaArctostaphylos pringlei ssp. drupacea99 / 9
0.34Switchback left
0.34r(chaparral yucca, Hesperoyucca whipplei)
0.34r62naked buckwheatEriogonum nudum var. pauciflorum20 / 5
0.35r63chaparral yuccaHesperoyucca whipplei20 / 3
0.35First of three high points on trail, elevation 5550 feet
0.36r64interior live oakQuercus wislizeni var. frutescens50 / 9
0.39r(southern honeysuckle, Lonicera subspicata var. denudata; southern tauschia, Tauschia arguta)
0.39l(California bay, Umbellularia californica)
0.40r(whorledleaf penstemon, Keckiella ternata var. ternata; California elegant rock-cress, Boechera californica)
0.44Switchback right
0.45Switchback left
0.47l65spHall's bromeBromus hallii2 / 1
0.47r(blue dicks, Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum; California buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium)
0.47e66chaparral whitethornCeanothus leucodermis40 / 5
0.47r67California-asterCorethrogyne filaginifolia50 / 9
0.47r68wide-throated yellow monkeyflowerMimulus brevipes99 / 9
0.47l(woolly angelica, Angelica tomentosa)
0.47r69leafy daisyErigeron foliosus var. foliosus99 / 9
0.47l70southern honeysuckleLonicera subspicata var. denudata20 / 4
0.47r71southern mountain woolly-starEriastrum densifolium ssp. austromontanum40 / 9
0.48l72golden yarrowEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum30 / 9
0.48l73squirreltailElymus elymoides20 / 3
0.48l74slender hairgrassDeschampsia elongata5 / 1
0.48Second of three high points on trail
0.49r75Fremont's monkeyflowerMimulus fremontii var. fremontii99 / 5
0.50b76rattail fescueFestuca myuros40 / 2
0.55b77Parish's tauschiaTauschia parishii50 / 5
0.56r78pine dwarf-mistletoeArceuthobium campylopodum1 / 1
0.56Third of three high points on trail
0.63r79Jones' prickly-nut cryptanthaCryptantha muricata var. jonesii20 / 1
0.64r80coast-range melicMelica imperfecta5 / 1
0.65r81popcorn flowerCryptantha intermedia var. intermedia12 / 1
0.68b82wide-glumed needle grassStipa latiglumis2 / 1
0.69r83strigose lotusAcmispon strigosus10 / 1
0.69r(Martin's paintbrush, Castilleja applegatei ssp. martinii; small fescue, Festuca microstachys)
0.69r84scarlet buglerPenstemon centranthifolius30 / 9
0.69r85beautiful hulseaHulsea vestita ssp. callicarpha5 / 2
0.71r86bristly bird's beakCordylanthus rigidus ssp. setiger7 / 1
0.71b87spwestern needlegrassStipa occidentalis5 / 1
0.73r88June grassKoeleria macrantha1 / 1
0.75l89San Gabriel beardtonguePenstemon labrosus99 / 3
0.76r90Martin's paintbrushCastilleja applegatei ssp. martinii40 / 3
0.77l(oak mistletoe, Phoradendron serotinum ssp. tomentosum)
0.78(goosefoot yellow violet, Viola purpurea ssp. quercetorum)
0.79l91San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrushEricameria nauseosa var. bernardina2 / 1
0.79T-jct. with road; go left
0.80r92three-lobed oxythecaSidotheca trilobata5 / 1
0.80l93diamond-petaled clarkiaClarkia rhomboidea20 / 1
0.82b94slender everlastingPseudognaphalium thermale20 / 2
0.82l(woodland spurge, Euphorbia lurida)
0.85r95Mexican manzanitaArctostaphylos pungens1 / 1
0.85r96imbricate phaceliaPhacelia imbricata var. patula2 / 1
0.86T-Jct. with entrance road; go left
0.86r97California elegant rock-cressBoechera californica5 / 1
0.86r98*English plantainPlantago lanceolata20 / 2
0.87l99Lewis' flaxLinum lewisii var. lewisii20 / 1
0.87l(Parry's green-gentian, Frasera parryi)
0.87l100yarrowAchillea millefolium5 / 1
0.87l101blue dicksDichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum16 / 1
0.89l102birch-leaf mountain-mahoganyCercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides1 / 1
0.90r103yellow willowSalix lutea1 / 1
0.90b104white alderAlnus rhombifolia2 / 1
0.90b105common monkeyflowerMimulus guttatus99 / 2
0.90l106streambank lotusHosackia oblongifolia var. oblongifolia30 / 1
0.90l(stream orchid, Epipactis gigantea)
0.90r107subarctic lady-fernAthyrium filix-femina var. cyclosorum3 / 1
0.90b108scarlet monkeyflowerMimulus cardinalis10 / 1
0.90r109willow-leaved dockRumex californicus1 / 1
0.90r110horsetailEquisetum hyemale ssp. affine2 / 1
0.90Middle of bridge over fourth crossing of Indian Creek
0.90r111giant chain fernWoodwardia fimbriata1 / 1
0.90r112*common bedstrawGalium aparine2 / 1
0.90r113Utah service-berryAmelanchier utahensis2 / 1
0.90l114California wild roseRosa californica20 / 1
0.92l115Davidson's buckwheatEriogonum davidsonii5 / 1
0.93l116slender wreathplantStephanomeria exigua ssp. deanei1 / 1
0.94b117sticky lessingiaLessingia glandulifera var. glandulifera99 / 2
0.96r118woolly angelicaAngelica tomentosa30 / 1
1.00End trail at Parking Area
species from Jim Roberts with unspecified location
119Parry's green-gentianFrasera parryi /
120white hawkweedHieracium albiflorum /
121thread plantNemacladus longiflorus var. longiflorus /
species seen only off-trail
122stream orchidEpipactis gigantea /
123California buckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium /
124woodland spurgeEuphorbia lurida /
125small fescueFestuca microstachys /
126whorledleaf penstemonKeckiella ternata var. ternata /
127oak mistletoePhoradendron serotinum ssp. tomentosum /
128snow-plantSarcodes sanguinea /
129southern tauschiaTauschia arguta /
130California bayUmbellularia californica /
131goosefoot yellow violetViola purpurea ssp. quercetorum /

Comments On Specific Species

Rhamnus tomentella ssp. cuspidata. The first specimen on the trail has the glabrous leaves of R. californica. The second specimen, also noted in the guide, has leaves that are soft hairy underneath. This is typical of this species at SnJt, leaving it less than clear which of those two names to call these plants. In this guide, we have adopted the name in the James Reserve Flora, but in other plant trail guides at SnJt have called these plants R. californica.

Ceanothus palmeri / C. integerrimus. These taxa are also extremely close. We've called the first specimens on trail as C. palmeri since the leaves are prominently 1-veined from base, and the specimens on the road as C. integerrimus since the leaves are 3-veined from base. This is not a definitive separation, despite the Jepson Manual key, and hence the determinations are not given as certain in the guide.

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Copyright © 2007-2016 by Tom Chester, Dave Stith, Liana Argento, Cliff McLean, and Gabi McLean
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 8 July 2016.