Plant Guide to Self-Guided Nature Trail, Heise County Park

This is a working list, about which we make no guarantees at all until we officially release it. Use at your own risk!

Some of the identifications below were based on dead plant remnants from the previous year, due to the drought in 2002.

Introduction and Explanation of Plant Trail Guides

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


This Self-Guided Nature Trail is an easy 0.8 mile round-trip loop with only 200 feet of elevation gain and loss at Heise County Park, one of the most beautiful San Diego County parks. There is no brochure for the trail; instead, 23 plants have posts with identifying labels on them.

Highlights of This Trail

This trail is a beautiful easy hike through an oak, pine and incense-cedar forest, with extensive areas of large old manzanitas.

Some of the botanical highlights of this trail are:

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"

The Plant Guide

This plant guide is unusual in that a number of species are listed twice. The first occurrence is listed and numbered, as always. In addition, all labeled species are listed as well, each time they occur. If the common name on the label differs from the one we use, it is given in parentheses in the entry for the labeled specimen. No subspecies or varieties are given on the labels.

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page (4 pages)

Mile#id?LabeledCommon NameLatin Name#here#all
0.00   North trailhead between campsites 83 and 84. Parking for trail use is at campsite 77, 0.10 miles south.
0.001  southern coast live oakQuercus agrifolia var. oxyadenia /3
0.00   Display board: mentions Canyon Oak Trail and Desert View Trail, but not this Self-Guided Nature Trail! Take Desert View Trail to the right of display board.
0.002~ creeping snowberrySymphoricarpos mollis /3
0.003  California black oakQuercus kelloggii /3
0.00   Check for wild oats here
0.004ssp blue wildryeElymus glaucus /5
0.005  *ripgut bromeBromus diandrus /13
0.006  hollyleaf redberryRhamnus ilicifolia /12
0.007  Palmer's ceanothusCeanothus palmeri /1
0.018~ Eastwood manzanita (young plant)Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. zacaensis /3
0.019? clarkia sp.?
0.0110  interior live oakQuercus wislizenii var. frutescens /4
0.0111? ashy silk tasselGarrya flavescens /4
0.0112  canyon live oakQuercus chrysolepis /9
0.0213  toyonHeteromeles arbutifolia /13
0.03   Cross small drainage
0.0314  Coulter pine (young plant)Pinus coulteri /5
0.0315ssp chamiseAdenostoma fasciculatum /12
0.0416 xMexican manzanita (10' tree)Arctostaphylos pungens /1
0.04  xEastwood manzanitaArctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. zacaensis / 
0.04  xCoulter pinePinus coulteri / 
0.0917  southern honeysuckleLonicera subspicata var. denudata /11
0.09   Post without sign. The honeysuckle is immediately behind the post, and the lower branches of a huge canyon live oak are close by.
0.10  xashy silk tasselGarrya flavescens / 
0.10   Cross small drainage
0.1218  birch-leaf mountain-mahoganyCercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides /9
0.12   Trail turns 90 degrees left.
0.1219  chaparral yuccaYucca whipplei /7
0.12   Trail turns 90 degrees right.
0.1220  squawbushRhus trilobata /7
0.13  xhollyleaf redberryRhamnus ilicifolia / 
0.13  xsouthern honeysuckle (honeysuckle)Lonicera subspicata var. denudata / 
0.13   Trail curves 90 degrees right.
0.15  xchaparral yucca (our lord's candle)Yucca whipplei / 
0.17   Bench without back.
0.20   Trail splits; Desert View Trail to left, our trail straight ahead.
0.2121? unk. per. grass
0.2222 xwhite sageSalvia apiana /11
0.22   White sage was nearly hidden behind sign on 8/23/02; high point on trail; descend and immediately turn 90 degrees right.
0.2423 xvirgin's bowerClematis lasiantha /2
0.24   Latin name on sign misspelled as Clematis lasinatha
0.2524 xwhorledleaf penstemon (summer bush penstemon)Keckiella ternata var. ternata /2
0.25   Trail turns 90 degrees right, then immediately 90 degrees left.
0.2825 xCalifornia barberryBerberis aquifolium var. dictyota /1
0.28   Sign gives previous Latin name of Berberis dictyota. Trail turns 90 degrees right, and now parallels drainage on left.
0.2926  *rattail fescueVulpia myuros var. myuros /3
0.29   Post on left without sign has squawbush behind it.
0.29  xPalmer's ceanothus (deer brush)Ceanothus palmeri / 
0.31  xCalifornia black oakQuercus kelloggii / 
0.31   Cross drainage, which now parallels trail on the right.
0.34  xCalifornia barberryBerberis aquifolium var. dictyota / 
0.34   Sign gives previous Latin name of Berberis dictyota.
0.35   Large field of blue wildrye. Trail goes through large patches of snowberry.
0.38   Large tree trunk across trail. Beware the left side of it, which is rotting away.
0.39   Trail diverges from this drainage.
0.4127~ narrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium /14
0.42   Trail turns 90 degrees right.
0.4228? *pampas grassCortaderia selloana /2
0.43   Cross next drainage.
0.43  xcreeping snowberry (snowberry)Symphoricarpos mollis / 
0.49   Cross creekbed.
0.50  xsouthern coast live oakQuercus agrifolia var. oxyadenia / 
0.51  xcanyon live oakQuercus chrysolepis / 
0.5129 xCalifornia coffeeberryRhamnus californica ssp. californica /4
0.54   Cross small drainage
0.5530 xincense-cedarCalocedrus decurrens /7
0.5631 xpoison oakToxicodendron diversilobum /9
0.5732 xSierra gooseberryRibes roezlii var. roezlii /5
0.57   Cross drainage
0.59  xbirch-leaf mountain-mahogany (mountain mahogany)Cercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides / 
0.60  xpoison oakToxicodendron diversilobum / 
0.6033ssp mountain California-fuchsiaEpilobium canum ssp. latifolium /6
0.62   End Nature Trail at campsite 75. Trailhead parking at campsite 77 is 0.07 miles north.

Comments On Specific Species

Adenostoma fasciculatum. Need to check for var. obtusifolium.

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Copyright © 2002 by Tom Chester 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:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester | Jane Strong
Updated 22 October 2002.