Plant Communities of the San Gabriel Mountains
- tall trees
- shrubby and herbaceous understory
- all elevations
- canyon bottom, streamside or dry wash with underground water
- Big Rock Creek, Mill Creek, Big Pines to Wrightwood, Arroyo Seco, San Antonio Canyon (Mt. Baldy Road) for bigleaf maple
- Dominant species
- white alder Alnus rhombifolia
- California sycamore Platanus racemosa
- bigleaf maple Acer macrophyllum
- Fremont cottonwood Populus fremontii
- willows Salix spp.
|Special Feature: Fall Color|
The large deciduous trees that exist in the streambeds of perennial creeks provide spectacular fall color. On a crisp, clear November day, those growing along Big Rock Creek can take your breath away. In late fall, trees, from the willows of the high country to the cottonwoods of the desert, turn canyons everywhere in these mountains into rivers of gold.
Liebre Mountain in the northwest and the Blue Ridge in the southeast at the extreme ends of the San Gabriel Mountains also have outstanding fall color from large stands of black oak which turn golden. Willows and cattails around the sag ponds there turn yellow and brown.
Many evergreen shrubs have brightly colored berries like toyon and coffeberry. Smaller plants with fall color include squaw currant, serviceberry, chokecherry, multi-hued poison oak, crimson and pink buckwheats and brilliant yellow rabbitbrush.
- For more information
- Plants Along the Los Angeles River
- Sample CNPS vegetation series, their formal name for a plant community, include descriptions and pictures of the habitat, as well as of the individual species: Arroyo willow series, California sycamore series, Fremont cottonwood series and White alder series from A Manual of California Vegetation
- CalFlora's Bigleaf maple
- Report of My Journey in the Southern Sierra Nevada and the Argus and Madurango Ranges by C. A. Purpus
- Cal Poly's BOT 333 Field Botany Field Trips Riparian Plant Communities
Copyright © 2000 by Jane Strong
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Jane Strong
Updated January 21, 2000