A Quantitative Flora of Wellman Cienega, San Jacinto Mountains
Tom Chester, Dave Stith, James Dillane, Krista Adamek and Michael Charters
Pano of four individual photos showing the North Wellman Cienega from its upper point looking east, by Tom Chester. Note the person (Krista Adamek) at upper left for scale. The tree-covered valley formed by Willow Creek is in the middle to far distance, which joins Tahquitz Valley in the far distance. The lowest point on the horizon is the Caramba area. Sam Fink Peak is the rocky peak just south of Caramba. See also larger picture, and picture showing the camera location, taken by Krista Adamek with Tom Chester in the middle
Wellman Cienega is located at 8960-9420 feet (2730-2870 m) elevation in the San Jacinto Mountains, and is the headwaters of Willow Creek in the Tahquitz Valley. For more information about Willow Creek and the Tahquitz Valley, including their location plotted on a large-scale map, see A Quantitative Flora of Willow and Tahquitz Creeks.
The USGS topographic map (the San Jacinto Peak 7.5' sheet) shows Wellman Cienega as two nearby separate areas, a north Cienega and a south Cienega. The centers of each are separated by ~0.25 miles, and their closest edges are separated by ~0.15 miles. Each Cienega is roughly circular, with a diameter of ~0.1 miles and an area of ~5 acres (2 hectares), although the north Cienega is actually somewhat bigger than the South Cienega.
However, most of the area between the two Cienegas is somewhat moist, with lots of bracken and some other wet area species such as Lupinus latifolius. There is also a much smaller wet area just to the south of the North Cienega. No additional species were found in any of this in-between area, and the species abundance estimates below do not include that area.
See also a Google satellite map showing these areas (labeled version) and a pano of the northern boggy area of the south Wellman Cienega taken from the trail.
This flora of Wellman Cienega was compiled from three surveys:
- 11 July 2008: A roughly one hour survey of the north Cienega and the northern part of the south Cienega, only in the vicinity of the Wellman Divide Trail, by Tom Chester, Dave Stith, James Dillane and Michael Charters. This survey was part of a survey of the Trail, and records were not kept separately for the Cienegas. See the Photo Gallery by Michael Charters for the entire trip from the Tram in Long Valley to Wellman Cienega.
- 3 September 2010: A three hour survey of the south Cienega by Tom Chester and Dave Stith, with abundance estimates made just for the south Cienega. The survey was primarily of the western flattish boggy-area part, above the steeper dense bracken and Veratrum field below.
- 10 September 2010: A two hour survey of the north Cienega by Tom Chester, Dave Stith and Krista Adamek, with abundance estimates made just for the north Cienega. The portion west of the Wellman Divide Trail was quite thoroughly surveyed, but no portion east of the Trail was surveyed.
In addition, a one hour trip was done on 12 October 2010 in order to confirm the determination of the Thalictrum species, which resulted in finding two more species for the south Cienega and one more species for the north Cienega.
Since this Checklist results from only a total of seven hours of surveying on four different days, with some parts of the Cienega unsurveyed, it undoubtedly is incomplete.
Numbers of Species in the North and South Cienega
We observed a total of 79 species in one or both of the Cienegas. Of those, 56 are wet area species observed in at least one of the Cienegas. (The others were dry area species found incidentally around the periphery of the meadows.)
Of those 56 wet-area species, 12 were observed only in the south Cienega; 4 were observed only in the north Cienega; and 40 were observed in both Cienegas. (See the checklist below to see the species in each category.)
These numbers are consistent with those expected from the fundamental species / area relationship in which the number of species scales as area to roughly the 1/3 power. If the two meadows are equal in size, and the exponent is 1/3, one would expect 60% of the species observed in at least one meadow to be found in both meadows, and 20% of the species to be confined to each meadow, calculated as follows.The number of species in the combined area is the third root of 2, about 1.25, times the number in each half. Thus 0.25 out of 1.25, or 20%, of the total species will be found only in each half, making a total of 40% of the species will be found only in one half or the other. Only 60% of the species will be found in both areas.
Out of 56 species, that would be 34.0 ± 5.8 expected to be in both meadows, and 11.2 ± 3.3 to be in just one meadow.
The number observed in both meadows is 40, which is off by only one standard deviation from that expected, an entirely expected excursion. The 12 species observed only in the south Cienega is almost precisely that expected, and the 4 observed only in the north Cienega is off by only 7.2 / 3.3 = 2.2 standard deviations, which is within the realm of the difference expected due to chance.
Checklist for Wellman Cienega
The Checklist is sorted first by category - ferns, dicots, and monocots - and then by family and scientific name. The Family and Scientific Name are from the 1993 Jepson Manual. An asterisk before the Common Name would indicate a non-native taxon, but none were found here. (Note that it is debated whether Poa pratensis is native or non-native to the mountains of southern California.)
To save space, a three letter abbreviation is used for the Family. See Plant Family Abbreviations to decode the abbreviation.
The column labeled #Plants is our estimate of the minimum number of plants for each taxon in each of our surveys, separately for each Cienega. The maximum value is 99 plants. The main intent of this column is to indicate the species for which we found few plants.
The column labeled #SnJt is the number of occurrences for each taxon in all of our San Jacinto Mountain surveys. Taxa with a 1 in that column have been found so far only in this Cienega.
The column labeled Wet indicates whether a taxon grows in wet areas such as the Cienegas themselves. Such a designation does not imply that a species grows only in such areas. For example, Carex fracta grows in dryish areas as well as wet areas. Other taxa on the checklist were encountered around the edge of the meadow.
See the Photo Gallery by Michael Charters for pictures of some of the species observed along the trip from the Tram in Long Valley to Wellman Cienega.
Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (3 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (1 double-sided page). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)
# JM Family Scientific Name (*)Common Name #Plants #SnJt Wet N S 1 DEN Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens bracken 99 99 45 W 2 PIN Abies concolor white fir 1 52 3 PIN Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana lodgepole pine 40 99 28 4 PIN Pinus jeffreyi Jeffrey pine 3 1 49 5 API Oxypolis occidentalis western cow-bane 99 3 W 6 API Perideridia parishii Parish's yampah 99 99 14 W 7 API Sphenosciadium capitellatum ranger's buttons 5 10 31 W 8 AST Achillea millefolium yarrow 99 99 36 W 9 AST Aster alpigenus var. andersonii Anderson's oreastrum-aster 99 99 3 W 10 AST Chrysothamnus nauseosus ssp. bernardinus San Bernardino rubber rabbitbrush 20 38 11 AST Helenium bigelovii Bigelow's sneezeweed 20 1 W 12 AST Solidago californica goldenrod 20 39 13 CAP Symphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishii Parish's snowberry 20 20 40 14 CAR Sagina saginoides pearlwort 10 1 25 W 15 CAR Silene verecunda ssp. platyota white catch-fly 10 10 36 16 CHE Chenopodium atrovirens forest goosefoot 50 1 16 17 CHE Chenopodium fremontii Fremont's goosefoot 10 20 18 ERI Arctostaphylos patula green-leaf manzanita 2 30 19 ERI Rhododendron occidentale western azalea 2 31 W 20 FAB Lotus nevadensis var. nevadensis Sierra Nevada lotus 3 37 21 FAB Lupinus latifolius var. parishii Parish's lupine 1 3 16 W 22 FAB Trifolium monanthum var. grantianum mountain carpet clover 30 99 31 W 23 FAG Chrysolepis sempervirens bush chinquapin 99 99 37 24 GER Geranium californicum California geranium 99 99 25 W 25 GRO Ribes cereum var. cereum wax currant 5 10 35 26 GRO Ribes roezlii var. roezlii Sierra gooseberry 40 1 27 27 HYD Phacelia mutabilis changeable phacelia 20 50 34 28 HYP Hypericum anagalloides tinker's penny 99 99 10 W 29 LAM Monardella australis southern mountain-monardella 50 20 13 30 LAM Stachys ajugoides var. rigida rigid hedge-nettle 20 10 24 W 31 ONA Epilobium canum ssp. latifolium mountain California-fuchsia 30 15 45 32 ONA Epilobium ciliatum willowherb 30 30 32 W 33 ONA Epilobium glaberrimum ssp. glaberrimum glaucus willowherb 20 20 23 W 34 ONA Epilobium oregonense slimstem willowweed 2 2 2 W 35 ONA Gayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorum groundsmoke 99 50 16 W 36 POL Allophyllum divaricatum purple false-gilia 5 21 W 37 POL Rumex salicifolius var. salicifolius willow-leaved dock 99 10 20 W 38 PRI Dodecatheon alpinum alpine shooting star 99 99 4 W 39 RAN Thalictrum fendleri var. fendleri Fendler's meadow-rue 5 20 25 W 40 RHA Ceanothus cordulatus mountain whitethorn 1 40 41 ROS Holodiscus microphyllus var. microphyllus mountain spray 15 2 16 42 ROS Horkelia clevelandii Cleveland's horkelia 99 99 26 W 43 ROS Potentilla glandulosa ssp. nevadensis Nevada cinquefoil 30 50 21 W 44 ROS Prunus emarginata bitter cherry 15 22 45 SCR Castilleja applegatei ssp. martinii Martin's paintbrush 3 29 46 SCR Castilleja miniata ssp. miniata giant red paintbrush 20 8 30 W 47 SCR Mimulus breweri Brewer's monkeyflower 2 9 W 48 SCR Mimulus cardinalis scarlet monkeyflower 3 17 W 49 SCR Mimulus floribundus floriferous monkeyflower 5 9 W 50 SCR Mimulus moschatus musk monkeyflower 20 99 32 W 51 SCR Mimulus primuloides ssp. primuloides primrose monkeyflower 99 99 12 W 52 SCR Mimulus suksdorfii Suksdorf's monkeyflower 1 4 W 53 SCR Mimulus tilingii larger mountain monkeyflower 99 99 38 W 54 SCR Veronica serpyllifolia ssp. humifusa thyme-leaved speedwell 10 18 W 55 URT Urtica dioica ssp. holosericea stinging nettle 20 10 10 W 56 CYP Carex abrupta abrupt-beak sedge 10 20 18 W 57 CYP Carex fracta fragile sheath sedge 50 99 40 W 58 CYP Carex heteroneura var. heteroneura vari-nerved sedge 30 8 W 59 CYP Carex nebrascensis Nebraska sedge 99 1 W 60 CYP Carex senta swamp sedge 99 99 36 W 61 IRI Sisyrinchium bellum blue-eyed grass 99 50 3 W 62 JUN Juncus duranii Duran's rush 1 8 W 63 JUN Juncus longistylis long-styled rush 50 13 W 64 JUN Juncus macrandrus long-anthered rush 99 99 26 W 65 JUN Luzula comosa hairy wood rush 10 99 21 W 66 LIL Calochortus invenustus plain mariposa lily 1 24 67 LIL Lilium parryi lemon lily 4 6 31 W 68 LIL Smilacina stellata little false-solomon's-seal 4 11 W 69 LIL Veratrum californicum var. californicum California corn lily 99 99 20 W 70 ORC Platanthera leucostachys white bog orchid 50 2 7 W 71 POA Agrostis idahoensis Idaho bentgrass 99 50 37 W 72 POA Bromus carinatus var. carinatus California brome 50 20 25 W 73 POA Deschampsia elongata slender hairgrass 50 31 W 74 POA Elymus glaucus ssp. glaucus blue wildrye 50 20 4 W 75 POA Elymus trachycaulus slender wheatgrass 20 18 76 POA Muhlenbergia andina foxtail muhly 30 11 W 77 POA Muhlenbergia richardsonis mat muhly 99 10 17 W 78 POA Phleum alpinum mountain timothy 30 15 14 W 79 POA Poa pratensis ssp. agassizensis Kentucky blue grass 50 7 24 W
Copyright © 2010 by Tom Chester, Dave Stith, James Dillane, Krista Adamek and Michael Charters.
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Last update: 15 September 2012