Note that this is an older page, which will soon be superceded by pages giving the complete list of new species discovered at the Santa Rosa Plateau by myself and others, as well as a description of the changes in the flora since 1985.
In the course of following the bloom for one year at the Santa Rosa Plateau, I unexpectedly came across nine new species that were not on the plant list of Lathrop and Thorne (1985; 583 taxa), with additions by Bob Muns (2000; 7 taxa).
In addition, I have begun to compile plant lists per trail for each of the trails of the SRP. In the course of compiling the Vernal Pool list, I found a tenth new species.
This page records those new species. Locations with abundance information will be added later.
Since this page was written, I have discovered quite a few more new species, which are now incorporated into an updated plant list for the Santa Rosa Plateau. I plan to also give an updated description of the flora for the Reserve. Until then, I note the following two important features of the flora:
- Many of the plants on the existing plant list cannot actually be found on the Reserve, because the existing plant list by Lathrop and Thorne covers a much wider area than just the portion preserved in the SRPER. The SRPER has an area of ~8300 acres (~3360 ha), whereas Lathrop and Thorne surveyed an area of 45,000 acres (18,218 ha). Using an exponent of 0.35 for the relation between the number of taxons and area, only about half, 55%, of the 590 taxons on the latest list by Bob Muns should be found on the Reserve.
- In a number of important respects, the flora has changed significantly since the 1985 description of Lathrop and Thorne. Two examples: First, Paspalum distichum has nearly taken over the Main Vernal Pool, even though that species was not even recorded by Lathrop and Thorne as being present in the vernal pools. Second, Hedypnois cretica is now widespread along the roads of the SRPER, and is even found in places far from roads, despite the species not being recorded at all by Lathrop and Thorne.
New Species Present At The Santa Rosa Plateau
Latin Name Common Name Family Osmorhiza brachypoda Torrey California sweet-cicely Apiaceae *Hedypnois cretica (L.) Dum.-Cours. Crete weed Asteraceae Heterotheca sessiliflora (Nutt.) Shinn. ssp. echioides (Benth.) Semple bristly goldenaster Asteraceae Artemisia dracunculus L. tarragon Asteraceae Aster lanceolatus Willd. ssp. hesperius (A. Gray) Semple & J. Chmielewski Siskiyou aster Asteraceae Stephanomeria diegensis Gottlieb1 wreathplant Asteraceae Baccharis sarothroides A. Gray broom baccharis Asteraceae *Erodium botrys (Cav.) Bertol. long-beaked filaree Geraniaceae Scutellaria bolanderi A. Gray ssp. austromontana Epling southern skullcap Lamiaceae Monardella hypoleuca A. Gray ssp. hypoleuca white-leaf monardella Lamiaceae
1 This identification is probable, but not 100% certain. This species was discovered too late to go back to the plant in bloom and compare the plant against all of its features. But it is definitely a new species of Stephanomeria for the plant list, having only 6 ligules and grooved seeds that are 2.0-2.1 mm in length.
I thank the Reserve Biologist Zach Principe for help with identifying Scutellaria bolanderi, and Jane Strong for her considerable assistance with helping me to learn the plants of the Santa Rosa Plateau, and identify these new species.
Copyright © 2002-2003 by Tom Chester.
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: Tom Chester
Updated 2 March 2003.