Plant Guide to Monserate Mountain Trail

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

Introduction and Explanation of Plant Trail Guides

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


Monserate Mountain is a low western foothill of the Palomar Mountain Range, and hence is the most coastal part of the Palomar Range. It is thus part of the western Peninsular Range.

The Monserate Mountain ridge is in the San Luis Rey River Valley. It trends north-south for 5 miles from the San Luis Rey River on the south in the Fallbrook / Bonsall area to the community of Rainbow, between I-15 on the west and Rice Canyon on the east. The northern, lower half has mostly been converted to agriculture. The Fallbrook Land Conservancy has established a mitigation bank preserve on 225 acres of the southern half, which is the highest, least disturbed section.

The trail described here traverses the preserve as well as a neighboring parcel of 96 acres that may be added to the preserve in the future. The trail is entirely on a very-steep partially-paved old road; lug soles are essential for good footing on the unpaved sections. Most of the trail is a loop on and around the Monserate Mountain ridge, and should be done in the direction advised below to avoid having to make a tricky descent, with very poor footing, down the steepest unpaved stretches of the road.

Directions to the trailhead:

From I-15 south of Fallbrook, take the Bonsall / SR76 exit, turn left onto SR76, cross the freeway and turn right immediately past the gas station onto Old Highway 395 at the traffic light. Take Old Highway 395 ~2.5 miles north to Stewart Canyon Road and turn right onto it, following the rest of the directions below.

From I-15 north of Fallbrook, take the Mission Avenue exit, turn right but immediately get into the left-hand turn lane to turn left onto Old Highway 395. Take it ~1.5 miles, past Reche Road, to Stewart Canyon Road and turn left onto it, following the rest of the directions below.

From SR76 west of Fallbrook, turn left onto Old Highway 395 immediately before you reach I-15. Take Old Highway 395 ~2.5 miles north to Stewart Canyon Road and turn right onto it, following the rest of the directions below.

The rest of the directions: Once on Stewart Canyon Road, after crossing under the freeway, immediately turn right on Pankey Road and park on the right. The trailhead is on the other side of Pankey Road, a dirt road with a simple chain across it, immediately south of the agriculture site. Don't confuse this dirt road with another dirt road just south of the trail, which is on private land and leads to a graded pad.

Highlights of This Trail

This trail gives an extensive look at a large relatively intact section that contains interfingered areas of Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub and Southern Mixed Chaparral. The trail is ~3.9 miles long, and ranges from an elevation of ~360 feet at the beginning (on Pankey Road just south of Stewart Canyon Road) to ~1480 feet at the top of the ridge of Monserate Mountain.

Some of the botanical highlights of this trail are:

However, there is a price to be paid for these highlights - the trail comes in only three flavors: steep, very steep, and exceptionally steep. The entire trip is 3.9 miles with 1400 feet of elevation gain.

Plant Communities and Floristics

This trail goes through interfingering sections of coastal sage scrub and chamise chaparral. The San Diego County Vegetation Map from Tom Oberbauer maps it as roughly equal versions of Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub (mostly on ridges and ~halfway down all slopes) and Southern Mixed Chaparral (mostly in drainages up to ~halfway to ridgelines). The older version of this map in Beauchamp (1986) plots this area as separate sections of Chamise Chaparral and Mixed Chaparral. However, believe it or not, all of this area is in the Mixed Hardwood Forest vegetation classification of Kuchler (1977)! (The Kuchler maps were used as the starting point to define the geographic regions of California in the Jepson Manual.)

The Trail plant list contains 115 taxa, of which 106 have so far been identified, in 3.21 unique miles of trail. Of these 106 taxa, 24 (23%) are non-native.

I have plotted these numbers against the other trails in my database. The plots show:

Summary statistics:

By Number

LifeformNativeNon-nativeTotal Taxa
Perennial Herbs21223
Perennial Grasses5510
Annual Grasses167
Annual Herbs21930

By Percent

LifeformNativeNon-nativeTotal Taxa
Perennial Herbs26%8%22%
Perennial Grasses6%21%9%
Annual Grasses1%25%7%
Annual Herbs26%38%28%

Number of Unique Taxa On This Trail

The following histogram gives the number of trails in my database that contain each taxon on this trail. I had 73 trails in my database when this histogram was made. A number of "1" means the taxon has only been found on this trail among the trails in my database.

Number of Trails
Containing A Taxon
Number Of Taxa
On This Trail
% of Taxa
On This Trail
Total Taxa106100%

I found 9 additional species not in the above table, since they have not been 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.

The taxa that are truly unique, or almost unique, to this trail or area, out of the 73 trails in my database on 31 January 2004, are:

#allLatin NameCommon NameDistribution in Southern California / Distribution in Trail Guides
1cane bluestemBothriochloa barbinodisSCo, s ChI, WTR, SnGb, PR.
1Nealley three-awnAristida purpurea var. nealleyiSCo, SnBr, PR, D
1Parish three-awnAristida purpurea var. parishiiSCo, SnBr, D
1purple three-awnAristida purpurea var. purpureaSCo, SnBr, PR, DMtns
1*Natal grassRhynchelytrum repensSCo
2California buckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum var. fasciculatumThe JM restricts this variety to CCo, but Munz has it from Santa Barbara to n. L. California! This results from different delineations of this variety; see JM Comments. We use the JM delineation, and have only found this variety here and in the Santa Monica Mountains.
2Parry's tetracoccusTetracoccus dioicusRARE. s SCo (San Diego County), w PR; Baja CA. We have also seen this taxon on the South Gate to Temecula Gorge trail at the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve.
2six-weeks three-awnAristida adscensionisSCo, s ChI, WTR, SnGb, PR, D. We have also seen this taxon on the South Gate to Temecula Gorge trail at the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve.

This is clearly the trail for Aristida and other grasses!

A note on Aristida purpurea: It is always suspicious to have three varieties of any species on one trail. Evidence in support of the existence of three varieties is:

However, these varieties are growing so close to one another that one wonders whether at least one of these varieties might be an environmentally-caused variation of another. Alternatively, it is possible that I simply found a specimen of one variety that happened to be more similar to another variety due to normal population variation, and I therefore erred in assigning it to a separate variety.

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"

Note that the trail has not been walked during the spring, and hence the list is undoubtedly quite incomplete so far.

Botanical Trip Reports

30 January 2004

The Plant Guide

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page (8 pages)

I have benefited from the Agua Tibia Mountain plant list of Darin L. Banks, 1999, and the Monserate Mountain plant list prepared by Vincent N. Scheidt for the biological report on this property in 1998. The closest portion of the Agua Tibia Mountain floral study of Banks is about 3 miles due east of Monserate Mountain.

All the taxa on this trail are being vouchered as part of the San Diego Plant Atlas, grid D9, with vouchers stored at the San Diego Natural History Museum Herbarium.

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here#all
0.00   Beginning of trail (old dirt road) at Pankey Road just south of Stewart Canyon Road; elevation 360 feet.
0.00b1 California buckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum var. fasciculatum99 / 92
0.00r2 California sagebrushArtemisia californica99 / 932
0.00b3 *shortpod mustardHirschfeldia incana99 / 938
0.00r4~*redstem filareeErodium cicutarium99 / 932
0.00l5 *tocaloteCentaurea melitensis99 / 932
0.00b6 slender tarweedHemizonia fasciculata99 / 99
0.00b7 California dodderCuscuta californica var. californica2 / 212
0.00r8 slender wreathplantStephanomeria exigua ssp. deanei2 / 29
0.00l  Sign: "Absolutely no motorized vehicles beyond this boundary - Conservation Land"
0.00r9 *fennelFoeniculum vulgare99 / 312
0.00r10 *red bromeBromus madritensis ssp. rubens99 / 935
0.01l  Sign: "Locked gate ahead".
0.01r11 *narrowleaf filagoFilago gallica99 / 229
0.01b12 *slender wild oatsAvena barbata99 / 919
0.01r13 *soft chessBromus hordeaceus99 / 926
0.01l14 laurel sumacMalosma laurina99 / 929
0.01 15 hollyleaf redberryRhamnus ilicifolia4 / 431
0.02l16 branching phaceliaPhacelia ramosissima var. latifolia1 / 123
0.02l17 *nit grassGastridium ventricosum50 / 315
0.02l  (tree form of Torrey's scrub oak, Quercus acutidens)
0.02l18spMariposa LilyCalochortus sp. /  
0.02r19 shining peppergrassLepidium nitidum var. nitidum99 / 13
0.03r  (Bigelow's spike-moss, Selaginella bigelovii)
0.04r  (sugar bush, Rhus ovata)
0.04l  (~Vasey's prickly pear, Opuntia Xvaseyi)
0.04r  (blue elderberry, Sambucus mexicana)
0.04l  (black sage, Salvia mellifera)
0.05c20~small-flowered soap plantChlorogalum parviflorum1 / 13
0.05r21~blue dicksDichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum99 / 928
0.08l  Sign: "Locked gate ahead. Fallbrook Land Conservancy Conservation Land. Please help maintain this habitat".
0.08l  Unauthorized motorbike trail around gate.
0.08l22 chaparral yuccaYucca whipplei50 / 920
0.08r23sspshort-winged deerweedLotus scoparius var. brevialatus30 / 913
0.09l24 *fountain grassPennisetum setaceum99 / 98
0.09r25 rattlesnake weedDaucus pusillus10 / 215
0.09l26 chiaSalvia columbariae / 17
0.10r27~California chicoryRafinesquia californica3 / 114
0.10l28~California four o'clockMirabilis californica5 / 512
0.10b29 black sageSalvia mellifera99 / 930
0.10l30 California brickellbushBrickellia californica40 / 123
0.10l31 Bigelow's spike-mossSelaginella bigelovii1 / 113
0.10l32 meally white pincushionChaenactis artemisiifolia99 / 25
0.10l33~yellow pincushionChaenactis glabriuscula var. glabriuscula / 10
0.10l34?unk young brassica rosette
0.10l35 prickly cryptanthaCryptantha muricata99 / 913
0.10l36spfarewell-to-springClarkia sp. /  
0.10   Gate. Sign containing rules and hours (open dawn to dusk). Sign: "Beware of rattlesnakes".
0.10l37 small-seeded spurgeChamaesyce polycarpa40 / 58
0.10l38?Parry's phaceliaPhacelia parryi5 / 14
0.11   Other end of unauthorized motorbike trail around gate.
0.11   Trail turns 90 degrees right and crosses the first branch of a small drainage. (Mule fat, Baccharis salicifolia, on right.)
0.11b39 *California burcloverMedicago polymorpha99 / 126
0.11l40 sugar bushRhus ovata10 / 919
0.11   Cross second branch of the small drainage.
0.12b41 saw-toothed goldenbushHazardia squarrosa var. grindelioides99 / 926
0.12l42 white sageSalvia apiana50 / 927
0.12b43 *Crete weedHedypnois cretica / 13
0.12l44 San Diego morning-gloryCalystegia macrostegia ssp. tenuifolia2 / 216
0.12r45?unk baby plants like smooth cat's ear
0.12 46spneedlegrassNassella sp.99 / 9 
0.12   Trail steepens.
0.12l47 California matchweedGutierrezia californica+99 / 94
0.13b  A large number of blue dicks, Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum, line the trail for the next several tenths of a mile, with a fair number of Mariposa lilies, Calochortus sp..
0.14l48 golden yarrowEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum+4 / 240
0.14l49~goldenstarBloomeria crocea10 / 19
0.15r  Jct. road to right with chain gate in ~0.02 mile. Continue to left as the trail turns 90 degrees.
0.15r50 narrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium / 39
0.15r  A number of ~goldenstars, ~Bloomeria crocea.
0.16r51 *Russian thistleSalsola tragus99 / 222
0.16r52 leafy daisyErigeron foliosus var. foliosus2 / 229
0.16r53 coast jepsoniaJepsonia parryi5 / 19
0.18r54 coyote bushBaccharis pilularis10 / 519
0.19r  First live golden yarrow, Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum, in 2003.
0.20   Trail turns right 90 degrees.
0.21r55 California-asterLessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia4 / 438
0.25   Switchback to left.
0.28r56 bush monkeyflowerMimulus aurantiacus5 / 531
0.29r57 toyonHeteromeles arbutifolia10 / 935
0.32l58 mission manzanitaXylococcus bicolor99 / 910
0.33   Trail turns right 90 degrees.
0.35r59spvirgin's bowerClematis ligusticifolia / 5
0.35   Trail begins to curve left gradually.
0.36l60 blue-eyed grassSisyrinchium bellum2 / 212
0.40r  View to south of the "HP Property", Rosemary's mountain (proposed gravel quarry), Bonsall bridge over I-15, Pala Mesa Golf Course. Trail is still steep and continues to curve left.
0.40r61 wild-cucumberMarah macrocarpus var. macrocarpus5 / 534
0.40l62 cane bluestemBothriochloa barbinodis30 / 51
0.40l63 *prickly lettuceLactuca serriola1 / 122
0.40l64 cockleburXanthium strumarium3 / 110
0.41r  Very large narrowleaf bedstraw bush, Galium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium.
0.44r  (Property boundary pole); view of water tower dead ahead you will pass by later on the trail.
0.44r  Black sage (Salvia mellifera) forest begins on right.
0.45   Trail makes a slight curve left.
0.46 65 Parry's tetracoccus (female)Tetracoccus dioicus30 / 42
0.49l66 six-weeks three-awnAristida adscensionis10 / 12
0.51l  (Rhamnus ilicifolia here if previous one is off-trail).
0.51l  A male Parry's tetracoccus (Tetracoccus dioicus).
0.51l67?unk like muilla
0.52l68 fringed spineflowerChorizanthe fimbriata var. fimbriata50 / 34
0.53l69 Nealley three-awnAristida purpurea var. nealleyi / 1
0.57c70 chaparral bush mallowMalacothamnus fasciculatus5 / 29
0.64r71?field sun-cup?Camissonia hirtella? /  
0.64r72 Ramona lilacCeanothus tomentosus var. olivaceus99 / 35
0.64l73~soap plantChlorogalum pomeridianum var. pomeridianum10 / 212
0.69   Trail makes a short curve left and T-junctions with paved road at elevation 930 feet. The upper part of this hike is a loop trail. We strongly recommend you go right, downhill, due to an extremely steep section which is safer to ascend.
0.69   Trail curves gradually to left and we get our first relief from the I-15 traffic noise.
0.76   Trail curves right 90 degrees.
0.77   Cross small drainage.
0.79l74 chamiseAdenostoma fasciculatum+50 / 227
0.83l75 *mission cactusOpuntia ficus-indica1 / 15
0.83l  Jct. very old road showing severe erosion.
0.85l76 giant needlegrassAchnatherum coronatum50 / 218
0.87   Cross chain gate across trail; leave FLC preserve; enter potential future FLC preserve; property boundary marker pole on left.
0.91r77 sweetbushBebbia juncea var. aspera1 / 16
0.92   Cross drainage.
0.95l78 sticky false-giliaAllophyllum glutinosum / 5
0.95l79spcaterpillar phacelia?Phacelia cicutaria var. hispida?10 / 1 
0.96r80 bicolored everlastingGnaphalium bicolor / 20
0.96r81 horseweedConyza canadensis50 / 424
0.96   Descent is now steep.
0.96 82 telegraph weedHeterotheca grandiflora10 / 122
0.97   Trail curves left.
0.98r  Jct. jeep trail; continue straight.
0.99l  "Pincushion Flower Hill" ("Chaenactis Hill") - lots of Chaenactis cover the immediate hill next to the trail.
1.02   Trail curves right.
1.03r83 purple three-awnAristida purpurea var. purpurea / 1
1.04r84 southern honeysuckleLonicera subspicata var. denudata5 / 130
1.05l85 slender sunflowerHelianthus gracilentus25 / 59
1.05r86 showy penstemonPenstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis+1 / 18
1.06b  A pair of over 15 foot tall laurel sumacs (Malosma laurina)
1.07r  Rusting body and engine of an old car just below road.
1.08r87 *prickly sow thistleSonchus asper ssp. asper / 12
1.08r  (discarded bathtub)
1.08r88 *giant reedArundo donax1 / 17
1.08l89spstrigose sun-cup?Camissonia strigulosa?20 / 1 
1.08l90 pygmy-weedCrassula connata99 / 111
1.08l91 blue elderberrySambucus mexicana1 / 135
1.08   Cross drainage at elevation of 680 feet and begin gentle ascent which quickly steepens.
1.08r  Jct. jeep trail; continue straight.
1.12l92 California everlastingGnaphalium californicum1 / 124
1.13r93 *ripgut bromeBromus diandrus / 34
1.16l  Field of 9 foot tall Ramona lilac (Ceanothus tomentosus var. olivaceus); Trail curves right.
1.17l94 mule fatBaccharis salicifolia2 / 228
1.22   Road begins gentle S-curve; ascent is still steep.
1.24l  Lens of white rock amidst exposure of the blue phase, cut by many white dikes, of the Mt. Woodson Granodiorite
1.26l  Property boundary marker.
1.27r95~*Italian thistleCarduus pycnocephalus3 / 19
1.30   Trail makes a short curve left and T-junctions with the ridge road. Go left and continue ascent. View into Rice Canyon and a ridgetop of Palomar Mountain: Morgan Hill on left; Boucher Hill (Palomar Mtn. State Park) on right, with Pauma Creek between them.
1.31l96 Parish three-awnAristida purpurea var. parishii99 / 11
1.31l  Jct. path
1.31l97 odoraPorophyllum gracile20 / 14
1.34   Good exposures of Woodson Mountain granodiorite in the roadcut.
1.37l  Note the faint "X" on the road cut formed by dikes!
1.37   Local high point on road at ~940 feet; begin descent of ~30'.
1.45l  Jct. very steep road from water tank at elevation ~910 feet; turn left and go up it.
1.50r  Five very old laurel sumacs (Malosma laurina) along the road beginning here, with stem bases 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
1.55l98 chaparral beard-tongueKeckiella antirrhinoides var. antirrhinoides1 / 17
1.61l  Jct. road; continue straight, at beginning of fresh asphalt in 2002.
1.63l99 Cleveland sageSalvia clevelandii99 / 23
1.66l100 *Bermuda grassCynodon dactylon2 / 115
1.66l101 *Natal grassRhynchelytrum repens30 / 21
1.69 102 *castor beanRicinus communis1 / 112
1.69l  Lots of odora (Porophyllum gracile).
1.70   Road curves left to Y-junction. Road to left goes to water tank; take unpaved road to right. Road is no longer very steep.
1.72r  Sign: Locked gate ahead.
1.77   Local high point on road at 1140 feet as road curves left; begin ~3 foot descent and curve right.
1.77 103 white everlastingGnaphalium canescens ssp. microcephalum1 / 130
1.78l104 coastal goldenbushIsocoma menziesii var. vernonioides30 / 310
1.80   Descent ends at saddle; view of ocean to left of Sleeping Indian; begin steep ascent.
1.80r105 bristly bird's beakCordylanthus rigidus ssp. setigerus5 / 121
1.83l106 bird's-foot fernPellaea mucronata var. mucronata2 / 220
1.84   Local high point on road at 1160 feet; begin gentle ~6 foot descent. View of full Palomar Mountain Range, now including Agua Tibia on the left of Morgan Hill.
1.86l107 Eastwood manzanitaArctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. zacaensis+3 / 17
1.86l  Field of ~30 Eastwood manzanitas (Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. zacaensis) on left. View of Sleeping Indian (Morro Hill), San Onofre Mountain, and Santa Margarita Mountains.
1.87   Local low point on road at elevation 1140 feet; begin steep ascent.
1.87l  Jct. unauthorized motorcycle trail to get around gate.
1.89   Local high point on road at elevation 1170 feet; begin gentle ~3 foot descent.
1.91   Chain gate across road. Sign: "Fallbrook Land Conservancy Conservation Land".
1.91l  Other end of unauthorized motorcycle trail.
1.91l108~California suncupCamissonia californica / 14
1.91   Local low point; begin gentle ascent which soon steepens. Trail is soon on its first northeast-facing slope, cutting off the traffic noise from the freeway.
1.94r  Field of small-seeded spurge, Chamaesyce polycarpa.
1.98l  Numerous Cleveland and black sage in this area, including the two species here side-by-side, just before a gully about to claim the road from the right.
2.02   Ascent is now extremely steep; it is much safer to ascend this stretch than to descend it were you to do the loop in the other direction.
2.04   Low point to left gives view of reservoir across I-15, with Sleeping Indian directly behind it, and freeway noise again.
2.05   Local high point on road at ~1310 feet; begin steep ~30-40 foot descent.
2.08   Descent ends at saddle at ~1280 feet; begin ascent (some parts gentle; last part very steep).
2.21l109~San Diego mountain mahoganyCercocarpus minutiflorus5 / 37
2.22   Very steep ascent ends on ridge at 1410 feet; trail is now gentle, almost flat.
2.29   A 10 foot mission manzanita (Xylococcus bicolor).
2.30   Enter an ~0.01 mile stretch of NE-facing slope; the next two species are found only there.
2.30l110 *hairy rattail fescueVulpia myuros var. hirsuta99 / 19
2.30l111 broom baccharisBaccharis sarothroides2 / 17
2.30   Two occurrences of broom baccharis and coyote bush side-by-side.
2.32   Steep ascent again.
2.36   Ascent now gentle.
2.40   High point on road at 1480 feet; trail now essentially level.
2.42   View of Red Mountain (in Fallbrook), with 3 tall and 1 short antenna.
2.45r112~rockroseHelianthemum scoparium / 9
2.47r113ssppurple snapdragonAntirrhinum nuttallianum ssp. nuttallianum / 10
2.49r114 Torrey's scrub oakQuercus acutidens1 / 110
2.51r  (Two multi-trunked trees, the tree form of Torrey's oak.)
2.51b  Field of fennel (Foeniculum vulgare).
2.52   Road curves left 90 degrees at a jct. with old road on the right at 1460 feet. Begin steep descent.
2.55r115 *smilo grassPiptatherum miliaceum50 / 116
2.65   End of very steep descent.
2.68   Curve right 90 degrees; descent is very steep again.
2.71   Switchback to left.
2.74   End of very steep descent.
2.75   Switchback / curve to left; jct. path on right. Descent is very gentle now.
2.86   Steep descent again.
2.88   The eroded linear trench on the left of the road with sharp sides is from a buried water pipe, exposed for a short distance here.
2.93   Fire hydrant.
2.95   Jct. road on right; continue straight.
3.12   Switchback to left at another fire hydrant; pavement begins. Jct. old road leading to meadow filled with prickly pear (Opuntia Xoccidentalis?).
3.20   Scraped area on left (for road or trenchfill?), with mostly California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum) on it.
3.21   Jct. with road down on right at 930 feet; go right on it; end plant guide.
3.90   End trail back at beginning.

Comments On Specific Species

Adenostoma fasciculatum. This is not var. obtusifolium since the leaves are 6-10 mm in length.

Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. zacaensis. There are three plants along trail at a saddle, with ~30 more below that saddle to west. Burls are large (some up to 20 cm across sticking more than 5 cm up from the current ground level), show many black scorch marks from a fire, and all the specimens are about the same height (~50 cm) and width. Hence all seem to have resprouted after a fire, and are much older than they appear to be from their current small stature.

Burls were not obvious for a few specimens, and were not found for one specimen despite digging ~10 cm below the ground surface. In all other respects, those specimens were identical to the others with large burls.

I have now checked the id in two separate years.

In the severe drought year of 2002, no fruit were present except for a few fruit that were probably aborted before they fully developed. The id derives from the inflorescence bracts still on the bushes that were probably from this year, since they show aborted buds in many cases. The lower bracts are all foliaceous, with the bract at the base of the entire inflorescence narrowly oblanceolate with sizes ranging from 15 x 4 mm to 25 x 8 mm. The bracts at the bases of the inflorescence branches are all foliaceous, ranging from 5 x 1 mm to 18 x 5 mm. The bracts at the bases of the individual flowers range from 2-3 mm weakly keeled deltoid bracts to leaf-like bracts 5 mm long. Some of the deltoid bracts are acute and some are long-acuminate. Thus the bracts closely match the ones expected from Arctostaphylos glandulosa, and are inconsistent with those of A. rainbowensis.

In January 2004, only three inflorescences were present on all 30 of the specimens. The branch with those three inflorescences has been vouchered. The inflorescences had 6, 7 and 8 branches, respectively. Each inflorescence had foliaceous bracts at the base of every inflorescence branch, with the lowermost bract 15, 20 and 20 mm in length by 5 mm in width. The other inflorescence branch-base bracts ranged from 6-8, 5-6, and 4-21 mm x 1-5 mm.

Thus there is no doubt that these plants cannot be A. rainbowensis, which was the identification given to these specimens by Scheidt.

However, these are unusual plants for A. glandulosa, for three reasons. First, the stems are glabrous, like A. rainbowensis, and unlike the puberulent to hairy stems of A. glandulosa. Second, most of the individual flower bracts are 2-3 mm weakly keeled deltoid bracts, more like A. rainbowensis than A. glandulosa. Finally, some of the burls appear to be intermediate between the globose burl of A. rainbowensis and the flat-topped burl of A. glandulosa.

It would not be surprising that these plants are intermediate forms between these two species, since the nearest A. rainbowensis is only 1.8 miles away (Keeley and Massihi 1994, Madrono 41:1.)

Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum and Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis. The first occurrence of each of these species in 2002 was dead in 2003 due to the drought. Thus the first live specimen in 2003 is also listed, but not given a new number. So far, no other specimen of Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis has been found.

Gutierrezia californica. There is probably some hybridization with G. sarothrae on this trail, since some plants have a few peduncles with 4-5 flowers and some plants have mostly sessile flowers. A detailed check of three plants gave the following:

Mile% peduncles with single head% peduncles with length < 0.5 mm
0.1376(not measured)

I didn't measure the % of sessile heads for the plant at mile 0.13, since it was clearly small, and the plant was undoubtedly G. californica. The plant are mile 0.16 was selected since it had a few peduncles with 4 and 5 heads. The plant at mile 2.32 was selected since it was the first specimen that was clearly different from the previous ones, which shows up in the high percentage of sessile heads.

See Plants of Southern California: Analysis Pages: Matchweed (Gutierrezia).

Isocoma menziesii. In my experience, the subspecies are not separable in Southern California. See Comments on the Jepson Manual and A Flora of Southern California by Munz: Isocoma menziesii.

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Copyright © 2002-2004 by Tom Chester.
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Updated 27 February 2004.