Flora of Iron Age Mine Area, east of 29 Palms Fig. 1. Panorama of a field of Pectis papposa, chinch-weed, from three camera frames, taken just south of SR62 on 7 October 2011. Fig. 2. Panorama of three camera frames of a different field of Pectis papposa, chinch-weed, taken roughly 0.5 miles south of SR62 on 7 October 2011.
Procedure For Compiling The Checklist
Jane Strong alerted us to a Calphoto message posted by John Cubit about the wonderful fall bloom in this area, including John's beautiful pix of the bloom from 29 September 2011.
All the authors visited this area, about 23 miles east of the city of 29 Palms and about 1.5 miles east of the signed Ironage Road, on 7 October 2011, and found it to be absolutely delightful. We recorded all the species we saw, including whether they were blooming or not, and found 40 species in bloom out of a total of 70 species observed. RT and Shaun Hawke returned to this area on 8 October 2011, finding one additional species in bloom, making it 41 species in bloom out of a total of 71 species observed.
Best of all, we found zillions of plants of Kallstroemia californica in bloom and in fruit. This is the first time that most of us have seen this species, and it was our target species for coming here. We didn't have to hunt hard for it; when we got out of the car, it was on both sides. There are many plants of it in Fig. 1 above, but it doesn't show up well in a field of Pectis.
A bonus was finding all three annual species of Boerhavia in bloom and in fruit.
It surprised us that we found all the species in the initial part of our survey, adding no additional species as we walked up the canyon. RT and Shaun Hawke surveyed up to and beyond the Iron Age mine, which included south-facing slopes in a different drainage basin, and still found no additional species, which is extremely unusual.
Perhaps we just quickly ran out of the summer annuals that grow in this area, and maybe the canyon is just too open to offer anything different. It also might be a different story for additional species in a survey made in a spring after a wet winter.
The area we surveyed is shown in the following maps:
- large scale map showing the nearby Joshua Tree National Park, as well as three different versions of the boundary between the Mojave (DMoj) and Sonoran (DSon) Desert.
- medium scale map showing the nearby Dale Lake and Iron Age Mine
- detail map showing our survey route.
The three different versions of the DSon / DMoj boundary are given on the above maps since this area seems to have a typical DSon flora. During the survey, we kept commenting that all the species seemed to be familiar Sonoran Desert taxa, and we weren't picking up any uniquely Mojave Desert taxa. Then, when we checked the GPS unit to find our elevation, we were shocked when it read just 1600 feet elevation. We had assumed, because we were on the north side of Joshua Tree National Park, that our elevation should be the typical 4000 feet of the Mojave Desert.
Of course, it is unreasonable to think that there is a sharp boundary between DMoj and DSon. Instead, there is most likely a broad transition area between the deserts, and this happens to be one of the places in that transition zone that more closely resembles DSon.
Procedure For Compiling The Checklist
Checklist for Iron Age Mine Area
This is a preliminary, working list of the flora of this area, compiled from surveys done on 7 and 8 October 2011. Some of the taxa were identified from immature plants, and some of them might not grow up to be the species we thought they were. We've indicated those taxa by a ~ in front of their names.
The Checklist is sorted first by category - ferns, dicots, and monocots - and then by family and scientific name. The JM Family and Scientific Name are from the 1993 first edition Jepson Manual. An asterisk before the Common Name indicates a non-native taxon.
Two columns are given under # Plants. The column Bloom gives the number of plants observed to be in bloom in our surveys. The column Obs'd gives the minimum number of plants we observed, blooming and not, in our surveys, up to a maximum number given of 99.
This is a working list, about which we make no guarantees at all. Use at your own risk!
Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (3 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (1 double-sided pages). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)
# JM Family Scientific Name (*)Common Name # Plants Bloom All 1 EPH Ephedra californica desert tea 20 2 AMA Amaranthus fimbriatus fringed amaranth 20 20 3 TID Tidestromia oblongifolia Arizona honeysweet 10 10 4 ASC Asclepias subulata rush milkweed 3 20 5 SAR Sarcostemma hirtellum rambling milkweed 10 15 6 AMB Ambrosia dumosa burroweed 5 40 7 BEB Bebbia juncea var. aspera sweetbush 30 50 8 CHA ~Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia ~pebble pincushion 10 9 CHR Chrysothamnus paniculatus blackbanded rabbitbrush 2 10 10 DIC Dicoria canescens desert dicoria 1 1 11 ENC Encelia farinosa brittlebush 5 12 ENC Encelia frutescens button encelia 30 50 13 GER Geraea canescens hairy desert-sunflower 1 14 HYM Hymenoclea salsola cheesebush 50 15 PAL Palafoxia arida var. arida desert needle 20 99 16 PEC Pectis papposa var. papposa chinch-weed 99 99 17 PER Perityle emoryi Emory's rock-daisy 40 18 STE Stephanomeria pauciflora var. pauciflora wire-lettuce 2 10 19 CHI Chilopsis linearis ssp. arcuata desert-willow 3 5 20 TIQ Tiquilia plicata plicate coldenia 1 10 21 BRA Brassica tournefortii *Asian mustard 99 22 DIT Dithyrea californica spectacle-pod 5 23 LEP Lepidium lasiocarpum var. lasiocarpum hairy-podded pepper-grass 5 24 MAM Mammillaria tetrancistra fish-hook cactus 1 25 OPU Opuntia echinocarpa silver cholla 6 26 OPU Opuntia ramosissima pencil cholla 8 27 ACH Achyronychia cooperi frost mat 15 28 BRA Brandegea bigelovii desert star-vine 3 29 CHA Chamaesyce micromera Sonoran spurge 99 99 30 CHA Chamaesyce polycarpa small-seeded spurge 99 99 31 CHA Chamaesyce setiloba starfish (Yuma) spurge 20 20 32 CRO Croton californicus California croton 20 33 DIT Ditaxis neomexicana New Mexico ditaxis 2 10 34 EUP ~Euphorbia eriantha ~beetle spurge 4 35 ACA Acacia greggii catclaw 2 50 36 DAL Dalea mollis silky dalea 10 50 37 DAL Dalea mollissima downy dalea 1 30 38 LOT Lotus strigosus strigose lotus 2 39 PSO Psorothamnus emoryi Emory's indigo-bush 5 30 40 PSO Psorothamnus spinosus smoke tree 1 99 41 SEN Senna armata spiny senna 10 14 42 PHA ~Phacelia distans ~common phacelia 10 43 KRA Krameria grayi white rhatany 4 20 44 HYP Hyptis emoryi desert-lavender 3 5 45 SPH Sphaeralcea ambigua var. ambigua apricot mallow 5 46 MOL Mollugo cerviana *carpet-weed 3 3 47 ABR Abronia villosa var. villosa hairy sand-verbena 5 48 ALL Allionia incarnata trailing four o'clock 5 99 49 BOE Boerhavia coulteri Coulter's spiderling 2 2 50 BOE Boerhavia intermedia fivewing spiderling 10 10 51 BOE Boerhavia wrightii Wright's spiderling 20 20 52 MIR Mirabilis bigelovii Bigelow's desert four-o'clock 2 53 CAM Camissonia boothii Booth's evening primrose 5 54 CAM Camissonia claviformis brown-eyed primrose 2 55 OEN Oenothera deltoides ssp. deltoides dune primrose 99 56 CHO ~Chorizanthe brevicornu var. brevicornu ~brittle spineflower 2 57 CHO Chorizanthe rigida devil's spineflower 10 58 ERI Eriogonum inflatum desert trumpet 10 20 59 ERI Eriogonum trichopes little desert trumpet 40 60 LYC Lycium andersonii Anderson's desert-thorn 1 61 PHY Physalis crassifolia thick-leaved ground cherry 3 20 62 PHO Phoradendron californicum desert mistletoe 15 63 KAL Kallstroemia californica California caltrop 99 99 64 LAR Larrea tridentata creosote bush 5 99 65 ARI Aristida adscensionis six-weeks three-awn 20 99 66 BOU Bouteloua aristidoides var. aristidoides needle grama 99 99 67 BOU Bouteloua barbata var. barbata six-weeks grama 10 30 68 ERI Erioneuron pulchellum fluff grass 4 4 69 MUH Muhlenbergia microsperma littleseed muhly 10 10 70 PLE Pleuraphis rigida big galleta 30 30 71 SCH Schismus barbatus *Mediterranean schismus 5
Copyright © 2011 by Tom Chester, Mike Crouse, James Dillane, RT and Shaun Hawke
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Last update: 12 October 2011