Flora of Tamarack, Round and Long Valleys, San Jacinto Mountains

Procedure For Compiling The Checklist
Important Caveats
Links to the Checklists


Tamarack, Round and Long Valleys contain nearly all of the higher elevations of San Jacinto Mountain on the east of San Jacinto Peak, ranging from 8,240 to 10,000 feet in elevation.

These valleys together are a remnant flattish surface of about 2.3 square miles (5.9 square km) with a maximum extent of about 2.3 miles (3.7 km) east-west and 1.4 miles (2.2 km) north-south. This surface is being gradually destroyed from the edges by erosion due to the much lower elevations to the north and east.

Links given below give the flora separately for all three valleys, but each flora contains all species from all valleys since these valleys are only weakly separated topographically, and the flora is fairly uniform throughout. The very small (0.05 square miles) Hidden Lake drainage basin is not included in this area since its flora is significantly different from the rest of this area; see its separate flora.

This checklist has been compiled from online vouchers, from fieldwork targeted on specific locations within this area, and from the portion of our plant trail guides in this area.

The checklists are still preliminary primarily because not all the fieldwork data have been processed, and there are still some areas not yet covered by field surveys, and other areas that have not been surveyed at peak times in good years.


The following map shows the location of the floral area targeted here:

The heavy solid purple line surrounds the outer boundaries of the union of these three valleys.

The dashed purple lines delineate the boundaries of each individual valley. The western edges of Tamarack and Round Valleys are taken to be the 10,000 foot elevation contour; the flora of the area above 10,000 feet elevation will be given separately. (Until that flora is put online, see Flora of San Jacinto Peak, which includes all but two of the taxa found above 10,000 feet elevation.)

The northern and eastern boundaries are taken as the edge of the lip of the flattish surface, above the precipitous slopes below. The southern boundary is the ridgeline along the Wellman / Hidden Lake Divides that separates this area from the Tahquitz Valley to the south.

Tamarack and Round Valleys are fairly clearly separated by the low ridge the divides the drainages of Tamarack Creek and Round Valley Creek. The boundary between those two valleys and Long Valley is somewhat arbitrary since those two creeks have carved significant east-west canyons into the weak north-south ridge that separates these two higher valleys from the lower Long Valley. Outside of those canyons, the western boundary of Long Valley is fairly unambiguous, following the ridge that divides drainage directly into Long Valley Creek from drainage into its two tributaries. We have somewhat arbitrarily simply joined those ridges by a straight line to complete the western boundary of Long Valley.

With this definition, the elevation extremes for each valley, along with the elevation of the biggest meadow in each valley, are as follows:

ValleyExtreme Elevations (feet)Meadow Elevation (feet)

The highest elevation of Long Valley occurs at the peak immediately east of Cornell Peak; its lowest elevation is along Long Valley Creek. The lowest elevations of Tamarack and Round Valleys occur at the junction of those two creeks.

Solid blue lines are trails, most of which have been botanized extensively (see the plant trail guides for each one, but note that many of the guides do not include the latest fieldwork yet). Dashed blue lines are floristic surveys done once each so far that compiled checklists and estimated plant species abundances.

Most of this area is shown in this photograph taken by James Dillane from the trail from Wellman Divide to San Jacinto Peak on 7 August 2007, near the 10,000 foot western border of Tamarack Valley:

See also picture without labels. Note that this picture exaggerates the size of Tamarack Valley since that valley is closest to the photographer.

Procedure For Compiling The Checklist

(To be supplied)

Important Caveats

Please note the following important caveats about this preliminary Checklist:

Checklist for Tamarack, Round and Long Valleys

The Checklists are sorted first by category - ferns, dicots, and monocots - and then by family and scientific name. The Family and Scientific Name are from the 1993 First Edition Jepson Manual. An asterisk before the Common Name would indicate a non-native taxon, but all of the taxa found so far here are native, an amazing rarity in southern California.

The next columns give the following information:

#PlThis is the maximum number of plants and the maximum number of locations for each taxon, separated by a slash, from all the estimates made in each of our field surveys. Maximum values are 99 plants. The main intent of this column is to indicate the species for which we found few plants or locations.
VIf a taxon has been vouchered from any of these three valleys, a V is given in this column.
OIf we have observed a taxa anywhere in these three valleys, even if the taxon was not in a formally-surveyed area but was found in an adjacent not-formally-surveyed area, an O is given in this column. For example, Salvia pachyphylla was found in lower Tamarack Valley, observed on our way to doing two surveys in upper Tamarack Valley; and also found in an unsurveyed area along the Desert View Trail in Long Valley. But it never appeared in any formally-surveyed area, and hence never had an abundance estimate made for it.
WIf a taxon is only found in a wet area such as a seep area or along a moist drainage, a W is given in this column. Note that species which can be found outside of wet areas will not be so marked, even though they may be found almost entirely in wet areas here.

Links to the Checklists

Voucher data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria (ucjeps.berkeley.edu/consortium/).

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Copyright © 2008-2013 by Tom Chester, Dave Stith and James Dillane
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 11 August 2013