Number Of Species In Bloom Vs. Time For Plants of the Devils Slide
The Devils Slide Trail is the main gateway to the San Jacinto Mountain high country. As a result, when I began my botanical work in the San Jacinto Mountains in July 2006, I hiked that trail regularly beginning then. I took this opportunity to keep track of the state of the bloom on that trail.
Plots below show the number of species in bloom for the last part of 2006 and the early part of 2007, as well as the number of species in full bloom, and the number of species that have finished blooming, separately for each year.
In 2006, the peak number of species in bloom appears to occur in June and July, and the peak number of species in full bloom appears to occur in early July. (I use the word appears since I don't yet have data from a June following a normal rainfall year.) However, most of the species have begun declining in the total number of blooms in mid-July, so the peak time of bloom appears to be late June or early July. Half of all species have finished blooming by early August.
In 2007, the peak bloom occurred in mid-June, and it was a shadow of the peak bloom from 2006, due to the pathetic rainfall that year. Idyllwild received only 10-11 inches, out of its normal 26 inches. Nearly all annual species did not germinate in 2007 due to the drought. In early July 2007, there were only about half as many species in bloom as in early July 2006, and there were many fewer blooms on the species that were in bloom.
Also, the bloom may have been moved to later times in early 2007 due to a very cold April.
The Devils Slide Trail is at elevations of 6440 to 8075 feet. Peak bloom elsewhere at San Jacinto occurs later, probably in July, above 8000 feet, and earlier, perhaps in May, below 6000 feet.
In the last plot above, the total number of species for 2007 will be significantly fewer than the total number of species for 2006, since many species did not bloom, or even grow in the case of annuals, in 2007 due to the drought.
I'll eventually put online the detailed records of the state of bloom for each species.
Copyright © 2007 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 9 July 2007.