Laguna Mountains: Plant Guide to Garnet Peak from Penny Pines

Introduction and Explanation of Plant Trail Guides

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


This trail guide begins at the Penny Pines parking area on Sunrise Highway (S1) at mile 27.3. There is parking on both sides of the road. The only signage is Penny Pines, and there are no restrooms at or near the trailhead. Note that this trip does not begin at the signed Garnet Peak Trail near mile 27.8, which is a shorter, more direct way to get to Garnet Peak.

At the Penny Pines parking area, the guide begins at the Penny Pines entrance on the left (north), not the blocked-off shortcut entrance on the right. The trail curves right 90° twice to join the PCT at mile 0.11, and the guide follows the PCT to a junction with the Garnet Peak Trail. It then takes the Garnet Peak Trail to the top of Garnet Peak.

See also Flora of the Penny Pines to Garnet Peak Area in Family Order, which contains links for every species to the Jepson Manual treatment and to Calphotos.

The entire area of the trail beginning at mile 0.38 burned in 2002 (Pines Fire) and again in 2013 (Chariot Fire). The area up to mile 0.38 burned in 2003 (Cedar Fire) and again in 2013 (Chariot Fire).

The Introduction and Plant Trail Guide have been updated from the 9/29/16 fieldwork, but nothing else on this page has been updated since 2005.

Highlights of This Trail

Some of the botanical highlights of this trail are:

Number of Unique Taxa On This Trail

This histogram has not been updated from the 7/2/04 fieldwork.

The following histogram gives the number of trails in our database that contain each taxon on this trail. There were 75 trails in our database when this histogram was made; 2 of those trails, including this one, are in this section of the Laguna Mountains. A number of "1" means the taxon has only been found on this trail among the trails in our database; numbers of "2" or smaller may indicate taxa found only at in this area of the Laguna Mountains.

Number of Trails
Containing A Taxon
Number Of Taxa
On This Trail
% of Taxa
On This Trail
Total Taxa122100%

We found 15 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 do not have any number given in the #all column.

Note how different the Laguna flora is from the rest of Southern California! 14 taxa do not appear on any other trail in our database, and many of the 13 taxa that appear on only two trails also appear on another Laguna Mountain trail.

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"

The 5/10/03 fieldwork was only to mile 0.95, and done "on the side" during a fairly-fast-paced hike with a Botany Class. We thank Michelle Balk and Megan S. Enright for assistance with the 5/10/03 fieldwork.

The 3/13/04 fieldwork was after the entire trail had burned in either 2002 or 2003. No attempt was made to try to record all the different baby annuals, and since many shrubs and perennials were completely burned, no attempt was made to try to divine their identity.

On 6/15/04, we did for the first time try to identify all species we saw.

The fieldwork on 6/21/04 was limited to identifying two species.

Numbers have not yet been entered from the 7/2/04 fieldwork since not all samples have been identified yet.

Michael Charters moved up the first occurrence of Penstemon clevelandii var. clevelandii from his fieldwork on 6/7/05, and found the Silene verecunda ssp. platyota as well as noting some possible Gilia capitata just before the PCT junction.

Botanical Trip Reports

The Plant Guide

In the Mile, the entry TH is for all the species in the vicinity of the trailhead, where the species are listed in alphabetical order by Scientific Name instead of in trail order.

It is possible that some of the species with a mileage given might be out of order by as much as 0.05 miles, due to inaccuracies in the mileages from different surveys and not every species being present on each survey.

The column #Pls gives the number of plants of each species on and in the area of the trail from Penny Pines to Garnet Peak. In most cases, the number gives the number of plants that can easily be reached from the trail, or seen in proximity to the trail, not just the number of plants within an arm's length from the edge of the trail, as in most older guides. Some species do not yet have abundance estimates; that column is blank for those species.

The Scientific Name is mostly in the Second Edition Jepson Manual system.

An asterisk before the common name indicates a non-native species.

See also Flora of the Penny Pines to Garnet Peak Area in Family Order, which contains links for every species to the Jepson Manual treatment and to Calphotos.

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (6 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (2 double-sided pages). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

MileS#id?Common NameScientific Name#Pls
TH   Begin guide at Penny Pines entrance on the left (north), not the PCT entrance on the right; elevation 5430 feet (1650 m). Area near trailhead burned in 2003 and again in 2013. Species in the parking area, up to where the trail goes through an opening in a fence, are listed in alphabetical order by scientific name.
THl1 yarrowAchillea millefolium30 / 5
THb2 Sierra Nevada lotusAcmispon nevadensis var. nevadensis /
THr3 strigose lotusAcmispon strigosus10 / 3
THr4 bur-ragweedAmbrosia acanthicarpa20 / 1
THr5 mountain mugwortArtemisia ludoviciana ssp. incompta50 / 2
THr6 big sagebrushArtemisia tridentata99 / 9
THr7 California bromeBromus carinatus var. carinatus50 / 9
THr8 *downy bromeBromus tectorum99 / 9
THr9 incense-cedarCalocedrus decurrens2 / 1
THr10 southern suncupCamissoniopsis bistorta /
THr11 cupped-leaf ceanothusCeanothus perplexans50 / 5
THl12 Fremont's goosefootChenopodium fremontii2 / 2
THr13 California-asterCorethrogyne filaginifolia50 / 9
THr14 prickly cryptanthaCryptantha muricata /
THr15 western tansy-mustardDescurainia pinnata10 / 2
THr16 blue dicksDichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum10 / 3
THl17 autumn willowweedEpilobium brachycarpum5 / 1
THr18 sapphire woolly-starEriastrum sapphirinum /
THl19 leafy daisyErigeron foliosus var. foliosus30 / 9
THr20 Wright's buckwheatEriogonum wrightii var. membranaceum99 / 9
THb21 *redstem filareeErodium cicutarium99 / 9
THb22 *rattail fescueFestuca myuros99 / 4
THr23 phlox-leaved bedstrawGalium andrewsii ssp. andrewsii5 / 3
THr24 fragrant everlastingPseudognaphalium beneolens1 / 1
THr25 matchweedGutierrezia sarothrae99 / 9
THb26 *shortpod mustardHirschfeldia incana5 / 1
THr27 *foxtail barleyHordeum murinum10 / 2
THb28 *prickly lettuceLactuca serriola3 / 2
THb29 wild pepper-grassLepidium virginicum ssp. menziesii30 / 3
THb30 common linanthusLeptosiphon parviflorus99 / 9
THb31 *pineapple weedMatricaria discoidea /
THr32 imbricate phaceliaPhacelia imbricata var. patula50 / 9
THb33 Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi1 / 1
THr34 *bulbous blue grassPoa bulbosa ssp. vivipara5 / 1
THl35 *knotweedPolygonum aviculare ssp. depressum20 / 1
THr36 *garden burnetPoterium sanguisorba1 / 1
THr37 California black oakQuercus kelloggii5 / 1
THb38 *tumble-mustardSisymbrium altissimum99 / 9
THb39 Indian cloverTrifolium albopurpureum50 / 9
THl40 tomcat cloverTrifolium willdenovii /
THl41 silver puffsUropappus lindleyi30 / 5
0.01l  Cross through opening in fence, and begin listing species in order along the trail; sign PCT
0.01r42 one-sided bluegrassPoa secunda ssp. secunda10 / 1
0.01r43 Palmer's ceanothusCeanothus palmeri50 / 5
0.01l44 squirreltailElymus elymoides30 / 9
0.01r45sspblue wildryeElymus glaucus ssp. glaucus50 / 9
0.01b46sp Phacelia or Nemophila /
0.01r47 lace-podThysanocarpus laciniatus /
0.01l48 coastal giliaGilia diegensis10 / 1
0.01r49 Laguna manzanitaArctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. adamsii99 / 9
0.01l50 slender madiaMadia gracilis20 / 3
0.01l51 goldenstarBloomeria crocea20 / 3
0.01b52 spear-leaved mountain dandelionAgoseris retrorsa20 / 3
0.01r  Trail curves right
0.01l  (Coulter pine, Pinus coulteri; California thistle, Cirsium occidentale var. californicum)
0.01l53 Parish's purple nightshadeSolanum parishii20 / 9
0.01b54 large-flowered collomiaCollomia grandiflora50 / 9
0.01l55 Parish' Jacumba milk-vetchAstragalus douglasii var. parishii1 / 1
0.02   Trail curves right.
0.02r  (San Diego sunflower, Hulsea californica; western wallflower, Erysimum capitatum var. capitatum)
0.02l56 woolly-fruited lomatiumLomatium dasycarpum ssp. dasycarpum10 / 2
  57 popcorn flowerCryptantha intermedia var. intermedia10 / 1
0.02r58 whisker-brushLeptosiphon ciliatus10 / 1
0.02b59 checkerbloomSidalcea sparsifolia10 / 3
0.03r60 western morning-gloryCalystegia occidentalis ssp. fulcrata10 / 2
0.03r61 poodle-dog bushEriodictyon parryi99 / 9
0.03l62 miner's lettuceClaytonia perfoliata ssp. perfoliata20 / 2
0.04l  (field of little monardella, Monardella nana; short-lobed phacelia, Phacelia brachyloba)
0.04l63 Lewis' flaxLinum lewisii var. lewisii25 / 2
0.04l64 Indian Valley bush mallowMalacothamnus aboriginum25 / 5
0.04l65 birch-leaf mountain-mahoganyCercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides50 / 9
0.04r66 June grassKoeleria macrantha50 / 9
0.04l67 twiggy wreath plantStephanomeria virgata5 / 2
0.04l68 scarlet buglerPenstemon centranthifolius5 / 3
0.06r69 *yellow salsifyTragopogon dubius5 / 2
 l70 elk thistleCirsium scariosum /
0.07l71~mountain grape-soda lupineLupinus excubitus var. austromontanus2 / 1
 b72 purple clarkiaClarkia purpurea ssp. quadrivulnera20 / 3
0.07r73 plain mariposa lilyCalochortus invenustus10 / 2
0.08l74 diamond-petaled clarkiaClarkia rhomboidea5 / 2
0.09   Cross wide shallow ditch.
0.09l75 *ripgut bromeBromus diandrus99 / 9
0.09b76 California thistleCirsium occidentale var. californicum20 / 9
0.09b77 Wright's thimbleheadHymenothrix wrightii20 / 1
0.10   T-jct. with PCT; go left on it.
    The following three species were found before the junction with the PCT on 5/10/03, but do not yet have accurate locations.
-l78 baby blue eyesNemophila menziesii var. integrifolia30 / 5
-r79 Davidson's phaceliaPhacelia davidsonii30 / 5
- 80 blue-eyed Mary Collinsia parviflora /
0.10b81 *annual blue grassPoa annua /
0.10r82 grand mountain dandelionAgoseris grandiflora var. grandiflora2 / 2
0.11r83 American vetchVicia americana ssp. americana5 / 1
  84 globe giliaGilia capitata ssp. abrotanifolia /
0.11r  PCT signpost
0.13r85 basketbushRhus aromatica20 / 3
0.14r86 bristly bird's beakCordylanthus rigidus ssp. setiger99 / 9
0.16l87 splendid mariposa lilyCalochortus splendens30 / 9
 r88 dwarf lupineLupinus bicolor1 / 1
0.18r ~(common wheat, Triticum aestivum)
    Phacelia imbricata forest!
0.18 89 golden yarrowEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum50 / 9
0.18r90 caraway-leaved giliaSaltugilia caruifolia99 / 9
0.18l91spgoosefoot violet?Viola purpurea? /
0.19l92 slender sunflowerHelianthus gracilentus99 / 9
0.19r93 California buckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum50 / 9
0.20l94 short-lobed phaceliaPhacelia brachyloba99 / 9
0.20r95 California buttercupRanunculus californicus5 / 1
0.21l96 common bedstrawGalium aparine5 / 1
0.21l97 bush poppyDendromecon rigida20 / 2
0.23l98spscattered blazing starMentzelia dispersa6 / 2
0.23l99 Davidson's buckwheatEriogonum davidsonii20 / 3
0.23l100 yellow mariposa lilyCalochortus weedii var. weedii50 / 9
0.23l101 southern honeysuckleLonicera subspicata var. denudata10 / 2
0.23l102 chamiseAdenostoma fasciculatum99 / 9
0.23l103 little monardellaMonardella nana25 / 5
0.24r104 Sierra sanicleSanicula graveolens1 / 1
0.24   Cross bulldozed path, probably from fire suppression from 2003 and 2013 fires.
0.24l105 Parry's fringed onionAllium parryi20 / 1
0.24b106 hollyleaf redberryRhamnus ilicifolia20 / 5
0.25l107 southern tauschiaTauschia arguta30 / 9
0.25r108 Parish's needlegrassStipa parishii var. parishii99 / 9
 l109 golden-bowl mariposaCalochortus concolor30 / 6
0.26r  Burned PCT sign.
0.26l110 desert needlegrassStipa speciosa5 / 2
0.27l111 prickly poppyArgemone munita99 / 9
0.27l112 ashy silk tasselGarrya flavescens99 / 9
 r113 Torrey's scrub oakQuercus acutidens99 / 9
0.28b114 oracle oakQuercus Xmorehus12 / 1
0.28b115 chaparral yuccaHesperoyucca whipplei50 / 9
0.28l116 whorledleaf penstemonKeckiella ternata var. ternata40 / 9
0.30   Trail curves left then right.
0.30l117 San Diego peaLathyrus vestitus var. alefeldii3 / 2
0.31r118 yellow pincushionChaenactis glabriuscula var. glabriuscula /
0.34r119 Parish's bluecurlsTrichostema parishii99 / 9
0.35r120 meally white pincushionChaenactis artemisiifolia10 / 1
0.36l121 sugar bushRhus ovata3 / 2
0.36r  Jct. short path to overlook; switchback left.
0.37r122 California elegant rock-cressBoechera californica4 / 1
0.38   The 2002 burn area began here; the whole trail was burned in 2013. The following two species were found before the 2002 burn area on 5/10/03, but do not yet have accurate locations.
-l123 golden daisyPentachaeta aurea /
-r124 southern mountain woolly-starEriastrum densifolium ssp. austromontanum /
0.38r125 narrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium99 / 9
0.39l126 western redbudCercis occidentalis50 / 1
0.40l127 saw-toothed goldenbushHazardia squarrosa var. grindelioides99 / 9
0.40l128 San Diego sunflowerHulsea californica99 / 9
0.41b129 showy penstemonPenstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis99 / 5
0.44l130 sticky false-giliaAllophyllum glutinosum5 / 3
0.44b131 interior live oakQuercus wislizeni var. frutescens3 / 2
0.49r132 chaparral whitethornCeanothus leucodermis50 / 9
    The following species was found before mile 0.47 on 5/10/03, but it does not yet have an accurate location.
- 133 San Diego jewelflowerCaulanthus heterophyllus var. heterophyllus /
0.47r134 giant four o'clockMirabilis multiflora var. pubescens1 / 1
0.49l135 narrowleaf monardellaMonardella linoides ssp. linoides8 / 2
0.49l136 white sageSalvia apiana6 / 1
0.49b137~giant needlegrassStipa coronata30 / 1
0.49l138 wide-throated yellow monkeyflowerMimulus brevipes10 / 1
0.51r139 white-flowering currantRibes indecorum3 / 3
0.59l140 western wallflowerErysimum capitatum var. capitatum50 / 3
0.63c141~Payson's wild cabbageCaulanthus simulans1 / 1
0.71   On saddle; enter next drainage. The grove of trees to the left was burned in the 2003 fire.
0.71r  (hollyleaf cherry, Prunus ilicifolia ssp. ilicifolia)
0.73   Field of San Diego sunflower, Hulsea californica, in 2005.
0.75b142 smoothleaf yerba santaEriodictyon trichocalyx var. lanatum99 / 9
0.75l143 chaparral lotusAcmispon grandiflorus var. grandiflorus99 / 9
0.76l144 Cleveland's beardtonguePenstemon clevelandii var. clevelandii5 / 2
0.77r145 three-lobed oxythecaSidotheca trilobata50 / 9
0.83r146 San Bernardino suncupCamissoniopsis confusa /
0.86r  Jct. very short path to saddle overlook; (scarlet larkspur, Delphinium cardinale; and Mt. Laguna alumroot, Heuchera brevistaminea) just below top of drainage.
0.86r147 chaparral broomrapeOrobanche bulbosa1 / 1
0.87l  (California bay, Umbellularia californica)
0.93   Trail curves left to skirt drainage to right.
    The following three species were found before mile 0.93 on 5/10/03, but do not have accurate location
-l148 bird's-foot fernPellaea mucronata var. mucronata1 / 1
-r149 bajada lupineLupinus concinnus /
- 150 *slender wild oatsAvena barbata99 / 5
0.95r  Jct. old road to top of peak 5663 feet (1726 m); elevation here is 5580 feet (1700 m).
0.97   Trail curves right rounding a ridge.
1.02l151 golden ear dropsEhrendorferia chrysantha10 / 1
1.03l152 California bee plantScrophularia californica /
1.15   Switchback left; jct. short trail to overlook.
1.19   Switchback right.
1.23   Long curve left at drainage to right.
1.24   Calochortus concolor on left; C. weedii^2 on right!
1.26   Long curve right.
1.33   Trail turns left 90°
1.36l  Jct. bulldozed fire break.
1.37l  scattered blazing starMentzelia dispersa /
1.37l153 sand cressCalyptridium monandrum1 / 1
1.42   Long curve right.
1.47   Switchback left.
1.49l154 lace-fringed spineflowerChorizanthe fimbriata var. laciniata30 / 5
1.49l155 Wallace's woolly daisyEriophyllum wallacei1 / 1
1.61b  Trail curves right; PCT posts.
1.62   Jct. Garnet Peak Trail; elevation 5480 feet (1670 m); turn right and take it.
1.63l  Sign: "PCT (left); Garnet Peak Trail (ahead)"
1.66   Cross small drainage and trail turns left 90°
1.76r156~naked-stem bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. nudicaule40 / 9
1.84l157~mountain red-root cryptanthaCryptantha micrantha var. lepida10 / 1
1.85r158~summer snowLeptosiphon floribundus ssp. glaber2 / 1
 r  Galium angustifolium ssp. nudicaule next to ssp. angustifolium
 r159 Parish's goldenbushEricameria parishii var. parishii50 / 3
1.93l160spcaterpillar phacelia?Phacelia cicutaria var. hispida?3 / 2
  161 white catch-flySilene verecunda /
2.00b162 San Jacinto buckwheatEriogonum apiculatum20 / 1
2.01   Trail curves right rounding a ridge.
2.04r  (Laguna Mtns. Goldenbush, Ericameria cuneata var. macrocephala)
2.07l163 rush-roseHelianthemum scoparium99 / 1
2.09b  Field of poodle-dog bush, Eriodictyon parryi, appearing like a cactus garden, in 2005.
2.12r164 Laguna Mtns. goldenbushEricameria cuneata var. macrocephala20 / 2
2.15   Trail turns right 90° and steps up steeply.
2.17   Garnet Peak; elevation 6040 feet (1840 m). End Plant Guide. Turn around and retrace your route to the trailhead.

Comments On Specific Species

The notes from the 6/15/04 fieldwork are not yet online.

Mentzelia dispersa. The first Mentzelia species along the trail was seen only on 5/10/03, and not keyed out. A definitive id was obtained for the plant at mile 1.37. That occurrence is not numbered, unless the previous species turns out to be a different taxon.

Quercus acutidens. This taxon is given as Q. berberidifolia in the Laguna Flora, but the leaves of the specimen here is clearly Q. acutidens in size, shape, color and trichomes. They also have a large number of Q. engelmannii trichomes present, as is typical of many specimens of Q. acutidens.

This is one of the clearest examples that this is a separate species, and not due to any recent hybridization event between Q. cornelius-mulleri and Q. engelmannii, since the nearest Q. engelmannii is at least 11 miles west, with a considerable mountain range between them and this location, and with a significant elevation difference.

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Copyright © 2003-2016 by Tom Chester, Wayne Armstrong, James Dillane, Ted Caragozian, Adrienne Ballwey, and Jim Roberts.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
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Last update: 1 October 2016.