Plant Communities of the San Gabriel Mountains

Riparian Woodland

Special Feature: Fall Color
The large deciduous trees that exist in the streambeds of perennial creeks provide spectacular fall color. On a crisp, clear November day, those growing along Big Rock Creek can take your breath away. In late fall, trees, from the willows of the high country to the cottonwoods of the desert, turn canyons everywhere in these mountains into rivers of gold.

Liebre Mountain in the northwest and the Blue Ridge in the southeast at the extreme ends of the San Gabriel Mountains also have outstanding fall color from large stands of black oak which turn golden. Willows and cattails around the sag ponds there turn yellow and brown.

Many evergreen shrubs have brightly colored berries like toyon and coffeberry. Smaller plants with fall color include squaw currant, serviceberry, chokecherry, multi-hued poison oak, crimson and pink buckwheats and brilliant yellow rabbitbrush.

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Copyright © 2000 by Jane Strong
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Updated January 21, 2000