Flora of the Eastern High-Elevation Portion of the Blue Ridge, San Gabriel Mountains

Species Notes
The Flora


This page gives the flora of the eastern high-elevation portion of the Blue Ridge. A Google Earth view of the area is shown in Fig. 1 (see also a larger-scale area-locator map).

Fig. 1. A Google Earth view of the eastern Blue Ridge in the San Gabriel Mountains. The area outlined in white is roughly the area used for the flora presented on this page. Click on the photo for a significantly-larger, clearer version; see also a larger-scale area-locator map.

We define the eastern high-elevation portion of the Blue Ridge as the portion of the Blue Ridge east of Inspiration Point / Angeles Crest Highway above 7200 feet elevation.

The western boundary is at the junction of the Blue Ridge / Guffy Campground Road with the Angeles Crest Highway (SR2) at Inspiration Point / Lightning Ridge, at an elevation of 7350 feet.

The eastern boundary is at the east end of the Blue Ridge / Guffy Campground Road, where the PCT begins its drop to the east to Lone Pine Canyon, at an elevation of 8100 feet. Beyond this point, the flora changes significantly as the trail descends below the pine forest.

The elevation range for this area is roughly 7200 to 8505 feet. The highest elevation of this area is 8505 feet at Wright Mountain, and 8480 feet at the Blue Ridge Electronic Site at Frost Peak.

The lowest elevation of the PCT and the Blue Ridge / Guffy Road is 7350 feet at the junction with SR2, and the lowest elevation for the portion of the Blue Ridge Trail included here is 7200 feet.

We tried to include only species found above 7200 feet in this area, with the exception of some areas in Flume, Buford and Government Canyons just below 7200 feet. These were included in this flora since they can only be accessed via a public right-of-way from the Blue Ridge Road. However, locations and elevations of vouchers are often very uncertain, and some vouchered species may actually be only from elevations lower than our targeted minimum elevation of 7200 feet if the voucher elevation is inaccurate.

The flora of this area is nearly the last stand on this side of the San Gabriel Mountains of the montane flora to the west and south. Beyond the Blue Ridge, the montane flora begins to grade into the desert flora of the Mojave Desert to the north, and into the coastal flora of Cajon Pass to the east.

The flora is much richer west of Guffy Campground in this section than to the east. There are 118 taxa listed in the section of the PCT west of Guffy, and just 74 taxa in the section of the PCT east of Guffy. Of the 118 taxa in the section west of Guffy, only 60 of those taxa are also present in the section west of Guffy. Although the section west of Guffy is longer, 4.7 miles compared to 2.5 miles, one would expect it to have just 17% more taxa from the difference in lengths, whereas it has 59% more taxa.

The primary difference appears to be more-varied habitat in the section west of Guffy, with a number of open areas, whereas the section east of Guffy is mostly completely forested; see the densely-forested area of Wright Mountain in this view compared to the much-more-open south-facing areas to the west of Guffy. We don't know if environmental factors also play a role, such as differences in rainfall. from:

The flora of this area was compiled from the following sources:

Each of those surveyed areas is presented in a separate column in the checklist below.

Information about the vouchers will be added in the future.

Species Notes

The species notes are in alphabetical order by scientific name. It is curious that five of the species notes are for lupine species.

Delphinium glaucum. This disjunct from the Sierra Nevada is found only in two areas of SnGb: at Lily Spring, and in this area of the Blue Ridge, at Guffy Spring, Buford and Government Canyons. It is also found in a handful of locations at SnBr.

Ericameria nauseosa var. oreophila. The plants here, and the nearby plants along the Angeles Crest Highway and environs, appear to be a single population that is intermediate between var. oreophila and mohavensis. We've arbitrarily assigned the plants here to var. oreophila, but note that a Principal Components Analysis that we've done shows that they are distinct from the oreophila plants in San Antonio Canyon. Variety bernardina is quite distinct from this intermediate population, and is also present here.

Galium bifolium. This is one of only three locations of this species in SnGb. There are only a handful of other locations in the TR for this species that mostly lives in the Sierra Nevada and north.

Lupinus andersonii. It is doubtful that L. andersonii occurs at SnGb. L. andersonii is not given as occurring at SnGb in the Jepson Manual, and we have not seen plants similar to the L. andersonii at SnBr here. It is likely that the voucher with this determination is L. formosus. However, the difference between those species is subtle, and it isn't clear that the high-elevation plants corresponding to L. formosus are actually the same as the lower elevation plants of that species. More work needs to be done to understand the species delimitations here.

Lupinus arbustus. This area contains the only population of this species in southern California, disjunct from its main population in the Sierra Nevada and north.

Lupinus excubitus var. austromontanus. We include var. johnstonii within var. austromontanus, since it appears to us that var. johnstonii is not separate from var. austromontanus. The distinction is just on the length of the inflorescence, which appears to depend more on environmental conditions than on genetics. We've never seen any geographic coherence to plants with inflorescences shorter than 14 cm, which is the magic dividing line between the varieties. We have seen a number of places with a continuous variation across the magic dividing line of 14 cm. We've also seen plants that had inflorescences all longer than 14 cm in the current year, with inflorescences all shorter than 14 cm in the previous year.

Lupinus latifolius. There are vouchers of both var. latifolius and var. parishii at Guffy Spring; we have not yet worked on the determination of the variety. The key is just on the size of the flower: 10-14 mm for var. latifolius, and 14-18 mm for var. parishii. Variety parishii is mostly found to the east and south of the TR, and var. latifolius to the north of the TR. It might not be surprising if the plants at SnGb are mostly intermediate between these varieties.

Lupinus polyphyllus var. burkei. The voucher corresponding to this species is highly likely to be L. latifolius, but it should be checked to make sure.

Monardella australis ssp. australis. There is only one Monardella species here, which we call Monardella linoides ssp. stricta, which has been their name previous to the Second Edition of the Jepson Manual. The problem here is that the name Monardella linoides ssp. stricta was banished from the Second Edition of the Jepson Manual, with such plants being considered of hybrid origin from a cross of M. australis with M. linoides.

The taxonomy of this group is being worked on by Mark Elvin and Andy Sanders, so things might change in the future. But we would argue strongly for giving our plants in this part of SnGb an entry in the next update of the Jepson Manual, since even if it is true that our plants are of hybrid origin, it is an ancient hybrid origin and these plants almost surely have evolved their DNA since their ancient origin. The claim has been made that something like 20% of all species have an ancient hybrid origin; we see no reason to treat those species differently for how they are named.

Phacelia imbricata. The Phacelia plants that are like P. egena and P. imbricata in this area appear to be quite uniform, and are clearly P. imbricata, from the few lobes on the leaves and the cylindric corolla. However, they are not clearly a subspecies of P. imbricata, since they combine traits of ssp. imbricata and ssp. patula.

Heckard, in his marvelous 1960 monograph on this group of Phacelia species, calls them "intergrade group 1", which contains most of the plants at SnGb from 3000 to 7000 feet:

In all three groups the narrow calyx lobe is present and is important owing to the association of this character as a regular feature (and key character) of ssp. patula. The plants of group I are largely like those of ssp. imbricata in other characteristics. p. 43.

Phlox diffusa. The plants here are Phlox diffusa, not P. austromontana, as we originally called them back in 2003. See Phlox austromontana and Phlox diffusa.

Pinus flexilis. This species was vouchered from, most likely, the summit of the Frost Peak, which is now the Blue Ridge Electronic Site, by Munz and separately by Peirson in 1923. The voucher localities are just Blue Ridge and ridge s of Swartout Valley (n edge of ridge), with an elevation if 8500 feet. That elevation is only found at Frost Peak, and it makes sense that this high-elevation species (at SnGb) would only occur at Frost Peak in the Blue Ridge.

We have looked hard for this species at and near the summit of Frost Peak, as well as in our other surveys here, and not found it. It seems likely there was just a small population, possibly even just one tree, that died, or was cut down as part of constructing the Electronic Site.

Ribes velutinum. The plants at SnGb corresponding to this species have sometimes been determined as R. lasianthum. See Ribes velutinum and R. lasianthum for a discussion of these two species.

Solanum xanti. There is much debate about whether to define S. xanti, S. parishii, and S. umbelliferum (in the strict sense) as separate species, or to lump them all under the oldest name of S. umbelliferum. We have chosen to split them, but some voucher determinations have used the lumped species, so don't be surprised if you see plants here called S. umbelliferum. There are not two species here; only the name is being changed.

The Flora


An asterisk (*) before the common name indicates a non-native taxon.

We've divided the flora of the PCT into sections west and east of Guffy Campground.

The flora has six columns to give the flora of six different areas, with the following headers from left to right in the flora:

Note that this arrangement of the columns gives the flora basically from west to east in this area, with the only riparian areas in the middle two columns.

An "x" in any column means that the number of plants was not estimated.

A species without an entry in any column was either:

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page: html (7 pages) or pdf Clickbook booklet (2 double-sided pages). (See printing instructions for an explanation of these options)

# Fam Scientific Name (*)Common Name #Plants
1PtePellaea mucronata var. californicaCalifornia cliff-brake      
2WooCystopteris fragilisbrittle bladder fern     30
3CupCalocedrus decurrensincense-cedar    16 
4CupJuniperus grandisSierra juniper    1 
5PinAbies concolorwhite fir99  99 
6PinPinus flexilislimber pine      
7PinPinus jeffreyiJeffrey pine99  99 
8PinPinus lambertianasugar pine10 220 
9AdoSambucus nigra ssp. caeruleablue elderberry20  29 
10ApiLomatium dissectum var. multifidumfern-leaved lomatium      
11ApiLomatium nevadense var. parishiiParish's lomatium1  2 
12ApiSphenosciadium capitellatumranger's buttons  x   
13ApiTauschia parishiiParish's tauschia     4
14ApoAsclepias californicaCalifornia milkweed      
15ApoAsclepias eriocarpaIndian milkweed     20
16ApoCycladenia humilis var. venustashowy cycladenia      
17AstAgoseris grandiflora var. grandifloragrand mountain dandelion      
18AstAgoseris retrorsaspear-leaved mountain dandelion15  5 
19AstAmbrosia acanthicarpabur-ragweed5    
20AstArtemisia dracunculuswild tarragon99   26
21AstArtemisia ludoviciana ssp. incomptamountain mugwort   9999 
22AstArtemisia tridentatabig sagebrush99  99 
23AstChaenactis santolinoidessantolina pincushion22  28 
24AstChaenactis xantianaXantus' chaenactis 99    
25AstCirsium occidentale var. californicumCalifornia thistle9    
26AstCorethrogyne filaginifoliaCalifornia-aster20    
27AstEricameria nauseosa var. bernardinaSan Bernardino rubber rabbitbrush99  10 
28AstEricameria nauseosa var. oreophilathreadleaf common rabbitbrush99   99
29AstErigeron foliosus var. foliosusleafy daisy99  99 
30AstEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorumgolden yarrow3  99 
31AstPackera ionophyllaTehachapi ragwort1    
32AstPleiacanthus spinosusthorny skeleton-plant99  99 
33AstSenecio flaccidus var. douglasiibush senecio      
34AstSenecio triangularisarrowhead butterweed  x   
35AstSolidago confinissouthern goldenrod  x   
36AstStephanomeria exigua ssp. coronariaslender wreathplant10  7 
37AstTetradymia canescensspineless horsebrush99  99 
38AstTragopogon dubius*yellow salsify1    
39BorCryptantha echinellaprickly cryptantha    80 
40BorCryptantha muricata var. denticulataprickly-nut cryptantha99  99 
41BorEmmenanthe penduliflora var. penduliflorawhispering bells1    
42BorEriodictyon parryipoodle-dog bush99    
43BorEriodictyon trichocalyx var. trichocalyxsmoothleaf yerba santa99  50 
44BorPhacelia austromontanasouthern Sierra phacelia    30 
45BorPhacelia curvipescurve-stem phacelia99    
46BorPhacelia davidsoniiDavidson's phacelia5  99 
47BorPhacelia imbricataimbricate phacelia99  69 
48BorPhacelia ramosissimabranching phacelia99    
49BraBoechera arcuataarched elegant rock-cress40    
50BraBoechera repandaYosemite rockcress99  99 
51BraCaulanthus amplexicaulisclasping-leaved caulanthus 10  2 
52BraErysimum capitatum var. capitatumwestern wallflower99  99 
53BraHirschfeldia incana*shortpod mustard      
54BraLepidium appelianum*white-top 45    
55BraLepidium virginicum ssp. virginicum*wild pepper-grass1    
56BraSisymbrium altissimum*tumble-mustard99  99 
57CapSymphoricarpos rotundifolius var. parishiiParish's snowberry99  99 
58CarSilene verecundawhite catch-fly99  99 
59CheChenopodium atrovirensforest goosefoot50  99 
60CheChenopodium fremontiiFremont's goosefoot30  50 
61CheChenopodium hiansgaping goosefoot      
62CheChenopodium pratericolameadow goosefoot      
63CheSalsola tragus*Russian thistle99  99 
64ConCalystegia occidentalis ssp. fulcratawestern morning-glory99    
65ConCuscuta californica var. californicaCalifornia dodder99    
66CorCornus sericea ssp. sericeared osier dogwood  x   
67EriArctostaphylos patulagreen-leaf manzanita99   15
68EriPterospora andromedeapinedrops      
69EriPyrola pictawhite-veined wintergreen   4  
70EriSarcodes sanguineasnow-plant1  5 
71FabAcmispon americanus var. americanusSpanish clover 15    
72FabAcmispon nevadensis var. davidsoniiDavidson's lotus99  99 
73FabAcmispon procumbens var. procumbenssilky California broom      
74FabAstragalus bicristatuscrested milk-vetch25  14 
75FabAstragalus lentiginosus var. antoniusSan Antonio milk-vetch63    
76FabHosackia crassifolia var. crassifoliabroad-leaved lotus20    
77FabLupinus andersoniiAnderson's lupine      
78FabLupinus arbustusspur lupine20    
79FabLupinus elatussilky lupine99   5
80FabLupinus excubitus var. austromontanusmountain grape-soda lupine40  99 
81FabLupinus formosus var. formosuswestern lupine99  99 
82FabLupinus latifoliusbroad-leaf lupine   99  
83FabLupinus polyphyllus var. burkeibigleaf lupine   V  
84FabMedicago sativa*alfalfa 2    
85FabMelilotus officinalis*yellow sweetclover1299    
86FabTrifolium monanthum ssp. grantianummountain carpet clover   V  
87FagChrysolepis sempervirensbush chinquapin10  99 
88FagQuercus chrysolepiscanyon live oak 1 1 1
89FagQuercus kelloggiiCalifornia black oak20    
90GerErodium cicutarium*redstem filaree4    
91GroRibes cereum var. cereumwax currant99  99 
92GroRibes nevadensemountain pink currant1x 6 
93GroRibes roezlii var. roezliiSierra gooseberry5  17 
94GroRibes velutinumdesert gooseberry2    
95LamMonardella linoides ssp. strictanarrowleaf monardella80    
96LoaMentzelia congestaclustered blazing star4  12 
97LoaMentzelia laevicaulisgiant blazing star 5  12 
98LoaMentzelia montanamountain blazing starx    
99MalMalacothamnus fremontiiFremont's bush mallow99    
100MonCalyptridium monandrumsand cress      
101MonCalyptridium monospermumpussy paws    15 
102MonClaytonia perfoliata ssp. mexicanasouthern miner's lettuce99    
103MonLewisia rediviva var. minorbitter rootnr    
104OnaChamerion angustifolium ssp. circumvagumfireweed  x   
105OnaEpilobium brachycarpumautumn willowweed      
106OnaEpilobium canum ssp. latifoliummountain California-fuchsia99  99 
107OnaEpilobium ciliatum ssp. ciliatumwillowherb   20  
108OnaEpilobium glaberrimum ssp. glaberrimumglaucus willowherb  x   
109OnaGayophytum decipiensdeceiving gayophytum   V  
110OnaGayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorumgroundsmoke      
111OnaGayophytum oligospermumpinegrove groundsmoke99  99 
112OroCastilleja applegatei ssp. martiniiMartin's paintbrush30  99 
113OroCastilleja miniata ssp. miniatagiant red paintbrush  x15  
114OroCastilleja plagiotomaMojave Indian paintbrush4    
115OroCordylanthus neviniiNevin's bird's beak    99 
116OroOrobanche californica ssp. feudgeiCalifornia broomrape15  13 
117OroOrobanche fasciculataclustered broomrape2  5 
118OroPedicularis semibarbatapine lousewort99  50 
119PapArgemone munitaprickly poppy30   27
120PapEhrendorferia chrysanthagolden ear drops99    
121PhrMimulus moschatusmusk monkeyflower   99  
122PlaCollinsia torreyi var. wrightiiWright's collinsia99  99 
123PlaPenstemon grinnellii var. grinnelliiGrinnell's beardtongue6  56 
124PlaPenstemon labrosusSan Gabriel beardtongue99  99 
125PlaPenstemon rostriflorusbeaked penstemon99  50 
126PolAllophyllum integrifoliumwhite false-gilia10    
127PolEriastrum densifolium ssp. austromontanumsouthern mountain woolly-star20    
128PolEriastrum sapphirinumsapphire woolly-star99    
129PolGilia ochroleuca ssp. bizonatavolcanic gilia5    
130PolGilia ochroleuca ssp. vividaSan Gabriel Mountain gilia5  99 
131PolLeptosiphon breviculusMojave linanthus99  99 
132PolPhlox diffusaspreading phlox65    
133PolSaltugilia splendens ssp. splendenssplendid gilia40    
134PolEriogonum baileyi var. baileyiBailey's buckwheat99    
135PolEriogonum davidsoniiDavidson's buckwheat90   40
136PolEriogonum fasciculatum var. polifoliumCalifornia buckwheat99    
137PolEriogonum heermannii var. heermanniiHeermann's buckwheat   V  
138PolEriogonum nudum var. pauciflorumnaked buckwheat99  99 
139PolEriogonum parishiiParish's buckwheat 70    
140PolEriogonum pusillumyellow-turbans      
141PolEriogonum umbellatum var. munziisulphur buckwheat99    
142PolEriogonum wrightii var. subscaposumWright's buckwheat99  99 
143PolPolygonum aviculare ssp. depressum*knotweed10    
144RanAquilegia formosawestern columbine  x   
145RanClematis ligusticifoliavirgin's bower      
146RanDelphinium glaucumSierra larkspur  x99  
147RanDelphinium parishii ssp. parishiiParish's larkspurnr    
148RanDelphinium patens ssp. montanumspreading larkspurx    
149RanRanunculus cymbalariaRocky Mountain buttercup   V  
150RanThalictrum fendleri var. polycarpummeadow-rue   99  
151RhaCeanothus cordulatusmountain whitethorn99  99 
152RhaFrangula californicaCalifornia coffeeberry 1  1 
153RosAmelanchier utahensisUtah service-berry1    
154RosCercocarpus ledifoliuscurl-leaf mountain-mahogany99  99 
155RosDrymocallis glandulosa var. viscidasticky cinquefoil2    
156RosPrunus emarginatabitter cherry99    
157RosPrunus virginiana var. demissawestern choke-cherry      
158RosRosa woodsii ssp. gratissimainterior rose  x   
159RosRubus parviflorusthimbleberry      
160RubGalium bifoliumlow mountain bedstraw99    
161RubGalium johnstoniiJohnston's bedstraw      
162SalSalix lasiolepisarroyo willow     1
163SaxLithophragma tenellumslender woodland star      
164SolNicotiana attenuatacoyote tobacco 11  3 
165SolSolanum xantipurple nightshade99   6
166VioViola pinetorumpine violet30  99 
167VisPhoradendron bolleanumfir mistletoe1  17 
168AgaHesperoyucca whippleichaparral yucca      
169AllAllium burlewiiBurlew's onion25 799 
170AllAllium campanulatumdusky onion   5  
171AllAllium monticolaSan Bernardino Mountain onion    12 
172CypCarex abruptaabrupt-beak sedge   30  
173CypCarex almasturdy sedge      
174CypCarex athrostachyaslender-beak sedge   V  
175CypCarex aureagolden sedge      
176CypCarex fractafragile sheath sedge   V  
177CypCarex rossiiRoss' sedge    99 
178CypCarex subfuscabrown sedge      
179IriSisyrinchium idahoenseIdaho blue-eyed grass      
180JunJuncus saximontanusRocky Mountain rush   ~1  
181LilCalochortus invenustusplain mariposa lily80  99 
182LilFritillaria pinetorumpine-woods fritillary      
183LilLilium parryilemon lily  x   
184MelVeratrum californicum var. californicumCalifornia corn lily  x   
185OrcCorallorhiza maculataspotted coralroot5    
186OrcPlatanthera sparsiflorasparse-flowered bog-orchid  x   
187PoaAgropyron cristatum ssp. pectinatum*desert crested wheatgrass99    
188PoaAgrostis stolonifera*creeping bentgrass      
189PoaBromus carinatus var. carinatusCalifornia brome99  33 
190PoaBromus halliiHall's brome99    
191PoaBromus inermis*smooth brome20    
192PoaBromus tectorum*downy brome99  99 
193PoaDactylis glomerata*orchard-grass      
194PoaElymus elymoidessquirreltail99  99 
195PoaElymus glaucus ssp. glaucusblue wildrye5    
196PoaElymus hispidus*intermediate wheatgrass99    
197PoaElymus ponticus*tall wheatgrass      
198PoaElymus trachycaulus ssp. trachycaulusslender wheatgrass   V  
199PoaHordeum vulgare*cultivated barley      
200PoaMelica imperfectacoast-range melic   V  
201PoaPoa bulbosa ssp. vivipara*bulbous blue grass      
202PoaPoa pratensis ssp. pratensis*Kentucky blue grass   30  
203PoaPoa secunda ssp. secundaone-sided bluegrass50  99 
204PoaStipa occidentaliswestern needlegrass    30 
205PoaStipa occidentalis var. californicaCalifornia needlegrass20    
206PoaStipa occidentalis var. pubescensElmer's needlegrass      
207RusMaianthemum stellatumlittle false-solomon's-seal  x   
208TheMuilla maritimamuilla1    

Voucher data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria (ucjeps.berkeley.edu/consortium/) on 17 July 2013, and on 3 July 2014.

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Copyright © 2013-2016 by Tom Chester, Walt Fidler, Adrienne Ballwey, Michael Charters, RT and Shaun Hawke, Anne Kelly; Nancy Accola; Jane Strong; and Keir Morse.
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Last update: 21 July 2016