California Native Plant Society
San Gabriel Mountains Chapter

Lily Spring Area Survey: Activities in 2011

Summary of the year

2011 saw an intense series of field trips, often more than one per week, primarily by Jane Tirrell and Walt Fidler. A total of 67 field reports were submitted. They cover the period from May 5, when only a single flowering species was reported (Oreonana vestita,) to August 20 with 105 species, and October 20 with 30 species.

The yearly compilation chart compares the observations for 2011, 2010, and 1981.

The year culminated in a presentation given by Jane Tirrell at the CNPS Conservation Conference in January 2012 in San Diego. Here is the abstract from that presentation, which gives a good summary of the project to date:

We repeated a phenology study conducted by Wayne Sawyer in 1981 and published in Crossosoma 13(1): 5-10, 1987. The study area is approximately 360 acres in the San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles County, California, consisting of primarily north-facing slopes. It is bounded by California State Route 2 on the north and by the Pacific Crest Trail and crests of the ridges on the south. Elevations range from 7200 to 8600 feet above sea level. While we did not observe significant differences in the onset of flowering for the species present in 2011 as compared to those present in 1981, we noted twelve rare plants, four classified as 1.B and eight classified as 4.2 or 4.3. We also observed 130 angiosperm species whereas Sawyer listed 100 in his Crossosoma paper. The increased number of species in 2011 is attributed in part to the presence of fire followers such as Turricula parryi and Hulsea heterochroma resulting from the Curve Fire of 2002 which burned over 90% of the study area and to the presence of non-native species such as Melilotus albus and Sonchus oleraceus that were not listed in the original study. In addition, re-examination of some taxa revealed divisions into other species and subspecies. We noted 17 angiosperms that are either new to the area or were previously overlooked. These taxa may in some cases indicate range extensions.

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Source of Lily Spring

Sawyer's paper

Lily Spring
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yellow violet