Monday, November 29, 2010

Chapter Winner

Phacelia mohavensis, Mojave phacelia, CNPS list 4.3 (Photo by Jane Tirrell)

The San Gabriel Mountain CNPS Chapter in Southern California took our grand prize. Volunteers in this chapter contributed over 400 hours of their time and submitted 52 survey forms! This included 26 separate rare plant species. Wow! So we would like to take this moment and recognize their efforts and tell you about their project. Why don't you join them next year?

Carpet of Phacelia mohavensis. (Photo by Jane Tirrell)

Jane Strong, Field Trips Chair, writes:

This year, our chapter began a new project called the Lily Spring Area Survey. The purpose of the survey was to check on the phenology of about 100 plant species documented in Wayne Sawyer’s paper published in Crossosoma, February 1987 13(1):5-10, entitled “A List of High Elevation Angiosperms and Their Phenology in the San Gabriel Mountains, Los Angeles County, California”. This project dovetailed perfectly with the objectives of the CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt.

The survey area is between 7,000 and 8,400 feet elevation, bordered on the south by the Pacific Crest Trail, and on the north by Highway 2, Angeles Crest Highway, and includes two moist areas, Little Jimmy and Lily Springs, a wind-swept, rocky ridge and many north-facing, forested slopes. The site was visited at least once a week by one or more of the team members from May when the road was still closed and icy continuing through November until the road is once again closed for winter conditions.

Lilium parryi, Lemon lily, list 1B.2 (Photo by Jane Tirrell)

The project manager is Graham Bothwell who also did the website at Jane Tirrell and Walter Fidler did over 95% of the field work and reporting; Shirley Imsand and Laura Scott Sellers participated one or two days. Tom Chester helped with identification. Jane Strong did a workshop, some field work, identification, and the paperwork necessary for the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt.

Highlights are the discovery of several populations of Viola pinetorum ssp. grisea, gray-leaved violet, CNPS list 1B, the first Los Angeles County collection, and a significant range extension for Mimulus breweri, Brewer's monkeyflower, not previously vouchered in Los Angeles County. There were vast carpets of Phacelia mohavensis, Mojave phacelia, CNPS list 4.3 and Acanthoscyphus (Oxytheca) parishii var. parishii, Parish's oxytheca, CNPS list 4.2.
Viola pinetorum ssp. grisea, gray-leaved violet, CNPS list 1B (Photos by Jane Tirrell)

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