San Diego Mts. Photos 2
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Photos Of Plants In The San Diego County Mountains #2

      Mountain Wildflowers #1         Mountain Wildflowers #3  

Notes About Plants Of Sunrise Hwy & Garnet Pk.
More Images Of Wildflowers In San Diego County
Vascular Plants Of The Cuyamaca & Laguna Mtns

Laguna Mountains: Along Sunrise Highway

A forest clearing surrounded by burned jeffrey pines (Pinus jeffreyi) along Sunrise Highway in the Laguna Mountans of San Diego County (elevation 5,322 feet = 1,622 m). In June, 2004 this was the site of a many spectacular wildflowers, including Brodiaea terrestris ssp. kernensis.

Oleoresin oozing from stump of a recently cut Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi).

Discussion Of Resin Chemistry
See Resin Ducts In A Pine Stem
Resin Ducts In Poison Oak Stem
Gum Mastic From Island Of Chios
Gum Guaiac From Lignum Vitae Tree
Photos Of Natural Resins From Plants

Calochortus invenustus. This species superficially resembles the lilac mariposa (C. splendens), except for the green vertical stripe on petals.

Brodiaea terrestris ssp. kernensis in the Laguna Mountains of San Diego County, California. Photograph taken along Sunrise Highway (S-1) in early June, 2004. The ovary was light green, unlike the purple ovaries of B. jolonensis. The V-shaped notch in anther connective tissue did not have a dentate appendage. In addition, the flower was larger than B. jolonensis.

Does Brodiaea jolonensis Occur In San Diego County?

Southern mule's ears (Wyethia ovata), a interesting member of the Asteraceae.

Forest dandelion (Agoseris retrorsa), a native member of the chicory tribe in the sunflower family ( Asteraceae).

Purple clarkia (Clarkia purpurea ssp. quadrivulnera)

Collomia grandiflora, a beautiful species with blue anthers in the phlox family (Polemoniaceae).

Left: Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum), a surprising discovery in the burned forested area along Sunrise Highway. Note the clasping leaf base (red arrow), nodding bud and glaucous, glabrous foliage. Right: Raw opium latex is dripping from the incised seed capsule.

See The Opium Poppy Seed Capsule With Dripping Latex Sap
Isoquinoline Alkaloids Of Opium Poppy: Codeine & Morphine

Laguna Mountains: Along Garnet Peak Trail

See Plant Guide To Garnet Peak From Penny Pines

This resinous mass near the base of a burned Coulter pine (Pinus coulteri) is not a slime fungus or slightly melted "PowerBar." It is actually the waste from bark beetles that are boring into the tree. [Thanks to Jeremy Miller for solving this mystery.]

See Close-Up View Of A Bark Beetle (Family: Scolytidae)

Prickly poppy (Argemone munita).

The mystery of prickly poppies without stamens solved!

Prickly poppy (Argemone munita).

Yellow bush poppy (Dendromecon rigida).

Weed mariposa (Calochortus weedii var. weedii), a striking mariposa lily with golden petals covered by hairs and fringed at the tips. The population along the Garnet Peak trail is especially stunning with a reddish brown border on the corolla.

Golden-bowl mariposa (Calochortus concolor, a striking mariposa lily with yellow petals. Unlike C. weedii var. weedii, the hairs are confined to the central gland region. Both species occur along the Garnet Peak trail.

Penstemons Along The Laguna Crest

Showy penstemon (Penstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis) on the desert crest of Mountain Laguna. This species has glabrous, glaucous leaves that are serrate and connate-perfoliate. The bright red scarlet bugler (P. centranthifolius) also occurs near the desert edge of the Laguna range. A hybrid between these two species named P. x parishii has been reported from the Laguna Rim Trail by Beauchamp (1986). The desert species P. clevelandii var. clevelandii also occurs along the Laguna Rim trail and Garnet Peak.

Left: Scarlet Bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius). Right: Cleveland penstemon (P. clevelandii var. clevelandii). Some reports of the hybrid P. x parishii on the Laguna Rim trail may be P. clevelandii var. clevelandii or a hybrid of the latter species. P. x parishii is a hybrid between P. centranthifolius and P. spectabilis. It is not surprising that it may be difficult to distinguish P. x parishii from P. clevelandii, since Andrea Wolfe's research on the subgenus Peltanthera indicates that P. clevelandii itself "is a diploid hybrid species derived from P. centranthifolius and P. spectabilis." R.M. Straw (1955) also proposed that P. clevelandii originated from hybridization between P. centranthifolius and P. spectabilis. Penstemon clevelandii is found in habitats different from either putative progenitor and is pollinated by both hummingbirds and solitary bees. Thus, if Straw's hypothesis is correct, this hybrid became isolated through ecological and ethological barriers. The primary evidence for recognition of P. clevelandii as a hybrid species is that it resembles F-1's produced from artificial crosses between P. centranthifolius and P. spectabilis, and it is similar in appearance to P. x parishii, a natural hybrid appearing where P. centranthifolius and P. spectabilis occur sympatrically (Keck 1937; Straw 1955). Penstemon clevelandii and P. x parishii have similar corolla shape and color, leaf margins, and leaf vestiture." Wolfe's DNA research confirmed that Shaw's hypothesis was correct. There are other Penstemon taxa in western North America which are derived from hybridization. [See the following image and hyperlinked references.]

Penstemon davidsonii var. davidsonii at 12,000 feet ((3658 m) on the Dana Plateau of the Sierra Nevada. This subalpine species grows among rocks and boulders of the alpine fell fields and talus slopes. Shannon Datwyler is examining the purported hybrid origin of two subspecific taxa is the subgenus Dasanthera (P. davidsonii var. praeteritus and P. fruticosus var. serratus). Both purported hybrid taxa are from P. davidsonii x P. fruticosus progenitors.

Wolfe & Elisens (1993,1994, 1995) & Wolfe et al. (1998)
See Introductory Page For Shannon Datwyler's Research
See Some Interesting Native and Cultivated Plant Hybrids

Penstemon heterophyllus var. australis.

Fire Followers Along Garnet Peak Trail, Laguna Mts.

White-flowered phacelia (Phacelia brachyloba), one of the most prolific post-burn wildflowers in San Diego County. Along the Garnet Peak trail, petals from this species appeared like snow, piled into "drifts" by the wind.

The trail to Garnet Peak passes through dense stands of "poodle-dog bush" (Turricula parryi), another prolific fire-follower in the mountains of San Diego County.

A dense stand of "poodle-dog bush" Turricula parryi.

Showy inflorescence of Turricula parryi.

Slopes of Turricula parryi and Hulsea californica on Garnet Peak.

View of Monument Peak & Mt. Laguna in late afternoon from Garnet Peak.

Giant four o'clock (Mirabilis multiflora var. pubescens) along the Garnet Peak trail at dusk. Photo taken with flash.

Oasis Springs After The Cedar Fire

Giant stream orchid (Epipactis gigantea) at Oasis Springs. The phallic-appearing gynandrium is in clear view. Although the Cedar Fire burned all the trees at Oasis Springs in October, 2003, the stream orchids were abundant the following June 2004.

See The Sexual Morphology Of An Orchid Flower


  1. Beauchamp, R.M. 1986. A Flora Of San Diego County, California. Sweetwater River Press, National City, California.

  2. Hickman, J.C. (Editor). 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, California.

  3. Higgins, E.B. 1949. "Annotated Distributional List of Ferns and Flowering Plants of San Diego County, California." Occasional Papers of the San Diego Society of Natural History 8: 1-174.

  4. Hirshberg, J. and D. Clemons. 1996. "Vascular Plants of the Cuyamaca and Laguna Mountains, California." Phytologia 81: 69-102).

  5. Simpson, M.G. and J. P. Rebman. 1996. Checklist of the Vascular Plants of San Diego County (3rd Edition). SDSU Herbarium Press, San Diego, California.

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