San Diego Mts. Photos 3
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Photos Of Plants In The San Diego County Mountains #3

      Mountain Wildflowers #1         Mountain Wildflowers #2  

More Images Of Wildflowers In San Diego County
  Vascular Plants Of The Cuyamaca & Laguna Mtns

Laguna Mountains (Including Noble Canyon)

Laguna Mountains aster (Machaeranthera asteroides var. lagunensis).

Western cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis var. pseudosplendens).

Leopard lily (Lilium pardalinum ssp. pardalinum growing in the stream bed of Noble Canyon. The Humboldt lily (L. humboldtii ssp. ocellatum) grows on drier sites in shady forested areas (see next photo).

The Humboldt lily (Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum) growing in the forest understory on Palomar Mountain. The similar Leopard lily (Lilium pardalinum ssp. pardalinum typically grows along streams on the desert side of the Laguna Mountains. The following photo shows another beautiful lily that grows on Palomar Mountain.

A. Leopard lily (Lilium pardalinum ssp. pardalinum). The flowers are generally more yellowish than L. humboldtii ssp. ocellatum and has maroon spots without borders. Leopard lilies typically grow in wet areas, such as along streams. B. Humboldt lily (L. humboldtii ssp. ocellatum). Flowers of the Humboldt lily are typically more orange and have spots with faded borders.

A. Upright scaly bulb of Humboldt lily (Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum). B. Horizontal, rhizomatous bulb of the leopard lily (L. pardalinum ssp. pardalinum). Some scholars of botanical terminology consider the bulb to be a condensed rhizome. Using this terminology, the Humboldt lily has a short, bulbous rhizome, while the leopard lily has a horizontal, mat-forming rhizome. The deep, rhizome mats of leopard lilies anchor them in boggy soils of stream beds and moist stream banks.

Illustration Of Lily Bulbs by Smithsonian Artist Niki Threlkeld

Left: Upright scaly bulb of Humbodlt lily = ocellated lily (Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum). Some of the bulb scales are segmented (jointed). Right: Horizontal, rhizomatous bulb of leopard lily (L. pardalinum ssp. pardalinum). The rhizome is densely clothed with small overlapping scales. The lemon lily (Lilium parryi) also has a horizontal, rhizomatous bulb.

Humbodlt lily = ocellated lily (Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum). This beautiful wildflower is native to dry, shady habitats in montane areas of inland San Diego County. Photographed with a Sony T-10.

Clustered broom-rape (Orobanche fasciculata), a root parasite.

Palomar Mountain

The lemon lily (Lilium parryi) grows in wet meadows of Palomar Mountain. It is uncommon in San Diego County, possibly because of overzealous plant collectors.


  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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