Gravel Ghost, Atrichoseris platyphylla
Flora of Mecca Hills, Riverside County
yellow-head, Trichoptilium incisum
Pictures taken on 23 March 2011 in Box Canyon.
Procedure For Compiling The Checklist
The Mecca Hills form the eastern boundary of the Coachella Valley portion of the Salton Trough in Riverside County, trending southwest from I-10 east of Palm Springs and Indio to the southern end of Box Canyon Road just east of the town of Mecca.
The checklist presented here is just a start at a flora of the Mecca Hills, compiled from two days of field work in Box Canyon by the authors, and from vouchers, augmented with one species found and photographed by Aaron Schusteff.
The main emphasis of our field work on 23 March 2011 was to study the Nemacladus species here. For more information on those species, see Nemacladus of Box Canyon, Mecca Hills. That page also includes more information about the field work.
The main emphasis of our field work on 2 January 2012 was to survey the large number of species in bloom in a wash area that had received good rain in October 2011, as well as to compile a list of all species in that area. See the list of all the species in bloom then.
Procedure For Compiling The Checklist
23 March 2011
All authors except Pam Pallette surveyed the four locations shown in Fig. 1 on 23 March 2011:
Fig. 1. Locations surveyed along Box Canyon Road on 23 March 2011. The first three stops were roadside surveys only, surveying only for Nemacladus species. At the fourth stop, Shavers Well, we surveyed for all plant species up about 0.5 miles of a side canyon, shown as the red line.
We had only a single goal of surveying for Nemacladus species at the first three stops. Other plant species were only incidentally noted. At the fourth stop, at Shavers Well, we systematically surveyed for all plant species along the western side of Box Canyon Road, and for 0.5 miles up the wash shown as the red line in Fig. 1.
The systematic survey in the Shavers Well area yielded 87 taxa, of which 74 were previously vouchered and 13 are new records for the flora of this area.
An additional 20 plants were observed in the other stops, of which 16 were vouchered and 4 are new records.
Tommy Stoughton found four additional species in several days of fieldwork within a week or so of our survey, which are noted in the Checklist below as being observed by him. All of those species have been vouchered.
One additional species was observed in this area by Aaron Schusteff, Antirrhinum cyathiferum, known previously in California from only a single other location, in Deep Canyon in the Santa Rosa Mountains. Aaron vouchered it with his photographs (one of seven), since he only saw a single plant.
The total number of observed taxa from all of the above is 112.
2 January 2012
Three of the authors, Tom Chester, Kate Harper and Pam Pallette surveyed the lowermost part of Box Canyon, immediately east of the Aqueduct, on 2 January 2012, since RT Hawke had reported that there were a large number of species in bloom there. We found 50 species in bloom! Overall, we found 77 species, of which 75 were fairly confidently identified.
The rough survey locations, drawn from memory, are shown as the red lines in Fig. 2:
Fig. 2. The red lines show the approximate locations surveyed in extreme lowermost Box Canyon on 2 January 2012.
It was notable that we found young plants of a number of perennial, shrub and tree species. Often there were large number of young plants, many of which seemed to be several years old. In many cases, there were no adults of those species present in this area, indicating that the seeds had washed down to this point from parent plants higher in the wash. Table 1 gives those species.
Table 1. Perennial, Shrub and Tree Species with Young Plants Observed
Species Comments Acacia greggii Forests of plants that were probably several years old Ambrosia dumosa Many young plants, possibly two years old Bebbia juncea var. aspera Just a few young plants Brandegea bigelovii Large number of plants growing at the base of annual Datura discolor plants, as well as in the open, indicating that these were young plants. Caesalpinia virgata Two young plants Datura wrightii A large number of young plants, probably first year plants Encelia farinosa Many seedlings Hymenoclea salsola Huge numbers of young plants of various ages Hyptis emoryi Seven seedlings Larrea tridentata A number of young plants Mirabilis bigelovii var. retrorsa Three young plants Psorothamnus spinosus Huge numbers of seedlings, many still in the leafy stage of growth before twigs without leaves grow Sphaeralcea ambigua A single seedling Tiquilia palmeri Two young plants Tidestromia oblongifolia Just a few young plants
Total Species from All Surveys
The total number of observed taxa from both the 23 March 2011 and the 2 January 2012 surveys was 131.
The vouchered species on this checklist come from a search on 22 March 2011 of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
The Consortium records were searched for vouchers with coordinates between 33.68 and 33.55° N. Latitude, and -116.03 and -115.87 E. Longitude.
An additional search was done for any voucher with Box Canyon in its locality field.
These two searches yielded 1,216 vouchers, which contained vouchers from the Box Springs area of Riverside County, and a surprising number of vouchers with erroneous coordinates that were from Mount Pinos in Ventura County, and from the Panamint Mountains in Inyo County. Those vouchers were manually removed via a review of their locality.
The geographic coordinate search also included some vouchers from the north of the Mecca Hills, which were also removed.
The final voucher data set contained 785 taxa, which were from 176 unique sets of collector names. After combining all permutations of names from the top collectors, seven individuals or sets of collectors were each responsible for collecting more than 3.0% of the vouchers. They are given in Table 2.
Table 2. Most prolific Collectors in the Mecca Hills
# Vouchers % Vouchers Collector 99 12.6% Christopher Davidson 69 8.8% W. Wisura 37 4.7% Scott D. White 36 4.6% M. B. Dunkle 36 4.6% P. A. Munz, D. D. Keck 31 4.0% Robert Gustafson 27 3.4% Marcus E. Jones ... ... ... 785 100% All Collectors
Of these 785 vouchers, 11 were determined only to genus and ignored for the checklist. One voucher of Antirrhinum virga, an extreme northern California species, was ignored as being misdetermined. Two vouchers of Phacelia crenulata were ignored, since three subspecies were already present in the voucher list.
This left 771 vouchers of 173 taxa.
The total checklist contains 202 taxa, 131 from observations and 173 from vouchers.
Checklist for Mecca Hills / Box Canyon Area
The Checklist is sorted first by category - dicots, monocots, and ferns - and then by family and scientific name. The Family and Scientific Name are from the Jepson Manual 1993 First Edition.
The columns titled #Pls gives the minimum number of plants found in our two surveys. LR is the survey in Lowermost Box Canyon. SH is our survey near Shavers Well, along with whether a given species was observed elsewhere by us (indicated by Obs in that column), Tommy Stoughton (Sto), or Aaron Schusteff (Sch).
The column titled #V gives the number of vouchers found for this area.
Voucher locations for any taxon can be obtained by searching the Consortium of California Herbaria for the taxon name.
A few of the voucher species are unlikely to be correctly determined: Rafinesquia californica and Keckiella cordifolia. These have been left in pending examination of those vouchers, since it is remotely possible they exist here.
It is possible that Ditaxis californica is simply a glabrous form of D. neomexicana. However, since vouchers are split equally between the two species, and one of the ten plants we observed on 2 January 2012 was glabrous, we've kept both species in the checklist.
We observed a single annual plant of the Mentzelia affinis, albicaulis, desertorum persuasion, but failed to examine the fruit to get the actual determination. It is listed below under the most commonly vouchered one of those species here, with a question mark after its abundance to indicate the uncertainty in this determination.
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# FAM Scientific Name (*)Common Name #Pls
#V 1 Pteridaceae Cheilanthes covillei beady lipfern 1 2 Pteridaceae Cheilanthes parryi woolly lipfern 2 3 Acanthaceae Justicia californica chuparosa 42 12 4 Amaranthaceae Amaranthus fimbriatus fringed amaranth 1 5 Amaranthaceae Tidestromia oblongifolia Arizona honeysweet 25 2 4 6 Asclepiadaceae Asclepias subulata rush milkweed Obs 4 7 Asclepiadaceae Sarcostemma cynanchoides ssp. hartwegii climbing milkweed 4 8 Asclepiadaceae Sarcostemma hirtellum rambling milkweed 50 4 9 Asteraceae Adenophyllum porophylloides San Felipe dogweed 2 10 Asteraceae Ambrosia dumosa burroweed 50 20 3 11 Asteraceae Atrichoseris platyphylla gravel-ghost 1 99 11 12 Asteraceae Baileya pauciradiata Colorado Desert marigold 2 13 Asteraceae Baileya pleniradiata woolly marigold 1 14 Asteraceae Bebbia juncea var. aspera sweetbush 10 50 11 15 Asteraceae Calycoseris parryi yellow tackstem 2 16 Asteraceae Calycoseris wrightii white tackstem 4 17 Asteraceae Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia pebble pincushion 50 50 12 18 Asteraceae Chaenactis fremontii Fremont pincushion 1 19 Asteraceae Chaenactis stevioides desert pincushion 1 20 Asteraceae Encelia farinosa brittlebush 15 99 3 21 Asteraceae Geraea canescens hairy desert-sunflower 15 Obs 3 22 Asteraceae Hymenoclea salsola cheesebush 6 23 Asteraceae Hymenoclea salsola var. pentalepis cheesebush 1 24 Asteraceae Hymenoclea salsola var. salsola cheesebush 99 99 1 25 Asteraceae Malacothrix glabrata desert dandelion 10 3 26 Asteraceae Monoptilon bellioides desert star 1 50 10 27 Asteraceae Palafoxia arida var. arida desert needle 99 Obs 8 28 Asteraceae Perityle emoryi Emory's rock-daisy 30 99 9 29 Asteraceae Peucephyllum schottii pygmy-cedar 10 7 30 Asteraceae Pleurocoronis pluriseta arrow-leaf 50 7 31 Asteraceae Pluchea sericea(?) Arrow-weed(?) 1 32 Asteraceae Porophyllum gracile odora 1 33 Asteraceae Psathyrotes ramosissima turtleback Obs 8 34 Asteraceae Rafinesquia californica California chicory 1 35 Asteraceae Rafinesquia neomexicana desert chicory 1 2 36 Asteraceae Senecio mohavensis Mojave ragwort 99 7 37 Asteraceae Sonchus oleraceus *sow thistle 5 38 Asteraceae Stephanomeria pauciflora var. pauciflora wire-lettuce 20 39 Asteraceae Trichoptilium incisum yellow-head 50 14 40 Asteraceae Trixis californica var. californica California trixis 7 41 Asteraceae Viguiera parishii Parish's viguiera 1 42 Asteraceae Xylorhiza cognata Mecca-aster 24 43 Asteraceae Xylorhiza tortifolia var. tortifolia Mojave-aster 1 44 Bignoniaceae Chilopsis linearis ssp. arcuata desert-willow 4 45 Boraginaceae Amsinckia tessellata var. tessellata bristly fiddleneck 1 46 Boraginaceae Cryptantha angustifolia narrow-leaved cryptantha 99 99 9 47 Boraginaceae Cryptantha barbigera bearded cryptantha 99 8 48 Boraginaceae Cryptantha holoptera winged cryptantha 1 49 Boraginaceae Cryptantha maritima Guadalupe cryptantha 25 99 7 50 Boraginaceae Cryptantha micrantha purple-root cryptantha 1 51 Boraginaceae Cryptantha pterocarya wing-nut cryptantha 2 52 Boraginaceae Cryptantha utahensis scented cryptantha 1 53 Boraginaceae Pectocarya heterocarpa chuckwalla pectocarya 1 54 Boraginaceae Pectocarya penicillata combseed 1 55 Boraginaceae Pectocarya platycarpa broad-fruited combseed 2 56 Boraginaceae Pectocarya recurvata curvenut combseed Sto 2 57 Boraginaceae Tiquilia palmeri Palmer's coldenia 2 Obs 5 58 Boraginaceae Tiquilia plicata plicate coldenia 15 3 59 Brassicaceae Brassica tournefortii *Asian mustard 99 10 2 60 Brassicaceae Descurainia pinnata ssp. glabra smooth western tansy-mustard Sto 1 61 Brassicaceae Dithyrea californica spectacle-pod 1 62 Brassicaceae Lepidium fremontii desert pepper-grass 2 63 Brassicaceae Lepidium lasiocarpum var. lasiocarpum hairy-podded pepper-grass 10 99 2 64 Brassicaceae Sisymbrium irio *London rocket 30 65 Brassicaceae Sisymbrium orientale *Oriental mustard 20 1 66 Cactaceae Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris beavertail cactus 6 67 Cactaceae Opuntia echinocarpa silver cholla 2 1 68 Cactaceae Opuntia ramosissima pencil cholla 10 69 Campanulaceae Nemacladus glanduliferus glandular nemacladus 1 70 Campanulaceae Nemacladus glanduliferus var. glanduliferus glandular nemacladus 5 71 Campanulaceae Nemacladus glanduliferus var. orientalis eastern glandular nemacladus Obs 72 Campanulaceae Nemacladus rubescens desert nemacladus Obs 73 Campanulaceae Nemacladus tenuis var. aliformis desert threadplant 30 2 74 Capparaceae Isomeris arborea bladderpod 4 1 75 Caryophyllaceae Achyronychia cooperi frost mat 60 6 76 Chenopodiaceae Atriplex canescens ssp. canescens four-wing saltbush 7 77 Chenopodiaceae Atriplex hymenelytra desert holly 2 Obs 3 78 Chenopodiaceae Atriplex polycarpa cattle saltbush 20 15 1 79 Chenopodiaceae Chenopodium murale *nettle-leaved goosefoot 30 30 2 80 Chenopodiaceae Salsola sp. * 5 81 Cucurbitaceae Brandegea bigelovii desert star-vine 50 75 25 82 Cucurbitaceae Cucurbita palmata coyote melon 1 83 Euphorbiaceae Chamaesyce ocellata Contura Creek spurge 1 84 Euphorbiaceae Chamaesyce parishii Parish's spurge 1 85 Euphorbiaceae Chamaesyce pediculifera Carrizo Mountain spurge 1 86 Euphorbiaceae Chamaesyce polycarpa small-seeded spurge 50 20 3 87 Euphorbiaceae Chamaesyce setiloba starfish (Yuma) spurge 30 85 2 88 Euphorbiaceae Croton californicus California croton Obs 2 89 Euphorbiaceae Ditaxis californica California ditaxis 1 3 90 Euphorbiaceae Ditaxis lanceolata narrowleaf ditaxis 50 7 91 Euphorbiaceae Ditaxis neomexicana New Mexico ditaxis 25 3 92 Euphorbiaceae Euphorbia eriantha beetle spurge 1 93 Euphorbiaceae Stillingia linearifolia linear-leaved stillingia 1 94 Euphorbiaceae Stillingia spinulosa annual stillingia 1 95 Fabaceae Acacia greggii catclaw 99 13 96 Fabaceae Astragalus aridus annual desert milk-vetch 2 97 Fabaceae Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae Coachella Valley milk-vetch 1 98 Fabaceae Astragalus sabulonum gravel milk-vetch 1 99 Fabaceae Caesalpinia virgata wand holdback 18 99 26 100 Fabaceae Cercidium floridum ssp. floridum blue palo verde 2 52 13 101 Fabaceae Dalea mollis silky dalea 10 4 102 Fabaceae Dalea mollissima downy dalea 1 103 Fabaceae Lotus salsuginosus var. brevivexillus short-bannered coastal lotus 2 4 104 Fabaceae Lotus strigosus strigose lotus 99 10 7 105 Fabaceae Lotus wrangelianus California lotus 1 106 Fabaceae Lupinus arizonicus Arizona lupine 99 99 16 107 Fabaceae Lupinus sparsiflorus Coulter's lupine 2 108 Fabaceae Marina parryi Parry's marina 1 Obs 4 109 Fabaceae Olneya tesota ironwood 4 63 12 110 Fabaceae Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana honey mesquite 10 3 111 Fabaceae Psorothamnus emoryi Emory's indigo-bush 8 Obs 2 112 Fabaceae Psorothamnus schottii indigo bush 5 2 5 113 Fabaceae Psorothamnus spinosus smoke tree 99 3 114 Fouquieriaceae Fouquieria splendens ssp. splendens ocotillo 10 1 115 Geraniaceae Erodium cicutarium *redstem filaree 20 2 116 Hydrophyllaceae Emmenanthe penduliflora var. penduliflora whispering bells 50 1 117 Hydrophyllaceae Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia eucrypta 1 118 Hydrophyllaceae Nama demissum var. demissum purple mat 20 8 119 Hydrophyllaceae Phacelia campanularia ssp. vasiformis desert bluebells 1 120 Hydrophyllaceae Phacelia crenulata var. ambigua heliotrope phacelia 7 99 9 121 Hydrophyllaceae Phacelia crenulata var. crenulata heliotrope phacelia 1 122 Hydrophyllaceae Phacelia crenulata var. minutiflora little-flowered heliotrope phacelia 1 123 Hydrophyllaceae Phacelia distans common phacelia 1 10 7 124 Hydrophyllaceae Phacelia pedicellata pedicellate phacelia 1 125 Krameriaceae Krameria grayi white rhatany 1 126 Lamiaceae Hyptis emoryi desert-lavender 7 50 13 127 Lamiaceae Salvia columbariae chia 25 99 3 128 Lamiaceae Salvia greatae Orocopia sage 1 129 Loasaceae Mentzelia desertorum desert blazing star 1 3 130 Loasaceae Mentzelia involucrata bracted blazing star ~1 99 15 131 Loasaceae Mentzelia jonesii Jones' blazing star 5 132 Loasaceae Mentzelia obscura Pacific blazing star 1 133 Loasaceae Petalonyx linearis narrow-leaf sandpaper-plant 1 134 Loasaceae Petalonyx thurberi Thurber's sandpaper-plant 1 135 Malvaceae Eremalche rotundifolia desert five-spot 10 3 136 Malvaceae Hibiscus denudatus rock hibiscus 5 1 137 Malvaceae Sphaeralcea ambigua apricot mallow 3 138 Malvaceae Sphaeralcea ambigua var. ambigua apricot mallow 1 Obs 139 Nyctaginaceae Abronia villosa var. villosa hairy sand-verbena 20 Obs 5 140 Nyctaginaceae Allionia incarnata trailing four o'clock 15 5 141 Nyctaginaceae Boerhavia wrightii Wright's spiderling 30 142 Nyctaginaceae Mirabilis bigelovii var. bigelovii Bigelow's desert four-o'clock 10 143 Nyctaginaceae Mirabilis bigelovii var. retrorsa Bigelow's desert four-o'clock 3 3 1 144 Onagraceae Camissonia boothii ssp. condensata Booth's evening primrose 4 2 6 145 Onagraceae Camissonia brevipes ssp. brevipes golden sun-cup 1 20 12 146 Onagraceae Camissonia californica California suncup 2 147 Onagraceae Camissonia cardiophylla ssp. cardiophylla heartleaf sun-cup 50 20 13 148 Onagraceae Camissonia claviformis ssp. aurantiaca brown-eyed primrose 99 1 15 149 Onagraceae Camissonia pallida pale-yellow sun-cup 1 150 Onagraceae Camissonia refracta narrow-leaf sun-cup ~1 99 9 151 Onagraceae Oenothera deltoides ssp. deltoides dune primrose 1 152 Orobanchaceae Orobanche cooperi Cooper's broom-rape 3 153 Papaveraceae Eschscholzia minutiflora ssp. minutiflora small-flowered poppy 99 9 154 Papaveraceae Eschscholzia parishii Parish's poppy 99 15 155 Plantaginaceae Plantago ovata desert plantain 99 20 7 156 Polemoniaceae Eriastrum eremicum ssp. eremicum desert woolly-star 10 Obs 1 157 Polemoniaceae Gilia latifolia broad-leaf gilia 99 11 158 Polemoniaceae Gilia stellata star gilia 2 5 159 Polemoniaceae Langloisia setosissima ssp. setosissima bristly langloisia Obs 1 160 Polemoniaceae Linanthus bigelovii Bigelow's linanthus Sto 1 161 Polemoniaceae Linanthus jonesii Jones' linanthus 4 4 162 Polemoniaceae Loeseliastrum matthewsii desert calico 1 163 Polemoniaceae Loeseliastrum schottii Schott's calico Obs 3 164 Polygonaceae Chorizanthe brevicornu var. brevicornu brittle spineflower 99 4 165 Polygonaceae Chorizanthe corrugata wrinkled spineflower 7 166 Polygonaceae Chorizanthe rigida devil's spineflower Sto 2 167 Polygonaceae Eriogonum davidsonii Davidson's buckwheat 1 168 Polygonaceae Eriogonum deflexum var. deflexum flat-topped buckwheat Obs 7 169 Polygonaceae Eriogonum inflatum desert trumpet 2 10 2 170 Polygonaceae Eriogonum thomasii Thomas' buckwheat 20 99 17 171 Polygonaceae Eriogonum trichopes little desert trumpet 3 172 Portulacaceae Calandrinia ambigua desert red maids Obs 3 173 Portulacaceae Calyptridium monandrum sand cress Obs 1 174 Resedaceae Oligomeris linifolia lineleaf whitepuff 1 1 175 Rhamnaceae Ziziphus obtusifolia var. canescens graythorn 1 176 Rubiaceae Galium stellatum var. eremicum star-flowered bedstraw 2 177 Scrophulariaceae Antirrhinum cyathiferum Deep Canyon snapdragon Sch 178 Scrophulariaceae Antirrhinum filipes desert twining snapdragon 4 179 Scrophulariaceae Keckiella cordifolia heartleaf penstemon 1 180 Scrophulariaceae Mimulus bigelovii var. bigelovii Bigelow's monkeyflower 99 5 181 Scrophulariaceae Mohavea confertiflora ghost flower 99 13 182 Simmondsiaceae Simmondsia chinensis jojoba 1 183 Solanaceae Datura discolor desert thornapple 30 Obs 184 Solanaceae Datura wrightii sacred datura 10 2 185 Solanaceae Lycium andersonii Anderson's desert-thorn 3 186 Solanaceae Lycium fremontii Fremont box-thorn 1 187 Solanaceae Nicotiana obtusifolia desert tobacco 99 10 7 188 Solanaceae Physalis crassifolia thick-leaved ground cherry 99 5 9 189 Tamaricaceae Tamarix ramosissima *saltcedar 75 190 Urticaceae Parietaria hespera var. hespera pellitory 2 191 Viscaceae Phoradendron californicum desert mistletoe 25 4 192 Zygophyllaceae Fagonia laevis California fagonia 9 193 Zygophyllaceae Fagonia pachyacantha sticky fagonia 1 99 2 194 Zygophyllaceae Larrea tridentata creosote bush 75 50 3 195 Arecaceae * Palm tree species 2 196 Poaceae Aristida adscensionis six-weeks three-awn 2 20 6 197 Poaceae Bouteloua aristidoides var. aristidoides needle grama 1 2 198 Poaceae Bouteloua barbata var. barbata six-weeks grama 2 199 Poaceae Erioneuron pulchellum fluff grass 1 200 Poaceae Muhlenbergia microsperma littleseed muhly 1 201 Poaceae Schismus arabicus *Mediterranean grass 2 202 Poaceae Schismus barbatus *Mediterranean schismus 99 99
We thank Tommy Stoughton for alerting us to blooming Nemacladus in this canyon, which was the origin for this page.
Voucher data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria (ucjeps.berkeley.edu/consortium/)
Copyright © 2011 by Tom Chester, Kate Harper, Vince Balch, Mike Crouse, Walt Fidler, Dave Stith and Pam Pallette.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Last update: 7 January 2012