Plant Guide to Blue Sky Ecological Reserve to Mt. Woodson Trail, Poway

This is a working list, about which we make no guarantees at all until we officially release it. Use at your own risk!

Introduction and Explanation of Plant Trail Guides

Highlights of This Trail
Fieldwork Dates and Summary of List Changes With Time
The Plant Guide
Comments On Specific Species


Highlights of This Trail

Number of Unique Taxa On This Trail

The following histogram gives the number of trails in our database that contain each taxon on this trail. I had 71 trails in my database when this histogram was made; 2 of those trails, including this one, are at Blue Sky Ecological Reserve or the Lake Poway Area. A number of "1" means the taxon has only been found on this trail among the trails in my database; numbers of "2" or smaller may indicate taxa found only at Blue Sky Ecological Reserve or the Lake Poway Area.

Number of Trails
Containing A Taxon
Number Of Taxa
On This Trail
% of Taxa
On This Trail
Total Taxa145100%

I found 26 additional species not in the above table, since they have not been identified yet. The unidentified ones are marked with ? or sp in the id? column in the guide, and have no entries in the #all column.

Fieldwork Dates and Summary of List Changes With Time

The following table gives the dates the trail was walked and taxa recorded. After each visit, the table gives the total number of taxa on the list and the breakdown of the taxa without positive identification. See Explanation of Plant Trail Guides to understand the symbols below.

Visit DateVisit ## taxa# "?"# "sp"# "~"# "ssp"

The Plant Guide

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page (8 pages)

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here#all
0.00   Begin trail guide at the gate across road, elevation 700 feet, downhill to the south from the parking lot.
0.00r1 *redstem filareeErodium cicutarium / 30
0.00r2 *rattail fescueVulpia myuros var. myuros / 10
0.00r3 California sagebrushArtemisia californica99 / 931
0.00r4 California buckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum99 / 937
0.00b5 *shortpod mustardHirschfeldia incana99 / 936
0.00r6 *tocaloteCentaurea melitensis99 / 931
0.00l7 *red bromeBromus madritensis ssp. rubens99 / 934
0.00l8 common pepper-grassLepidium densiflorum var. elongatum20 / 11
0.00l9 yellow fiddleneckAmsinckia menziesii var. intermedia / 8
0.00l10 *gazaniaGazania X (mounding hybrid)1 / 13
0.00l11 short-winged deerweedLotus scoparius var. brevialatus / 13
0.00r  Sign: "Caution: pedestrians on trail. Authorized vehicles only"
0.00r12 laurel sumacMalosma laurina50 / 927
0.00r13 wild-cucumberMarah macrocarpus var. macrocarpus30 / 931
0.00l14~popcorn flowerCryptantha intermedia / 18
0.01l15 *bermuda grassCynodon dactylon6 / 213
0.01l16 *narrowleaf filagoFilago gallica / 28
0.01l17 *annual blue grassPoa annua5 / 17
0.01r  Sign: "California Department of Fish and Game. Welcome. Dogs on leash only."
0.01r18 broom baccharisBaccharis sarothroides+5 / 57
0.02l19 *ripgut bromeBromus diandrus50 / 234
0.03l20?unk rosette almost like sow thistle? /  
0.03l21 matchweedGutierrezia sarothrae50 / 94
0.03l22 white sageSalvia apiana509 / 27
0.03l23 blue dicksDichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum99 / 928
0.03r24 *horehoundMarrubium vulgare10 / 117
0.03r25 bush monkeyflowerMimulus aurantiacus50 / 929
0.04l26 coastal goldenbushIsocoma menziesii+20 / 54
0.04l27 south coast morning-gloryCalystegia macrostegia ssp. intermedia / 11
0.04l28 small-seeded spurgeChamaesyce polycarpa2 / 27
0.04l29 *Mediterranean schismusSchismus barbatus5 / 110
0.04l30 California dodderCuscuta californica var. californica+ / 12
0.04r31sspleafy daisyErigeron foliosus var. foliosus / 28
0.04l32?phacelia or eucrypta sp.
0.04l33 *California burcloverMedicago polymorpha99 / 925
0.04l34 chaparral yuccaYucca whipplei20 / 917
0.04l35 California four o'clockMirabilis californica50 / 412
0.04r36 *petty spurgeEuphorbia peplus5 / 16
0.06 37 western ragweedAmbrosia psilostachya99 / 924
0.06l  (coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia var. agrifolia)
0.06r38 *Russian thistleSalsola tragus10 / 121
0.07r39 San Diego wreathplantStephanomeria diegensis99 / 96
0.07   Cross small drainage.
0.07r40 California plantainPlantago erecta99 / 28
0.07r  Display kiosk and porta-potty.
0.08r41 pygmy-weedCrassula connata99 / 311
0.08r42 unk small plants with wedge-shaped leaves like venus hair fern
0.08r43spclarkia sp.Clarkia sp. /  
0.08r44 *mouse-ear chickweedCerastium glomeratum99 / 211
0.08r45~*smooth cat's earHypochaeris glabra99 / 221
0.08r46 saw-toothed goldenbushHazardia squarrosa var. grindelioides50 / 925
0.08r47~*white-stemmed filareeErodium moschatum / 10
0.08r48 *Australian brass-buttonsCotula australis99 / 19
0.08r49spminer's lettuce (linear leaves)Claytonia exigua or C. parviflora^220 / 1 
0.08r50 coast jepsoniaJepsonia parryi99 / 19
0.09   Enter shade. Canyon is more than 50% shaded from this point on.
0.09b51 coast live oakQuercus agrifolia var. agrifolia50 / 929
0.09r  Check for different phacelia or eucrypta sp. here, and earlier branching phacelia
0.09r52?California brome?Bromus carinatus var. carinatus? /  
0.09r53 coffee fernPellaea andromedifolia50 / 916
0.09r54 hollyleaf redberryRhamnus ilicifolia50 / 929
0.09r55sspnarrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium10 / 937
0.09r56 California polypodyPolypodium californicum50 / 311
0.09r57~goldenstarBloomeria crocea / 8
0.09r58 silverback fernPentagramma triangularis ssp. viscosa50 / 53
0.09r59 small-flowered melicaMelica imperfecta50 / 925
0.09r60 golden yarrowEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum20 / 538
0.09r61~*windmill pinkSilene gallica99 / 520
0.10l62 poison oakToxicodendron diversilobum99 / 928
0.10   Cross side drainage
0.10r63~Chinese housesCollinsia heterophylla99 / 310
0.10r64?checkerbloom?Sidalcea malviflora ssp. sparsifolia? /  
0.10r65spminer's lettuce (wedge-shaped leaves)Claytonia sp.20 / 1 
0.10r66 *common chickweedStellaria media99 / 215
0.10r67 common bedstrawGalium aparine99 / 219
0.10r68?fiesta flowerPholistoma auritum var. auritum99 / 29
0.11l69~triangular-fruit sedgeCarex triquetra1 / 110
0.11l70 Torrey's oakQuercus Xacutidens50 / 96
0.11r  Hundreds of coast jepsonia, Jepsonia parryi line the trail for a while here.
0.11r71 *sow thistleSonchus oleraceus5 / 120
0.12l72 *charlockSinapis arvensis5 / 12
0.12l73?rattlesnake weedDaucus pusillus99 / 313
0.12l74?unk bristly rosette - fiddleneck?
0.13r75?sanicle?Sanicula sp.? /  
0.13r  (Check for different clover sp. here.)
0.13l76?unk mustard like hedge mustard? /  
0.13l77 *soft chessBromus hordeaceus / 25
0.14 78 California-asterLessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia / 35
0.15 79?grass like elymus glaucus
0.15r  (Check for goldback fern here)
0.15r80 chaparral beard-tongueKeckiella antirrhinoides var. antirrhinoides30 / 96
0.15l  Post on left, brown except for yellow top.
0.16r81 fringe-podThysanocarpus curvipes50 / 16
0.16r82 dwarf lupineLupinus bicolor5 / 117
0.16l  Jct. trail to Oak Grove.
0.17r83 young mule fatBaccharis salicifolia3 / 326
0.17 84spAvena sp.
0.17l85splotusLotus hamatus or strigosus? /  
0.17l86 bristly bird's beakCordylanthus rigidus ssp. setigerus3 / 121
0.17l87spsuncupCamissonia sp. /  
0.18r88 San Diego sagewortArtemisia palmeri99 / 93
0.18r89 toyonHeteromeles arbutifolia3 / 334
0.18l90 chamiseAdenostoma fasciculatum99 / 926
0.18r91 southern honeysuckleLonicera subspicata var. denudata20 / 929
0.18r92~virgin's bowerClematis lasiantha50 / 24
0.20l  Sign: "Hawks! Vultures! ...".
0.20l93 redberryRhamnus crocea5 / 111
0.21 94?one-sided bluegrass?Poa secunda^2? /  
0.21r  eucryptaEucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. chrysanthemifolia+20 / 314
0.21r  (Check for another different lily family species)
0.21r95spFendler's meadow-rueThalictrum fendleri99 / 32
0.23r96 sugar bushRhus ovata2 / 217
0.26r97~California chicoryRafinesquia californica20 / 114
0.26r  (Check for different clarkia sp. here.)
0.26r98 mugwortArtemisia douglasiana99 / 322
0.26r99 California peonyPaeonia californica10 / 210
0.27r sp(Check for different sanicle sp. here)
0.28r100splarkspurDelphinium sp. /  
0.28r101 giant wild ryeLeymus condensatus20 / 322
0.28r102 San Diego peaLathyrus vestitus var. alefeldii / 13
0.31l  Post, brown except for yellow top. Broken off at base on 2/3/03, now laying on its side.
0.32r103 *bull thistleCirsium vulgare1 / 110
0.37l104 blue elderberrySambucus mexicana1 / 133
0.42r105 California everlastingGnaphalium californicum1 / 123
0.43r106 white-flowering currantRibes indecorum5 / 511
 l107~sacapelloteAcourtia microcephala+1 / 111
0.43l  Jct. Creekside Trail.
0.43l  mature mule fatBaccharis salicifolia /  
0.43l  Sign: "Tracks" with examples of animal tracks.
0.44   Cross side drainage
0.47l108 red willowSalix laevigata1 / 114
0.48l109 telegraph weedHeterotheca grandiflora30 / 220
0.48r  Jct. closed-off road/path.
0.49r110 horseweedConyza canadensis5 / 121
0.49l  Sign: "Lifeblood of the Canyon..."
0.50l111 *common plantainPlantago major5 / 22
0.50l  (Check for different bromus sp. here.)
0.50l112 Hooker's evening-primroseOenothera elata ssp. hirsutissima30 / 33
0.50l113 arroyo willowSalix lasiolepis2 / 224
0.51l114 *bristly ox-tonguePicris echioides5 / 17
0.51l115 yerba mansaAnemopsis californica20 / 12
0.51l116~stinging nettleUrtica dioica ssp. holosericea20 / 18
0.51l117 *rabbits-foot grassPolypogon monspeliensis1 / 111
0.51   Road formerly had large cobbles in it here to fill in a wet spot, but road was regraded in 2003, removing the cobbles.
0.57l sp(sedge like San Diego sedge, Carex spissa)
0.60 118 western sycamorePlatanus racemosa5 / 217
0.63l  Large isolated boulder
0.65 119 goldenrodSolidago californica20 / 324
0.65r120 California maidenhair fernAdiantum jordanii50 / 26
0.67r121sspsticky cinquefoilPotentilla glandulosa ssp. glandulosa10 / 16
0.67   View into Creekbed on left, with the following 4 species visible: San Diego sedge?, Carex spissa?, desert wild grape, Vitis girdiana, cattail, Typha sp., and another sedge. At mile 0.72, one can scramble into the creekbed without going through poison oak.
0.70r122 milk maidsCardamine californica var. californica10 / 14
0.71l  Poison oak-free short scramble to creek bed.
0.72r123 climbing bedstrawGalium nuttallii ssp. nuttallii1 / 114
0.72r  (Check for different wild pea sp. here.)
0.73r  (Check for Rhamnus pilosa here; specimen has densely hairy twigs and lvs.)
0.79l124 California blackberryRubus ursinus50 / 111
0.80   Cross side drainage
0.80r125 umbrella sedgeCyperus eragrostis5 / 14
0.81r  Jct. road to Lake Poway; elevation ~665 feet; sign on r: "Lake Poway [to right]"; sign on l: "Espola Road 0.9 mi [back] Lake Ramona 2 mi". Go right.
0.89   Leave shaded canyon for open chaparral.
0.89b126spfilareeErodium brachycarpum or botrys.99 / 1 
0.90l127 California poppyEschscholzia californica20 / 120
0.90l  Check for different clarkia here when it blooms.
0.91r  Sign: "Poison Oak". Jct. road to campground.
0.93l  Jct. road / path.
0.95b  Jct. firebreak / boundary of BSER. Firebreak is signed "Do Not Enter". Go straight, enter Lake Poway Recreation Area.
0.99r  View of Lake Poway Dam.
1.01 128spMariposa lily.Calochortus sp. /  
1.01l129 bird's-foot fernPellaea mucronata var. mucronata1 / 119
1.04r130 dove weedEremocarpus setigerus5 / 110
1.04r131 Bathroom building of Campground (running water).
1.04r132 *London rocketSisymbrium irio5 / 16
1.04r133sp*Mexican teaChenopodium ambrosioides3 / 16
1.10r134~*curly dockRumex crispus5 / 113
1.11l135 *smilo grassPiptatherum miliaceum30 / 114
1.12l  (purple wild radish, Raphanus sativus)
1.12   Cross small drainage; begin short section of steep uphill.
1.13l  (mission manzanita, Xylococcus bicolor)
1.16l  Jct. Lake Poway Trail; go left and take it; elevation ~720 feet. Sign: "[on Lake Poway Trail: Lake Poway Trail 1.9 miles; Mt. Woodson Trail 1.0 miles. [going back on the road]: Lake Ramona 1.9 miles; Campground 0.1 mile."
1.17b136 mission manzanitaXylococcus bicolor20 / 910
1.19l  popcorn flowerCryptantha clevelandii or intermedia+ /  
1.19r137 threadstemPterostegia drymarioides5 / 513
1.19r138~California filagoFilago californica20 / 112
1.19l139 virgin's bowerClematis pauciflora5 / 27
1.20b140 southern tauschiaTauschia arguta20 / 14
1.20r141spCalifornia suncup?Camissonia californica? /  
1.20l  Post with a number "6".
1.21l142 Robinson's pepper-grassLepidium virginicum var. robinsonii20 / 12
1.21   Cross major drainage.
1.21b  (Pampas grass, Cortaderia jubata)
1.21b143 California fuchsiaEpilobium canum ssp. canum5 / 110
1.21r144~cotton-batting plantGnaphalium stramineum2 / 19
1.23   Cross side drainage
1.25l  Check lepidium sp. here (not nitidum^2)
1.25l145 San Diego jewelflowerCaulanthus heterophyllus var. heterophyllus20 / 53
1.26   Trail curves right 90°
1.27r146 lanceleaf dudleyaDudleya lanceolata5 / 216
1.29   Trail curves left 90°
1.30r147 California chalk lettuceDudleya pulverulenta ssp. pulverulenta5 / 57
1.32r148 baby blue eyesNemophila menziesii var. integrifolia20 / 12
1.32r149spskunkweedNavarretia sp.20 / 1 
1.32r150spprickly cryptantha?Cryptantha muricata? /  
1.33r  Check for another different clarkia here when it blooms.
1.33r151~purple snapdragonAntirrhinum nuttallianum / 4
1.33l152 branching phaceliaPhacelia ramosissima var. latifolia / 20
1.37r153 Parry's phaceliaPhacelia parryi2 / 14
1.38   Trail makes a long curve right 90°
1.40r  Jct. shortcut.
1.40b154 giant needlegrassAchnatherum coronatum1 / 117
1.41r  Sign: "Lake Poway Trail 1.0 mile"; switchback right.
1.53l155?robust rosette like fiddleneck? /  
1.57l156 collar lupineLupinus truncatus5 / 215
1.61   Switchback left.
1.63   Switchback right.
1.66r157~*common groundselSenecio vulgaris1 / 111
1.67l158 Bigelow's spike-mossSelaginella bigelovii / 13
1.69   Switchback left; good view of water in Lake Poway.
1.70   Switchback right.
1.70l159~shining peppergrassLepidium nitidum var. nitidum20 / 1 
1.71r160~*foxtail chessBromus madritensis ssp. madritensis / 1
1.74   Local high point of trail; elevation ~980 feet; descend to path around Lake Poway.
1.76r161 California brickellbushBrickellia californica20 / 321
1.80r162 stinging lupineLupinus hirsutissimus3 / 211
1.80l163?yellow pincushion?Chaenactis glabriuscula? /  
1.83l164~showy penstemonPenstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis1 / 18
1.83l165spmeally white pincushion?Chaenactis artemisiifolia? /  
1.88l166 bicolored everlastingGnaphalium bicolor1 / 119
1.88r  Jct. with trail across upper dam surface; sign: "Lake Poway Trail 1.5".
1.90l167 *fountain grassPennisetum setaceum20 / 26
1.98l  Two porta-potties.
1.98l168 *Peruvian pepper treeSchinus molle1 / 15
1.99   Pine Point.
2.01r169~slender sunflowerHelianthus gracilentus5 / 19
2.07   Cross drainage; two porta-potties.
2.09 170 *nit grassGastridium ventricosum / 14
2.10r171 black sageSalvia mellifera / 27
2.17r  Post with a number "9" at a mission manzanita and a wild cucumber.
2.18r  Two porta-potties.
2.20l  Jct. with trail to Mt. Woodson; elevation ~1000 feet. Sign: "[along the trail to Woodson]: Mt. Woodson Trail 1.0; Fry-Koegel Trail 0.9; Mt. Woodson Estates 2.8; Warren Creek 3.1; Highway 67 3.3. [along the Lake Poway Trail back the way you came]: Campground 1.1; Park Info Office 1.9; [along the Lake Poway Trail continuing forward]: Lake Poway Park 2.8".
2.20   Trail guide ends here. Continue with either the Trail to Mt. Woodson or the Lake Poway Trail around the Lake.

Comments On Specific Species

Baccharis sarothroides. The very first specimen has some larger leaves that resemble B. pilularis, but they are still one-veined from base and the habit of the plant is that of Baccharis sarothroides. The other specimens on the trail are more classic Baccharis sarothroides.

Isocoma menziesii. In my experience, the subspecies are not separable in Southern California. See Comments on the Jepson Manual and A Flora of Southern California by Munz: Isocoma menziesii.

Cuscuta californica var. californica. The identification comes from a specimen at mile 2.03.

Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. chrysanthemifolia and {Cryptantha clevelandii or intermedia}. This specimen will only be counted as a new taxon if the previous specimen turns out to be a different identification.

Acourtia microcephala. The precise location of this taxon is uncertain.

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Copyright © 2002-2003 by Tom Chester.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 17 December 2003.