Palomar Mountain: Plant Guide To Dripping Springs Trail

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

Introduction and Explanation of Plant Trail Guides

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


Directions to the trailhead, and much additional information, are given in Field Guide to San Diego County: Trails: Dripping Springs Trail.

The plants on this trail might have been among the most-affected plants in Southern California by the extreme drought of 2001-2002, since this area is a boundary region between coastal and desert regions. In particular, coastal shrubs such as deerweed, California brickellbush, black sage and hoaryleaf ceanothus are at the inland edge of their range here. The extreme drought of 2001-2002, combined with species already barely able to tolerate the heat and lack of rainfall in this area, might have killed many individuals here.

When I surveyed the trail in late December 2002, when it still had not received significant rainfall to break the 2001-2002 extreme drought, the prognosis for those coastal shrubs did not look good. Essentially all the deerweed, 99% of the black sage, and perhaps 80% of the hoaryleaf ceanothus looked to be dead.

In contrast, the yerba santa, chamise and redshanks looked great in December 2002, just as if there had been no drought at all. These species are well within their normal range here, and can exist in much drier, more stressful habitats.

I wasn't able to get back to the trail until a year later, November 2003, but much to my surprise it looks like nearly all of these plants survived!

This webpage gives two separate guides, one for the campground area of the trail, and another for the trail after it crosses the Arroyo Seco and leaves behind most of the influence of the campground area. The major reason for separating them is that the campground is heavily human-influenced and contains species that were planted there by humans.

The campground area was re-landscaped sometime prior to 1998, possibly years before that. The landscaping is superb - it uses almost entirely plants native to the Peninsular Ranges were used, including a number of interesting species. However, note that some of these plants are not native to this specific area of the Agua Tibia Mountains.

For more on this trail, see Field Guide to San Diego County: Trails: Dripping Springs Trail. Note that the mileages given here have not yet been rectified to the ones in the referenced webpage, although they are pretty close.

(More intro to come.)

Highlights of This Trail

Most people would consider this trail to be in chaparral except for the very uppermost portion in mixed forest. However, believe it or not, all but the very lowest portion of this trail is in the Mixed Hardwood Forest vegetation classification of Kuchler. The very lowest portion of this trail is in Kuchler's Chaparral classification.

The numbers in the rest of this section have not been updated since the fieldwork of 1/26/04.

The Campground list contains 84 taxa, of which 72 have so far been identified, in 0.52 miles of trail, including six planted species. Of these 72 taxa, 14 (19%) are non-native.

The Trail list contains 126 taxa, of which 108 have so far been identified, in 4.96 miles of trail. Of these 108 taxa, 12 (11%) are non-native.

I have plotted these numbers against the other trails in my database. The plots show:

Some of the botanical highlights of this trail are:

Plant Communities and Floristics

Number of Unique Taxa On This Trail

The following two histograms give the number of trails in my database that contain each taxon on this trail. I had 79 trails in my database when this histogram was made. The two parts of this trail are the only trails in the Agua Tibia Mountains in my database so far. A number of "1" means the taxon has only been found only on one of the portions of this list, among all the trails in my database. A number of "2" may indicate that the taxon is only found on the two portions of this trail.

Two separate histograms are given, one for the campground area of the trail, and another for the trail after it crosses the Arroyo Seco and leaves behind most of the influence of the campground area.

Campground Portion of Trail

Number of Trails
Containing A Taxon
Number Of Taxa
On This Trail
% of Taxa
On This Trail
Total Taxa132100%

Trail Past The Campground Area

Number of Trails
Containing A Taxon
Number Of Taxa
On This Trail
% of Taxa
On This Trail
Total Taxa162100%

I found 6 additional species for the campground portion, and 13 additional species for the trail past the campground area, that are not in the above histograms since those species have not been identified yet. The unidentified ones are marked with ? or sp in the id? column in the guide, and do not have any number given in the #all column.

The taxa that are truly unique, or almost unique, to this trail, out of my 73 trails on 24 January 2004, are:

#allLatin NameCommon NameDistribution in Southern California / Distribution in Trail Guides
1Trichostema parishiiParish's bluecurlsTR, PR; Baja CA
1Oxytheca trilobatathree-lobed oxythecacommon; SnGb, SnBr, PR, w DMtns (Little San Bernardino Mountains); Baja CA
2Adenostoma sparsifoliumred shanksTR, PR; Baja CA; found also on Backbone Trail to Saddle Peak in the Santa Monica Mountains. This is an extremely common taxon between this location and the high mountain ridge to the east. Jane Strong and I simply have no other trails in its home territory.
2Cheilanthes clevelandiiCleveland's lipfernn ChI, PR; Baja CA; found also on the Mt. Woodson Trail in Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, Poway, San Diego County.
2Calystegia macrostegia ssp. aridasouthern California morning-glorySnGb, SnBr, n PR; found also in a trail in the San Marcos Hills, north San Diego County.
2Ericameria parishii var. parishiiParish's goldenbushesp after fires; SnGb, SnBr, PR; found also in the Pioneer Mail old roadbed trail, Laguna Mountains, San Diego County.

The following taxa are listed as being found only on this trail or on one other trail, but are planted specimens:

#allLatin NameCommon NameComment
1Berberis pinnata ssp. pinnatashiny-leaf barberryWTR, SnGb, PR.
1Arctostaphylos densifloraVine Hill manzanitaNot native here; Endangered Species in the wild; native only to Vine Hill, near Forestville, Sonomo County; but plentiful in the nursery trade.
1Euryops pectinatus var. "viridis"euryopsNot native here; native to South Africa.
2Berberis neviniiNevin's barberryEndangered Species in the wild; SW.
2Trichostema lanatumwoolly bluecurlsSCo, WTR, SnGb, PR.

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 tables give 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"Coverage
Campground Portion
Trail Beyond Campground Area
12/19/200115632   to mile 4.56
2/7/200229429   to mile 4.56
3/8/2002310535   to mile 2.82
12/24/2002410833121to mile 3.03
11/13/20035118191373to mile 2.90
11/17/20036118168102to mile 3.75
11/21/20037122178101to mile 4.88
12/3/20038126198101to mile 5.48
1/26/20049126187111to mile 4.82
4/6/2004101601311101to mile 2.49
4/18/20041117010590to mile 4.44
10/25/2004121758680to the top!

The unknowns were not broken down further than "?" prior to 8/3/02.

James Dillane helped with the fieldwork on 4/6/04; his sharp eyes were the source of many of the new species we found that day. He also correctly identified the Lepidium strictum, despite keying problems for that taxon.

The five new taxa found on 10/25/04 outside the campground area were all beyond mile 5.48, which was the farthest point surveyed previously.

The Plant Guide

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page (16 pages)

MileS#idCommon NameLatin Name#here#all
0.00   Parking for trail at north end of Dripping Springs Campground, elevation ~1560 feet (475 m). The guide begins at the coast live oak near the south end of the parking area. Separate guides are given to the campground area and the trail after it crosses the Arroyo Seco; the #here refers separately to each guide.
0.00l1 coast live oakQuercus agrifolia var. agrifolia+20 / 934
0.00r2 Fremont cottonwoodPopulus fremontii ssp. fremontii5 / 28
0.00l3 western sycamorePlatanus racemosa5 / 219
0.00r  Bulletin Board: "Fee Area. $5 daily use fee or Adventure Pass" and other information.
0.00r  Fee deposit "Iron Ranger"
0.00r4 *Mediterranean schismusSchismus barbatus20 / 314
0.00b5 *redstem filareeErodium cicutarium50 / 541
0.00r6 *shortpod mustardHirschfeldia incana50 / 941
0.00b7 *slender wild oatsAvena barbata20 / 525
0.00b8 *downy bromeBromus tectorum20 / 321
0.00r9 wild tarragonArtemisia dracunculus10 / 121
0.00b10 California filagoFilago californica20 / 213
0.00l11 *ripgut bromeBromus diandrus99 / 241
0.00l12 *soft chessBromus hordeaceus30 / 429
0.00l13 *foxtail barleyHordeum murinum ssp. glaucum10 / 19
0.00l14 *pineapple weedChamomilla suaveolens10 / 114
0.00l15 *narrowleaf filagoFilago gallica20 / 232
0.00l16 common phaceliaPhacelia distans99 / 96
0.00l17 *sow thistleSonchus oleraceus5 / 325
0.00l18 goldfieldsLasthenia californica10 / 17
0.00b19~prickly cryptanthaCryptantha muricata50 / 912
0.00r20 bur-ragweedAmbrosia acanthicarpa30 / 914
0.00b21 silver puffsUropappus lindleyi30 / 519
0.00b22 *California burcloverMedicago polymorpha20 / 328
0.00r23 telegraph weedHeterotheca grandiflora30 / 926
0.00r24 strigose sun-cupCamissonia strigulosa10 / 24
0.00b25 *red bromeBromus madritensis ssp. rubens20 / 242
0.00b26 *sourcloverMelilotus indicus5 / 116
0.00r ~(southern mountain woolly-star, Eriastrum densifolium ssp. austromontanum)
0.00b27 *prickly sow thistleSonchus asper ssp. asper3 / 216
0.00r28 sugar bushRhus ovata3 / 222
0.00l29 *shepherd's purseCapsella bursa-pastoris10 / 26
0.00l30spcomb-burPectocarya sp.3 / 1 
0.00l31 *Australian brass-buttonsCotula australis10 / 214
0.00r32 *Oriental mustardSisymbrium orientale30 / 510
0.00r33 California suncupCamissonia californica1 / 117
0.00r  (California croton, Croton californicus)
0.00r34 Davidson's buckwheatEriogonum davidsonii30 / 318
0.00r35 white everlastingGnaphalium canescens ssp. microcephalum20 / 432
  36 *hairy rattail fescueVulpia myuros var. hirsuta / 11
0.00r37 western ragweedAmbrosia psilostachya10 / 126
0.00r38 slender wreathplantStephanomeria exigua ssp. deanei5 / 310
0.00r39 strigose lotusLotus strigosus2 / 125
0.00r40 common pepper-grassLepidium densiflorum var. ramosum+10 / 21
0.00r41 dwarf lupineLupinus bicolor30 / 519
0.00r42 San Diego birdsfoot lotusLotus hamatus5 / 28
0.00r43 scarlet buglerPenstemon centranthifolius10 / 37
0.01r  (western redbud, Cercis occidentalis)
0.01l44 southern honeysuckleLonicera subspicata var. denudata6 / 334
0.01r45 slim vetchVicia ludoviciana var. ludoviciana5 / 26
0.01r46 angel's giliaGilia angelensis20 / 27
0.01r47 Tejon cryptanthaCryptantha microstachys5 / 13
0.01b48 white-whorled lupineLupinus microcarpus var. densiflorus5 / 14
0.01r49 California bromeBromus carinatus var. carinatus5 / 117
0.01r50 basketbushRhus trilobata10 / 216
0.02   Gate to campground
0.02r51 mugwortArtemisia douglasiana10 / 225
0.02l  (small-flowered melica, Melica imperfecta)
0.02l52 California buckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum50 / 340
0.02l53 golden yarrowEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum10 / 547
0.02l54 black sageSalvia mellifera1 / 134
0.02l55 California matchweedGutierrezia californica50 / 54
0.02r56 ocellated Humboldt lilyLilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum1 / 15
0.02l57 blue dicksDichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum10 / 332
0.02l58 California-asterLessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia20 / 242
0.02l59 bristly bird's beakCordylanthus rigidus ssp. setigerus20 / 222
0.02l  (Mohave yucca, Yucca schidigera)
0.02l60 narrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium5 / 541
0.02l61 short-winged deerweedLotus scoparius var. brevialatus+10 / 516
0.03r62 blue wildryeElymus glaucus ssp. glaucus10 / 117
0.03l63 small-flowered melicaMelica imperfecta20 / 333
0.03r64 southern coast live oakQuercus agrifolia var. oxyadenia+20 / 96
0.03l65 nodding needlegrassNassella cernua5 / 110
0.03l66spMariposa lilyCalochortus sp.2 / 1 
0.04r67 Nevin's barberryBerberis nevinii+3 / 22
0.04l68spdodder on buckwheatCuscuta sp.1 / 1 
0.04r  First toilet
0.04r69 shiny-leaf barberryBerberis pinnata ssp. pinnata+2 / 21
0.04r70 horseweedConyza canadensis1 / 124
0.04r71 California everlastingGnaphalium californicum6 / 430
0.04r72 beavertail cactusOpuntia basilaris var. basilaris2 / 26
0.04r73 woolly bluecurlsTrichostema lanatum+5 / 23
0.05r  Sign: "Stop. Pay here"
0.05l74 southern suncupCamissonia bistorta10 / 310
0.05l75 chaparral beard-tongueKeckiella antirrhinoides var. antirrhinoides5 / 27
0.06r76 common fiddleneckAmsinckia menziesii var. intermedia10 / 211
0.06r77 Spanish cloverLotus purshianus var. purshianus20 / 318
0.06r  (blue elderberry, Sambucus mexicana)
0.07l78 California sagebrushArtemisia californica5 / 335
0.07r79 mule fatBaccharis salicifolia4 / 231
0.07r80 hollyleaf redberryRhamnus ilicifolia1 / 135
0.07l  short-winged deerweedLotus scoparius var. brevialatus+ /  
0.08l81 Parish's purple nightshadeSolanum parishii15 / 213
0.08l  (California chicory, Rafinesquia californica)
0.08l82 common bedstrawGalium aparine5 / 125
0.08l83 climbing bedstrawGalium nuttallii ssp. nuttallii1 / 123
0.08r  (arroyo willow, Salix lasiolepis)
0.09r84 red willowSalix laevigata+1 / 116
0.09l85 giant wild-ryeLeymus condensatus5 / 124
0.11l  Campground host living quarters
0.11r  Check for different Cryptantha, a decumbent plant.101
0.11r86 California crotonCroton californicus20 / 56
0.13r87 *Vine Hill manzanitaArctostaphylos densiflora+2 / 11
0.13r88~popcorn flowerCryptantha intermedia / 22
0.13l89 common linanthusLinanthus parviflorus99 / 98
0.13l90 red maidsCalandrinia ciliata1 / 19
0.15r91 blue elderberrySambucus mexicana1 / 139
0.15r92 collar lupineLupinus truncatus5 / 218
0.19r93 yellow pincushionChaenactis glabriuscula var. glabriuscula5 / 211
  94 pygmy-weedCrassula connata50 / 113
  95 big leaf mistletoePhoradendron macrophyllum1 / 13
0.22r  Toilet
0.22l96 Coulter's lupineLupinus sparsiflorus1 / 19
0.23r97 foothill needlegrassNassella lepida1 / 116
0.24l98 canyon clarkiaClarkia epilobioides3 / 18
0.24l99 *horehoundMarrubium vulgare20 / 322
0.25l100 annual sunflowerHelianthus annuus1 / 19
0.25l101 chiaSalvia columbariae1 / 118
0.29r102 branching phaceliaPhacelia ramosissima var. latifolia10 / 325
0.30r103 caespitose evening-primroseOenothera caespitosa ssp. crinita20 / 11
0.30r  (common tidy-tips, Layia platyglossa)
0.30r  (alkali western tansy-mustard, Descurainia pinnata ssp. halictorum)
0.30r104 honey mesquiteProsopis glandulosa var. torreyana5 / 13
0.31r105 *London rocketSisymbrium irio / 18
0.31r106spsuncupC. ignota? /  
0.31r107~showy penstemonPenstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis3 / 19
0.34r  Toilet
0.34r108 *euryopsEuryops pectinatus var. "viridis"+1 / 1 
0.34r109 *western redbudCercis occidentalis+2 / 24
0.37r110 *Bermuda grassCynodon dactylon10 / 220
0.37r111 goldenrodSolidago californica5 / 127
0.39r112 toyonHeteromeles arbutifolia1 / 138
0.39r113 vinegar weedTrichostema lanceolatum10 / 14
0.40l114 San Diego tarweedHemizonia paniculata10 / 16
0.40r115 poison oakToxicodendron diversilobum1 / 134
0.41r116 volcanic giliaGilia ochroleuca ssp. exilis10 / 12
0.41l  Jct. road to equestrian camp
0.43r117 silky lotusLotus heermannii var. heermannii3 / 16
0.44r118 *hedge mustardSisymbrium officinale / 116
0.44r  (meally white pincushion, Chaenactis artemisiifolia)
0.44r119 eucryptaEucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. chrysanthemifolia5 / 120
0.44r120 hoary bowlesiaBowlesia incana5 / 12
0.44r121 *common groundselSenecio vulgaris1 / 112
0.44r122 narrow-leaved miner's lettuceClaytonia parviflora ssp. parviflora3 / 113
0.44r123 southern goldfieldsLasthenia coronaria1 / 12
0.44r124 prostrate pepper-grassLepidium strictum+ / 1
0.44l125 wild canterbury bellsPhacelia minor3 / 114
0.44l126 *tumble-mustardSisymbrium altissimum / 10
0.44l127 whispering bellsEmmenanthe penduliflora var. penduliflora3 / 19
0.45r128 bigberry manzanita (~25' tall)Arctostaphylos glauca1 / 19
0.45r129 heartleaf penstemonKeckiella cordifolia2 / 221
0.45l130 southern miner's lettuceClaytonia perfoliata ssp. mexicana3 / 116
0.45l131 Torrey's scrub oakQuercus acutidens5 / 215
0.45l132 California chicoryRafinesquia californica1 / 117
0.45l133 wild-cucumberMarah macrocarpus var. macrocarpus2 / 237
0.45l134?smelly unk like beeplant?
0.46r135 chaparral whitethornCeanothus leucodermis1 / 112
0.47r136 California brickellbushBrickellia californica1 / 126
0.47l  Last toilet
0.48l  DS trailhead, elevation ~1640 feet (500 m).
0.49r137 saw-toothed goldenbushHazardia squarrosa var. grindelioides1 / 129
0.49   Jct. trail from equestrian camp; turn right 90°.
0.51r  (scale-broom, Lepidospartum squamatum)
0.51r138 bush senecioSenecio flaccidus var. douglasii1 / 110
0.52   Cross Arroyo Seco, elevation ~1640 feet (500 m). Plant list starts over here, to produce a list without planted species.
0.52l1 western sycamorePlatanus racemosa5 / 119
0.52l2 western ragweedAmbrosia psilostachya10 / 126
0.52l3 Jepson's blue wildryeElymus glaucus ssp. jepsonii5 / 18
0.52l4 mugwortArtemisia douglasiana5 / 125
0.52l5 *ripgut bromeBromus diandrus20 / 141
0.52l6 southern coast live oakQuercus agrifolia var. oxyadenia+5 / 26
0.52l7 *rabbits-foot grassPolypogon monspeliensis5 / 114
0.52l8 slim vetchVicia ludoviciana var. ludoviciana1 / 16
0.52b9 mule fatBaccharis salicifolia3 / 131
0.52r10 *red bromeBromus madritensis ssp. rubens99 / 942
0.52r11?unk ann scroph with clusters of 7 flowers at nodes
0.52l12 *Bermuda grassCynodon dactylon5 / 220
0.52r13?Durango root?Datisca glomerata?3 / 1 
0.52r14 wild tarragonArtemisia dracunculus1 / 121
0.52r15 prickly cryptanthaCryptantha muricata99 / 912
0.52r  (bush monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus)
0.52r16 Spanish cloverLotus purshianus var. purshianus10 / 118
0.52b17 *shortpod mustardHirschfeldia incana99 / 941
0.53b18 Robinson's pepper-grassLepidium virginicum var. robinsonii99 / 94
0.53r19 *sourcloverMelilotus indicus / 16
0.53r20 yellow pincushionChaenactis glabriuscula var. glabriuscula (intergrade with var. lanosa)+99 / 911
    Look for pure specimens of Chaenactis glabriuscula var. lanosa
0.53r21 California everlastingGnaphalium californicum99 / 930
0.53l22 bristly bird's beakCordylanthus rigidus ssp. setigerus99 / 922
0.53r23 bush senecioSenecio flaccidus var. douglasii1 / 110
0.53r24 California buckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum99 / 940
0.53l25 short-winged deerweedLotus scoparius var. brevialatus30 / 916
0.53r26 slender cottonweedMicropus californicus var. californicus10 / 16
0.53r27 silver puffsUropappus lindleyi50 / 919
0.53r28 fringe-podThysanocarpus curvipes10 / 17
0.53l29 dwarf lupineLupinus bicolor20 / 919
0.53l30 California-asterLessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia99 / 942
0.54l31 Davidson's buckwheatEriogonum davidsonii10 / 418
0.54l32 strigose sun-cupCamissonia strigulosa10 / 14
0.54l33 slender wreathplantStephanomeria exigua ssp. deanei+99 / 910
0.54b34 *downy bromeBromus tectorum99 / 421
0.54r  Jct. path.
0.54r35 *redstem filareeErodium cicutarium / 41
0.54b36 *soft chessBromus hordeaceus50 / 229
0.54b37 angel's giliaGilia angelensis30 / 57
0.54r38 long-stemmed buckwheatEriogonum elongatum var. elongatum4 / 219
0.54   Trail turns left 90°
0.55r39~leafy daisyErigeron foliosus var. foliosus10 / 934
0.54b40 common phaceliaPhacelia distans40 / 36
0.54r41 chamiseAdenostoma fasciculatum99 / 931
0.55r42 white everlastingGnaphalium canescens ssp. microcephalum20 / 932
0.55b43~bush lupineLupinus excubitus var. hallii3 / 14
0.55r44 common linanthusLinanthus parviflorus40 / 58
0.55r45 branching phaceliaPhacelia ramosissima var. latifolia5 / 225
0.55r46 giant wild-ryeLeymus condensatus2 / 224
0.55r47 basketbushRhus trilobata1 / 116
0.55b48 Ramona clarkiaClarkia similis10 / 22
0.55l49 Parish's purple nightshadeSolanum parishii50 / 913
0.55l50 California brickellbushBrickellia californica2 / 126
0.55l  (California elegant rock-cress, Arabis sparsiflora var. californica)
0.55r51 golden yarrowEriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum50 / 947
0.55l52 pine goldenbushEricameria pinifolia4 / 24
0.55r53 coast live oakQuercus agrifolia var. agrifolia+1 / 134
0.55r54 hoaryleaf ceanothusCeanothus crassifolius99 / 911
0.55r55 wild-cucumberMarah macrocarpus var. macrocarpus50 / 937
0.55b56 Torrey's scrub oakQuercus acutidens99 / 915
0.55b57 cobwebby thistleCirsium occidentale var. occidentale1 / 15
0.55   Cross small side stream, elevation ~1690 feet (515 m).
0.56l58 California matchweedGutierrezia californica3 / 14
0.55l59 summer snowLinanthus floribundus ssp. glaber3 / 14
0.56r  First of many liverwort areas on trail.
0.56l  "Trip report" post
0.56l60 climbing bedstrawGalium nuttallii ssp. nuttallii5 / 523
0.56b61 white sageSalvia apiana2 / 230
0.56l62 small-flowered melicaMelica imperfecta30 / 933
0.56l63 poison oakToxicodendron diversilobum5 / 134
0.56r64 bush monkeyflowerMimulus aurantiacus6 / 435
0.56b65 southern honeysuckleLonicera subspicata var. denudata20 / 934
0.56b66 saw-toothed goldenbushHazardia squarrosa var. grindelioides99 / 929
0.57r67 San Diego peaLathyrus vestitus var. alefeldii10 / 315
0.57l  Sign: Agua Tibia Wilderness
0.57r68 muillaMuilla maritima6 / 46
0.57l69 *narrowleaf filagoFilago gallica99 / 932
0.57l70 narrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium30 / 941
0.57r71?unk scroph with 1 flower per node - Antirrhinum coulterianum?
0.57r72?goldenstar?Bloomeria crocea? /  
0.57r73 California chicoryRafinesquia californica10 / 917
0.57r74 *smooth cat's earHypochaeris glabra / 124
0.57r75 beavertail cactusOpuntia basilaris var. basilaris3 / 36
0.57r  Post
0.57l76 purple clarkiaClarkia purpurea ssp. quadrivulnera10 / 216
0.57r77 California peonyPaeonia californica20 / 212
0.57r78 *slender wild oatsAvena barbata99 / 925
0.58r79 red shanksAdenostoma sparsifolium99 / 92
0.58b80 redberryRhamnus crocea5 / 311
0.58l  Woodrat's nest
0.58l82 bird's-foot fernPellaea mucronata var. mucronata99 / 922
0.58l83 goldback fernPentagramma triangularis ssp. triangularis20 / 916
0.58l84 wild celeryApiastrum angustifolium5 / 16
0.58l85 ground pinkLinanthus dianthiflorus3 / 18
0.58b86 popcorn flowerCryptantha intermedia / 22
0.58   Trail turns left 90°
0.59b87 blue dicksDichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum30 / 532
0.59r88 shiny lomatiumLomatium lucidum20 / 56
0.59r89~southern Indian pinkSilene laciniata ssp. major5 / 115
0.59r  Check for Pacific sanicle, Sanicula crassicaulis.
0.60b90 scaly lipfernCheilanthes clevelandii99 / 93
0.60r91 coast jepsoniaJepsonia parryi30 / 310
0.60r92 chaparral beard-tongueKeckiella antirrhinoides var. antirrhinoides30 / 97
0.60l  Check for different small annual.
0.60   Switchback to right, then trail curves left.
0.60l93 southern goldfieldsLasthenia coronaria20 / 32
0.60l94 Pacific fescueVulpia microstachys var. pauciflora / 3
0.61l95 white-flowering currantRibes indecorum10 / 914
0.61r96 California poppyEschscholzia californica99 / 320
0.61b97spMariposa lilyCalochortus sp.99 / 9 
0.61r98 sugar bushRhus ovata10 / 922
0.61r99 purple owl's cloverCastilleja exserta ssp. exserta5 / 18
0.64l  Jct. Wild Horse Trail
0.65r100 thick-leaved yerba santaEriodictyon crassifolium var. crassifolium99 / 95
0.65l101 acourtiaAcourtia microcephala10 / 912
0.65l102spChinese housesCollinsia sp.2 / 2 
0.66l103 southern suncupCamissonia bistorta5 / 110
0.66l  (green miner's lettuce, Claytonia parviflora ssp. viridis)
0.66l104 southern giliaGilia australis10 / 22
0.68b105 *tocaloteCentaurea melitensis99 / 335
0.68r106 black sageSalvia mellifera99 / 934
0.68l107 canyon clarkiaClarkia epilobioides10 / 18
0.68l108 *rattail fescueVulpia myuros var. myuros99 / 911
0.70r109~meally white pincushionChaenactis artemisiifolia / 12
0.72   Cross small stream and turn left 90°.
0.72r110 wild canterbury bellsPhacelia minor99 / 914
0.73l111 coffee fernPellaea andromedifolia2 / 219
0.74r112 southern California morning-gloryCalystegia macrostegia ssp. arida6 / 62
0.74r113 California four o'clockMirabilis californica6 / 515
0.74   Trail turns left 90°
0.75   Trail curves right 90°
0.76   Switchback left.
0.77   Trail curves right 90°
0.78r114 horseweedConyza canadensis5 / 524
0.79l115 strigose lotusLotus strigosus3 / 325
0.79   Long switchback right
0.83l116~small-flowered soap plantChlorogalum parviflorum+99 / 95
0.82l117 foothill needlegrassNassella lepida / 16
0.83l118 rockroseHelianthemum scoparium+50 / 910
0.86l119~California suncupCamissonia californica50 / 917
0.86l120 chiaSalvia columbariae99 / 918
0.87   Switchback left.
0.95r121 Bigelow's spike-mossSelaginella bigelovii99 / 416
0.95l122 chaparral yuccaYucca whipplei10 / 925
0.95   Trail curves right to round ridge.
0.99r123spstinging lupineLupinus hirsutissimus2 / 212
0.99   Switchback right.
1.04   Trail curves left 90°.
1.04l ~small-flowered soap plantChlorogalum parviflorum+ /  
1.04b124 twiggy wreath plantStephanomeria virgata+99 / 98
1.04l125 slender sunflowerHelianthus gracilentus30 / 912
1.07   Achieve ridge at north end of bend in trail, elevation ~1910 feet (580 m), part of a long switchback left; overlook of lower Arroyo Seco Canyon.
1.08r  Check for windmill pink or similar.
1.17b126 everlasting nest-strawStylocline gnaphaloides+50 / 47
1.23   Trail curves right 45°.
1.25   Trail curves left 45°.
1.29   Long curving bend to right at small double drainage
1.33   North end of long switchback left in trail, elevation ~2000 feet (610 m); after the switchback, trail is on top of flattish ridge.
1.39l  View of (Tule or Beauty Peak?) in distance over ridgeline.
1.41   Trail makes broad curve right 90°, then left 90°.
1.45   Field of soap plants
1.48r  everlasting nest-strawStylocline gnaphaloides+ /  
1.49   Trail makes broad curve right ~90°.
1.52   Broad switchback left.
1.53b127~fringed spineflowerChorizanthe fimbriata var. fimbriata40 / 54
1.58   Trail curves right 90° and crosses small drainage
1.00   bigberry manzanitaArctostaphylos glauca99 / 99
1.60l128 Trail curves left 45°
1.63   Trail curves right 90° and crosses small double drainage
1.64l  First of the tall century-old red shank (Adenostoma sparsifolium) "trees" burned in 1989 fire.
    Beginning of transition region for California buckwheat var. foliolosum and polifolium.
1.67   Switchback left.
1.75   Trail crosses very small drainage and curves right 90°.
1.80   Cross small drainage
1.82   Cross small drainage and curve right 90°.
1.82b129 eucryptaEucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. chrysanthemifolia10 / 220
1.85   Long switchback left.
1.89   Cross small drainage and switchback right.
1.93   Cross small drainage.
1.98   Long switchback to left, elevation ~2280 feet (695 m).
1.98r  Jct. path at ridge.
2.03   #1 of 10 switchbacks to gain some quick elevation, to right. Most of the segments between switchbacks curve as they cross the ridge, which won't be explicitly stated here.
2.06   Ending of transition region for California buckwheat var. foliolosum and polifolium.
2.07   Switchback to left, #2.
2.07b130 California buckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium99 / 914
2.08r  A number of Cleveland's lipferns growing next to bird's beak ferns here.
2.10r131 Eastwood manzanitaArctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. zacaensis99 / 99
2.11b  Check for different species like goldenstar.
2.14   Switchback to right, #3.
2.19   Switchback to left, #4.
2.23r132 woolly Indian paintbrushCastilleja foliolosa5 / 24
2.28l133 *prickly lettuceLactuca serriola5 / 528
2.28   Switchback to right, #5.
2.33l134 heartleaf penstemonKeckiella cordifolia20 / 921
2.34r135 one-sided bluegrassPoa secunda ssp. secunda / 22
2.34l136 globe giliaGilia capitata ssp. abrotanifolia20 / 25
2.38r137 purple snapdragonAntirrhinum nuttallianum ssp. nuttallianum4 / 212
2.38   Switchback to left, #6.
2.39l138 hollyleaf redberryRhamnus ilicifolia10 / 935
2.46r139 threadstemPterostegia drymarioides / 117
2.46r140 small-flowered meconellaMeconella denticulata20 / 12
2.46r141 narrow-leaved miner's lettuceClaytonia parviflora ssp. parviflora10 / 113
2.46l142 common fiddleneckAmsinckia menziesii var. intermedia5 / 111
2.49r143 giant needlegrassAchnatherum coronatum20 / 520
2.49r  Second location of coast jepsonia, Jepsonia parryi.
2.49   Switchback to right, #7.
2.59   Switchback to left, #8. The trail in some places now is on the reddish Bedford Canyon Formation, with wavy metamorphosed bedding planes, with boulders of Woodson Mountain Granodiorite (white rocks with small black dots all over) on the side of the trail.
2.64l144 golden ear dropsDicentra chrysantha4 / 25
2.68r145spcomb-leaved nemacladus?Nemacladus pinnatifidus?99 / 4 
2.70   A birds-foot fern forest alongside the trail. Over 50 plants where the trail was cleared some time ago.
2.72 146 California milkweedAsclepias californica / 13
2.75   Switchback to right, #9.
2.81   Check for different peppergrass, Lepidium sp..
2.82   Broad switchback to left, #10, elevation ~2740 feet (835 m); trail now heads south-southwest
2.87   Santa Rosa Plateau Mesas (Burro, Colorado) and others (Avenaloca, Redonda, Miller Mountain) now visible to west.
2.98b147 bush poppyDendromecon rigida50 / 45
3.03   Round ridge; trail now heads southeast; enter tick lane.
3.12   Cross small drainage and curve right.
3.18   Begin moist area with first chaparral whitethorn, Ceanothus leucodermis, and numerous sugar bush, Rhus ovata, elevation ~2800 feet (855 m).
3.18l148 chaparral whitethornCeanothus leucodermis99 / 912
3.21   End moist area; long switchback left at ridge.
3.25l149 tall melicaMelica frutescens / 1
3.26   Trail curves right 90° twice at double drainage.
3.49r150 *Oriental mustardSisymbrium orientale / 110
3.54   Switchback left up north side of canyon, elevation ~3040 feet (925 m).
3.61   Switchback right.
3.64l  Large rectangular rock made of Woodson Mountain granodiorite, with irregular chunk of Bedford Canyon formation stuck on top. Note the intergrade region where they melted together.
3.65l  Smaller chunk of Bedford completely embedded in granodiorite
3.67   Trail jags left.
3.70r151 toyonHeteromeles arbutifolia2 / 238
3.70r152 hollyleaf cherryPrunus ilicifolia ssp. ilicifolia5 / 110
3.71l  Good exposure of Bedford Canyon formation.
3.73r153 ashy silk tasselGarrya flavescens20 / 36
3.74l154 birch-leaf mountain-mahoganyCercocarpus betuloides var. betuloides5 / 117
3.74b155 deergrassMuhlenbergia rigens20 / 113
3.74   Cross usually-dry streambed, elevation 3120 feet (950 m).
3.75l156 small-flowered fiddleneckAmsinckia menziesii var. menziesii / 13
3.75   Check for Galium parishii.
3.75   Rest area, flat rock to sit on in only shade around.
3.76r157 showy penstemonPenstemon spectabilis var. spectabilis50 / 99
3.76   Begin best field of chaparral whitethorn, Ceanothus leucodermis.
3.79   Cross first of two branches of a little drainage
3.82r158 Parish's bluecurlsTrichostema parishii50 / 92
3.83r  Field of showy penstemon, Penstemon spectabilis and a number of California peonies, Paeonia californica.
3.86b159?2 m tall gilia?Gilia caruifolia?99 / 5 
3.88   Trail makes a long jog right.
3.91   Broad switchback right; end field of chaparral whitethorn.
3.93l160 Tejon cryptanthaCryptantha microstachys / 13
3.95   Switchback left, elevation ~3240 feet (990 m); visible peaks: High Point of Palomar Mountain; Toro and Rabbit Peak, Santa Rosa Mountains; San Jacinto Peak; San Gorgonio Mountain.
3.97b161 three-lobed oxythecaOxytheca trilobata20 / 32
3.99   Switchback right.
4.02r  Switchback left at blocked-off little side trail (trail is very short and just loops around ridge and rejoins main trail shortly).
4.07   Trail turns right 90° at ridge; 200" telescope on Palomar Mountain visible.
4.09   Enter area with century-old giant manzanita trees still alive (Arctostaphylos glauca).
4.09   Check for a different suncup here, which has very dense flowers.
4.13   Trail turns left 90°.
4.13r  bigberry manzanita, Arctostaphylos glauca, with 35 cm (14") diameter trunk.
4.16   Trail is now on ridge.
4.19   Trail jags right.
4.24   Cross small drainage.
4.27   Trail now below ridge, paralleling drainage to right.
4.37   Trail turns right 90° and crosses the drainage near its head.
4.38   Check for different annual penstemon species.
4.40l162 hairy ceanothusCeanothus oliganthus var. oliganthus10 / 44
4.40r163 Cleveland's bush monkeyflowerMimulus clevelandii / 1
4.40   Trail makes first of two 90° turns left at drainage.
4.44   Trail turns right 90°
4.44r  Check for A. glandulosa ssp. adamsii.
4.49   Switchback right.
4.50   Trail turns left 90°
4.52l164 Parish's goldenbushEricameria parishii var. parishii20 / 92
4.54   Switchback right.
4.57   Switchback left.
4.65   Switchback right.
4.66   Trail curves left 90°
4.70   Trail curves right 90° at ridge.
4.72   Trail curves left 90°
4.75   Trail turns left 90° at small drainage, then rounds ridge to right.
4.81   Trail turns left 90° at drainage.
4.82b165?ann scroph or phacelia with an infl with 3 branches with closely-spaced flowers.
4.82b166 poodle-dog bushTurricula parryi50 / 94
4.87r167 interior live oakQuercus wislizeni var. frutescens+ / 7
4.87   Trail turns right 90°
4.89   Switchback right.
4.92   Small downed tree across trail on 12/3/03; still present on 10/25/04
5.02   Check for tree form of Q. wislizeni.
5.03   Another small tree down.
5.04b168 California bee plantScrophularia californica ssp. floribunda50 / 911
5.06l169?different grass like vulpia on steroids
5.09   Trail makes long curve left 90° around west side of last ridge before the top; elevation ~3800 feet (1160 m); first view of the area at the top of the trail.
5.19   Trail makes long curve right 90°.
5.20l170?grass with an infl that sometimes looks like Achnatherum, and sometimes like a thick poa secunda.
5.24   Switchback right.
5.26   Trail turns left 90°
5.29   Trail turns left 90° at swale, which is almost entirely non-native annual grasses; elevation ~3760 feet (1145 m).
5.34   Trail curves right 90° at ridge.
5.36   Trail turns left 90° then jogs right.
5.40   Trail jogs right again.
5.48   Switchback left at drainage.
5.48 171 California wood fernDryopteris arguta1 / 113
5.51   Trail turns right 90° at ridge.
5.53   Trail curves right 45°.
5.55   Switchback left at drainage.
5.57   Trail turns right 90° at ridge.
5.58   Trail turns left 45° at drainage; nice patch of hairy ceanothus, Ceanothus oliganthus.
5.62   Long switchback right at ridge
5.67   Switchback left at drainage.
5.68   Switchback right at ridge.
5.74   Cross drainage.
5.76   Switchback left; trail becomes steeper.
5.81   Check for a different grass.
5.81   Switchback right.
5.82l172 broad-leaved lotusLotus crassifolius var. crassifolius5 / 56
5.82   Small downed tree across trail on 10/25/04.
5.88   Small downed tree across trail on 10/25/04.
5.89   Trail curves left at ridge.
5.90   Switchback left.
5.91r173 Coulter pinePinus coulteri4 / 410
5.93b174spdodderCuscuta sp.+ /  
5.98   Switchback right.
6.07   Switchback left.
6.14   Switchback right.
6.17   Small downed tree across trail on 10/25/04.
6.18   Switchback left.
6.19   Small downed tree across trail on 10/25/04.
6.21   Switchback right.
6.23   Switchback left.
6.23   Switchback right.
6.27   Switchback left.
6.28   Long switchback right.
6.30   Trail curves right 90° at ridge.
6.34   Switchback right at drainage.
6.35   Long switchback left.
6.40   Trail curves right 90° at ridge.
6.43   Check for Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. adamsii. This specimen has white-glaucous lvs and a burl.
6.44   Switchback left at ridge.
6.51   Switchback left near the head of a large drainage.
6.55   Switchback right at ridge. Trail is now just above the bottom of the main drainage from Agua Tibia ridge, and just below the saddle on the ridge.
6.70   Trail curves left 90° at drainage, then trail curves right 90°. Trail is now quite overgrown beginning here on 10/25/04.
6.72   Tree down on trail on 10/25/04.
6.73l175 yellow-stem bush mallowMalacothamnus densiflorus10 / 21
6.94   Enter southern coast live oak, Quercus agrifolia var. oxyadenia, forest on top.
6.96   Large southern coast live oak down across trail on 10/25/04.
6.98   End Dripping Springs Trail at jct. with Palomar-McGee Trail.

Comments On Specific Species

Quercus agrifolia. Many of the coast live oaks in the campground and on the trail appear to be intermediates between var. agrifolia and var. oxyadenia. All of the leaves are at least sparsely hairy, some with the brown trichomes of var. agrifolia and some with the white trichomes of var. oxyadenia.
The specimen at mile 0.00 is a pretty good var. agrifolia, with the lower leaf surface sparsely hairy, with hairs mostly brown, about the same color as the dense hairs in the vein axils.
The specimen at mile 0.03 is mostly a pure var. oxyadenia with a lower leaf surface nearly covered with the stellate trichomes with pure white hairs. However, it also has the tufts of brown hairs of var. agrifolia in the vein axils. The lower leaf surface is fuzzy to the eye, and looks much like the JM pix of var. oxyadenia, without any brown hairs in the vein axils.
The specimen at mile 0.52 is probably the purest var. oxyadenia.

Lepidium densiflorum var. ramosum. This taxon was found by Banks as rare in disturbed sandy soils, Dripping Springs (area), which fits this location well. This is supposedly a fairly rare taxon in Southern California, but the plants here have strong conflicts with any other Lepidium species identification.

L. ruderale is sometimes listed as a synonym for this taxon (see red Munz p. 227), and L. ruderale is in the San Diego County Checklist. However, the little information I can find seems to rule out a L. ruderale identification. First, the Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk webpage says the fruit of L. ruderale is 1.5-2.0 mm wide; the fruit of these plants is 2.7-2.9 mm wide. Second, these plants do not look like this picture.

Lotus scoparius var. brevialatus, Chlorogalum parviflorum, Helianthemum scoparium. The first occurrence of each of these species prior to 2003 was dead in 2003. That first occurrence is still noted, and the first live occurrence in 2004 is also noted.

Berberis pinnata ssp. pinnata (cultivar?). Due to the following differences from the floras, I suspect this is a cultivar, and not the natural taxon. The lower leaf surface is glaucous, contrary to the key of Munz, which says both leaf surfaces are shiny, and is pappillate only at 20X, not at 10X. The number of teeth is a bit smaller than expected for the species.

Salix laevigata. On 4/6/04, this single plant had both the expected acuminate leaves on most new shoots, and also the "symmetric to a bit oblanceolate", mostly elliptic blunt-tipped leaves of S. lasiolepis on other shoots. On previous visits prior to this date, all the older leaves observed have been the expected acuminate ones. However, the fruit is exactly that of red willow.

I have seen this leaf variation before, on another red willow at the Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve and on one at the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve. Thus either all of these plants are hybrids, or, more likely, this is simply a normal variation for a red willow.

Lepidium strictum. We had difficulties keying these plants to any identification, but are pretty confident this is the correct id. It keys to L. lasiocarpum var. lasiocarpum because the pedicel in fruit is very flat. However, the most striking thing about these plants are the persistent sepals on the fruit, which is not a trait of L. lasiocarpum. In addition, these plants have leaves that are 1-2 pinnate which are inconsistent with the 1 pinnate leaves of L. lasiocarpum.

It appears simply that the Lepidium key is bad for L. strictum. The floras state that L. strictum has pedicels in fruit that are ± 2x wider than thick. The plants here have pedicels ~3x wider than thick, which is within the ± of the description, and prevents them from keying properly.

Chaenactis glabriuscula var. glabriuscula (intergrade with var. lanosa). The plant in the campground keyed directly to var. glabriuscula, and fit the description of that variety well. However, the plants at mile 0.53 do not key easily to a single variety, and show features of var. lanosa as well as var. glabriuscula. In particular:

Thus it appears that these plants are an intergrade between var. glabriuscula and var. lanosa , but mostly on the var. glabriuscula side.

Banks lists var. lanosa as being found near here, on xeric slopes and in sandy washes, mostly to the north, and mostly on the Temecula Arkose. This location is the sandy wash of the Arroyo Seco, and hence would be the most likely location to find var. lanosa, or an intergrade with it.

I'll look for any pure var. lanosa in the future.

Stephanomeria exigua ssp. deanei. The specimens on this trail in 2003 are much larger than given in the floras. See details.

Stephanomeria virgata. The plants on this trail cannot be assigned to either of the subspecies defined in the Jepson Manual. See Stephanomeria virgata.

Berberis nevinii, Berberis pinnata ssp. pinnata (cultivar?), Trichostema lanatum, Arctostaphylos densiflora, Euryops pectinatus var. "viridis", and Cercis occidentalis. Many of the species in the campground were planted, and some of them are not in the flora of Agua Tibia. The ones noted above were clearly planted next to toilets.

Stylocline gnaphaloides. A positive identification for this taxon was made at mile 1.49. It is highly like the plants at mile 1.17 are the same.

Quercus wislizeni var. frutescens. From this point on, most (but not all) of the scrub oaks are this taxon, replacing the Q. acutidens, which is the only scrub oak found below this point.

Calystegia macrostegia ssp. arida. These specimens are very close to ssp. tenuifolia. Young leaves have ~dense hairs that are just visible to the eye, like ssp. arida, whereas older leaves are either puberulent or glabrous, like ssp. tenuifolia. The shape of the middle lobe is narrowly triangular, like that of tenuifolia. It is possible that these two subspecies intergrade here, or that these two subspecies are actually a single one, since I have seen this behavior before.

Cuscuta sp.. Found on Arctostaphylos glandulosa.

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Copyright © 2002-2004 by Tom Chester.
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Last update: 13 November 2004.