Plant Guide to Weir Trail / Lower Doane Valley Trail Loop, Palomar Mountain State Park

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

This guide is especially immature, since most of the botanizing has been fairly fast-paced trips, with the pace hastened in some cases by the large number of bugs on this trail. In particular, beyond mile 0.27, this guide is not our usual Trail Plant Guide; it lists only some of the plants along the route noted on several fairly high-speed walks. Many of the first occurrences of these species are earlier than noted here.

One distinct problem for botanizing on this trail is the large number of deer flies, black flies and mosquitoes. That's the price one pays for botanizing in a quite wet area!

Introduction and Explanation of Plant Trail Guides

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


(Most of intro to be added.)

Directions to trailhead:

Palomar Mountain State Park is at the southwest portion of the summit of Palomar Mountain, reached by going west on State Park Road at the intersection of S6 and S7 at Mother's Kitchen.

Palomar Mountain State Park Brochure, Including Map. A printed copy of this brochure is $1 at the entrance kiosk.

Within the Park, it is a bit confusing as to how to get to the Doane Pond parking lot, since the signage last year on the road was fairly poor. Several of us made excursions to other places before we finally found the correct parking lot.

Past the entrance kiosk, where you pay the entrance fee, go right at the first junction and follow the signs to the Doane Valley Campground and / or Doane Pond. If you don't see any sign, the rule is to stay right at every junction. Immediately before the campground is the parking lot on the right. Doane Pond is just past the left far side of the parking lot, with the Weir / Doane Valley Nature Trail trailhead on the right far side of the parking lot.

Expect at least a 10 minute delay in the State Park each way due to logging along the road. This logging is to provide a safe exit for people in the park in the event of wildfire, and to create a fire break at the roads. The lumber (incense cedar and white fir) is being milled at a temporary mill set up at Mesa Grande.

There are toilets immediately south of the parking lot, but they are unsigned and not visible from the parking lot.

This hike begins at Doane Pond parking lot. On the park map, the outgoing trail is marked as the Doane Valley Nature Trail and Weir Trail, and the return trail is marked as the Lower Doane Trail.

Highlights of This Trail

The botanical highlights of this trail are:

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. We had 75 trails in our database when this histogram was made; this is the only one of the trails in Palomar Mountain State Park. A number of "1" means the taxon has only been found on this trail among the trails in our database.

Number of Trails
Containing A Taxon
Number Of Taxa
On This Trail
% of Taxa
On This Trail
Total Taxa138100%

We found 17 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 do not have any number given in the #all column.

Note how different the Palomar Mountain State Park flora is from the rest of Southern California! 18 taxa do not appear on any other trail in our database!

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 walk on 6/21/03 was a fairy quick initial reconnaissance of this trail ("drive-by botanizing"); we thank two anonymous people for their assistance on this trip. The walk on 6/30/03 was even quicker, and was primarily to get mileages to some points. On 7/3/03, a more careful survey was done of only the first 0.27 miles.

Paula Knoll and two other Canyoneers assisted with the fieldwork on 6/25/04.

Botanical Trip Reports

25 June 2004

The Plant Guide

Version for printing, without lines and other text on this page (7 pages)

MileS#id?Common NameLatin Name#here#all
0.00   Begin Weir / Doane Valley Nature Trail at southwest corner of Doane Pond Parking Area; elevation ~4660 feet (1420 m). Beyond mile 0.27, this guide is not our usual Trail Plant Guide; it lists only some of the plants along the route noted on several fairly high-speed walks. Many of the first occurrences of these species are earlier than noted here.
0.00b1 *redstem filareeErodium cicutarium / 40
0.00b2 Spanish cloverLotus purshianus var. purshianus50 / 516
0.00b3 *downy bromeBromus tectorum / 19
0.00l4 dwarf lupineLupinus bicolor / 19
0.00b5 *shortpod mustardHirschfeldia incana / 40
0.00c6 *knotweedPolygonum arenastrum / 9
0.00r7 wild tarragonArtemisia dracunculus / 20
0.00l8 *pineapple weedChamomilla suaveolens / 14
0.00r9 California-asterLessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia / 40
0.00r10 *soft chessBromus hordeaceus / 28
0.00r11 *wall bedstrawGalium parisiense / 4
0.00r12 hoary coffeeberryRhamnus tomentella ssp. tomentella1 / 12
0.00r  Brochure box containing a Guide to the Doane Valley Nature Trail
0.00l  Sign: "Doane Valley Nature Trail; Weir 1.2 mi; Baptist Trail 0.5 mi; French Creek 1.2 mi; Lookout 2.5 mi"
0.00b13 stinging nettleUrtica dioica ssp. holosericea99 / 98
0.00l  Signpost "1" for stinging nettle, Urtica dioica ssp. holosericea.
0.01l14 arroyo willowSalix lasiolepis10 / 227
0.01r15 Mexican rushJuncus mexicanus99 / 59
0.01r16~*common mulleinVerbascum thapsus2 / 23
0.01l17spPacific rush?Juncus effusus var. pacificus? / 2
0.01l18 California wild roseRosa californica40 / 911
0.01l19~*Italian thistleCarduus pycnocephalus20 / 412
0.01l20 winter cressBarbarea orthoceras / 5
0.01b21spmusk monkeyflower?Mimulus moschatus? /  
0.01r22 popcorn flowerCryptantha intermedia / 21
0.01b23~rigid hedge-nettleStachys ajugoides var. rigida10 / 23
0.01r24~virgin's bowerClematis ligusticifolia5 / 58
0.01r25?bluegrass?Poa sp.? /  
0.01l26 dock?Rumex sp.? /  
0.01   Cross creek.
0.01l27 woodland strawberryFragaria vesca30 / 52
0.01r28 sticky cinquefoilPotentilla glandulosa ssp. reflexa30 / 58
0.01r29~Fremont's goosefootChenopodium fremontii / 10
0.01l30 California black oakQuercus kelloggii / 11
0.01b31 branching phaceliaPhacelia ramosissima var. latifolia / 25
0.02l32 incense-cedarCalocedrus decurrens99 / 911
0.02l33?unk grass like melica
0.02r34 *common dandelionTaraxacum officinale / 3
0.02r  Signpost "2" for wild rose, Rosa californica.
 l35 canyon live oakQuercus chrysolepis / 19
0.04   Cross another creek on a bridge.
0.05   Cross paved park road
0.05r36sspblue wildryeElymus glaucus20 / 45
0.05r37~goldenrodSolidago californica / 25
0.06r38?baby checkerbloom?Sidalcea malviflora ssp. sparsifolia? / 14
0.06l39 California blackberryRubus ursinus / 13
0.06r40 mountain sweet-cicelyOsmorhiza chilensis50 / 54
0.07l  Signpost "3" for "Doane Creek, pronounced "doe-n", containing water from several springs.
0.08   Cross Doane Creek
0.08r41~mountain bog bulrushScirpus microcarpus / 1
0.08r42 mountain pink currantRibes nevadense10 / 36
0.08l  Check for different Juncus.
0.08l43spcreeping snowberrySymphoricarpos mollis / 6
0.09l44 common bedstrawGalium aparine / 25
0.09l45 brackenPteridium aquilinum var. pubescens / 8
0.09r46?unk tree
0.09l47 Utah service-berryAmelanchier utahensis / 7
0.09r48spvelvet ash?Fraxinus velutina? /  
0.10l  Signpost "4" for serviceberry, Amelanchier utahensis.
0.10r49 thimbleberryRubus parviflorus30 / 52
0.10l50 hairy honeysuckleLonicera hispidula var. vacillans1 / 11
0.11l  Signpost "5" for "Life in a Log".
0.12r51 poison oakToxicodendron diversilobum99 / 933
0.12l52spChild's collinsiaCollinsia childii99 / 51
0.12r53 *ripgut bromeBromus diandrus / 38
 l54spSierra gooseberry?Ribes roezlii var. roezlii?2 / 2 
0.13r55?unk grass
 l56 diamond-petaled clarkiaClarkia rhomboidea50 / 74
0.14r  Signpost "6" for thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus.
0.16r  Signpost "7" for white fir, Abies concolor.
0.16l  (Fendler's meadow-rue, Thalictrum fendleri var. fendleri)
0.16l57 woolly angelicaAngelica tomentosa30 / 51
0.16r58 white firAbies concolor / 17
0.18l59 blue elderberrySambucus mexicana / 37
0.18l  Signpost "8" for "Landslide! From 80 inches of rain in 1992-1993". Note the huge stone crib / wall constructed above trail.
0.18l60spgroundsmokeGayophytum diffusum ssp. parviflorum50 / 310
0.18r61 miner's lettuceClaytonia perfoliata ssp. perfoliata / 14
0.18l62spone-sided bluegrassPoa secunda ssp. secunda / 21
0.18r63 box elderAcer negundo var. californicum / 1
0.18l64 wild pepper-grassLepidium virginicum var. pubescens / 4
0.19r65 large-flowered collomiaCollomia grandiflora / 3
0.20l66 western columbineAquilegia formosa5 / 14
0.20l  Signpost "9" for Parish's burning bush, Euonymus occidentalis var. parishii.
0.20l67 Parish's burning bushEuonymus occidentalis var. parishii10 / 31
0.24r  (white alder, Alnus rhombifolia)
0.25r  A small "chair" carved into a stump.
0.26l  Signpost "10" for "Berry Alley" - mountain pink currant (Ribes nevadense), white-bark raspberry (Rubus leucodermis), and wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca).
0.26l68 white-bark raspberryRubus leucodermis1 / 13
0.27   Y-jct. Go right on Doane Valley Nature Trail for a optional brief excursion, not counted in the mileage in the rest of the guide. (Left is Weir Trail, also signed to Boucher Lookout)
 l69 phlox-leaved bedstrawGalium andrewsii ssp. andrewsii3 / 34
 r70spsedge with triangular fruitCarex sp. /  
0.33r  Signpost "11" for "Lichens and Mosses"
0.35l  Signpost "12" for white alder, Alnus rhombifolia.
  71 white alderAlnus rhombifolia / 9
 l  Signpost "13" for "Plant Competition", the shading-out of plants underneath the forest canopy.
 r72 whisker-brushLinanthus ciliatus20 / 25
 l  Signpost "14" for a huge "incense-cedar", Calocedrus decurrens. We measured this tree to be 72 feet tall, with a diameter at breast height of 7.1 feet, derived from its circumference of 22.4 feet. Please stay behind the fence to prevent compacting the soil and killing this tree.
 r73 Parish' Jacumba milk-vetchAstragalus douglasii var. parishii10 / 33
 r74?sticky lessingiaLessingia glandulifera var. glandulifera / 1
 r75 mustang mintMonardella lanceolata20 / 23
 r76 clustered field sedgeCarex praegracilis / 2
 l77spsuncupCamissonia sp. /  
0.40r78 dove weedEremocarpus setigerus / 12
    End excursion on Doane Valley Nature Trail; return to the Weir Trail by backtracking to the jct. at mile 0.27.
0.27r  Back at the jct. with the Weir Trail. Go right on it. Some species from the excursion are also listed below, but not numbered as new species. Note that the mileage now does not include the previous optional excursion.
0.42b  (ocellated Humboldt lily, Lilium humboldtii ssp. ocellatum
0.44l79 cliff sword fernPolystichum imbricans ssp. curtum2 / 21
0.55l80 Palmer's ceanothusCeanothus palmeri10 / 55
0.61l  Jct. trail to Overlook. Stay right.
0.61r81 spreading dogbaneApocynum androsaemifolium20 / 52
0.61b82sspwestern vervainVerbena lasiostachys var. scabrida10 / 23
0.64l  Note the fallen trunk, which begins with two separate trees that then merge, with growth rings around both of them after the merger.
0.64l83 Sierra Nevada lotusLotus nevadensis var. nevadensis5 / 15
0.64l  whisker-brushLinanthus ciliatus /  
 l84 California needlegrassAchnatherum occidentale ssp. californicum / 5
 b85 mugwortArtemisia douglasiana30 / 525
 b86spsticky false-giliaAllophyllum glutinosum1 / 16
 b87 yarrowAchillea millefolium30 / 510
0.67r88?unk like caulanthus?? /  
0.68l  mustang mintMonardella lanceolata /  
0.70r89 leafy daisyErigeron foliosus var. foliosus+5 / 232
0.71r90ssp(Eastwood manzanita, Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. zacaensis)
0.71r91 broad-leaved lotusLotus crassifolius var. crassifolius10 / 25
0.71r92ssp*rattail fescueVulpia myuros / 8
 l93 white everlastingGnaphalium canescens ssp. microcephalum / 31
 l94 western choke-cherryPrunus virginiana var. demissa / 6
0.78r95 California coffeeberryRhamnus californica ssp. californica / 12
 l96sspsquirreltailElymus elymoides20 / 56
0.81l97 Cleveland's horkeliaHorkelia clevelandii5 / 12
0.81l  (western wallflower, Erysimum capitatum ssp. capitatum)
0.81l98~California milkweedAsclepias californica10 / 22
0.81r99 water cressRorippa nasturtium-aquaticum10 / 29
0.81l100 *spearmintMentha spicata var. spicata5 / 12
0.81l101spbuckwheatEriogonum sp. /  
0.81r102 creeping leather rootHoita orbicularis5 / 11
0.81r103 Pacific oenantheOenanthe sarmentosa5 / 11
0.81l104 cows cloverTrifolium wormskioldii / 4
0.81l105 small-head field cloverTrifolium microcephalum / 4
0.81l106 streambank LotusLotus oblongifolius var. oblongifolius20 / 12
0.81r107 common monkeyflowerMimulus guttatus20 / 27
0.81l108 *forget-me-notMyosotis discolor+10 / 11
0.81l109spupright knotweedPolygonum sp.1 / 1 
0.81l110 Scouler's St. JohnswortHypericum formosum var. scouleri5 / 11
0.81l111 *corn speedwellVeronica arvensis5 / 11
0.81l112~willowherbEpilobium ciliatum ssp. ciliatum / 15
0.81   Cross Doane Creek
0.81r113 *sweet williamDianthus barbatus ssp. barbatus+1 / 11
0.82   Y-jct. Go left on Weir Trail. (Trail to right is connector to Lower Doane Valley Trail)
 r  checkerbloomSidalcea malviflora ssp. sparsifolia+ /  
0.82r114 bush lupineLupinus excubitus var. hallii3 / 14
0.83l115 field horsetailEquisetum arvense10 / 22
 r116 San Diego peaLathyrus vestitus var. alefeldii3 / 315
0.84   Cross Doane Creek
 l117 little spring beautyClaytonia exigua ssp. exigua3 / 13
 r  (western azalea, Rhododendron occidentale, across creek.)
 l118 narrowleaf bedstrawGalium angustifolium ssp. angustifolium / 41
 r119 western dogwoodCornus sericea ssp. occidentalis / 1
 l120sspCalifornia fuchsiaEpilobium canum / 11
0.94l  Check for different plant like Penstemon here, but smaller-flowered
0.95l121sspFendler's meadow-rueThalictrum fendleri var. fendleri5 / 12
0.96b122 western azaleaRhododendron occidentale5 / 22
0.96c123 turion duckweedLemna turionifera99 / 11
0.96   Check for paintbrush off-trail up slope, and a very hairy/fuzzy, tall plant in the water with bloom buds just starting on 6/26/04.
0.96   End of Weir Trail at Pond upstream of the Weir; lowest point on route, elevation 4440 feet (1355 m). Turnaround.
1.10   Y-jct. Go left on connector to Lower Doane Valley Trail instead of continuing back on the Weir Trail.
  124 ponderosa pinePinus ponderosa+ / 3
  125 Jeffrey pinePinus jeffreyi+ / 18
  126 coast live oakQuercus agrifolia var. agrifolia+ / 33
  127 slender cinquefoilPotentilla gracilis var. fastigiata5 / 11
 r128 blue-eyed grassSisyrinchium bellum / 13
 l129 elk thistleCirsium scariosum1 / 15
1.40   Jct. Lower Doane Valley Trail. Go left on it for a short distance for a optional brief excursion, not counted in the mileage in the rest of the guide
  130 deergrassMuhlenbergia rigens / 12
 r131 western buttercupRanunculus occidentalis+5 / 16
  132sppurslane speedwellVeronica peregrina ssp. xalapensis / 2
1.45   End excursion westward; turn around and head up Lower Doane Valley Trail to the campground.
1.40   Back at the previous jct. with the Weir Trail. Continue straight. Note that the mileage now does not include the previous optional excursion.
 l133 California meadow barleyHordeum brachyantherum ssp. californicum / 1
 r134 *English plantainPlantago lanceolata+ / 15
1.43b135 basketbushRhus trilobata5 / 216
 r136 purple clarkiaClarkia purpurea ssp. quadrivulnera / 15
 l137 grand mountain dandelionAgoseris grandiflora / 8
 r138 common linanthusLinanthus parviflorus10 / 38
  139 southern coast live oakQuercus agrifolia var. oxyadenia / 6
1.55?140 sapphire woolly-star?Eriastrum sapphirinum?1 / 1 
1.55   Jct. French Valley Trail.
 l141 California buckwheatEriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum / 39
1.58l142 spear-leaved mountain dandelionAgoseris retrorsa / 11
1.60l143 (Alaska rein orchid, Piperia unalascensis)
1.62l144 whorledleaf penstemonKeckiella ternata var. ternata / 5
 l145 wide-throated yellow monkeyflowerMimulus brevipes10 / 16
 l146 imbricate phaceliaPhacelia imbricata ssp. patula+ / 14
1.63l147 bristly bird's beakCordylanthus rigidus ssp. setigerus / 21
1.65   (Look for spotted coralroot, Corallorhiza maculata offtrail under heavy shade of trees)
 l148 slender madiaMadia gracilis / 9
 l149 Chinese housesCollinsia heterophylla / 10
 l150 scarlet buglerPenstemon centranthifolius1 / 17
 l151spcommon plantain?Plantago major? /  
  152 Orcutt's bromeBromus orcuttianus / 6
1.72   "Low Bridge" under a fallen tree.
1.77r153 *slender wild oatsAvena barbata10 / 125
1.78l154 chaparral whitethornCeanothus leucodermis3 / 112
1.79l155 strigose lotusLotus strigosus1 / 125
1.80r  Jct. other end of Doane Valley Nature Trail.
1.84   Jct. campground; highest elevation on route, ~4680 feet (1425 m); turn right to return to trailhead.
2.08   End guide back at trailhead.

Comments On Specific Species

Erigeron foliosus var. foliosus. These plants are different from the usual lower-elevation plants that are tall green plants with many erect stems and green glabrous filiform leaves, which was the former E. foliosus var. stenophyllus. These plants are shorter, with wider grayer leaves and only a few ascending stems, and are the former E. foliosus var. foliosus. The JM combined both of these into the var. foliosus, although they are striking different in appearance.

Myosotis discolor and Dianthus barbatus ssp. barbatus. As far as we know, these plants are the only occurrence of these taxa in the wild in Southern California.

Myosotis discolor: Although the Jepson Manual lists the distribution for this taxon as CA-FP, it was not even present in the A Flora of Southern California by Munz, and there are no SMASCH records in Southern California. We have vouchered this occurrence (Wayne Armstrong, #1340, collected by Jane Strong, Tom Chester & W.P. Armstrong, 22 June 2003, which will be deposited with the San Diego Natural History Museum). See Wayne's photograph of the voucher.

Dianthus barbatus ssp. barbatus: The JM lists the distribution for this taxon as NW, CaRF, CCo. However, Beauchamp (1986) lists it as a garden escape at Summit Grove, Palomar Mountain. We don't know precisely where Summit Grove is; if any reader does, please let us know.

It is of course highly suspicious that the only two occurrences of these cultivated plants appear in the same spot. It seems likely to us that there used to be a homesite near this location, and these taxa are remnants from that.

Sidalcea malvaeflora ssp. sparsifolia. This occurrence will only be counted as a new taxon if the previous baby plant turns out to be a different id.

Pinus ponderosa, Pinus jeffreyi. Both species are present here, which can best be distinguished by the pine cones: prickly Ponderosa; gentle Jeffrey.

Quercus agrifolia var. agrifolia and var. oxyadenia. Both subspecies are present here, which are distinguished by the underneath of the leaves. Variety agrifolia has nearly glabrous lower leaf surfaces; var. oxyadenia has densely hairy lower leaf surfaces.

Ranunculus occidentalis. These plants look identical to the Ranunculus occidentalis at the Santa Rosa Plateau, with mostly 5 petals that are 1-2 times as long as wide. They are clearly distinct from the Ranunculus californicus seen at the East Grade Project Trail, at Laurel Canyon in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, and at Kelly Ditch Trail in the Cuyamaca Mountains. All of these Ranunculus californicus populations have flowers with mostly eight or more petals, which are at least twice as long as wide.
This population is the second population of Ranunculus occidentalis identified to occur south of the Tehachapis. See Ranunculus occidentalis, Vernal Pool Trail.

Plantago lanceolata. This taxon was observed earlier in the trail, but its location was not recorded.

Phacelia imbricata ssp. patula. The plants all had leaves with zero lobes, instead of the usual 3-7, even at initial flowering.

Go to:

Copyright © 2003-2004 by Tom Chester, Jane Strong, and Wayne Armstrong.
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 | Jane Strong | Wayne Armstrong
Updated 29 June 2004.