Plant Species of San Jacinto Mountain: Potentilla glandulosa, sticky cinquefoil (Drymocallis glandulosa and D. lactea)

Drymocallis glandulosa var. viscida
formerly part of Potentilla glandulosa ssp. reflexa
© Tom Chester, Marion Mountain trail, San Jacinto Mountains, 8050 feet elevation
Drymocallis lactea var. lactea
formerly Potentilla glandulosa ssp. nevadensis
© Michael Charters, Wellman Cienega, San Jacinto Mountains, 9000 feet elevation

Characteristics of SnJt species
    Key to separate SnJt species
    Summary of distinctions among SnJt species
Distribution of the subspecies in Riverside County from Vouchers
    Histogram of Elevation by Subspecies


See Plants of Southern California: Potentilla glandulosa subspecies for a discussion of these taxa, including the changes made in the online Second Edition Jepson Manual treatment.

Characteristics of SnJt species

In the Pine Belt of SnJt, using the taxonomy of the first edition Jepson Manual treatment, we have two subspecies of P. glandulosa, ssp. reflexa and ssp. nevadensis. However, using the Jepson Manual Second Edition treatment we now have three taxa, due to the restoration of Drymocallis glandulosa var. viscida, and with the surprising move of P. glandulosa ssp. nevadensis to a separate species. The three taxa, along with their California elevation ranges, are:

JM NameJM2 NameCalifornia Elevation Range
Potentilla glandulosa ssp. reflexaDrymocallis glandulosa var. reflexa450-2600 m = 1500-8500 feet
Potentilla glandulosa ssp. glandulosaDrymocallis glandulosa var. viscida1100-2500 m = 3500-8200 feet
Potentilla glandulosa ssp. nevadensisDrymocallis lactea var. lactea1800-3700 m = 5900-12,100 feet

Due to the resurrection of D. glandulosa var. viscida, it is currently difficult to know which online vouchers of P. glandulosa ssp. reflexa are actually D. glandulosa var. reflexa, and which are actually D. var. viscida. The only vouchers that can be trusted right now are those determined by Ertter after she resurrectd var. viscida. The following table shows a summary of those Ertter vouchers:

Regionvar. reflexavar. viscida

It appears from the above that var. viscida is the dominant variety at SnBr and SnJt, whereas the two varieties might be equally abundant at SnGb. The only voucher at SnJt determined as var. reflexa is from e of Lake Hemet (and n of Mount Thomas, just e of Hurkey Creek Camp area).

Key to separate SnJt species

A key to separate just these three taxa, modified from the JM2 and JM1 key and treatment, is:

1. Petals +- yellow, = or < sepals, narrow-obovate to narrow-obovate-elliptic; stem and pedicel glandular hairs gen abundant ..... D. glandulosa
     2. Infl branches spreading (angle gen 25-55); lflet teeth mostly double; sepal tip gen obtuse ..... var. reflexa
     2'. Infl branches ascending (angle gen 10-30); lflet teeth mostly single; sepal tip acute ..... var. viscida

1' Petals gen cream, = or > sepals, wide obovate; stem and pedicel glandular hairs gen 0-few; lflet teeth gen single; sepal tip acute... D. lactea var. lactea

Summary of distinctions among SnJt species

A summary of the differences between these taxa, from the JM2 treatment, is in the following table:

TaxaLower st
and pedicel
glandular hairs
Leaflet teethInfl branch
angle (deg)
Sepal habitSepal Length (mm)Sepal tipPetal colorPetal ShapePetal length
x width (mm)
reflexaabundant± double, 6-16 / sidegen 25-55± reflexedgen 4-6gen obtuseyellownarrow obovategen 3-4 x 2-2.5
viscidaabundant± single, 4-9 / sidegen 15-30± reflexedgen 4-6acute± yellownarrow-obovate-ellipticgen 2-4 x ± 2
lactea0-sparse± single, 4-10/ sidegen 10-20?3-8± acutewide obovategen creamgen 4-8 mm x ?

Distribution of the subspecies in Riverside County from Vouchers

The following range maps and elevation histogram were made after georeferencing all vouchers of P. glandulosa taxa in Riverside County. The maps were made using the form created by Dick Moe to submit a list of coordinates to the Berkeley Mapper.

P. glandulosa ssp. glandulosa = D. glandulosa ssp. wrangelliana

P. glandulosa ssp. reflexa = D. glandulosa ssp. reflexa and D. glandulosa ssp. viscida

D. glandulosa ssp. viscida

P. glandulosa ssp. nevadensis = D. lactea ssp. lactea

Vouchers only classified to the species P. glandulosa = D. glandulosa and D. lactea

Histogram of Elevation by Subspecies

Note that most of the vouchers of var. reflexa are probably actually var. viscida (see discussion above). The close similarity of the elevation ranges in this histogram also supports that interpretation.

The following table summarizes the range of elevations for each variety.

Elevation (feet)600-20002100-80004400-80005000-9200
Elevation (m)200-600650-24501350-24501500-2800

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Copyright © 2010 by Tom Chester.
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Comments and feedback: Tom Chester
Updated 11 July 2010.