Article

Vascular flora of the Verdugo Mountains and San Rafael Hills, Los Angeles County, California

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Abstract

Available online here: https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/211133#page/5/mode/1up. The Verdugo Mountains and San Rafael Hills in Los Angeles County, California, are a 21 km (13 mi) long mountainous region that encompasses approximately 14,646 ha (36,192 acres) surrounded by the greater Los Angeles area. Urbanization from the greater Los Angeles area has encroached upon these mountains over the years. Despite the mountains’ proximity to high population densities, recent botanical collections from the range are sparse. The goal of our study was to compile historic and recent botanical collections from the range to document the flora of the Verdugo Mountains and San Rafael Hills. We first compiled information on the natural and cultural history of the study area from literature reviews, internet searches, and local herbaria. We then performed botanical surveys in the Verdugo Mountains and San Rafael Hills to document vascular plant taxa with herbarium vouchers, develop an annotated checklist, describe plant communities, and document fire-following species for the region. The vegetation within the study area was predominantly chaparral (chamise or mixed chaparral) and southern coastal scrub with occasional woodlands (coast live oak or California walnut), riparian communities (California sycamore or mixed riparian woodlands), and grasslands (native bunchgrass or valley and southern coastal grassland). We identified fire-following species from three burn areas in the study area one to five years later. A total of 422 native and 163 non-native taxa were confirmed from the area, including 12 rare taxa.

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... Of course, these are also some of the most speciesrich families, so further analysis is needed to reveal patterns of extirpation.Table 2lists species known from just one or two small populations in the park, sometimes just a handful of individuals, and includes those that may be possibly be extirpated, as they have not been refound in recent years. While the locations are scattered around the park, a few names appear more than once, including Royce Canyon, which includes the moss gardens on the north-facing slope south of the stream; Western Canyon/One-Mile Tree, an important, and fairly undisturbed, clay lens just west of Western Canyon Road near a pullout roughly one mile up the road from Fern Dell; and Cahuenga-Burbank Peak, the highest ridge in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains.Table 2. " Scarce " native taxa of Griffith Park, known only from one or two populations in study area; excludes cryptic species (e.g., certain grasses) and those for which more work is needed (e.g., Camissoniopsis; see text).A recent treatment of the flora of the Verdugo Mountains/San Rafael Hills just northeast of the park (422 native taxa, including historical collections;Soza et al. 2013) allows for a full comparison with Griffith Park, and a comparison of native species extirpated from each range provides important conservation insights. While nearly 100 more native taxa are known from the Verdugos than occur or occurred historically at Griffith Park, fully 96% of the currently-or historicallyknown taxa in Griffith Park also occur or occurred in the Verdugos. ...
... exserta, Penstemon centranthifolius, Plantago erecta, Leptosiphon liniflorus, and Ranunculus californicus. While it is impossible to prove, several other taxa extirpated from Griffith Park (seeTable 1) yet unknown from the Verdugos actually may have been been present in the Verdugos in the recent past but not collected, including such locally rare and declining native forbs such as Achyrachaena mollis, Lasthenia californica, and Microsteris gracilis.I made an effort to be consistent with the analysis bySoza et al. (2013)when determining whether a non-native taxa is naturalized; for example, they also omit common, established groups like eucalyptus that are known only from planted individuals.Data from herbaria at the following institutions were used: CAS (California Academy of Sciences), CDA (California Department. of Food and Agriculture), JEPS (Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley), UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), POM (Pomona Herbarium at RSA); RSA (Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden), SBBG (Santa Barbara Botanic Garden), SD (San Diego Natural History Museum), UC (University Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley), UCR (University of California, Riverside), and UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara). All are part of the Consortium of California Herbaria, with data available online (Consortium of California Herbaria 2016). ...
... subsp. coronaria (Greene) Gottlieb may yet be discovered in the park or, material collected may be re-identified as this species, as it has been documented in the Santa Monica Mountains and in the nearby Verdugo Mountains (Soza et al. 2013). Prigge 16131, 20 Oct 2011 (LA). ...
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Perennial herb. Scarce, along northwestern base of range near Sunland; restricted to heavy soil on small outcropping of volcanic rock, in grassy opening in mixed chaparral and coastal scrub
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Stipa pulchra Hitchc., PURPLE NEEDLEGRASS. Perennial herb. Scarce, along northwestern base of range near Sunland; restricted to heavy soil on small outcropping of volcanic rock, in grassy opening in mixed chaparral and coastal scrub. Gross et al. 406, 4 Jun 2001 (RSA).
Scarce, documented by a historic collection near Eagle Rock; apparently a waif derived from pigeon feed. Collected more recently near Flint Peak in the San Rafael Hills, in xeric openings in coastal scrub at the urban-wildland interface
  • L Triticum
  • Annual
  • Common
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*Triticum aestivum L. Annual., COMMON WHEAT. Scarce, documented by a historic collection near Eagle Rock; apparently a waif derived from pigeon feed. Collected more recently near Flint Peak in the San Rafael Hills, in xeric openings in coastal scrub at the urban-wildland interface. Gross 813, 9 Mar 2003 (RSA).
Morong) Graebn., SIMPLE-STEM BUR-REED. Aquatic perennial herb. Scarce
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TYPHACEAE Sparganium eurycarpum A. Gray var. greenei (Morong) Graebn., SIMPLE-STEM BUR-REED. Aquatic perennial herb. Scarce, documented by a historic collection from near Glendale. Davidson s.n., Aug 1907 (RSA).
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Scarce, on northern flank of the range in La Tuna Canyon, on ridgetop in small area of reddish clay substrate within chaparral opening
  • Cleveland's Cryptantha Clevelandii Greene
  • Cryptantha
  • Annual
Cryptantha clevelandii Greene, CLEVELAND'S CRYPTANTHA. Annual. Scarce, on northern flank of the range in La Tuna Canyon, on ridgetop in small area of reddish clay substrate within chaparral opening. Gross et al. 243, 8 Jun 2000 (RSA).
Occasional on slopes, ridges, and alluvial benches throughout the range, in xeric openings in chaparral and coastal scrub, and especially following fire
Cryptantha muricata (Hook. & Arn.) A. Nelson & J. F. Macbr., POINTED CRYPTANTHA. Annual. Occasional on slopes, ridges, and alluvial benches throughout the range, in xeric openings in chaparral and coastal scrub, and especially following fire. Gross & Moore 224, 5 Jun 2000 (RSA).
Small shrub. Scarce, although locally common where present, in northern San Rafael Hills, planted along road and naturalizing on adjacent northwesterly slopes, in burned chaparral and coastal scrub; flowers varied from white to lavender, pale blue, and dark blue
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  • Pride
  • Madeira
*Echium candicans L. f., PRIDE OF MADEIRA. Small shrub. Scarce, although locally common where present, in northern San Rafael Hills, planted along road and naturalizing on adjacent northwesterly slopes, in burned chaparral and coastal scrub; flowers varied from white to lavender, pale blue, and dark blue. Gross 1211, 19 Mar 2004 (RSA).
Annual. Occasional on slopes and ridges throughout the range, in openings in chaparral and coastal scrub, and more frequent as a post-fire species in these habitats
  • Whispering Emmenanthe Penduliflora Benth. Var. Penduliflora
  • Bells
Emmenanthe penduliflora Benth. var. penduliflora, WHISPERING BELLS. Annual. Occasional on slopes and ridges throughout the range, in openings in chaparral and coastal scrub, and more frequent as a post-fire species in these habitats. Soza & Moore 848, 10 May 2000 (RSA).
Large shrub. Occasional on slopes and alluvial benches at scattered sites across the range, generally in chaparral and coastal scrub, usually in deep or sandy soils, and sometimes forming extensive stands, especially following fire
  • Eriodictyon Crassifolium Benth
  • Brand
  • Yerba Thickleaf
  • Santa
Eriodictyon crassifolium Benth. var. nigrescens Brand, THICKLEAF YERBA SANTA. Large shrub. Occasional on slopes and alluvial benches at scattered sites across the range, generally in chaparral and coastal scrub, usually in deep or sandy soils, and sometimes forming extensive stands, especially following fire. Soza & Moore 836, 10 May 2000 (RSA).
Common and widespread on slopes, ridges, and alluvial benches throughout the range, generally in openings in chaparral and coastal scrub, but tolerant of shade in oak woodlands; especially frequent as a post-fire species
Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia (Benth.) Greene var. chrysanthemifolia, SPOTTED HIDESEED. Annual. Common and widespread on slopes, ridges, and alluvial benches throughout the range, generally in openings in chaparral and coastal scrub, but tolerant of shade in oak woodlands; especially frequent as a post-fire species. Moore et al. 43, 8 Jun 2000 (RSA).
Perennial herb. Scarce, documented by a historic collection from La Tuna Canyon. MacFadden 11073
  • Canaigre Rumex Hymenosepalus Torr
Rumex hymenosepalus Torr., CANAIGRE. Perennial herb. Scarce, documented by a historic collection from La Tuna Canyon. MacFadden 11073, Apr 1933 (RSA).
Scarce, documented by historic collections from San Rafael Hills, presumably in heavy soil
  • Primulaceae Dodecatheon Clevelandii Greene Subsp. Clevelandii
  • Padre's Shooting-Star
  • Geophyte
PRIMULACEAE Dodecatheon clevelandii Greene subsp. clevelandii, PADRE'S SHOOTING-STAR. Geophyte. Scarce, documented by historic collections from San Rafael Hills, presumably in heavy soil. Webb s.n., 16 Feb 1935 (RSA).