Photographs by Michael Charters

On my way to join a Jepson Herbarium group for a weekend workshop on the Tejon Ranch, I decided to spend the afternoon driving up Forest Road 8N04 to the summit of Frazier Mountain. Having botanized in Lockwood Valley and on nearby Mt. Pinos, I had reason to think that there might be some interesting flora there for me to photograph, and indeed there was. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful prelude to a fabulous three days on the Ranch, and the fact that it was my birthday made it all the more special. Frazier Mountain is in the Los Padres National Forest in the northeastern corner of Ventura County and the elevation at the summit is 8,026'. The northern half of the mountain drains via Cuddy Creek into Quail Lake on the Tejon Ranch, and the southern half drains via Piru Creek into the Santa Clara River. Like the Tejon Ranch, Frazier Mountain is located in an area where four ecoregions are in close proximity, the Sierra Nevadas, the Central Valley, the Mojave Desert and the Transverse Range, and thus there is to be found there an extraordinary degree of diversity. To get to this area, you drive about 7-8 miles on Frazier Mountain Park Road from the I-5 north of Gorman, then about a mile on Lockwood Valley Road to the 8N04. I thank David Magney for his Checklist of Vascular Plants of Frazier Mountain. The symbol ^ next to the common name indicates a taxon that was new to me when I photographed it on this field trip, and an asterisk is for a non-native species.

Red mariposa lily, Kennedy's mariposa lily
Calochortus kennedyi var. kennedyi

[Named for William Ledlie Kennedy, c. 1827-?, plant collector in Kern County]

Dense-fruited monkeyflower
Mimulus constrictus

Maroon-spotted woolstar ^
Eriastrum signatum
[signatum = well-marked]

Sticky lessingia
Lessingia glandulifera var. glandulifera

Narrowpod locoweed
Astragalus filipes

Wild heliotrope
Heliotropium curassavicum var. oculatum

Chicalote, Prickly poppy
Argemone munita

Cushion cryptantha
Cryptantha circumscissa var. circumscissa

Whispering bells
Emmenanthe penduliflora var. penduliflora

Jepson's morning glory, Woolly morning glory, Sierra false bindweed
Calystegia malacophylla ssp. pedicellata
[malacophylla = having soft leaves]

Perennial peppergrass *
Lepidium latifolium


Copyright © 2014 by Michael L. Charters.
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