ONYX SUMMIT TO ONYX PEAK, SAN BERNARDINO MTS
JUNE 2016 PAGE ONE




Having not been in the San Bernardinos for four years, when I heard that Tom Chester was planning a botany excursion there I thought that this was a great opportunity to get some species that may not have been in my photo galleries for a while. I joined Tom, Walt Fidler and Nancy Accola for a hike beginning at Onyx Summit on Highway 38. At 8,843' Onyx Summit is the highest highway pass in Southern California. The gated fire road that leads from Onyx Summit to Onyx Peak is 2.9 miles long and crosses the PCT before gently rising to an elevation of 9,113', where there is some kind of an electronics facility. What is totally cool about this road is that it passes through a pebble plains area very much like that near Big Bear with many of the same species that are prevalent there. Another thing that is very interesting about this area is that it contains some of the oldest and largest junipers in Southern California. The temperature hovered between 78 and 80 all day with an intermittent cool breeze blowing. It was just getting dark as we returned to the cars. The San Bernardinos forest closure area resulting from the Lake Fire in June of 2015 and including Fish Creek, Big Meadows, South Fork Meadows, Grinnell Ridge, the Aspen Grove, Poopout Hill and trails to Mt. San Gorgonio, all places I have done photo galleries for, is still in place and in all likelihood will not be lifted this year. And speaking of fires, a horribly sad consequence of the Fish Fire just this past May was the burning of Fish Canyon above Azusa in the San Gabriels, one of the most historic and popular hiking destinations in our local mountains, and one of my favorite places which will probably be inaccessible to the public for many months if not years. The symbol ^ next to the common name indicates a taxon that was new to me when I photographed it on this field trip.


   
Ashy-gray paintbrush
Castilleja cinerea
Orobanchaceae


 
Mojave mound cactus
Echinocereus mohavensis
Cactaceae

 
 
 
Bear Valley sandwort
Eremogone ursina
Caryophyllaceae
 
 



 
Bolle's mistletoe, Fir mistletoe
Phoradendron bolleanum
Viscaceae
  Juniper mistletoe
Phoradendron juniperinum
Viscaceae


 
 
 
Anderson's lupine
Lupinus andersonii
Fabaceae

[Named for Dr. Charles Lewis Anderson, 1827-1910]
 
 



 
Beavertail cactus
Opuntia basilaris
Cactaceae



   
Bear Valley woollypod
Astragalus leucolobus
Fabaceae


 
White catchfly
Silene verecunda
Caryophyllaceae

[The name catchfly comes from the plant's sticky stems and calyces which may trap flies and other insects]


     
Clustered broom-rape
Orobanche fasciculata
Orobanchaceae
  California broom-rape
Orobanche californica
Orobanchaceae


   
Wheeler's cinquefoil
Potentilla wheeleri
Rosaceae


 
Narrowleaf monardella
Monardella linoides ssp. stricta
Lamiaceae

[Considered by JM2 as a hybrid between M. australis ssp. australis and M. linoides ssp. erecta, common in the mountains of the Transverse Range]


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