SANTA ROSA PLATEAU ECOLOGICAL PRESERVE MAY 2010
PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




The other day I realized with some surprise that it had been four years since I had visited the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve, a place that I had made many trips to back in 2005 and 2006, and a place that I particularly love. Tom Chester was planning a photography outing to supplement his own pictures of Santa Rosa Plateau flora, and to help Marsha Hanson find some species to fill out the collection of wildflower photos that she is compiling for a series of Visitor Center binders. The 8,300 acres of the Plateau are located off Clinton Keith Road near the city of Murrieta at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains in southwest Riverside County, and consist of grasslands, chaparral, and sage scrub with some very special habits such as Engelmann oak woodlands and vernal pools. I thought this was an excellent opportunity for me to renew my acquaintance with the Plateau and do a photo gallery for a place that is near and dear to my heart. I went back again a few days later to try to get some photographs of the Microseris douglasii of which there were none open on the first trip. The keys say 'nodding in bud,' but most of the nodding buds we saw had already produced ligules without the buds having opened. It had been late in the day when we were there, so I thought possibly in the morning I would find open flowers. I was able to find only a few flowers that were open. I collected some buds and put them in water at home, but they opened directly to fruit. It's an odd species that can be self-pollinating and apparently often just doesn't have an open flower. An asterisk next to the common name indicates a non-native species, of which there are an unfortunate number at the Plateau, partly as a result of its ranching history, but especially near trailheads and roads.


   
California poppy
Eschscholzia californica
Papaveraceae
 
Spotted downingia
Downingia bella
Campanulaceae
 
Three-spot
Osmadenia tenella
Asteraceae


 
Water crowfoot
Ranunculus aquatilis var. capillaceus
Ranunculaceae
 
Western buttercup
Ranunculus occidentalis
Ranunculaceae


       
   
Chaparral gilia
Gilia angelensis
Polemoniaceae
   
    Splendid mariposa lily
Calochortus splendens
Liliaceae


 
Elk thistle
Cirsium scariosum
Asteraceae
 
Few-leaved checkerbloom
Sidalcea malviflora ssp. sparsifolia
Malvaceae

 


 
 
 
Southern California morning glory
Calystegia macrostegia ssp. arida
Convolvulaceae



       
   
California everlasting
Pseudognaphalium californicum
Asteraceae
   
    Crete weed *
Hedypnois cretica
Asteraceae


 
Clover fern, Hairy waterclover
Marsilea vestita ssp. vestita
Marsileaceae

 
Scarlet pimpernel *
Anagallis arvensis
Myrsinaceae
 


 
 
Thread-leaved brodiaea
Brodiaea filifolia
Themidaceae

 
Engelmann oak
Quercus engelmannii
Fagaceae
 


     
  Rein orchid
Piperia cooperi
Orchidaceae
 


 
 
Ground pink
Linanthus dianthiflorus
Polemoniaceae
 
 
 
 
Common muilla
Muilla maritima
Themidaceae
Purslane speedwell
Veronica peregrina ssp. xalapensis
Plantaginaceae
 
 


 
 
Hooked popcorn flower
Plagiobothrys undulatus
Boraginaceae