SANTA ROSA PLATEAU ECOLOGICAL RESERVE MARCH 2016
PAGE ONE
Photographs by Michael Charters




When I was informed by Tom Chester that he was going to be doing a survey of some of the trails at the Santa Rosa Plateau in preparation for a guided tour he was doing, I checked my records and saw that it had been five years since I was there last, so it seemed like a good idea to take this opportunity to reacquaint myself with that beautiful area. I drove down and met Tom, Nancy Accola, Keir Morse and Mike Crouse for a lovely day hiking around the Reserve. In the morning we did the Granite Loop trail where we had the great good fortune, thanks to Keir, to find a species that is very rare in Southern California, Hesperevax acaulis var. ambusticola, called stemless or dwarf evax, and which I had only seen once before at Santa Fe Dam in Los Angeles Co. After lunch at the Visitor Center, we hiked the Vernal Pool trail to Ranch Road, the Adobe Loop trail, and then the Trans-Preserve trail back to the Vernal Pool trailhead. Grasses germinated early throughout the Reserve preventing many of the annuals from getting started, but still there were many blooms in evidence and we had a terrific day. The 9000-acre Reserve is at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains in southwest Riverside County near the city of Murrieta, and accessed from Clinton Keith Road off the I-15 freeway. The picture above is of the Vernal Pool area. An asterisk next to the common name indicates a non-native taxon, and the symbol ^ is for a taxon that was new to me when I photographed it on this field outing.


   
Blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium bellum
Iridaceae


 
Crimson pitcher sage, Hummingbird sage
Salvia spathacea
Lamiaceae

[Planted near the Visitor Center]


 
 
 
Stemless evax, Dwarf evax
Hesperevax acaulis var. ambusticola
Asteraceae

 
 



   
Bird's-foot fern
Pellaea mucronata var. mucronata
Pteridaceae



 
 
Intermediate sun cup
Camissoniopsis intermedia
Onagraceae
 
 



 
Parry's jepsonia
Jepsonia parryi
Saxifragaceae

[Photo on right taken at Torrey Pines in 2001]


 
Parish's nightshade
Solanum parishii
Solanaceae
 
 
 
Threadstem
Pterostegia drymarioides
Polygonaceae


   
Snakeroot
Sanicula arguta
Apiaceae



Wild celery
Apiastrum angustifolium
Apiaceae
 
 
     
Blue dicks
Dichelostemma capitatum ssp. capitatum
Themidaceae


     
Red bush monkeyflower
Mimulus aurantiacus var. puniceus
Phrymaceae
[puniceus = reddish-purple]


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