Photographs by Michael Charters

Rather than doing the kind of photo gallery I have usually done in the past, where all the photos were taken on a single trip, this one will include photos taken on several trips. The dates of these trips were 7/26/09, 8/23/13 (with Tom Chester, Adrienne Ballwey, Jane Tirrell, James Dillane and RT and Shaun Hawke), 7/2/15, 7/6/15, 7/13/15 (with Tom Chester and Nancy Accola), and 8/7/15 (with Tom Chester, Nancy Accola and James Dillane). This is in line with galleries I have done recently for Puma Canyon Ecological Reserve and Fish Canyon. Table Mountain is a high point northwest of the community of Wrightwood and just west of the line between Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. There is a lovely campground on the north flank of the mountain, a frisbee golf course, and a ski area originally called Table Mountain Ski Area which opened in 1938. It became Ski Sunrise in 1975 and was sold in 2004 to the company that owns and operates the main Mountain High Ski Resort on the south side of the Angeles Crest Highway. Near the higher of the two peaks of Table Mountain there is an observatory originally operated by the Smithsonian Institution but since 1962 by JPL. There is a 40-inch telescope there that was built by and is operated by Pomona College. The elevation of the two peaks is 7,516' and 7,473'. The lower peak, East Peak, has a telecommunications facility on it. Just five days after our last visit, the lightning-caused Pines fire forced the evacuation of the Observatory and burned at least part of the area we had just botanized along the 4N21 road. In a few cases for a species we saw that was not in bloom, I have included flower pictures from elsewhere. Since I have only visited this locality in the months of July and August, I will be returning there next spring. Tom Chester's flora of Table Mountain is online here. An asterisk next to the common name is for a non-native species and an upside-down V is for a species that was new to me when I saw it on these field trips.

Royal penstemon
Penstemon speciosus
On our last trip we became confused about two species that had very similar leaves, but fortunately at one location the two species, Penstemon speciosus and Frasera neglecta, were growing practically side by side so it was easy to compare them. Pictures of the two rosettes are below (L: Penstemon, R: Frasera), along with a picture of the finished inflorescences of the two species side by side, with the Penstemon again on the left and the Frasera on the right. Although the leaves are similar, there are differences, such as the Penstemon having clasping leaves and the Frasera having 'sort of' white-margined ones. See page 8 for the flower of Frasera neglecta.


Martin's paintbrush
Castilleja applegatei var. martinii

Wright's buckwheat
Eriogonum wrightii var. subscaposum

Jones' cryptantha
Cryptantha muricata var. jonesii
  Prickly-nut cryptantha
Cryptantha muricata var. denticulata

Splendid woodland-gilia
Saltugilia splendens ssp. splendens
Ssp. splendens and ssp. grantii differ primarily in the ratio of corolla tube to calyx length, with ssp. splendens having a corolla tube length of up to twice the calyx length, and ssp. grantii having a corolla tube length from a bit more than twice to almost six times the calyx length. The overall corolla tube length is somewhat greater in ssp. grantii, but for any picture which shows the flower from the side it is fairly easy to distinguish them. Tom Chester has measured pictures of mine from dozens of localities which has helped me get them straightened out, and I now feel comfortable about identifying them either in the field or from a picture. The epithet Saltugilia is derived from the Latin saltus for 'woodland,' and the Jepson Manual now calls these species woodland-gilias.

Davidson's phacelia
Phacelia davidsonii

Parish's tauschia
Tauschia parishii
Parish's lomatium
Lomatium nevadense var. parishii

Johnston's buckwheat
Eriogonum microthecum var. johnstonii
Var. johnstonii is the taxon that the Jepson Manual says is in the eastern San Gabriels and western San Bernardinos, with var. simpsonii in the Mojave and var. corymbosoides in the eastern San Bernardinos. The hairs on these plants are white which would make it var. simpsonii. In fact the taxa may be indistinct.

Greenleaf manzanita
Arctostaphylos patula

Bolle's mistletoe, Fir mistletoe
Phoradendron bolleanum
  Chaparral yucca
Hesperoyucca whipplei

Woodland spurge
Euphorbia lurida
[Formerly E. palmeri]


Copyright @ 2015-2019 by Michael L. Charters.
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