TEJON RANCH, KERN AND LOS ANGELES COUNTIES MARCH 2016
PAGE ONE

Photographs by Michael Charters




This was the second of my two Jepson trips to the Tejon Ranch, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to visit this fantastic place. It is a majestic landscape of canyons and mountains, 90% of which will be preserved in perpetuity as a result of the agreement made between ranch and environmental groups. The sheer scale of the ranch's size almost boggles the imagination, with its 270,000 acres stretching from the San Joaquin Valley to the Antelope Valley and criss-crossed by at least a thousand, possibly two thousand, miles of ranch roads. An elevational gradient of 6,000', a dizzying complexity of soil types and substrates, innumerable and varied habitats, and the fortuitous conjunction of four floristic regions, allow for the presence of around 1,000 species of plants, new taxa of which continue to be found and recorded, and many of which are rare. It was our good fortune to have as our workshop leaders Neal Kramer who has been working on the flora of the ranch for the past seven years and Dr. Maynard Moe of CSU Bakersfield, author of Flora of Kern County, as well as Dr. Mike White, Conservation Science Director for the Tejon Ranch Conservancy, and Scot Pipkin, the Conservancy's Public Access Manager, both of whom shared with us a great deal of interesting and valuable information on a great range of subjects relating to the ranch. We were also extremely fortunate in that although leading up to this past weekend, there was some possibility that the workshop would have to be cancelled due to rain, the weather turned out to be absolutely glorious.

I want to emphasize that the Tejon Ranch is private property, and that anyone seeking to visit there should respect that and should do it under the auspices of the Conservancy's public access program. The relationship between ranch, Conservancy and the public is still in the process of being worked out, and it would be regrettable if anyone jeopardized that by trying to enter the ranch without proper authority. Click here for the Conservancy's website and here for a video about the ranch. The symbol ^ next to the common name is for a taxon that was new to me when I photographed it on this field trip, and an asterisk denotes a non-native taxon.


     
Calico monkeyflower ^
Mimulus pictus
Phrymaceae
[pictus = painted, brightly colored]


 
Bentham lupine, Spider lupine
Lupinus benthamii
Fabaceae
[Named for English botanist George Bentham. 1800-1884]



   
Caterpillar phacelia
Phacelia cicutaria var. cicutaria
Boraginaceae


   
Globe gilia
Gilia capitata
Polemoniaceae



 
Purple owl's clover
Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta
Orobanchaceae
 
 
 
Bird's-eye gilia
Gilia tricolor
Polemoniaceae


 
Bigelow's spike-moss
Selaginella bigelovii
Selaginellaceae
  Strigose lotus
Acmispon strigosus
Fabaceae


 
 
 
Eastwood's fiddleneck ^
Amsinckia eastwoodiae
Boraginaceae
[Named for Alice Eastwood, 1859-1953]
 
 



 
Miniature lupine, Bicolored lupine
Lupinus bicolor
Fabaceae



   
Rusty-haired popcorn flower
Plagiobothrys nothofulvus
Boraginaceae



 
California poppy
Eschscholzia californica
Papaveraceae


 
Small-head field clover
Trifolium microcephalum
Fabaceae
 
 
 
Long-beaked storksbill *
Erodium botrys
Geraniaceae


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Copyright © 2016 by Michael L. Charters.
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Comments and/or questions may be addressed to: mmlcharters[at]gmail.com.