This was my third trip to the Tejon Ranch and it was organized by the San Gabriel Mts chapter of the California Native Plant Society. One day we went up into the ranch to a number of locations from the Antelope Valley side and the other day we drove up a very floristic road from the San Joaquin Valley side. The Tejon Ranch never fails to amaze me by its sheer immensity and grandeur. It's fairly staggering to me that at one time the single family of Edward Beale, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in California, owned the 270,000 acres that eventually made up the present-day Tejon Ranch. The Ranch was sold by Beale's son in 1912 to a syndicate of investors headed by Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler and land developer Moses Sherman. The Tejon Ranch Company became a public company in 1936. While California condors soar above the high ridges and pronghorn antelope graze the grasslands, the Ranch is home to an impressive number of plant species resulting both from its location at the nexus of four bioregions, the Central Valley, the southern Sierras, the Mojave Desert, and the Transverse Range, and from its extreme elevational diversity. We were fortunate to have with us Nick Jensen, a botanist who has for some years been studying and recording the flora of the Ranch, and I thank him for his participation. I would be remiss in also not mentioning that since the Ranch is private property, it must not be entered without proper authorization, and anyone who wishes to go there should contact the Tejon Ranch Conservancy. An upside-down V next to the common name is for a taxon that was new to me when I photographed it on this field trip.

NOTE: As of December 2018, the Tejon Ranch management has banned the California Plant Society and associated botanical organizations such as Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, the Eriogonum Society and possibly also the Jepson Herbarium from their previously allowed visits to the ranch, due to public opposition to the Centennial Project, a project which Los Angeles County has yet to finally accept and which if finalized will create a 19,000-home community on the Antelope Valley side, a gigantic developed footprint of enormous financial value to the ranch but one where the threat of fire, the enormous consumption of water, and the impact of tens of thousands of vehicles are obviously of great concern. It appears that for the moment at least, the ranch's participation in further botanical endeavors seems at an end, and it sadly remains to be seen whether it will ever be revitalized.

Common hillside daisy
Monolopia lanceolata
It's easy to distinguish Monolopia lanceolata from the other Monolopia on the Ranch which is M. stricta or Crum's monolopia (see photo on right). Lanceolata has ray flowers +/- equally 3-lobed, whereas stricta has ray flowers either entire or only slightly lobed.

Great valley phacelia
Phacelia ciliata

Death camas
Toxicoscordion venenosum var. venenosum
The family Melanthiaceae is called the Trillium or False-hellebore family and other than Toxicoscordion includes only one other genus in Southern California, Veratrum, and four other genera in the rest of California.

Blue-eyed grass
Sisyrinchium bellum

Elmer's cinquefoil ^
Potentilla gracilis var. elmeri
[Named for American botanist and plant collector Adolph Daniel Edward Elmer, 1879-1942]

Palmer's mariposa lily
Calochortus palmeri var. palmeri

California buttercup
Ranunculus californicus var. californicus

Few-leaved checkerbloom
Sidalcea sparsifolia

Warty spurge
Euphorbia spathulata

Purple owl's clover
Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta

Lemmon's mustard
Caulanthus anceps
[So called because this taxon was originally collected in 1887 by John Gil Lemmon and his wife on their ranch in the mountains of San Luis Obispo County and described as Thelypodium lemmonii. When transferred to Caulanthus a new specific epithet was required because another species had already been named by S. Watson as Caulanthus lemmonii. Thanks to David Hollombe for this info.]

Broad-leaf stonecrop
Sedum spathulifolium

Red maids
Calandrinia menziesii


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