Photographs by Michael Charters

This was the second of my two Jepson Herbarium field workshops for this year, and these workshops just keep getting better and better. The official title of the workshop was The High and Wet Flora of the White Mountains and the really special part of it was the two and a half days botanizing at elevations between 10,000' and 12,000'. We stayed at the Crooked Creek Station located in bristlecone/limber pine forest at 10,150'. Crooked Creek is part of the White Mountain Research Center managed by UCLA. Our field trip was superbly led by two vastly experienced and knowledgeable botanists who have been studying the flora of these mountains for many years, Jim Morefield, and Dylan Neubauer, who has for several seasons lived at Crooked Creek with her husband Tim, who is a first rate chef and provided us with sumptious meals. The weather was glorious and cool at that elevation, and the landscape spectacular. Someone looking at the above photo, which was taken at around 11,000' and which shows 14,252' White Mountain Peak in the middle background, might think that this terrain is more or less barren, but in fact it is totally covered with plants. Days could be spent just wandering around the area you see in this photo. It probably would have been even better a few weeks earlier, but you can never tell nine months in advance when the best time would be to visit any particular area. One of the cool things that we did one day was to follow in the footsteps of Willis Linn Jepson who in 1917 in the company of Joseph Grinnell, A.C. Shelton and H.G. White climbed up through Silver Canyon on his one and only botanical excursion to the White Mountains. It had been thirteen years since my previous trip to the White Mountains, a trip which I undertook on my own, and during which I hiked to the top of White Mountain Peak. When I got back home from my recent trip, I was very glad and indeed surprised to find that most of the photos I had taken in 2002 were correctly identified at least to species level. Our group on this workshop was very congenial and knowledgeable, and I thank them for helping to make this a terrific experience. The symbol ^ next to the common name indicates a taxon that was new to me when I photographed it on this field trip, and an asterisk is for a non-native species.

Rock spiraea
Petrophytum caespitosum ssp. caespitosum

Water parsnip
Berula erecta

Mountain tail leaf ^
Pericome caudata

Colorado four o'clock ^
Mirabilis multiflora var. glandulosa

Virgin's bower
Clematis ligusticifolia
Five-hook bassia, Five horn smotherweed, Thorn orache *
Bassia hyssopifolia

[hyssopifolia = with leaves like the aromatic herb Hyssop]

Parry's buckwheat
Eriogonum brachypodum

[Originally published as E. parryi in 1874 by Asa Gray]

Torrey's saltbush ^
Atriplex torreyi var. torreyi

Scarlet monkeyflower
Mimulus cardinalis
Desert straw
Stephanomeria pauciflora

Epilobium ciliatum ssp. ciliatum
Willow-leaved dock
Rumex californicus

Northern desert monkeyflower
Mimulus bigelovii var. cuspidatus

[cuspidatus = tipped with a firm point]

Shadscale saltbush, Spiny saltbush
Atriplex confertifolia

Symphyotrichum sp.


      Copyright © 2015 by Michael L. Charters.
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Comments and/or questions may be addressed to: mmlcharters[at]gmail.com.