Tag Archives: Checklist

Plants of Hot Springs Valley: Additions in 2018

Asclepias cordifolia

1. Asclepias cordifolia

It’s time for another update to Plants of Hot Springs Valley and Grover Hot Springs State Park, Alpine County, California. I’ve added several plants to the list, based on explorations around the margins of the valley earlier this year, plus observations posted by others posted on iNaturalist. PDFs (for printing single-page format and booklet format) are available on the Downloads page of this site.

Agoseris retorsa

3. Agoseris retorsa

Here are 11 species (including one correction) added to the list in 2018:

Apocynaceae (Milkweed or Dogbane family)
1. Asclepias cordifolia – Purple milkweed – Sandy hillside with chaparral, along Burnside Lake Trail near the campground, north side of valley.
2. Asclepias fascicularis – Narrow-leaf milkweed – A milkweed with decidedly narrow leaves, growing in pine forest near the park entrance (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/13825500).
Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
3. Agoseris retorsa – Spearleaf mountain dandelion
– In granitic sand along the Burnside Lake Trail, in forest openings or forest edges, west of the meadows.
4. Artemisia ludoviciana subsp. incompta – Mountain mugwort – Uncommon, along the eroding banks of Hot Springs Creek, west of the meadows. Perhaps also to be found in rocky outcrop areas.
5. Hemizonella minima
– Tiny tarweed – A small to minute, yellow-flowered annual growing in granitic sand along the Burnside Lake Trail near the campground and north of the falls; also among outcrops near the falls. (This is a correction: previously misidentified as Madia exigua.)
6. Malacothrix floccifera – Wooly desert-dandelion – A small annual growing in granitic sand in dry forest openings, along the Burnside Lake Trail north of the falls. The flower heads resemble small dandelions, with ray flowers that are white in the outer portions and yellow toward the middle.
Brassicaceae (Mustard family)
7. Capsella bursa-pastoris – Shepherd’s-purse – a very widespread plant (but not common here), found along the disturbed edge of a service road (where it doubles for a few hundred yards as the Burnside Lake/Charity Valley Trail), on the north side of the valley, west of campground.
Orchidaceae (Orchid Family)
8. Corallorhiza striata – Striped coralroot – In deep litter of pine needles in conifer forest along the Burnside Lake Trail, north of The Falls.
Polemoniaceae (Phlox family)
9. Ipomopsis aggregata – Scarlet gilia – In dry forest openings, west of the meadows.
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)
10. Ranunculus occidentalisWestern buttercup – Moist, non-alkaline meadows or moist places in forest.
11. Ranunculus testiculatus
– Bur buttercup – A weedy, unpleasant thing (“gets stuck in the pads of my dogs’ feet”, somebody once told me), native to Eurasia. It’s in a small area of disturbed ground in the meadow near Hot Springs Creek, east of the Hot Springs Cutoff trail, and perhaps in other disturbed sites.

Artemisia ludoviciana

4. Artemisia ludoviciana

Hemizonella minima

5. Hemizonella minima

Malacothrix floccifera

6. Malacothrix floccifera

Capsella bursa-pastoris

7. Capsella bursa-pastoris

Corallorhiza striata

8. Corallorhiza striata

Ranunculus occidentalis

10. Ranunculus occidentalis

Ranunculus testiculatus

11. Ranunculus testiculatus


Copyright © Tim Messick 2018. All rights reserved.

Plants of the Bodie Hills Checklist: January 2018 Edition

I’ve made a bunch more corrections and additions to Plants of the Bodie Hills: an Annotated Checklist, based on fieldwork and other research during 2017. CLICK HERE to visit the Downloads page. The January 2018 edition of the checklist is a 50-page, 8.1 mb PDF file.

The Bodie Hills encompass about 417 square miles in northern Mono County, California, western Mineral County, Nevada, and southern-most Lyon County, Nevada. This checklist now includes 701 taxa (species, subspecies, or varieties). Of these, 593 are definitely known to occur in the Bodie Hills and 108 are of uncertain status in the area (quite possibly present, but not yet confirmed). Altogether, there are 558 dicots (in 53 families), 130 monocots (in 15 families), and 13 vascular cryptogams (in 8 families).

Some places in the Bodie Hills worth visiting:

Chemung Lake

Chemung Lake, Chemung Mine, and Masonic Mountain

Upper end of Mormon Meadow

The upper end of Mormon Meadow

East Side of the Bodie Hills

The northeastern Bodie Hills, along the Sweetwater-Aurora Road

Road to Aurora

The road to Aurora

Bridgeport Canyon

Bridgeport Canyon

Mt Biedeman and storm

Mt. Biedeman from the road to Bodie


Copyright © Tim Messick 2018. All rights reserved.

CNPS Visits the Bodie Hills

Chemung Lake

On July 8 the Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) took a field trip to the northern Bodie Hills. About 20 of us drove the loop from Bridgeport up to the Masonic Mountain area, then south to the top of Aurora Canyon and back to Bridgeport, with stops along the way, of course, to look at plants. The first stop was at the seasonal pond I’ll henceforth call Chemung Lake (because it’s near Chemung Mine). It had filled nicely during the wet winter and supported a healthy 6 acres of spike-rush (Eleocharis macrostachya).

Lakeview Spring

We proceeded around the north side of Masonic Mountain to Lakeview Spring, with its ring of Nebraska sedge (Carex nebrascensis) within a large grove of aspen (Populus tremuloides).

Inspecting Paeonia

We inspected the population of Brown’s peony (Paeonia brownii) near Lakeview Spring. This may be the southernmost population of this species east of the Sierra Nevada.


We found Leichtlin’s mariposa-lily (Calochortus leichtlinii), near Lakeview Spring (surrounded here by grass leaves).

Lunch at Lower Town

Lunch beside the aspens and meadow at Masonic Lower Town.

Meadow at Lower Town

Meadow at Lower Town

Ann explains a grass.


The caravan stops along a drainage southeast of Masonic Mountain.


Pronghorn crossing the road ahead!


Ten members of the Bodie Hills herd of Pronghorn.

Thanks to Ann Howald (CNPS) and April Sall (Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership) for arranging and leading this outing, and to all the other participants for their interest in the Bodie Hills!

A few more botanical notes:

Plants seen on this trip that will be added to the next edition of the Plants of the Bodie Hills checklist:
Asteraceae: Tragopogon dubius Scop. Yellow salsify. Near Lakeview Spring, among aspens and with Paeonia brownii.
Asteraceae: Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten. Bull thistle. At Lakeview Spring, and Ann Howald reports having seen it in Rattlesnake Gulch and at Mormon Meadow.
Cyperaceae: Cyperus squarrosus L. Bearded flatsedge. Tiny plants, easily overlooked, near the southwest shore of Chemung Lake.
Juncaceae: Juncus tiehmii Ertter. Tiehm’s rush. Possibly seen at Chemung Lake (confirmation pending), but apparently this tiny annual rush was collected on Dry Lakes Plateau way back in 1983, and so should have been in the checklist from the beginning.

Copyright © Tim Messick 2017. All rights reserved.