Plants in California Coastal Sage and Chaparral Ecoregion: San Marcos in Southern California

The California coastal sage and chaparral, a sub-ecoregion of the California chaparral and woodlands ecoregion, is found in southwestern California and northwestern Baja California in Mexico.

Approximate Location of Photography: 33.157516, -117.169926 (San Marcos, CA 92069)

The following plants were identified using PictureThis – Plant Identifier App.

Trailhead at the foot of a hill near the end of W Bel Esprit Circle in San Marcos, California.

California coastal sage and chaparral is part of the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome. It covers about 14,000 square miles of coastal terraces, plains, and foothills south to the Punta Baja in northern Baja California, including the southern slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Ana Mountains, and Santa Rosa Mountains, the San Joaquin Hills, the Channel Islands, Guadalupe Island, and Cedros Island. The climate is Mediterranean, with cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers with fog.

Black Sage (Salvia mellifera)

The plant species of the California coastal sage and chaparral ecoregion are diverse, with high endemism. The main plant communities are Coastal sage scrub, California coastal prairie, and Northern coastal scrub.

Black Sage (Salvia mellifera)

Prominent coast adjacent species include California sagebrush and brittlebush, along with California buckwheat and Munz’s sage. At the southern areas of this coastal ecoregion, cacti and succulents can be found, such as Shaw’s agave, coastal dudleya, coastal cholla, golden cereus, and other prickly pear, Yucca and Dudleya species. Some of the endemic plants to the ecoregion’s southern coast zone include San Diego thornmint, San Diego ambrosia and San Diego barrel cactus.

Laurel sumac or Lentisco (Malosma laurina)

In and around these different habitats this diverse ecoregion also contains ‘patches’ of stream-riverside riparian zone oak-sycamore woodlands, native and introduced species grasslands, and serpentine barrens. Seasonal wetland habitats include intermittent creeks, ponds, vernal pools, and floodplains. Wildfires are part of the natural fire ecology throughout the ecoregion. Habitats of this hot, dry coast must survive and revive following the regular forest fires, and the dominant plant species have adapted to do that.

Looking east from the trail.

Wildlife found here includes the Hermes copper and Quino checkerspot butterflies among the 200 butterfly species found here. Other animals include the rosy boa, red-diamond rattlesnake, the San Diego subspecies of the coast horned lizard and the western banded gecko, San Diego pocket mouse, Stephens’ kangaroo rat, and Merriam’s kangaroo rat, western patch-nosed snake, and cheese-weed moth lacewing. Vernal pools in the ecoregion are home to Riverside fairy shrimp.

Black Mustard (Brassica nigra)

The California gnatcatcher is a small bird, endemic to this coastal ecoregion, which has been protected as its habitat is now designated an Important Bird Area. Other birds found here are the endemic Nutall’s woodpecker of the oak woodland, and the coastal populations of the protected cactus wren.

Below are the rest of the plant species and scenery images.

Black Mustard (Brassica nigra)
Black Sage (Salvia mellifera)
Various coastal sage plants.
Coastal Monkeyflower (Erythranthe dentata)
Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea)
California Cudweed (Pseudognaphalium californicum)
Tocolote (Centaurea melitensis)
Orange Bush Monkey Flower (Diplacus aurantiacus)
Yellow Yarrow (Eriophyllum confertiflorum)
Orange Bush Monkey Flower (Diplacus aurantiacus)
California Cudweed (Pseudognaphalium californicum)
Catchfly Prairie Gentian (Eustoma Exaltatum)
Catchfly Prairie Gentian (Eustoma Exaltatum)
Looking east from the trail with the three peaks of east San Diego (North Peak, Middle Peak, Cuyamaca Peak) on far background.
California Brittlebush (Encelia californica)
California Buckwheat (Eriogonium fasciculatum)
Looking south from the trail with Double Peak (right background).
Black Sage (Salvia mellifera)
American Elder (Sambucus canadensis)
Looking northeast from the trail.
Rose Fountain Grass (Cenchrus setaceus)
Rose Fountain Grass (Cenchrus setaceus)
Blessed Milkthistle (Silybum marianum)
Slender Oat (Avena barbata)
Heartleaf Skullcap (Scutellaria ovata)
Going uphill on the trail.
The hillside of the trail.
Sweet Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Looking north with another hill on the view.
Looking northeast from the trail.
Looking southeast from the trail with the three peaks of east San Diego (North Peak, Middle Peak, Cuyamaca Peak) on center left background and Mt. Woodson on center right. Mt. Woodson is where the Potato Chip Rock is located.
Looking south with the California State University San Marcos Campus (center).
Going downhill on the trail.
Looking south with California State University San Marcos campus (left).
Coyote Brush (Baccharis pilularis)
Rose Fountain Grass (Cenchrus setaceus)
Looking east from the trail with the three peaks of east San Diego (North Peak, Middle Peak, Cuyamaca Peak) on far background.
Palomar Medical Center (center) in Escondido, California.
Lemonade Berry (Rhus integrifolia).

Source:

Images property of Chromoscience.

PictureThis. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/picturethis-plant-identifier/id1252497129


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