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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Images property of Chromoscience.