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Author Topic: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California  (Read 95848 times)

Ed Alverson

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2016, 09:02:11 PM »
Glad to hear, Robert, that your Polystichum searches have been so successful!

For those who are interested, there is a recent paper on the taxonomy of Pentagramma:
http://pryerlab.biology.duke.edu/uploads/media_items/schuettpelz-et-al-2015.original.pdf

Pentagramma pallida is another particularly interesting species that I think grows in Robert's area.

Ed
Ed Alverson, Eugene, Oregon

Gabriela

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2016, 11:36:48 PM »
In addition, what is common or well known elsewhere might be completely unknown to me. I am always learning on this forum - something from everyone. Sometimes one detail is shared that helps me with the cultivation of a beloved species.

Agree 100%  :) so thanks for posting. When I see a new genera name I cannot abstain to find out more about it - so I googled about the Pentagramma of course, but would love to see pictures with it in the native habitat.
I think ferns are a bit under-cultivated in the gardens (at least here), maybe because one can find so many in the wild.
Gabriela
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Robert

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2016, 05:27:23 AM »
Glad to hear, Robert, that your Polystichum searches have been so successful!

For those who are interested, there is a recent paper on the taxonomy of Pentagramma:
http://pryerlab.biology.duke.edu/uploads/media_items/schuettpelz-et-al-2015.original.pdf

Pentagramma pallida is another particularly interesting species that I think grows in Robert's area.

Ed

Hi Ed,

My end of the Polystichum project has gone very well. Part of the project has been extended and I will be traveling south to gather samples from other locations. It turns out the the Jepson's key does work well for P. imbricans ssp. curtum, however I do suspect that there is some hybridizing going on between the two subspecies. This will most likely be of interest to Mr. Barrington. I am quite interested in what I might find too.

Silver-Back Fern, Pentagramma triangularis does grow in our area. It is not as common as the Gold-Back Fern in our area. I am quite interested in the latest information. Thank you. I have seen P. pallida tossed back and forth as a species then and subspecies of P. triangularis over the years.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
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Robert

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2016, 05:33:40 AM »
Agree 100%  :) so thanks for posting. When I see a new genera name I cannot abstain to find out more about it - so I googled about the Pentagramma of course, but would love to see pictures with it in the native habitat.
I think ferns are a bit under-cultivated in the gardens (at least here), maybe because one can find so many in the wild.

Gabriela,

Our native ferns are definitely under-cultivated in our region.  ???  Something I do not understand as they are generally easily cultivated and there is such diversity in the various species.

I will be out very soon now.  :)
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2016, 05:37:40 AM »
Both the cliff faces and ferns have my vote also ;D

When I am out I always study the cliffs and rocky outcroppings especially on rich ground. Mostly the bedrock around is acidic and poor so when I am on richer ground I am very eager.

Two examples:

Cystopteris fragilis is common also on poor substrate and Polystichum lonchitis and Asplenium viride are rarer and always on rich substrate.

Trond,

I see Cystopteris fragilis somewhat frequently in our area. Polystichum lonchitis grows in the northern end of the Tahoe Basin. It is rarely found and is said to be a relic of the last Ice Age.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2016, 05:47:54 AM »
Ione California

Monday, 25 January 2016

Weather: High Clouds
Temperature, High: 55 F (13 C), Low: 34 F (1 C)

Today was a reconnaissance trip to Ione, California. Ione is located about 35 miles (56 km) south of our farm in Amador County. Some of the soil types are very unusual in this area, so not surprising there are a number of rare and endemic species in this area.



I drove some of the back roads in this area to see if I could find anything promising to explore later on.



Ione is located in the transition zone between the Sacramento Valley and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Looking west is the flat expanse of the valley.



The rainfall has turned the countryside green and very promising for many wildflowers come spring.



In addition, this area is still somewhat less developed. There are still vernal pools, now a rare and quickly vanishing habitat for many species of unique annual wildflowers as well as habitat for many other creatures. There were still a few around - a must to check on later in the season.



Looking east the snow capped Sierra peaks can be seen far in the distance.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2016, 06:13:36 AM »


There are many very busy roads in this area. When I was a teenager I would go Bass fishing in some of the farm ponds that I knew about. I still remembered many of the back roads and one was still extremely quiet and with no traffic.

This turned out to be the correct road for me today. The first pristine flowers of Arctostaphylos manzanita - and a very good form.



A close-up of the flowers. This plant was very dense and full - loaded with flowers. I just do not understand why this species is not grown in gardens here in California.  ???  Well I grow it and love it in our garden.  ;D



Another great find was the rare endemic Ione Manzanite, Arctostaphylos myrtifolia. Front and center with Arctostaphylos viscida on each side.



Ione Manzanita is another extremely beautiful species. In general, this species grows somewhat low, dense and mounding. The evergreen leaves are small relative to most other Arctostaphylos species and the the twigs are covered with distinctive long hairs. This plant was loaded with flowers making it a fine example of the species. I was very over-joyed to find this species again. The last time I observed it in the wild was in 1975 - way to long.



Typical habitat of Ione Manzanita. In general this soil type is very acidic and low in nutrients. Despite the soil conditions, this species is easily grown in the garden - at least here in California.

This trip was just a quick reconnaissance. I will be back to check on other endemic species in this area later in the season.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Hoy

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2016, 07:35:04 AM »
Trond,

I see Cystopteris fragilis somewhat frequently in our area. Polystichum lonchitis grows in the northern end of the Tahoe Basin. It is rarely found and is said to be a relic of the last Ice Age.

There you see, Robert. It is not much which is restricted to my area only ;)


......

This turned out to be the correct road for me today. The first pristine flowers of Arctostaphylos manzanita - and a very good form.


A close-up of the flowers. This plant was very dense and full - loaded with flowers. I just do not understand why this species is not grown in gardens here in California.  ???  Well I grow it and love it in our garden.  ;D
...........

I can't understand why they are not grown more everywhere?! Some forms should prove hardy even in northern Europe ;)
The flowers and bark are very similar to Arctostaphylos uva-ursi which is common here, but the habit is quite different.

516071-0

I think the dry weather you had last year has something to do with the abundant flowering now.
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Robert

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2016, 02:33:41 PM »

I can't understand why they are not grown more everywhere?! Some forms should prove hardy even in northern Europe ;)
The flowers and bark are very similar to Arctostaphylos uva-ursi which is common here, but the habit is quite different.


I think the dry weather you had last year has something to do with the abundant flowering now.

Trond.

Certainly the high elevation Arctostaphylos species would be cold hardy. Each species needs to be tested, especially when considering origin. Some coastal species are not even hardy inland where it is colder. There can even be variation within a population.

And, yes, the dry weather last year appears to be part of the flowering equation this year. A. myrtifolia had many short twigs of growth from last spring, each with a inflorescence at the end. A. manzanita had very typical stem elongation from last spring.

I have been observing the Manzanita throughout the season. Some populations had "normal" stem elongation others did not. I even observed variation in the number of nascent inflorescence - some many, others very few to none. Also, some species set no seed last year. This was particularly true of A. viscida.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Gabriela

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2016, 07:43:56 PM »
Wonderful these manzanitas!!! Who wouldn't like to grow them  ???
Maybe I should move to California  ;D
Gabriela
Ontario, zone 5
http://botanicallyinclined.org/

Robert

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2016, 04:06:34 AM »
I went in search of Pentagramma pallida today. I know of one easy to access site. As of today, I still have to bring my 90 year old mother with me everywhere (she needs constant attention). Needless to say this limits what I can do even at an easy access site (i.e. she sits in the car while I look, always within her sight). I found a few P. triangularis.  :-\

I was hoping to do a photographic comparison of the two species. This will all change when my brother arrives in a few days - but then I have some high priority projects to get done.

Stay tuned - P. pallida will show-up when I can get out and truly get something accomplished.  :)
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
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fermi de Sousa

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2016, 07:38:57 AM »
Wonderful these manzanitas!!! Who wouldn't like to grow them  ???
Likewise, Gabriela!
How difficult are they to start from seed, Robert?
cheers
fermi
Mr Fermi de Sousa, Redesdale,
Victoria, Australia

Robert

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2016, 05:09:03 PM »

How difficult are they to start from seed, Robert?
cheers
fermi

Fermi,

I would have to say Arctostaphylos requires patience. I am still experimenting with different techniques. So far, I am not satisfied with any one technique. They all seem to come up after 2 seasons of cold weather. I have tried the following pre-treatments: smoke, acid, hot water, soaking in digestive pills, even "forced germination" i.e. cutting through the hard seed coat to the embryo and trying to start it.

Right now I am most satisfied with chipping away or sanding away most of the hard seed coat. This is easy to do and I get the best results, however I still have to wait 2 seasons for the seed to germinate. It is easy enough to save the seed pans through two seasons.

The great thing about growing the Manzanitas from seed is the seedling variation depending on the source. Many of the garden seeds turn out to be hybrids - and very interesting. Even wild gathered seed can show wide variation. Some do hybridize in the wild + even the species can often show considerable variation with many characteristics. It is great fun to grow them from seed. I have plenty of room around here to grow them - they require very little care (basically none) once established in the ground - including summertime irrigation - a big deal around here.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2016, 04:56:44 AM »
Southern El Dorado County

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Weather: High Clouds
Temperature, High: 74 F (23 C), Low: 40 F (4.5 C)

Today I had an hour or so to do some reconnaissance in Southern El Dorado County, California.



With record high temperatures during the day and very mild nighttime temperatures many of the native plants are breaking dormancy. The new shoots of Aesculus californica, California Buckeye, are emerging now. This is normal for this species this time of year. The new growth is very resistant to freezing temperatures and will not be burned back if freezing temperatures return.



Arctostaphylos viscida, White-leaf Manzanita, is also starting to bloom at its median elevation level. I have a keen interest in this genus and that I have already missed much of this season's bloom cycle at the lower elevations and in the coastal areas.  :'(



This is a view of "Slick Rock" on the North Fork of the Cosumnes River. There is a trail-head at this location down to the river on BLM land (i.e. public). Almost all of the land is private in this area and off limits to the public. I am very interested in studying the plants in this area as this part of southern El Dorado County is one of the few places (locally) with a granite based soil at the lower elevations.



Eriophyllum lanatum var. croceum. We have 5 varieties of this species in El Dorado County. This xeric variety is a strong perennial in the garden, thriving with little or no irrigation during the summer. The other varieties are worth growing too, however the are more ephemeral. The yellow daisy of all the varieties are very attractive.



Time is running out in this area. The forest is being cleared everywhere from new wine vineyards. The granite based soils are prime for the wine grapes and produce excellent quality wine. It is also the habitat for some specialized plant species.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2016, 05:32:43 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

Robert

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Re: 2016 - Robert's adventures in the Northern Sierra Nevada - California
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2016, 05:30:06 AM »


Near the village of Omo Ranch I spotted this multi-branched Incense Cedar, Calocedrus decurrens. The majority have straight trunks with no large side branches.



The bark of this species is very attractive and the scent of the foliage is divine! Where there are Incense Cedar, the forest is always nicely scented. Warm or cold temperatures does not seem to be a factor in the strength of the scent. It always seems pleasantly nice.



The best view I could get of the canyon of the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River. There is a fair amount of public land in the canyon and many interesting plants. The northern limit of Calochortus venustus starts in this area. There are a few widely scattered population farther to the north, however from here southward the species is seen much more frequently.

Another interesting feature of this canyon are it's limestone formations and caves. I have visited one of the limestone caves and it is beautiful and fascinating.



From a ridge-line, this is a view into the Perry Creek drainage and the Sacramento Valley far in the distance. The northern limit of the southern population of Staphylea bolanderi grows (grew) in this region. There has been a tremendous amount of agricultural development in this area over the past 40 years. I would be very pleased if I could find this species in this area, however I am not very hopeful. Fortunately, it also grows in Amador County a few miles to the south. Many of the populations in Amador County are on public land and have some degree of protection. I have some outings planned for this part of Amador County later this season.



Looking the opposite direction on the same ridge-line to the snow capped peaks of the high Sierra Nevada in the far distance.

I did not have any time to get out and hike around, however this reconnaissance was success and I have some excellent sites to check on later when I get my next chance.  :)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2016, 05:36:49 AM by Robert »
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos Robert Barnard

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him stepto the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

 


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