Vol. 1, No. 2 June 1982

Bristlecone Chapter
Dedicated to the Preservation of the California Native Flora



Vol. 1, No. 2 June 1982

President's message:

My attendance at the quarterly June meeting of the California Native Plant Society in Chico assured me that the Society is alive and well. Most of the chapter presidents attended, committee chairs gave meaningful reports, and much dedication was evident. The assembly was glad to learn of our formation over here east of the Sierra and enthusiastically accepted our group as the Society's 21st chapter.

Most chapters reduce activity during the summer and we are following that pathway. By fall, however, additional committee heads will be selected and their work should be under way. Even though we are a new chapter we will soon be making ourselves known as an active and effective conservation-oriented group in our area.

See you in the bristlecones!

Vince Yoder, President

Mark on your calendar:

August 27, 28, and 29 our chapter will have a joint field trip with the Marin Chapter. We have reserved Fossil Camp in the Cedar Flat Group Camp area at Westgard Pass for Friday and Saturday nights. This is a dry camp, so bring all the water you expect to need. To reach the campsite, proceed east on the Westgard Pass road, State Route 168, until you get to the second group camp entrance, just beyond the turnoff to the bristlecones. This is about 13 miles from US Route 395. Turn right and go carefully over a dirt road past the Juniper Camp entrance. Continue on to Fossil Camp. Bring a camp stove--no open cooking fires. Bring hand lens, books and notebooks.

Next meeting will be September 29. The place and program will be announced in the August newsletter.

Update on Chapter Organization

President: Vincent Yoder
P. 0. Box 330, Lone Pine, 93545 876-4275

Vice-president: Frances Cholewa
Rt. 1, Box K-32, Bishop, 93514 872-1873

Sec-treasurer: Betty Gilchrist
 Rt. 2, Box 89, Lone Pine, 93545 876-4517

Newsletter: Mary DeDecker,
 P. 0. Box 506, Independence, 93526 878-2389

Membership: Kay C. Wylie
 P. 0. Box 461, Lone Pine, 93545 (Work) 876-5542

Page 2.

Publicity: Joanne Kerbavaz
 P. 0. Box 847, Bishop, 93514 (Work) 873-8411

Hostess: Doris Fredendall
 P. 0. Box 146, Big Pine, 93513 938-2787

Rare Plants: Mary DeDecker
 P. 0. Box 506, Independence, 93526 878-2389

Legislation: Dorothy Alcorace
 P. 0. Box 942, Lone Pine, 93545 876-4390

Sales: Evelyn May Nikolaus
 P. 0. Box 396, Independence, 93526 878-2149


An enthusiastic group showed up for the May 1 field trip to Mazourka Canyon. It began right in Independence, where a carpet of flowers came down the alluvial fan to the edge of town. There was much excitement over the cover of lavender Linanthus parrryi(sand blossoms) dotted with Antheropeas wallacei, formerly Eriophyllum wallacei, (Easter bonnets), Malacothrix californica var. glabrata (desert dandelion), and Langloisia mathewsii , all in a mixed scrub community dominated by Atripex canescens (four-wing saltbush), Grayia spinosa (hop-sage), Hymenoclea salsola (cheesebush), and Ephedra nevadensis (Nevada tea).

Mazourka Canyon did not produce a showy display this year, in spite of the above normal precipitation on the Sierra side of the valley. The usual interesting species could be found, however, and the "treasure hunt" produced an extensive list. Included were Notholaena parryi (woolly fern), Calycoseris parryi (yellow tackstem), Encelia virginensis ssp. actonii (bush sunflower), Cryptantha nevadensis (Nevada forget-me-
 not), Cryptantha utahensis (fragrant forget-me-not), Stanleya elata (prince's pume), Echinocactus
polycephalus (cottontop cactus), Echinocereus engelmannii (torch cactus) , Symphoricarpos longiflorus
(desert snowberry), Arenaria macradenia var. parishiorum (desert sandwort), Scopulophila rixfordii (rixford
rockwort), Astragalus coccineus (scarlet milkvetch), Psorothamnus arborescens var. minutifolius, formerly called
Dalea fremontii (small indigo bujsh), Eucrypta chrysanthemifolia var. bininnatifida (dotted Eucrypta), Phacelia
distans (blue Phacelia), Phacelia fremontii (yellow-throats), Phacelia perityloides (cliss Phacelia), Mentzelia
albicaulis (little blazing star) Petalonyx nitidus (sandpaper plant), Menodora Sinescens (spiny Menodora),
Camissonia refracta (narrow-leaved primrose), Oryzopsis hymenoides (Indian rice-grass), Poa scabrella (pine
bluegrass), Eschscholzia minutiflora (little gold poppy), Gilia cana ssp. triceps (showy Gilia), Chorizanthe rigida
(rosy thron), Eriogonum inflatum (desert trumpet), Eriogonum nidularium (bird's-nest buckwheat), Oxytheca
perfoliata (saucer plant), Delphinium parishii (desert larkspur), Castilleja chromosa (desert paintbrush),
Mimulus bigelovii (Bigelow mimulus), Lycium andersonii (desert tomato), and Lycium cooperi (peachthorn), all
in a Creosote Bush Scrub Community. Those familiar with habitats will know we visited limestone cliffs.


The town of Lone Pine was named for a lone pine tree (Jeffrey or ponderosa) which grew upstream from the townsite. Many mourned the day when the tree was destroyed by a high wind. About 10 years ago a small tree, supposedly the offspring of the original lone pine, was discovered by a local resident. A fence was placed around the little tree to protect it. Later two more trees were found, one very near the first

Page 3.

one. They were fondly visited from time to time. Just recently, on a trip to show them off, Vince Yoder was horrified to find two of them, including the fenced tree, missing. They had been removed by persons unknown, the holes smoothed over. It mattered not to the tree thieves that someone had cared enough to fence a special little tree.


An especially good population of Dalea searlsiae, formerly Petalostemum searlsiae (prairie clover), was reported by Doris Fredendall on the Squaw Flat road. It occurs in Pinyon-Juniper Woodland, mostly in the vicinity of Waucoba Mountain.
Joan Kerbavaz found and photographed the rare little Phacelia monoensis at its type locality in Mono County. It is a yellow-flowered species known in the Bridgeport and Bodie areas.

The DeDeckers found a small population of Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides (dagger pod) in the Inyo Mountains near Harkless Flrat, the first known in that range. Normally it occurs on granite or volcanics. A few sites are known in the Bishop Creek region.

This was not the year for Oxytheca watsonii, discovered in Inyo County in 1980 by R. Doug Stone of Santa Cruz. That was a good year. The rains seemed to miss that area this year and a persistent search revealed only a few stunted plants. The site is near the Santa Rosa Hills, far from its usual range in the southwest Mojave, but it is more northerly in Nevada. Those who are alert may find it elsewhere in Inyo County.

That confusing state line again! After extensive sleuthing through archives and in the field, Mary DeDecker has concluded that Lathyrus hitchcockianus never did occur in California. The Death Valley Expedition of 1891 1isted a collection of Lathyrus paluster from the Grapevine Mountains, California. Much later, in 1970, the elusive little plant was discovered in the Bullfrog Hills and named Lathyrus hitchcockianus by Barneby and Reveal. It was the same as the 1891 collection in the National Herbarium, which was not L. paluster. It has not been seen since in the Grapevine Mountains and this state's rare plant committee has been at a loss to determine how to list it. The Expedition's collection site turns out to be on the Nevada side of the state line.So Nye County, Nevada, can claim all known sites of the beautiful little "Bullfrog wild pea". Sorry, Inyo County!


Elizabeth Anderson, Lone Pine; Edward Butterworth, Santa Fe Springs; Burrell and Margaret Dawson, Lone Pine; John Edell, Bishop; David Gaines, Lee Vining; Earl and Carolyn Gann, Bishop; Walt and Ann Hoffmann, Benton; Enid Larson, Big Pine; Patti Novak, Bishop; Jeanne Walter, Bishop; Judy Wickman, Independence.

Thank you again, Joan Benner, for the high quality slide show and narration on the Bristlecone Pine at our May meeting. It was an appropriate beginning for our BRISTLECONE CHAPTER and an inspiration for the things we hope to achieve.

We still hope to have our logo in use and the T shirts available by the end of the summer. In the meantime, a good floristic season to all. Blooms in the middle and higher elevations should be outstanding.