Growing in some of the driest, rockiest areas, this low-growing plant spends much of the year looking brown and dessicated, but with the rains, it becomes green and lush. It is a pteridophyte, an ancient groups of terrestrial plants that includes horsetails and ferns. Bigelow's Spike Moss is almost entirely endemic to California, extending just past the border along the state's southeastern edge.
Common on dry, rocky slopes along the Balconies Cliffs Trail at Pinnacles National Monument. Some were changing colors with the recent rains.
Only a few living California Maidenhair Ferns (family Pteridaceae) were present in the cool, damp north slope of the lower Bear Gulch drainage although large mats of dead maidenhair fern were present in several locations.
While most of the ferns away from the regular creeks were shriveled and dried, a few were still green along shaded stretches of the Juniper Canyon Trail on the west side of Pinnacles National Monument, San Benito Co., CA
While most of the ferns at Pinnacles Natl. Monument this time of year are dried and shriveled, these Birds-foot Cliffbrakes were found growing out of a west-facing stone wall on the Tunnel Trail (elev. 2135 ft).
Coffee Ferns were fairly common in damp shaded areas, especially on slopes, throughout the Bear Gulch portion of Pinnacles National Monument. Their name presumably comes from the "coffee bean" shape of their leaflets.
Chain Fern (also known as Giant Chain Fern) (family Blechnaceae) along Bear Gulch Creek at Pinnacles National Monument. There are few areas at Pinnacles with the consistent moisture needed to for these large ferns to thrive.
Its name comes from the chain-like arrangement of the sporangia under the leaves.
Patches of Coastal Wood Fern (family Dryopteridaceae) are common on the shaded, damp, south slope of the lower Bear Gulch Drainage,the thickest mature riparian habitat in Pinnacles National Monument.
Gray Pines,formally known as Digger Pines are endemic to dry, rocky regions of California and a prevalent component of the Pinnacles flora.
The leaves on this Golden Yarrow are still tightly balled against the stem, but they will unfurl as spring approaches. It was found on the dry, west facing slope of the Tunnel Trail at Pinnacles National Monument.
Seen foraging on whitish dried scat.
This plant was growing under a patch of Grey Pine and oaks along the High Peaks Trail.
Lovely little parasite. The Chaparral Broomrape lacks chlorophyll, but instead gets its nutrients by parasitizing the roots of Chamise (Adenostoma fasciculata), a common chaparral shrub. Found along the High Peaks Trail at Pinnacles National Monument.
Very similar to the California Poppy (E. californica), Tufted Poppies can be immediately separated by the lack of a flared pinkish rim at the base of their petals.
Common in bloom along the upper Condor Gulch and High Peaks Trails
The very unusual looking Rock Buckwheat (family Polygonaceae) is a common plant in the rocky chaparral / scree habitats in the upper reaches of Pinnacles National Monument.
These lovely flowers were common in grassy and shaded areas along the Juniper Canyon Trail at Pinnacles N.P.
This lovely little monkeyflower was growing in a damp patch along the lower stretch of the Juniper Canyon Trail.
These parasitic Golden Mistletoe (family Viscaceae) were found growing on a Grey Pine (Pinus sabiniana) on the Balconies Trail at Pinnacles National Monument.