Analysis of Consortium of California Herbaria (CCH) Records of Lewisia leeana in Fresno County, CA

A search of the Jepson Online Interchange California Floristics1 using the scientific name Lewisia leeana eventually yields a plethora of data about this interesting flowering plant. Specimen records from the Consortium of California Herbaria (CCH) yields a list of 116 records2 , most of which are from counties on or near the California/Oregon border. Only 20 of the 116 records retrieved are from the disjunct population in eastern Fresno County3.

The twenty records from Fresno County fall into two categories. A few are old and geographically vague. Most are geographically specific enough to be confirmable. In this analysis, I have reviewed all 20 observations and commented on their validity and potential usefulness. I have also pointed out the observations that I have personally confirmed.

Specimen ID's for the 20 observations from CCH database for Fresno County3 are addressed below in the order they are listed in the database.

JEPS17200 This observation by Hall and Chandler in 1900 is geographically vague - "region of Dinkey Creek (Bald Mt.); Sierra Nevada Mountains, Bald Mt.". Search of old maps may yield the location of "Bald Mt." in the region of "Dinkey Creek". It appears to be a duplicate of UC64167 found later in the list. There is a Bald Mountain between Dinkey Creek and Shaver Lake, but it does not appear to have enough elevation to support L. leeana. I will check it out in 2014 and in spring 2015 if necessary.

JEPS17289 This observation by Perkins in 1920 is geographically vague - "between Mdw. and Shaver Lake". It appears to be a duplicate of RSA464465 and UC397362 found later in the list.

JEPS24578 This observation by Bacigalupi and Quibell in 1958 - "n South Lake; Sierra National Forest" is specific and I confirmed it in 2002. It is the northernmost occurrence of L. leeana in Fresno County. It appears to be a duplicate of UC1141004 and SEINET3071998 found later in the list.

JEPS5841 This observation by Elizabeth Ferguson in 1920 "ridge above Scepter Pass; High Sierras" is specific and I confirmed it in July 2014.

JEPS96202 Dana York and Jim Shevock observed L. leeana in 1995 "on slopes of Spanish Mt., John Muir Wilderness, Sierra Nat'l Forest" is specific and by two of the most respected botanists who have ever worked the area. I'm looking forward to confirming it. It is the southernmost known occurrence in Fresno County. It appears to be a duplicate of observation CAS1121264 found later in the list.

SBBG47692 E. R. Blakley found L leeana on "Crown Pass, above N Fork Kings River" where I have observed it also. It appears to be a duplicate of observation UC1541198 found later in the list.

UC1141004 See JEPS24578 above.

UC1541198 See SBBG47692 above.

UC64167 See JEPS17200 above.

CAS1121264 See JEPS96202 above.

RSA131959 Appears to have been made near the same time as JEPS24578.

RSA464465 Appears to be the same as JEPS17289 above.

RSA68020 Dated August 1, 1951, The first of four observations in the Dinkey Lakes area by Charles Quibell in the early 1950's. I have confirmed the Dinkey Lakes observations.

RSA69199 Dated July 30, 1951, this is the second of Quibell's listed observations in Dinkey Lakes in the early 1950's.

RSA75608 Attributed to Vollmerbeane and Beane, this observation appears to have been misfiled in the Fresno County list since is puts the location on the "Road to Elk Valley, Del Norte County".

RSA88961 Dated July 13, 1952, this is the third of Quibell's listed observations in Dinkey Lakes in the early 1950's.

RSA89247 Dated July 17, 1952, this is the fourth of Quibell's listed observations in Dinkey Lakes in the early 1950's.

SEINET3071998 Appears to be the same as JEPS24578 above.

UC397362 Appears to be the same as JEPS17289 above.

UC82849 Dr. G. Eisen found L leeana in the "Woodchuck Peak Mountains of Fresno Co." on "Woodchuck Peak". No date is listed for the observation and "Woodchuck Peak" is not listed on any maps of the area. Neither are the "Woodchuck Peak Mountains". I have observed thousands of specimens of L leeana in the Woodchuck Creek Drainage. It's sad that Dr. Eisen couldn't have given a little better description of his location.

In summary, of the 20 observations in CCH for Fresno County, only 13 appear to be unique. Quibell or Bacigalupi and Quibell account for 10 of the 13 and they are all within a mile of each other in the Dinkey Lakes area. About 14 miles southeast of Dinkey Lakes is where two of the three others are found. They are Ferguson's and Blakly's observations on Scepter Pass and Crown Pass which are 1.3 miles apart. About 9.4 miles south of Blakly's and Ferguson's observations is York and Shevock's observation on Spanish Mountain. So, the CCH database has observations in only three small areas. On the iNaturalist website, I have posted more observations4 (with dozens more GPS locations with photos that are not posted). Almost all of my observations are in the Woodchuck Creek, Little Rancheria Creek, and Scepter Creek watersheds.

Future Exploration
A few peaks north of Dinkey Lakes, including Red Mountain, Black Peak, Mount Ian Campbell, and peaks northwest of the Red Rock Basin have a high enough elevation (>9,000 feet) to support L. leeana. The southern and northern localities in CCH are separated by a little less than twenty miles. Several areas in between with high enough elevation to support L. leeana include Nelson Mountain and Eagle Peak south of Dinkey Lakes, the mountains north and east of the Woodchuck Creek Drainage (which may be Dr. Eisen's Woodchuck Peak Mountains), the ridge extending southeast from Scepter Pass, Crown Ridge, and the area around Spanish Mountain. Conceivably, it could be found to the east on Blackcap Mountain and on Kettle Ridge.

Bill Finch
July 2014


Posted by sekihiker sekihiker, August 08, 2014 21:10


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