Robert Jan 'Roy' van de Hoek (b.1956 - )
CSUN, Northridge, California (1974-1998)
El Camino College, Gardena, California(2003 - 2005)
An Internet Scientific - Educational Publication
Ivan Johnston was born in 1898, so he was 21 years old by the time he completed this San Antonio Mountains florisitic monograph. More amazing is that he was just a teenager when he began ascending the San Gabriel Mountains in search of the unusual and rare and common native wildflowers, trees, and shrubs in the highest parts of the San Gabriel Mountains. When his Flora was published and Ivan Johnston graduated from Pomona State College, he moved to Berkeley to become a graduate student at the young age of 20 years old. He studied under the elder botanist, Dr. Willis Jepson. It is possible to discern when Ivan Johnston developed his keen interest in the Family Boraginaceae, including Heliotropium as shortly after he meets Jepson at UC Berkeley. At that University, we discover that Willis Jepson appreciated his knowledge and contribution by the following quote from Jepson in 1943, in volume 3, of his multivolume Flora of California.
"In August, 1918, one of the author's graduate students at Berkeley came seeking advice as to the suitable piece of research in the field of systematic botany. To this student (later an investigator) was recommended the family Boraginaceae, especially as developed in western America, because it provides problems so profound as to furnish a challenge to the highest powers of observation, penetration, judgement and skill in the apprehension of genera of species. The following list of papers (citing only those relating to western America) in content and scope shows how far this research botanist has since traveled the road of "his beloved borages": Johnston,I.M., Restoration of genus Hackelia(Contrib.Gray Herb.68: 43-48, - 1923) ... " The quoted passage just scribed above was published by Willis Jepson with all its praises of Ivan Johnston 60 years ago. Three years later Jepson would pass away from the living Earth, and Ivan Johnston would continue to live until 1960, when he too would pass away from our living Earth. Both Willis Jepson and Ivan Johnston have left us a legacy about California native plants in terms of both the beautiful uniqueness of native plants and also in their scientific-educational awareness of evolution of species in California and the Earth.
I learn so much as I research early botanists and as I scribe and compile the reports of early naturalist-scientists such as those of Ivan Johnston and Willis Jepson, written 84 years ago, when he was a young man. After exploring the San Gabriel Mountains for native plants and in the lowlands of southern California, he later moved east to become a botanist at Harvard University. He left his home in southern California, but he made several return trips to southern California. He would go on to write many more important botanical reports and Floras of the tropical regions of South and Central America. He would also work on native floristic botany of islands, and become an expert in the family Boraginanceae, among others. While working on this Flora of the San Gabriel Mountains, he took time to visit the vernal pools atop Red Hill in Upland. In fact, one of the very first collecting trips as a young botanist was also to Upland, because he collected the low number of #52 for a Horkelia cuneata, which is curated in the New York Botanic Garden. This native plant is also a wetland and marsh plant that is commonly referred to as cinquefoil and is closely related to the Potentillas.
He also made collecting trips to other places of southern California. For example, he made at least two separate collecting trips to the Ballona wetlands because there is a #1336 from Ballona, according to Munz and Johnston (1925) in their article Potentillas of Southern California, in the Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences. Also, there is a #1900 collected at Playa del Rey as reported by Hall and Clements (1923) in their monograph of Carnegie Institute of Washington. At Ballona, on both visits he would have collected numerous plants, including that #1900, which is an unusual form of Lenscale, or Brewers Saltbush. His interest in wetlands also took him in 1924 to visit Baldwin Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains because he collected Potentilla anserina, which is in the herbarium at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.
Perhaps the most interesting narrative written by Ivan Johnston refers to a rare marshy area in the San Gabriel Mountains located on the Prairie Fork of the San Gabriel River. Today, we call these marshy and meadow areas with a new ecological habitat name as "wetlands." Some scientists call these places "hanging gardens." His description of this marshy wetland on Prairie Fork is found in the description of Dodecatheon jeffreyi, (Shooting Star), in the Family Primulaceae (Primrose Family) and is easily missed and barely discernable in the narrative text of his catalogue of plants. I present that brief description of a wetland in the San Gabriel Mountains for educational and scientific purposes as follows:
"One of most interesting discoveries in a small marsh which is located in a side cañon of Prairie Fork. The marsh has a rather steep pitch and as a result there are several well defined drainage channels in which the water comes nearer to the surface and the dense growth of fireweed and grasses is broken. In these mossy, water-saturated lanes this Dodecatheon grows. With it are Carex aurea celsa, C. sufusca, Juncus mertensianus, Sisyrinchium oreophilum, and Trifolium monanthum grantianum. The plant was devoid of any odor. The mouth of the side cañon in which the marsh is located is marked by a large, red, USFS tool -box. The marsh is at 7000 ft. alt. in the upper Transition Zone. (Nos. 1648, 2100)."
My contribution to this report is to have created a numerical and chronological system of the visits of Ivan Johnston, in order to conduct a unique ecological analysis. Just to show how the numerical numbering system is helpful, look at the sequence of Numbers 1390 to 1393, which represents a guild of species together. A search for Ivan Johnston archives will likely record additional information about rare plants of southern California.
However, there are limits to the research potential of the numerical numbering system. For example, Ivan Johnston wrote on page 88 in a discussion about Argemone platyceras,the following description of the distribution on the Prairie Fork of the San Gabriel River: "In the Lower Transition it is not uncommon in the sandy ground in Prairie Fork..." Another example is Mentzelia laevicaulis, where Ivan Johnston (page 109) did not make a voucher specimen number but wrote descriptively that this member of the Loasaceae family being found on the Prairie Fork with its habitat as: "Dry sandy ground on both sides of the mountain. ... Collected also in the Upper Transition Zone at 8000 ft. at the Old Gold Ridge Mine." Note however that there is no Johnston Number (#) so it was collected by another botanical collector. Yet a third example is for the two species of cactus that occur in the San Gabriels, which Ivan Johnston did not collect, very likely due to the difficulty of making plant specimens.
In field studies of Ivan Johnston as he collected native plants in the San Gabriel Mountains, I discovered that he wrote about a marshy wetland in the mountains and listed the plants that he found there. The research into early naturalists such as Ivan Johnston can elucidate much about our history, geography, as well as guiding us to do restoration and recovery of damaged and lost natural ecosystems that existed before massive urbanization and the baby boom of soldiers and citizens with their new wives began moving to California after World War II, for the dream of a home, perennial sunshine, warm weather, and manicured beaches with palm trees planted there from different parts the world. The natural landscape disappeared at the coming of an artificial landscape. Now, 50 years later, a movement is coming into being in southern California to restore and recover the natural landscapes, such as along the Los Angeles River, San Gabriel River, Santa Ana River, and at wetlands such as Ballona, Bolsa Chica, Cerritos, Newport Bay, and many more places. Vernal pools in Costa Mesa, coastal sage scrub in the Baldwin Hills and Chino Hills, and grasslands and walnut woodlands at Debs Park and Griffith Park are all ventures that bring a geography of hope to southern California. The field work of naturalist-scientists such as Ivan Johnston and others will need to be researched again and again to know what the genuine aspects of recovery and restoration are for southern California and its natural landscape with a geography of hope.
Postcript: This project, thus far, has been a labor of love for a geography of hope. It is a new kind of research that utilizes a combination of ecological, biographical, and historical methods to elucidate in this case, Ivan Johnston, his peers, colleagues, and mentors, his travels and ecology interests in explaining wetlands, namely the hillsides marshes and meadows.
[Work in Progress, to be compiled fully by Robert Roy van de Hoek as time and money allows].
2100 ... 7000' ... Prairie Fork. "Locally abundant in marsh in a side cañon." Dodecatheon redolens. Primulaceae.
2169 ... 0000' ... Upland (west of) on Santa Fe R.R. siding. June 1919. Alliona nyctaginea Bull Torr. Bot. Club. 49(12):351, 1922.
Flora of the San Gabriel Mountains, by Ivan Johnston
A Taxonomic and Ecologic Study of the Flora of San Gabriel River Canyon, by James Robinson
Samuel Parish, 1917 vernal pool article that discusses Ivan Johnston at Red Hill in Upland on May 4, 1917.
The San Antonio Mountains have been explored by all the well known botanists of southern California. The first to visit the mountains was Mr. S.B. Parish, who ascended them in 1880. Prof. A.J. McClatchie was the next visitor, who collected on Baldy in August, 1893. During successive springs of 1899 and 1900, Dr. H.M. Hall explored and made collections on the northern base of the mountains. In July 1901 and 1902 Dr. LeRoy Abrams visited Baldy Summit and in the summer of 1908, accompanied by Mr. E.A. McGregor, he collected in Swartout Valley and Lone Pine Cañon. Several other persons have made collections in the San Antonio Mountains, among whom are, - Mr. J.B. Leiberg, Mrs. Charlotte M. Wilder and Mr. Fred Burlew. It is interesting to note, that with the exception of Professor McClathie and Mrs. Wilder, all the collectors worked on the north side of the mountain. The most of the collecting seems to have been done along the so-called, "Glen Ranch Trail to Baldy." Although the mountains have had a number of visitors they have had by no means a thorough botanical exploration. The visitors have made but hurried dashes into the more accessible parts, covering the same ground as their predecessors, and spending in the pine belt only a day or two. Realizing that much of the mountain was either untouched or very imperfectly known we planned and made a series of ten collecting trips into the pine belt. These trips, which were made during the spring and summer of 1917 and 1918, total twenty-nine days; on them we visited all the cañons and peaks with the exception only of Swartout Valley and Lone Pine Cañon. These two cañons were not visited because of lack of time. However, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Hall and Dr. Abrams, they are the best known parts of the San Antonio Mountains.
The only literature dealing in any way with the San Antonio Mountains is Dr. Abrams' Flora of Los Angeles and Vicinity, (2) which has a range so defined as to include the coastal slopes. While fairly satisfactory in the Upper Sonoran Zone, it was found to be of little or no value in the pine belt, a fact not surprising if one remembers that our knowledge of the south slope has been obtained by two hurried collectors.
The San Gabriel Mountains are one of the least known of the Southern California group, a fact which is very apparent if they are compared with the San Jacinto (3) or San Bernardino (4) Mountains. The writer hopes that the following paper, while only dealing with a limited portion of the San Gabriel Mountains, will be a contribution towards the desired knowledge of their flora.
Three life zones are distinguishable in the San Antonio Mountains: the Upper Sonoran, Transition, and Canadian. The Upper Sonoran Zone includes the bases of the mountains, never ascending higher than 6000 feet altitude. This zone is recognized at once by the presence of dense thickets of shrubs, called chaparral, which cover the mountain side. The chaparral belt does not have its tweny-five or more component shrubs in an unvarying mixture, for not only are some species restricted geographically, but on the coastal slope, in response to differences in moisture and temperature, two distinguishable life belts have been formed within the chaparral belt. These are hereafter designated as the "Upper" and "Lower Chaparral Belt." The Lower Chaparral Belt is characterized by the dominance of such shrubs as, Adenostoma fasiculatum, Quercus dumosa, and Ceanothus crassifolius. On south facing slopes these plants grow abundantly below 4500 feet altitude, on north slopes they seldom reach an altitude of 3000 feet. The Upper Chaparral Belt, on the other hand, is found usually above the 4500 feet contour on south slopes, and never lower than 3000 feet on north facing slopes. Arctostaphylos tomentosa, Quercus wislizeni and Ceanothus divaricatus are the dominant shrubs in the Upper Chaparral Belt.
Since we have not visited the desert base of the mountains we are unable to discuss its Upper Sonoran flora. Because of this fact and because the composition of the chaparral is well known and similar to that found in adjacent territory we have not included the chaparral flora in the catalogue which forms the bulk of this paper.
The composition of the Transition flora is somewhat different on the two sides of the mountain. The most conspicuous difference is the absolute lack of Ceanothus cordulatus, Artemisia tridentata and Tetradymia canescens on the south or coastal side. On the desert side these three are the most common shrubs. There are a number of plants which, while present on the south side, are very much less frequent there than they are on the north side. This list includes, - Prunus demissa, Fremontia californica, Gayophytum casesium, Castilleja muniata, and Chrysotham[n]us nauseosus. The south side of the mountain is strikingly lacking in plants which are peculiar to it.
(1). Leiberg, J.B. 1898. Resources of the Angeles National Forest.
(2). Abrams, LeRoy. 1904. Flora of Los Angeles and Vicinity.
(3). Hall, Harvey Monroe. 1902. Flora of the San Jacinto Mountains. U.C. Publications in Botany.
(4). Parish, Samuel Bonsall. 1916. An Enumeration of the Pteridophytes and Angiosperms of the San Bernardino Mountains. Plant World.
Many notes on distribution, abundance and habitats were made during our exploration of the mountains. These notes, supplemented by less extensive ones made previous to 1917, form the basis for the discussion under each species treated. The discussions of systematic relationships are the outcome of a careful study of herbarium material and of much time spent over the taxonomic literature. It is perhaps unnecessary to state that all statements concerning distribution, etc., are founded on, and concern only, the species as it occurs in the San Antonio Mountains. In a majority of cases the habitat, zonal distribution and abundance is the same as it is in the San Bernardino or San Jacinto Mountains but this, however, is not always the case.
For invaluable help in the preparation of this paper the author is under especial obligations to Mr. S.B. Parish of San Bernardino. His help in taxonomic difficulties, his suggestions and kindly criticisms all warrant the writer's sincere gratitude. To Dr. H.M. Hall of the University of California we are also much indebted for his courtesy and interest, and especially for the privileges granted us while working in the herbarium under his charge. We wish to acknowledge the help of several other taxonomists, among whom are Mrs. Agnes Chase, Dr. J.M. Greenman, Dr. W.L. Jepson, Prof. M.E. Jones, Mr. J.F. Macbride, Mr. K.K. Mackenzie, Mr. W.R. Maxon, Dr. B.L. Robinson, Dr. J.N. Rose, Dr. P.A. Rydberg, Mr. Camillo Schneider and Mr. G.P. Van Eseltine.
Pseudotsuga macrocarpa (Torr.) Mayr. Frequent in the Upper Chaparral Belt and Lower Transition Zone. It grows at the mouth of San Antonio Cañon, alt. 2000 ft. and as high as 7000 ft. alt. in Icehouse Cañon.
Abies concolor Lindl. & Gord. Common in the Upper Transition Zone, where it is the dominant tree.
Juniperus occidentalis Hook. One of the less common trees. In our mountains the tree grows only in the Upper Transition Zone. The scattered colonies have been found between 8000 ft. (Old Gold Ridge Mine) and 9660 ft. alt. (Pine Mountain Summit). (Nos. 1400, 1623).
Poa secunda. Common in dry ground in the chaparral belt and in the Transition Zone. (No. 1355).
Calochortus invenustus. In decomposed granite in the Upper Transition Zone. Frequent. (Nos. 1397, 1606).
Calyptridium parryi Gray. Frequent in the Canadian Zone on bare stretches of decomposed granite.
Calyptridium umbellatum (Nutt.) Greene. Common in open ground under the pines in the Upper Transition Zone and on bare ridges in the Canadian Zone. Ranging between 7500 and 9700 ft. alt. (Nos. 1273, 1397).
Lewisia rediviva Pursh. Common in rocky exposed places throughout the Transition Zone. (Nos. 1280, 1412, 1470, 1493).
Calyptridium monandrum (T. & G.) Jeps. var. viridis (Davidson) Jeps. Locally abundant on a sunny talus slope in the Upper Transition Zone, at 7000 ft. alt. in Icehouse Cañon. Collected "near Old Baldy" at 5750 ft. alt. by Dr. Hall (no.1245). The type was collected in Rock Creek just west of our limits. (No.2037).
Delphinium hesperium Gray, var. recurvatum (Greene) Jeps. "San Antonio Mts., 5750 ft. alt. Hall" and "Lytle Creek Cañon, 5500 ft. alt. Hall" acc. Davidson, (Muhl.4:34, 1908). Here, very likely, belongs the common larkspur noted in Prairie Fork of which we have seen only fruiting specimens.
Thalictrum polycarpum Wats. Common in moist ground bordering streams in the upper parts of Prairie Fork San Gabriel River and North Fork Lytle Creek, Upper Transition Zone, Alt. 7000-8000 ft. Also at 5000 ft. in Prairie Fork. (Nos. 1677, 2093.)
Clematis ligusticifolia Nutt. Ranges from the lower cañons up to an altitude of 7000 ft. in the pine belt.
A plant collected by Burlew on Baldy Summit was made the type of D. vestita, a species descrbied by its author as differing from D. corrugata in being more hirsute and more compact in habit, and in having shorter petals and less corrugated fruit. Dr. Davidson mentions certain collections from the San Jacinto Mtns. that in his mind represent typical corrugata. From our studies of herbarium material it appears that D. corrugata is represented in the San Jacinto Mtns. by a very distinct geographical variety that is characterized by its long petals, slightly smaller and more contorted fruit and by its slender, naked, unbranched stems bearing a simple, open few flowered raceme. The plants from the San Antonio Mts. and those from the San Bernardino Mts. agree in having very short inconspicuous petals, rather large, little contorted fruit and stout, leafy, much branched stems that form dense, many flowered panicles. This form is apparently the typical plant for the type was collected by Lemmon on Grayback in the San Bernardino Mts. It thus appears that vestita was described through a misconception as to what constituted the true corrugata and that the well marked variation on Mt. San Jacinto through which this misconception arose, is still without a name. (Nos. 1279, 1416, 1609.)
Sisymbrium canescens Nutt. Dry sandy ground in the lower part of the pine belt. Common in the chaparral belt.
Dentaria californica Nutt. Rare in cool, moist places in the lower part of the pine belt; frequent in the chaparral belt.
Arabis arcuata Gray. Frequent in dry rocky ground throughout the Lower Transition Zone. It descends the cañons on the south side of and reaches a minimum altitude of 1000 ft. in the gravelly wash of San Antonio Canon.
The pine belt form has its pods uniformly shorter than the Upper Sonoran plant. The valley and chaparral belt plant has pods 7-9 cm. long; the pine belt form has its pods only 3-5 cm. in length. (Nos. 1359, 1589, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1973).
Arabis glabra (L.)Bernh. Occasional in the lower parts of the pine belt; common at lower levels.
Arabis repanda Wats. Frequent in dry open ground under the pines in the Upper Transition Zone. (Nos. 1464, 1663).
Arabis platysperma Gray. Frequent under the pines in the Upper Transition and Canadian Zone. Exceedingly abundant in the vicnity of Kelly's Cabin. A single plant was found on Baldy Summit. (Nos. 1465, 1560).
Erysimum asperum DC. Common in dry open ground under the pines in the Lower Transition Zone.
Streptanthus campestris Wats. var. bernardinus (Greene) Johnston, comb. nov. Agianthus bernardinus Greene. Shaded ground under the pines in South Fork Lytle Creek, alt. 6000 ft.
This variety is a lower and more slender plant than the species with smaller, yellow flowers which have recurved sepals. Though quite distinct in their extremes, the species and the variety are well connected by intermediate forms. (No.1477).
Caulanthus amplexicaulis Wats. Common in dry situations throughout the Transition Zone. (Nos. 1267, 1467).
Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt. Icehouse Cañon at 7250 ft. alt. and 7000 ft. alt. in both Coldwater Fork Lytle Creek and Prairie Fork. The first station is on a dry rocky place on the canon floor while the other stations are both in springy ground.
Our plants have the glabrous hypanthia and sepals of the segregate, A. recurvata Abrams. A. venulosa Greene, another segregate of A. alnifolia, is reported from Swartout Valley by Abrams (Bull. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 6:382, 1910). (Nos. 1388, 1539, 1681, 1711).
Heteromeles arbutifolia Roem. Enters the pine belt in Prairie Fork and in San Antonio Cañon.
Drymocallis viscida Parish. Common in moist ground in the Transition Zone. (Nos. 1410, 2062, 2068, 2072).
Drymocallis lactea (Greene) Rydb. Locally very abundant in a marsh in a small side cañon of Prairie Fork. Upper Transition Zone, alt. 7000 ft. (No. 2066).
Cercocarpus betulaefolius Nutt. Frequent in the lower parts of the pine belt.
Cercocarpus ledifolius Nutt. As a shrub at its lower limits and a tree in its upper ranges, this species extends throughout the Transition Zone and well into the Canadian. (No. 1485).
Rubus leucodermis Dougl. Occasional in moist rocky ground in Transition Zone. (No. 1462).
Rubus parviflorus Nutt. "In moist shady places in the San Antonio and San Bernardino Mountains in the pine belt." Acc. Abrams, Fl. Los Ang.
Prunus demissa Walp. Scarce on the south side of the mountains, but common on the north side. Especially abundant in Prairie Fork between 5000 and 7000 ft. alt. A few plants grow on the Devils Backbone at 9000 ft. alt. The species is confined to the Transition Zone. (Nos. 1384, 1402, 1712).
Prunus ilicifolia Nutt. In San Antonio Cañon this enters a short distance up into the pine belt.
Prunus emarginata Walp. We know the plant from only two stations, both of which are in the Transition Zone, one in the lower part, the other in the upper. Coldwater Fork Lytle Creek, alt. 5750 ft. and near the head of San Antonio Cañon at 7600 ft. Dr. Hall collected the species also at 5700 ft. in Lytle Creek (No. 1471) as well as "north of San Antonio Peak at 8500 ft. alt." Our plant is a shrub which is seldom higher than 1 1/2 meters and is similar in pubescence to the var. mollis Brew. (Nos. 1666, 1680, 2079).
Rosa californica Cham. & Sch. Barely entering the pine belt.
Rosa gratissima Greene. Several large thickets of this rose were found in a moist meadow near the Native Son Mine in Prairie Fork.
Specimens were sent to Dr. Rydberg who determined them as R. mohavensis Parish. Mr. Parish, however, is very unwilling to see our plants referred to this species so we are following Abrams (Bull. N.Y. Bot. Gard. 6:380, 1910) in referring this form, which he collected in Swartout Canon, to R. gratissima. In Rydberg's key (Bull. Torr. Bot. Club 44:65, 1917) our plant seems to fall into R. mohavensis. Our plants, as well as those collected by Hall (No.1513) at 6200 ft. alt. in Swartout Valley, differ from the roses collected near the type station of R. mohavensis in being moree or less distinctly bicolored, slightly puberulent, darker, and not at all shiny. (No. 1704).
Lupinus formosus Greene. Common on dry slopes with the last and descending to the valleys.
We feel certain that there are too many forms referred to this species Trifolium monanthum grantianum Parish. Common in springy places ... above 6500 ft. alt. (No.1392).
Astragalus lentiginosus fremontii. (No. 1655).
Astragalus bicristatus. (No. 1656).
Mentzelia congesta T. & G. var. Davidsoniana (Abrams)Macbr. But a single collection of this was seen. It grew in gravelly ground, in the lower portion of the pine belt, alt. 5750 ft. in Coldwater Fork Lytle Creek. (2059).
Opuntia basilaris Engelm. & Bigel. A few plants growing with Pinus monophylla at about 6500 ft. alt. in the upper part of North Fork Lytle Creek. Lower part of the Transition Zone.
Sarcodes sanguinea Torr. Occasional in wet ground in Transition Zone, More common at lower levels. (No.1611).
Collinsia torreyi Gray var. wrightii (Wats.) Johnston, comb.nov. C. wrightii Wats. C. monticola Davids. Colonies of this plant are frequent under the pines in the upper part of the Transition Zone and in the Canadian Zone. Its range seems to coincide with that of Castanopsis. The highest station that we know for this interesting little plant is at 8700 ft. alt. on the saddle between Baldy and Pine Mt., but Davidson cites under his species a collection by Mr. Burlew from Baldy Summit. We have seen a collection by Dr. Hall (No.1239) from near the summit of Baldy at 9700 ft. alt. The plant is exceedingly abundant under the pines in the vicinity of Kellys Cabin, 8000-8500 ft. alt., where it colors the ground in the openings between the manzanitas and chinquapin bushes.
C. monticola was based on collections made by Dr. Hall at 6800 ft. alt. in Swartout Valley. This species, however, is an exact duplicate of Sierran C. wrightii. The only character which distinguishes Wrightii from C. torreyi is its smaller sized corolla. This character, while apparently constant, is, in our mind, not sufficient to warrant the separation of these two very closely related forms. (No.1551).
Mimulus glutinosus (Nutt.).........
Mimulus palmeri Gray. Collected by Dr. Hall (No.1449) at 5800 ft. alt. in Lytle Creek Canon.
Mimulus fremontii Lytle Creek Canon, at 6000 ft. Hall 1543.