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Oakmead Herbarium: Additions and Changes to the Flora

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While native plants are occasionally documented, most recent additions to the flora are weeds and garden or agricultural escapes whose impact may not be known for years. The creeks are prominent avenues for plant introductions, as are roads and trails. Some of these pioneering plants naturalize and others not. Among the former, notable introductions are Brachypodium sylvaticum (2007) via Sausal Cr., Euphorbia oblongata (2009) via Corte Madera Cr., and Ehrharta erecta  (2003) via Bear Cr. Change and succession in plant communities obviously brings floristic changes, gains, decline, and loss. We mention some declines and dissaperances below. In recent decades one observes woody plant (re)colonization of grassland, Eurasian annual grass adaptation to serpentinite, French broom colonization of both creeks and other mesic habitats, and yellow star domination of large portions of the annual grassland, among other processes. 

2000 to the present

(additional recent notable observations and vouchers: Floristic Postcards)

  • Pottiaceae  — Hennediella stanfordiensis (moss)  — 2020

Arrival dates of some naturalized grasses

Some earlier non-graminoid arrivals

Disappearances and declines. Some plants (mostly annuals but also some perennials) have gone missing or persisit as a few individuals. Most are thought to have been present earlier in small local populations, some at the limit of their range, e.g., Actaea rubra, Adiantum aleuticum, Arabis blepharophylla, Viola ocellata. Dissapearance and decline in some cases can be attributed to specific flooding events, landslides, and human impacts, including management activities, particulary in the pre-Preserve period up to 1970s. Direct human impacts in the past 200 years include logging, land clearance, agriculture, sheep and cattle grazing and their removal, construction of the the reservoir and it's siltation, various other activities related to the Searsville Lake park and property adjacent to Sand Hill Rd., SLAC powerline right-of-way, and other infrastructure-related activities such as road and trail mantenance. Some workers have addressed larger environmental issues such as climate change or nitrogen deposition and soil fertilization.

And while some of our missing plants have undoubtedly winked-out, others, overlooked (perhaps Lysimachia minima, Myosurus minimusPentachaeta alsinoides, Triglochin scilloides, may still be present on the Preserve's almost 1200 acres. Others still, disturbance or fire followers such as Antirrhinum kelloggii, Camissoniopsis micrantha, Chorizanthe diffusa, Malacothamnus fasciculatus, and Monolopia gracilens, hopefully persist in the seed bank.

  • Actaea rubra (BANEBERRY)   — Two plants found in 2019Not observed since 2007. First reported by Springer 1935 “in a shady place S end of lake”; Porter 1962: “Occasional in dense oak-madrone forest on north-facing slope above SF Cr.” Occasional in nearby in Windy Hill Open Space Preserve, San Francisquito Cr. watershed. 
  • Adiantum aleuticum (FIVE-FINGER FERN)   — Collected 1965-1979. Scoured from rocks opposite W end of dam during El Nino of 1982-83; not reported since. A single location in Wunderlich County Park at slightly higher elevation, San Francisquito Cr. watershed.
  • Anthoxanthum occidentale (CALIFORNIA SWEET GRASS)   — Collected in 1867.
  • Antirrhinum kelloggii (LAX SNAPDRAGON)   — Collected in 1968 from seeds grown in a flat; seeds collected on ground in west-facing chaparral slope. Not reported since. Present in Edgwood Park and uncommon in Foothill Park, the latter in San Francisquito Cr. watershed.
  • Arabis blepharophylla (COAST ROCK CRESS)  — Collected 4/2/1984 Area H serpentine; no other reports.
  • Aralia californica (ELK CLOVER)  — First report by Zabel in 2001 Trail News a single plant growing in Corte Madera Cr floodplain; not observed since 2006. Present in Foothill Park, Phleger Estate, Huddart Co. Park, all in San Francisquito Cr. watershed.
  • Arnica discoidea (RAYLESS ARNICA)    — Collected in 1921; Springer 1935: “Rare, oneplant on openly wooded slope and one at edge of chap.” Present in watershed.
  • Boykinia occidentalis (COAST BOYKINIA)   — Collected in 1969; not reported since.
  • Camissoniopsis micrantha (MINATURE SUNCUP)  — Collected in 1972 (single plant in Rd E near big inlet); not reported since. Uncommon in Edgewood Preserve.
  • Castilleja foliolosa (WOOLLY PAINTBRUSH) —  Springer 1935: “Frequent on dry hillsides, especially in  rocky places”; Dengler 1975. Not reported since. Common in Hidden Villa near MROSD boundary.
  • Chorizanthe diffusa (DIFFUSE SPINEFLOWER)  — Collected in 1901 and 1910 “Dry rocky areas in chaparral and grassland.’ Locally abundant in MROSD Pulgas Ridge Preserve.
  • Cirsium brevistylum (CLUSTERED THISTLE)   — Only occasionally seen; locally rare.
  • Cirsium occidentale var. occidentale (COBWEBBY THISTLE — Collected in 1974 and  1979 “Below dam near ‘old’ low-flow crossing”; not reported since.
  • Cirsium occidentale var. venustum (VENUS THISTLE)  — Collected in 1963 “Oak woodland atWestridge end of ridge” and 1973 along Rd Dwest of Rd E; not reported since.
  • Corallorhiza maculata (SPOTTED CORALROOT)  Small patch located in 2019Uncommon, Trail 12; not observed since 2011. 
  • Delphinium variegatum ssp. variegatum (ROYAL LARKSPUR) — Collected 1954-1980 in serpentine grassland on NW part of Ridge; not reported since. Springer 1935 “Infrequent.”
  • Epilobium torreyi (TORREY’S WILLOWHERB)  — Small patch located in 2019Collected 1961-1969, locally common in two locations in oak woodland.
  • Helianthemum scoparium  — Few remaining plants may have dissapeared in 4th year of drought 2015-2016. Earliest record 1898 (JROH1831).
  • Juncus bolanderi (BOLANDER'S RUSH)  — Collected along bank of Corte Madera Cr. in 1977; not seen since 2004. 
  • Leptosiphon liniflorus (FLAX-FLOWERED LEPTOSIPHON)  — Collected in 1895 “near Searsville”; not reported since. Present along Edgewood Trail in serpentine.
  • Linanthus dichotomus (EVENING SNOW)  — Collected from 1896-1920 on “ridge”; not reported since.
  • Lupinus microcarpus var. densiflorus (CHICK LUPINE) — Springer 1935: “abundant in a single location on grassy hillside in ravine”; Dengler [Notebook] 11/11/62 “to 2 in. above cotyledon leaves above fence C.M.F.” No recent reports. Common off Edgewood Rd at Edgewood Park border; Deer Creek Conservation Area, Stanford U.
  • Lysimachia minima [Anagallis m.; Centunculus minimus] (CHAFFWEED)  — Collected 1962-1981 “Grassy meadows in [blue] oak woodland” and “Low wet areas in grasslands”
  • Malacothamnus fasciculatus (CHAPARRAL MALLOW)  — Springer in 1935 reported Sphaeralcea arcuata “infrequent” but evidently more widespread than at present. A single shrub persists as of 6/2013. Present at Edgweood Preserve, population reinvigorated by fire.
  • Monolopia gracilens (WOODLAND WOOLLYTHREADS)  — Collected in 1971; not reported since. Report by Springer 1935 “Abundant in one place—near edge of chaparral above the lake”; Dengler [Notebook] 5/12/63 “at site on end of "road" to above G.C (coll & pressed) None found in former locations, but just over edge of Canyon at edge of chap but still in grass. Few, but all from 12 in to 18 in.” Present at Edgweood Preserve.
  • Myosurus minimus (COMMON MOUSE-TAIL)   — Collected in 1981; not reported since.
  • Oxalis oregana (REDWOOD SORREL)   — Collected in 1915.
  • Pentachaeta alsinoides (TINY CHAETOPAPPA)  — Fairly common on the ridge top in 1958; most recent report 1989.
  • Petunia parviflora (WILD PETUNIA)  — Collected in 1909 “Searsville Lake”; not reported since.
  • Platystemon californicus (CREAM CUPS)   — Not observed since April, 2002. Earliest report by Moeur in 1947: “infrequent in moist meadows and along roadsides in February and March.”
  • Scoliopus bigelovii (SLINK POD)  — Collected in 1867.
  • Triglochin scilloides (FLOWERING-QUILLWORT)  — Dengler 1975; Herbarium 2005: “near preserve boundary at former Boething Nursery site.”
  • Triodanis biflora (SMALL VENUS LOOKING-GLASS)  — Collected in 1921 and 1979 “NW end of Searsville Lake”; not reported since. Reported by Springer 1935: “one place–open spot between chaparral and wooded slope at top of hill above lake in May.” Uncommon in Edgewood Preserve.
  • Triphysaria eriantha ssp. eriantha (BUTTER-AND-EGGS)   — Collected in 1896 “Searsville Ridge”; not reported since.
  • Tropidocarpum gracile (LACEPOD)  — Collected in 1972 and 1977 “Near poppy knoll”; not reported since. First reported by Springer 1935: “Frequent on open hillsides.”
  • Viola ocellata (WESTERN HEART'S EASE)  — Collected in 1893 and 1972 near Tiger Lily site Trail 1; not reported since. 

 Hybrids not given taxonomic status in TJM2

SPEC—Specimen, at the Jasper Ridge herbarium (JROH). Plant presumed present unless otherwise noted. 
DOC—Documented, plant observed and/or photographed by herbarium team but not vouchered. REPReported. 

  • Castilleja attenuata x Castilleja densiflora — DOC (JROH5780) — Infrequent.
  • Castilleja densiflora x Castilleja rubicundula ssp. lithospermoides  — SPEC (JROH4012, 5852, DS727348) — Occasional.
  • Elymus hansenii (Elymus glaucus x Elymus multisetus — SPEC — Short-lived perennials.
  • xSchedololium loliaceum (Huds.) Holub (Festuca arundinacea x Festuca perennis)  — SPEC (JROH5172, 5173) — Branched Lolium
  • Lupinus microcarpus var. densiflorus X L. nanus — REP  —  Dengler [Notebook] 4/14/63 “Lupinus nanus x L. densiflorus–upper bloom on hip of hill above fence particularly 50 ft. up. These L. nanus seem introgressed, but pods must be gathered Leaflets too broad for L. nanus and flowers more verticillate. Pods beginning, but already secund”
  • Primula clevelandiiP. hendersonii hybrids have been reported by Herb Dengler in 1959 and 1973 (JROH3384, 3386 respectively). Individuals not exactly matching taxa described in different manuals (Munz, Thomas, TJM) have been referred to either Primula clevelandii var. patula or P. hendersonii following TJM2; further examination of this material is desirable. Dodecatheon confusion is not unique to our locality.
  • Quercus agrifolia var. a. x Q. wislizeni  ? — REP— Dengler, 1975 Plant List; SPEC 2020; A single tree 20 m tall on trail 11
  • Quercus douglasii x Q. durata  — SPEC (JROH2538, UCD46005) — JR oaks and hybrid oaks; John Tucker (1992) letter
  • Quercus x chasei (Quercus agrifolia var. a. x Q. kelloggii  — SPEC — Zabel (2003) JR oaks and hybrid oaks
  • Quercus x  jolonensis (Quercus douglasii x Q. lobata )  — SPEC — Zabel (2003) JR oaks and hybrid oaks
  • Quercus x morehus (Quercus wislizeni var. frutescens Q. kelloggii) — SPEC —  JROH2534 collected 3/19/1898 as Quercus; annotated Quercus x morehus by John Thomas in 1958. No known current locations.

Questions, Corrections and Changes to the Web Plant List


  • Artemisia biennis : website is correct Dengler 1975 (p.27). 1924 is the date of the only voucher.
  • Bromus commutatus : not reported since 1975; website updated.
  • Cuscuta californica var californica : not reported since Dengler 1975; website updated.
  • Cuscuta subinclusa : ID 264; website updated.
  • Quercus wislizeni (Booklet ID 348, not reported since 1975) : Only Q. w. var. frutescens (ID 347) is reliably documented for the Preserve. FNA treatment doesn't recognize vars
  • Quercus x chasei Quercus agrifolia var. a. X Q. kelloggii; website updated.
  • Quercus x  jolonensis Quercus douglasii X Q. lobata; website updated.
  • Quercus x morehus Quercus wislizeni X Q. kelloggii; website updated.
  • Lessingia pectinata var. tenuipes : L. glandulifera var. g.; website updated.
  • Phyla nodiflora : most recent observation is 5/21/2001; website updated.
  • Spirodela polyrhiza :  not reported since 1992; website updated.
  • Centaurium tenuiflorum : redetermined Zeltnera muehlenbergii; website updated.




Herbarium staff and affiliates in 2018: Teri Barry, Carl Cheney, Nona Chiariello, Toni Corelli, Alice Cummings, Paul Heiple, Ann Lambrecht, Dawn Neisser, Vivian Neou, John Rawlings, Rebecca Reynolds, Diane Renshaw. Website created and maintained by John Rawlings.

Herbarium staff and affiliates in 2016: Teri Barry, Carl Cheney, Nona Chiariello, Toni Corelli, Alice Cummings, Paul Heiple, Ann Lambrecht, John Rawlings, Rebecca Reynolds, Diane Renshaw.

Oakmead Herbarium home | Arrivals, Weeds | Floristic References | Place Names