California Native Plant Society
San Gabriel Mountains Chapter

Chilao Area

In the heart of the San Gabriel Mountains, along the Angeles Crest Highway, is the Chilao Visitors Center. Nearby is the campground and a network of roads through the forest. While much of the San Gabriel Mountains is covered with that relatively low plant system that we call chaparral, the Chilao area, high on the ridge around 6,000 feet, has substantial amounts of open conifer forest, mostly Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi).

During 2008, our CNPS chapter sponsored a monthly series of plant walks, led by Jane Strong, each month concentrating on the plants and flowers at a different elevation in the Chilao area, thus following the spring bloom as it gradually extended higher and higher into the mountains. The photos below are all from the mountain plant walk of June 2008, which was actually a slow drive around various roads in the immediate vicinity of the Chilao Visitors Center..

Click on the thumbnails to see higher-resolution images, 640 x 480 pixels.

South from Chilao campgraound Jeffrey pine Jeffrey pine Scarlet bugler Scarlet bugler

Southerly view from near the Chilao campground

Coulter pine (PInus coulteri)

Scarlet bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius) is common around Chilao, most notably on slopes covered with Jeffrey pine

Grape soda lupine
Grape soda lupine
Pine green gential
Pine green gential
Davidson's phacelia

Grape soda lupine
(Lupinus excubitus ssp. Johnstonii)

Pine green-gentian (Swertia neglecta)

Davidson's phacelia (Phacelia davidsonii)

Mojave phacelia Mojave phacelia Wild onion Douglas's violet Douglas's violet

Mojave phacelia (Phacelia mohavensis)

Wild onion
(Allium lacunosum)

Mountain violet (Viola purpureai)

Spreading larkspur Spreading larkspur Creek monkeyflower Plain mariposa lily Plain mariposa lily

Spreading larkspur (Delphinium patens)

Creek monkey flower
(Mimulus guttatus)

Plain mariposa lily (Calochortus invenustus)

Sulphur-flowered buchwheat Mojave lianthus Mojave lianthus Grinnell's penstemon Diamond-petalled clarkia

Sulphur-flowered buckwheat
(Eriogonum unbellatum)

Mojave lianthus (Lianthus breviculus)

Grinnell's penstemon (Penstemon grinnelli)

Diamond-petalled clarkia
(Clarkia rhomboidea)

Palmer's mariposa lily Palmer's mariposa lily Silver puffs Mountain dandelion Blue dicks

Palmer's mariposa lily
(Calochortus palmeri)

Silver puffs
(Uropappus lindley)

Probably spearleaf mountain dandelion
(Agoseris retrorsa)

Blue dicks
(Dichelostemma capitatum)

Top of page


All images © 2008-2009 Graham Bothwell
Thanks to Jane Strong for assistance in identification of flowers and plants.