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A Partial Flora of Los Trancos Open Space Preserve With Divisions By Community

Annotated Map of Los Trancos Preserve

A Few More Wildflower Tips: Los Trancos Open Space Preserve

Los Trancos Open Space Preserve (MROSD)


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A Partial Flora of Los Trancos Open Space Preserve with Divisions by Community

A Project by Geoffrey Skinner
April-June 1994


Los Trancos Open Space Preserve is an 88-acre preserve near the crest of the central Santa Cruz Mountains. The preserve is located in the San Andreas rift zone; many of the topographic features are the result of fault activity. Although the preserve is fairly small, a number of distinct plant communities are located within it. To the north, the ridge bordering Page Mill Rd. is largely meadow and chaparral, with bay and oak forests on the north slopes of canyons. The central preserve contains oak and grass woodland near the road and dense oak, bay and Douglas fir forest in the canyon of Los Trancos Creek. The southern is largely brush and grassland. The geology varies greatly across the San Andreas with Franciscan formation sandstone, limestone and chert to the east of the fault and with Santa Clara formation terrestrial sedimentary deposits and San Lorenzo formation marine deposits to the west. The geology appears less important than the topology with the important exception of a serpentine outcrop in the northern portion.
     This plant distribution project provides a partial list of the plants that can be found in each community. The map that accompanies this list should be used in conjunction with the list. Each community is provided with a brief plant list; some overlap between communities is noted in cross-references and an overall listing is also provided following the community lists. The names are those found in The Jepson Manual : Higher Vascular Plants of California with reference to different names found in Thomas' Flora of the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. The individual lists are not exhaustive. Additional plants living in each community may be found on the master list but not on the individual list. The additional listings are taken from plant lists provided by the Midpennisula Regional Open Space District (MROSD). Plant references may be searched on CalFlora by scientific or common name; most entries include photos.

In compiling this listing, I spent a number of days in the field during the months of April-June 1994. I traveled throughout the preserve with maps and Thomas' Flora. After I had compiled lists for each map section, I broke them down into the sections listed below and compared my findings with the lists in the MROSD files in order to compile the master list. In most cases, I found that my own listing duplicated MROSD listings. I made a few corrections and combined the lists to create the master list.

The full document and accompanying map are available in PDF format.

A Partial Flora of Los Trancos Open Space Preserve With Divisions By Community
(32 pages)
Annotated Map of Los Trancos Preserve
(map source: MROSD)

A short springtime hiking guide to the Preserve can be found in the Spring 2000 issue of the Trail Center's newsletter, The Trail Companion.

Oak tree illustration by Joan Schwan. Used by permission.

Copyright © Geoffrey Skinner. All rights reserved.
Please contact me for corrections or comments.

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Last modified, Jan. 22, 2001