|Gymnosperms of Alta California
CommentsI made up this list in preparation for a field trip to visit gymnosperms in Alta California. I have also been gymnosperm-hunting in Baja California, but haven't compiled that list yet. As far as differences in taxonomic interpretation permit, this list incorporates all gymnosperm taxa found in The Jepson Manual.
A visit to see California's conifers is well worthwhile (its only other gymnosperms, several species of Ephedra, are of more arcane interest). The state is home to 58 gymnosperm species, including the largest (Sequoiadendron giganteum), tallest (Sequoia sempervirens) and oldest (Pinus longaeva) known trees. California is the center of diversity for Cupressus (10 taxa, mostly endemic except for a little sprawl into southern Oregon and northern Baja). It has one of the rarest firs (Abies bracteata) and spruces (Picea breweriana). There are also a remarkable 20 species of pines, including the largest (Pinus lambertiana) and two of the rarest (Pinus radiata and P. torreyana) species. The state is second only to New Caledonia in conifer endemism,having 17 endemic species. Several other species are found only in immediately adjacent parts of Oregon, Nevada or Baja California Norte, and there are also several endemic varieties of species having a larger distribution.
CitationsBesides The Jepson Manual and general floristic information such as is provided by Burns & Honkala, useful sources for information on California taxa include:
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This page is from the Gymnosperm Database