Owens Peak lies at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada within the Bureau of Land Management’s Owens Peak Wilderness Area in Kern County, California. The study site, ca. 50 square miles, encompasses Owens Peak’s eastern watershed, and ranges in elevation from 800–2600 m (2600–8400 ft). Granite rocks of the Sierra Nevada batholith underlie the study area. The eastern watershed of Owens Peak is botanically diverse, with 64 families, 230 genera, and 440 taxa currently documented. Floristic elements within the study area include the southern Sierra Nevada, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert. The flora previously was poorly documented, as discovered through a search of California’s largest herbaria (CAS/DS, RSA-POM, UC/JEPS). A total of 56 collecting days was spent in the field between 2002 and 2005. Approximately 1300 vascular plant collections were made within the study area. Several rare taxa are found in the study area, including seven endemic to the southern Sierra Nevada, and two species described in 1988. One species, Lomatium shevockii, is endemic to the study area. Saltugilia latimeri was previously known from several mountain ranges in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, and one disjunct population in Inyo County. The discovery of this species within the study area not only extends its range, but also is a new record for Kern County. The primary objectives of this study were to catalogue, voucher, and create an annotated checklist of the watershed’s vascular flora, describe the vegetation patterns, and assess the status of the rare species in the area.
Fraga, Naomi S.
"The Vascular Flora of the Owens Peak Eastern Watershed, Southern Sierra Nevada, California,"
Aliso: A Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/aliso/vol25/iss1/2