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Catalina Mountains – Where Chaparral Meets Forest

Sep 21, 2013

Went up the Catalina Mts. first looking for the big Arizona Cypress (Cupressus arizonica) in Bear Canyon, stopped at Cypress Picnic area but couldn’t find anything. Probably further down at some of the turnoffs. These trees are actually from Mexico and the ones this far north only remnant patches. Headed up to Willow Canyon which is right below Rose Canyon Lake. Found beautiful Arubus arizonica and both Arctostaphylos pungens and A. pringlei, in some cases growing together in a stand. Found a very small pupae and also some bright red galls on some of the A. pringlei. Walked the road to the heliopad just below the ranger station. Nice interface between the chaparral below the road and the forest above. No doubt in my mind that A. pungens and A. pringlei grow in sympatry, have found three occasions where the two plants share the same piece of ground. A. pringlei doesn’t grow as far down as A. pungens but A. pungens grows right up to the top of A. pringlei’s range. No sign at all of hybrids. Seen what I believe to be nascent inflorences on A. pungens. Will watch these as the fall continues.

 

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