Hualapai Mts., Potato Patch trail

Hualapai Mts.

October 27, 2013

Hualapai Mts. near Kingman, Arizona.  Park run by Mohave County. The Hualapai Mts. Are the highest mountains on the western edge of the Mojave desert with the Sonoran Desert to the south and the Colorado Plateau to the east and north. They provide an entry point for California flora (Butterwick, Parfitt, Hillyard, 1992), there has been Arctostaphylos pungens found in the New York Mts. (MacNeill, Brophy, Smith, 1978) to the east but the nearest A. pringlei to the west have been found in the San Jacinto Mts. at the eastern end of the Transverse Ranges. Stayed near the park Visiter Center and hiked up to the Potato Patch Loop which loops around Aspen Peak. Poderosa pine forest with patches of Oaks and mostly  A. pringlei, found only a few A. pungens near the Visiter center. Up near Aspen Peak it was  A. pringlei with some plants looking like trees. Some of them were in bloom, this in late October, a snow storm went through southern Utah a few days after. I saw no pollinators on the flowers but several plants growing new berries, I have no information whatsoever on what pollinates this species. On the way down saw deer browsing in the A. pringlei and maybe the scrub oaks. There were elk in the canyon where we stayed but I don’t know what they were eating. On some of the young berries there were holes, insects or maybe more likely birds. Noticing several variations with some plants much stickier and hairier than others and also variations on the flower color with some flowers white and others more pink, especially when first budding. Couldn’t find any ripe berries but I gathered a little in the seed bank and found only single fused seed pods.

On the way back I gathered a specimen of A. pungens in the mountains just south of Prescott.

Butterwick, M., Parfitt, B.D. & Hillyard, D., 1992. Vascular Plants of the Northern Hualapai Mountains, Arizona. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 24/25, pp.31–49.
MacNeill, C.D., Brophy, W. & Smith, A.R., 1978. Ferns of the New York Mountains, California, with Biogeographic Comments. Madroño, 25(1), pp.54–57.

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