Oak-maple Community




Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) is the dominant type of vegetation throughout the altitudinal range of the canyon. It forms what appear to be randomly spaced clones throughout much of the area. In accordance with the moisture regimen, the clones may range from thickets 0.3 m (1 ft) or less in height in dry upland sites to stands of stately, well-spaced tress in lowland areas. Both walls of the canyon support often nearly impenetrable oak in association with bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum), the latter growing chiefly in drainageways. Few species thrive as understory with dense oak cover. The most common are Galium aparine (catchweed bedstraw) and Mahonia repens (Oregon grape). Others appearing seasonally under oak are Erythronium grandiflorum (dogtooth violet), Claytonia lanceolata (lanceleaf spring beauty), Hydrophyllum capitatum (ballhead waterleaf), and H. occidentale (western waterleaf). Among plants commonly fringing oak clones are listed to the right.

Mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) occurs as individuals and as scattered, mostly small populations, often in association with oak, sagebrush, or other mountain shrubs, generally on northwest-facing, sparsley vegetated slopes. It can be seen from the main road through the canyon as small trees against the sky along the exposed, rocky, south rim of the canyon, especially toward its western end. As low shrubs it occurs sporadically, chiefly on exposed dry sigtes above 1980 m (6500 ft).

Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) occurs sporadically in drier sites throughout the canyon's altitudinal range. Low sagebrush (Artemisia arbuscula) occurs as relatively pure stands at about 2133 m (7000 ft) along the southeast rim of the canyon.
Plants Commonly Fringing Oak Clones

Agoseris glauca, mountain dandelion
Apocynum androsaemifolium, spreading dogbane
Arabis glabra, tower mustard
Bromus carinatus, mountain brome
Comandra umbellata, bastard toadflax
Delphinium nuttallianum, Nelson larkspur
Descurainia pinnata, blue tansy mustard
Eriogonum heracleoides, whorled buckwheat
E. racemosum, redroot buckwheat
Geranium viscosissimum, sticky geranium
Helianthella uniflora, one-headed sunflower
Heliomeris multiflora, hairy goldeneye
Hydrophyllum spp., waterleaf
Koeleria macrantha, Junegrass
Leucopoa kingii, spike fescue
Lomatium dissectum, giant lomatium
Machaeranthera canescens, hoary aster
Mertensia brevistyla, Wasatch blulebell
Microseris nutans, nodding scorzonella
Phacelia heterophylla, varileaf scorpionweed
Poa fendleriana, muttongrass
P. pratensis, Kentucky bluegrass
Senecio integerrimus, Columbia groundsel