Eastern Mojave Vegetation Does Seaside Heliotrope (Heliotropium curvassicum L.) occur in the Mono Lake Basin?  

Tom Schweich  

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Literature Cited
 Does Heliotropium curvassicum occur in the Mono Basin?

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   Col. #717;
• Mono Lake Basin Flora:   Seaside Heliotrope;
Full Size ImageFlowers of Heliotropium curassavicum on the Rush Creek delta.  

Seaside Heliotrope (Heliotropium curvassicum L.) is a semi-succulent perennial in the Borage family (Boraginaceae) commonly found in moist alkaline places.

Literature Cited:
- Jepson, Willis Linn, 1940.
- Taylor, Dean Wm., 2010.

Locations: Walker Lake.  

Full Size Image
Page of Jepson's 1940 Flora of California
Jepson (1940, p. 300) cites the occurrence of Seaside Heliotrope at Walker Lake, Mono County, California, giving the collection as Shockley #437. Taylor (2010) also indicates the occurrence and cites Shockley's #437 as JEPS 67989. Jepson (1940) and Taylor (2010) are citing the same collection. No other collections of Seaside Heliotrope from Walker Lake, or the Mono Lake basin, was found in a physical search of UC/JEPS and an online search of other California herbaria.

Literature Cited:
- Barneby, Rupert C., 1977.

Other articles:
• William H. Shockley:  Intro;

Locations: Candelaria.  

William H. Shockley was a mining engineer and mine superintendent at Candelaria, Nevada, for 13 years from 1880-1893. His collections are known from Benton and the White Mountains in California, and from many other places in Nevada.

Full Size ImageJEPS67989, Shockley #437  
The label on JEPS 67989 was preprinted with "Esmeralda Co., W. Nevada." This was crossed out, a location of "Shores of Walker Lake, Calif." was handwritten. County designation of "Mono County" was typed. The fragment packet contains a little scrap of paper on which is written "Shockley, Walker Lake." Presumably, Shockley sent his collection to Jepson unmounted, but with a blank label. This was filled in by Jepson or his staff, perhaps based upon the little scrap of paper.

Locations: Walker Lake.
Full Size ImageWalker Lake from the Mono Pass trailhead  

The citation seems a little suspect, though. Walker Lake contains very fresh water. It is snow-fed by Walker Creek cascading down Bloody Canyon. It seems an unlikely location for Seaside Heliotrope. There are no other Shockley collections from the Mono Lake basin. Indeed his nearest collection is at Benton, California, some 37 miles east of Walker Lake.

It is possible, but unlikely, that Shockley traveled past Walker Lake, on his way over Mono Pass en route to San Francisco. Why would he do that? From Candelaria it would be much easier to ride the railroad to Reno, and then to San Francisco.

Full Size ImageUC78866, Shockley #437  
I searched the UC collections for North America, and found another voucher of Shockley's collection #437, UC78866, that came to UC by way of the Brandegee Herbarium. This collection label states "Shores of Walker Lake" above the preprinted location of "Esmeralda Co., W. Nevada." Walker Lake, Nevada is now in Mineral County, Nevada. Mineral County was carved out of Esmeralda County in 1911 shortly after the county seat of Esmeralda was moved to Goldfield from Hawthorne in 1907. However, I think this voucher is pretty good evidence that Shockley 437 was actually made at Walker Lake, Mineral County, Nevada, and that whoever prepared the label for JEPS67989 was mistaken about the actual collection location.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   Col. #717;

Locations: Rush Creek delta.
Full Size ImageRush Creek delta and Mono Lake.  

Does this mean that Seaside Heliotrope does not occur in the Mono Lake Basin? Is there no hope? Actually there is hope. I collected Seaside Heliotrope in the Rush Creek delta, with Kim Kersh on August 30, 2010. The location is shown at left, and the collection is shown above. The voucher is UC 1980416.




Literature Cited

  A list of all literature cited by this web site can be found in the Bibliography.
  Barneby, Rupert C. 1977. William H. Shockley: An early day mining engineer and exceptional plant collector. Mentzelia. 3: 19. {TAS}
  Jepson, Willis Linn. 1940. A Flora of California. 3(2):129-464.
  Taylor, Dean Wm. 2010. Flora of the Yosemite Sierra. {TAS}
If you have a question or a comment you may write to me at: tas4@schweich.com I sometimes post interesting questions in my FAQ, but I never disclose your full name or address.  

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Date and time this article was prepared: 4/14/2024 5:40:04 PM