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VgValley Grassland

Low elevation grasslands, extending from the Sierra Nevada foothills in the east to the eastern Coastal Range, historically characterized by sweeping bunch grass meadows and annuals punctuated with mature tree specimens.  Short spring growing seasons produce a flurry of rapid growth and flowering, painting swaths of annual color to the horizon, and are then followed by an extended dry period with little growth.  Due to development, agriculture, and grazing, only a very small percentage of pure valley grassland exists.


Common Plants of the Valley Grassland

Dominant & Associated Trees Dominant Shrubs, Perennials, Grasses & Annuals
Acer negudo, Box Elder Achillea millefolium, Yarrow
Aesculus californica, California Buckeye
Carex praegricilis. Clustered Field Sedge
Alnus rhombifolia, White Alder Eschscholzia californica, California Poppy
Populus fremontii, Fremont Cottonwood Gilia capitata, Globe Gilia
Quercus lobata, Valley Oak
Layia platyglossa, Tidy Tips
Quercus douglasii, Blue Oak
Lupinus species, Lupine
Quercus wislizeni, Interior Live Oak
Muhlenbergia rigens, Deer Grass
Umbellularia californica, California Bay
Nasella pulchra, Purple Needle Grass
  Ribes aureum, Golden Currant
  Salvia species, Sage
  Salix lasiolepis, Arroyo Willow
  Sambucus mexicana, Western Elderberry

Note: The above lists note some species found in valley grassland communities locatated throughout the state. A combination of these plants, not necessarily all, will constitute the dominant plant material in this specific plant community. This information is intended to be a primer on the plant communites in California.  View this article for information on references and further reading. 


Designates plant occurs in Riparian area.


Plant Communitiy Photos

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