Plant Communities of Santa Cruz County
Northern Maritime Chaparral (37C10)
Northern Maritime Chaparral
forms a nearly impenetrable shrub cover composed of several species of
manzanitas, wild lilac, and chamise. In some places, silver-leaved manzanita
forms the dominant vegetation, giving the hillsides a grey cast in spring
and summer. This silvery chaparral has been called "Sand Chaparral." Silver-leaved
manzanita is one of the manzanitas that do not sprout from a ground-level
swelling or burl following a fire, relying instead on fire-stimulated seed
germination to renew vegetation. It typically grows to heights of 8 to
12 feet in the Ben Lomond sand hills, and taller in the Bonny Doon area.
Several localized annual plants are associated with the Sand Chaparral,
including two tiny annual monkeyflowers.