Plant Communities of Santa Cruz County


Northern Maritime Chaparral (37C10) 



Description

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. 

Associated Plants

scientific name
common name
Adenostoma fasciculatum Chamise
Arctostaphlos silvicola Silverleaf manazanita
Ceanothus cuneatus Buck brush
Eriodictyon californicum Yerba Santa
Mimulus androcaceus
Mimulus rattanii Monkeyflower (annual)
Salvia mellifera Black sage


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