My study of the plants of Upper Newport Bay has evolved from just a list of plant names to a study of the uses of the plant by Native Americans and early settlers and if the plant was non-native, by early Europeans. Photographs of the plant have been taken and an effort made to find the meaning of the Latin names. I have described the habitat of each species and added the latitude and longitude of each plant, sampled the soil type and soil pH of approximately 150 locations around the Bay and extrapolated this information for each species at the site it was first found. I have also noted the various plant species growing in the vicinity of each plant at the location it was first found. Photograph dates are given, the earliest date being the date the plant was first found; the name of the person who identified the plant and the location of the plant specimen are also given.
The geographical area included in this study has diminished through the years as development has encroached into the areas around the Bay. Some of the now developed sites were a rich source of native and non-native species.
AS COMPILED BY ROBERT DE RUFF
Genus and species names have been updated to conform to Roberts, The Vascular Plants of Orange County California. An Annotated Checklist. 2008. For the plant families I did not follow Roberts and change the family names that have been altered as a result of DNA testing but have noted these changes with parenthesis. Instead, I have followed Andy Sanders at the UC Riverside herbarium, who feels that many of the new family names will change again the future and does not want to change names that may be changed again.
The 579 plants listed are those which have been identified with reasonable certainty. The exceptions to this are the plants that have been identified as to genus but not to species. There are 263 native plants and 316 non-native plants listed at this time. (2011). Represented are 97 plant families not considering changes as a result of DNA testing and 339 genera. The largest family is Asteraceae with 88 species, 49 of these being native; the next largest plant family is Poaceae with 59 species, 15 of these being native. There are 42 families with only one species represented.
The data sheets I have created refer to various locations around the Bay; these locations are defined in the SUB-AREA DESCRIPTIONS and are referred to often in my description of where a plant was first found. Subsequent addition of the latitude and longitude for each plant has diminished the need for the sub-area descriptions.
An overview of the soils around the Upper Bay is available in the following link. OVERVIEW OF SOILS.
The Bibliography has been divided by reference type: TEXT BOOK REFERENCES which list references that provided plant characteristics, plant keys, number of genera in a family, number of species in a genus, habitat and the name of the person or persons who first identified the species or made name changing discoveries about the species and GENERAL DATA REFERENCES which provided uses of the plants, the meaning of the Latin and Greek names and additional habitat data.
Acknowledgements: Without the encouragement and help of my old mentor John Johnson this study would have ended long ago. Always a teacher, John patiently explained the structure of tough grasses and plants and his careful keying of the plant material supplied him has made my work better as I have tried to emulate his procedures, just as I did as his student many years ago. In the early days of this study Fred Roberts at the UC Irvine Museum of Systematic Biology was most generous of his time confirming my identifications or identifying the specimen himself. When the Museum closed in 1991 those of us who had used its assets were deeply disappointed. One of the others who have been most helpful is Dr. Peter Bryant of the UC Irvine Biology Department who started the conversion of my data to Microsoft Front Page and set up the original format for a web page.