Plant Communities of Santa Cruz County

Copyright (c) 1999, Suzanne Schettler

Sand Parkland is found almost exclusively on the ridgetops of the sand hills, and features a deep, loose, sandy soil, with very widely spaced ponderosa pines providing little or no cover to the assortment of ephemeral herbs (annuals) and scattered subshrubs which make up this community. Much of the year this habitat may look sandy and barren, but each spring showy annuals and biennials provide a splash of vibrant color.

In the photo:  Ben Lomond Wallflower (Erysimum teretifolium) is the yellow flower in front with Silver Leaved Manzanita (Arctostaphylos silvicola) and Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) behind it.  Behind them are Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) and Ben Lomond Mountain.


scientific name
common name
Castilleja exserta Purple owl's clover
Chorizanthe pungens var hartwegiana Ben Lomond spineflower
Erysimum teretifolium Ben Lomond wallflower
Eschscholzia californica California poppy
Lasthenia californica Gold fields
Layia platyglossa Tidy tips
Minuartia californica Sandwort


Sand Parkland on South Ridge at Quail Hollow

Ben Lomond Wallflowers (Erysimum teretifolium) in front, with Ponderosa Pines (Pinus ponderosa) behind.

Picture taken by Suzanne Schettler.

Ben Lomond Spineflower

Chorizanthe pungens var. hartwegiana

Picture taken under dissecting microscope by Janell Hillman.