Plants

 
Vegetation on Mount Rubidioux

The natural vegetation on the mountain is coastal sage scrub; no significant chaparral elements are present. Coastal sage scrub is a vegetation type of relatively dry sites in lowland California and is characterized by the dominance of low, 1 m tall subwoody shrubs that are deciduous during the long summer dry season. This community occupies sites where there is insufficient soils moisture during the summer months to support the evergreen leaves of chaparral.


Historically the spaces between the shrubs were filled by a profusion of annual wildflowers during the spring. During the present century there has been a massive invasion of the Riverside area by introduced Mediterranean annual grasses. Accompanying these grasses have been numerous other weeds of coastal sage scrub vegetation and Native wildflowers. Noteworthy is the rapid decline of white sage (Salvia apiana), which was as late as the 1920's, one of the dominant species in the area, but may have been completely eliminated from Mt. Rubidioux.
The abundance of these weedy Mediterranean grasses contributes greatly to the frequent fires caused by human actions. There have been proposals to use controlled burns to our advantage to allow the opportunity for native plant material to re-establish itself.
While there has been relatively little intentional alteration of the natural vegetation of the Mountain, there has been virtually no active management to maintain the natural vegetation either.
Sources:
Natural Resource Management Plan
Mount Rubidioux Park
City of Riverside
Riverside, Ca
1994
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