Snow is common in the winter in the areas where yellow pine forest is found. Photo by queerbychoice. Yellow pine forest is the plant community native to areas of Yuba County above approximately 1,600 feet, including Brownsville, Camptonville, Challenge, Dobbins, Eagleville, Greenville, North Star, Oak Valley, Plumas National Forest, Sharon Valley, Strawberry Valley, Sugar Pine Peak, Tahoe National Forest, Weeds Point, and Woodleaf. It is defined by the fact that a plurality of trees in it are yellow pines.

In the photos of understory plants from yellow pine forest, notice the thick layer of pine needles usually visible on the ground. If you are trying to grow plants from Yellow Pine Forest in your garden, you should cover the ground in your garden with pine straw mulch or the detritus of other native conifers. This mulch helps prevent moisture from evaporating and fosters the growth of beneficial mycorrhiza.

Yellow pine forest manifests itself somewhat differently at different elevations. At the lower elevations within its range, where canyon live oaks, Oregon white oaks, and California black oaks are nearly as common as yellow pines, it is sometimes called montane hardwood-conifer forest. Douglas-firs, bigleaf maples, sticky whiteleaf manzanitas, blackfruit dogwoods, tanbark oaks, and California bay laurels are also common trees in montane hardwood-conifer forest. As elevation increases within the montane hardwood-conifer forest range, canyon live oaks, Oregon white oaks, and California bay laurels become less common. Common shrubs and vines in montane hardwood-conifer forest include Indian manzanitas, shining netvein barberries, Pacific mountain dogwoods, dwarf wood roses, upright snowberries, and poison oak.1

At higher elevations, yellow pines comprise not just a plurality but a majority of trees in the forest. This is sometimes called true yellow pine forest. Balsam firs, incense cedars, sugar pines, Douglas-firs, sticky whiteleaf manzanitas, tanbark oaks, bitter cherries, canyon live oaks, Oregon white oaks, and California black oaks grow in true yellow pine forest. Common shrubs and vines in true yellow pine forest include Indian manzanitas, Sierra mountain misery, Pacific mountain dogwoods, California coffeeberries, Sierra gooseberries, various California lilacs, and poison oak.2

The plants listed below are native to yellow pine forest in Yuba County.3

Trees

Conifers

Yellow pine (Pinus ponderosa). Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Conifers pages for more information about these and other conifer species.)

balsam fir (also called white fir or silver fir)

incense cedar (also called white cedar or post cedar)

sugar pine

yellow pine (also called bull pine, silver pine, ponderosa pine, or pitch pine)

Douglas-fir

Pacific yew

Sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) in the California State University Sacramento arboretum. Photo by queerbychoice.

Broadleaf Trees

Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) on the Feather River Little North Fork, north of Strawberry Valley. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Native Edible Fruits and Oaks pages for more information about some of these species.)

Rocky Mountain maple

bigleaf maple

sticky whiteleaf manzanita

birch-leaf mountain mahogany

blackfruit dogwood (also called miners' dogwood or Western cornelian cherry)

tanbark oak (also called tanoak)

Frémont's cottonwood

bitter cherry

Klamath plum (also called Sierra plum)

Western chokecherry

Western hop tree

canyon live oak (also called gold cup oak or maul oak)

Oregon white oak

California black oak

California bay laurel

Blackfruit dogwood (Cornus sessilis) with fruit, growing alongside Frey Creek on the Feather Falls trail. Photo by queerbychoice.Frémont's cottonwood (Populus fremontii) in the American River Parkway, with cotton-like seeds. The tree is named for John C. Frémont. Photo by queerbychoice. Canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis). Photo by queerbychoice. California black oak (Quercus kelloggii) can be identified by the bristles on the tips of its leaves. Photo by queerbychoice. California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica). Photo by queerbychoice.

Shrubs

Buckthorn Family

Several buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus) shrubs bloom with white flowers under oak and pine trees near Smartsville. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the California Lilacs and Buckthorns pages for more information about these and other California lilac and buckthorn species.)

mountain whitethorn (also called snow bush)

buckbrush (also called wedgeleaf California lilac)

pinemat

deerbrush

Lemmon's California lilac

Mahala mat (also called pinemat)

California coffeeberry

redberry

Sierra coffeeberry

Lemmon's California lilac (Ceanothus lemmonii) blooming with blue flowers, accompanied by red paintbrushes and a young yellow pine tree. Photo by queerbychoice. Mahala mat (Ceanothus prostratus). Photo by queerbychoice. A California coffeeberry (Frangula californica) in the American River Parkway, laden with fruit. Photo by queerbychoice.

Rose Family

Sierra mountain misery (Chamaebatia foliolosa) near Grass Valley. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Native Edible Fruits and Roses pages for more information about some of these species.)

Sierra mountain misery (also called bearclover)

ocean spray (also called cream bush)

rock spiraea (also called small-leaf cream bush or ocean spray)

California wild rose

dwarf wood rose (also called baldhip rose)

pine rose

cluster rose

Woods' rose

Western raspberry (also called whitebark raspberry)

mountain ash

Ocean spray (Holodiscus discolor). Photo by queerbychoice. California wild rose (Rosa californica) under the 5th Street Bridge, with hips and one remaining flower in October. Photo by queerbychoice. Dwarf wood rose (Rosa gymnocarpa) near Quincy. Photo by queerbychoice.

Other Plant Families

Pacific mountain dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) near Quincy. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Beardtongues, Buckwheats, Native Edible Fruits, and Lupines pages for more information about some of these species.)

Indian manzanita

stickyleaf rabbitbrush (also called yellow rabbitbrush)

shining netvein barberry

spicebush (also called sweet shrub)

Pacific mountain dogwood

California hazelnut

yerba santa (also called mountain balm)

naked buckwheat

California flannelbush

Oregon spicy wintergreen (also called Western wintergreen or Western teaberry)

Fremont's silk tassel (also called bearbrush)

gaping beardtongue

California juniper

silver bush lupine (also called evergreen purple lupine)

Sierra sweet bay (also called Sierra bayberry or mountain wax myrtle)

Oregon boxwood (also called Oregon boxleaf)

Lewis' mock orange

Sierra gooseberry

Parish's purple nightshade

California snowdrop bush

spreading snowberry (also called creeping snowberry or sharpleaf snowberry)

upright snowberry

trailing snowberry (also called creeping snowberry)

thinleaf huckleberry

California hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) near Strawberry Valley. Photo by queerbychoice. Naked buckwheat (Eriogonum nudum) is named for the fact that it has no leaves except for a few small ones at ground level. Photo by queerbychoice. Silver bush lupine (Lupinus albifrons) in a garden in Marysville, with California golden poppies. Photo by queerbychoice. A single flower blooms on a ground-level branch of a young mock orange (Philadelphus lewisii) in a Marysville garden. Photo by queerbychoice. Sierra gooseberry (Ribes roezlii) near Strawberry Valley. Photo by queerbychoice.

Vines

Chaparral clematis (Clematis lasiantha) seedheads intertwine with toyon and poison oak. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Native Edible Fruits page for more information about some of these species.)

Western morning glory

chaparral clematis (also called pipestem clematis)

virgin's bower (also called Western creek clematis or yerba de chiva)

chaparral honeysuckle

Pacific blackberry (also called trailing blackberry)

poison oak

American vetch

 

Herbaceous Perennials

Monocots

Grasses and Grasslike Plants

True Grasses

Deergrass (Muhlenbergia rigens) in the California State University Sacramento arboretum. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Ryegrasses and Oniongrasses pages for more information about some of these species.)

Lemmon's needlegrass (also called Lemmon's stipa)

Letterman's needlegrass (also called Letterman's stipa)

Western needlegrass (also called Western stipa)

Stillman's needlegrass (also called Stillman's stipa)

California brome

one-spike oatgrass

squirreltail ryegrass (also called bottlebrush rye grass)

blue wild rye

big squirreltail rye

California wheatgrass (also called California wild rye grass)

coast fescue

Western fescue

nodding fescue (also called bearded fescue)

needle and thread grass

prairie junegrass

creeping wild rye (also called valley wild rye, alkali rye, or beardless wild rye)

California oniongrass

Geyer's oniongrass

Harford's oniongrass

smallflower oniongrass (also called coast range melic)

Torrey's oniongrass

deergrass

nodding needlegrass (also called nodding tussockgrass or nodding stipa)

purple needlegrass (also called purple tussockgrass or purple stipa)

Pacific panicgrass

pine bluegrass (also called one-sided blue grass)

 
Sedges

Clustered field sedge (Carex praegracilis) surrounds a submerged stepping-stone in a seasonally flooded garden in Marysville. Clustered field sedge grows very well in heavy clay soils that tend to be very dry in the summer but very wet in the winter. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Sedges page for more information about these and other sedge species.)

widefruit sedge (also called narrowleaf sedge)

Brainerd's sedge

fragile sheath sedge

many-stem sedge (also called forest sedge)

torrent sedge (also called naked sedge)

clustered field sedge

sand spikerush (also called Montevideo spikerush)

 
Rushes

Wire rush (Juncus balticus) next to an outdoor faucet in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Rushes page for more information about these and other rush species.)

wire rush (also called Baltic rush)

Coville's rush

dubius rush (also called Mariposa rush)

common bog rush (also called soft rush)

three-stamen rush (also called threestem rush or swordleaf rush)

Howell's rush

poverty rush (also called slender rush)

straightleaf rush

Pacific hairy woodrush

smallflower woodrush

 

Bulbs and Corms

Lily Family

Superb mariposa tulip (Calochortus superbus) in a garden in Marysville, with California golden poppies. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Tulips and Fritillaries pages for more information about some of these species.)

fairy lantern (also called white globe lily)

blue star tulip

yellow star tulip

naked mariposa lily

superb mariposa lily

Sierra fawn lily (also called adder's-tongue)

mission bells (also called checker lily)

Butte County fritillary

brown bells

scarlet fritillary

Humboldt's lily

American twisted stalk

 
Orchid Family

phantom orchid

spotted coralroot (also called summer coralroot)

clustered lady's slipper

Western rattlesnake plantain

Michael's rein orchid

royal rein orchid

Western ladies' tresses (also called creamy ladies' tresses)

 
Other Bulbs and Corms

Rainbow iris (Iris hartwegii) near Strawberry Valley. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Cluster-Lilies and Onions pages for more information about some of these species.)

narrowleaf onion

papery onion

Sanborn's onion

harvest cluster-lily (also called elegant cluster-lily)

blue dicks (also called wild hyacinth)

wild hyacinth (also called roundtooth snakelily or many-flowered cluster-lily)

narrowleaf soaproot

wavyleaf soaproot (also called amole)

rainbow iris

bowltube iris (also called longtube iris or ground iris)

slender iris (also called longtube iris)

feathery false lily of the valley

Bridges' prettyface

Western blue-eyed grass

large false Solomon's seal (also called, Western false Solomon's seal, fat Solomon, or branched Solomon's seal)

meadow death camas (also called meadow zigadene)

 

Dicots

Aster Family

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) in a garden in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Daisies and Mule Ears pages for more information about some of these species.)

yarrow

American trailplant

mugwort

Greene's brickellbush

woolly sunflower (also called Oregon sunshine)

roughleaf aster

serpentine sunflower

California goldenrod

California aster

narrowleaf mule ears (also called California compassplant)

El Dorado mule ears

American trailplant (Adenocaulon bicolor) near Strawberry Valley, with one leaf overturned to show its much paler underside. It takes its common name from the fact that people walking through the woods often unknowingly turn over some of its arrow-shaped leaves with their feet, which provides an easy-to-spot way of following their trail. Photo by queerbychoice. The yellow flowers and pinkish grey buds of woolly sunflower (Eriophyllum lanatum) mingle with tidytips, common goldfields, bird's eye gilyflower, and scarlet mallow in a Marysville garden. Photo by queerbychoice. Serpentine sunflower (Helianthus bolanderi) blooms with the smaller flowers of rosillas (Helenium puberulum) in a Marysville garden. Photo by queerbychoice.

 

Heath Family

Little prince's pine (Chimaphila menziesii) near Quincy. Photo by queerbychoice. candystriped sugar stick little prince's pine (also called pipsissewa) Blake's prince's pine (also called pipsissewa) liverleaf wintergreen (also called bog wintergreen) whitevein wintergreen (also called whitevein shinleaf)

Whitevein wintergreen (Pyrola picta) near Quincy. Photo by queerbychoice.

Pea Family

Sulphur pea (Lathyrus sulphureus) near Quincy. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Deervetches, Lupines, and Clovers pages for more information about some of these species.)

balloonpod milkvetch

Sierra pea

sulphur pea (also called snub pea)

chaparral bird's foot trefoil (also called bigleaf deervetch)

woolly bird's foot trefoil

sicklekeel lupine (also called whitestem lupine)

miniature lupine

Quincy lupine

Sierra lupine

dwarf tidy lupine (also called stool lupine]

fiveleaf clover forest clover

 

Mint Family

Creeping sage (Salvia sonomensis) in a garden in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Skullcaps page for more information about some of these species.)

Sierra mint (also called mountain mint or California mint)

creeping sage

California skullcap

curve-flower skullcap (also called grayleaf skullcap)

common skullcap

Buttercup Family

Western columbine (Aquilegia formosa) at Bowman Lake in Nevada County. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Larkspurs and Buttercups pages for more information about some of these species.)

blue windflower (also called Western wood anemone)

Western columbine (also called crimson columbine)

pine forest larkspur (also called meadow larkspur)

El Dorado larkspur

spreading larkspur (also called zigzag larkspur)

California buttercup

Sacramento Valley buttercup

smooth buttercup (also called sagebrush buttercup)

 

Rose Family

Woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca) in a garden in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Native Edible Fruits pages for more information about some of these species.)

agrimony

woodland strawberry

California horkelia

threetooth horkelia

sticky cinquefoil (also called glandular five-finger)

Other Plant Families

Pacific bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa) near Grass Valley. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Milkweeds, Paintbrushes, Willowherbs, Woodland Stars, Beardtongues, and Violets pages for more information about some of these species.)

Brewer's angelica

hairy rockcress

Hartweg's wild ginger

heartleaf milkweed (also called purple milkweed)

kotolo milkweed (also called Indian milkweed or woollypod milkweed)

showy milkweed

tansyleaf evening-primrose

California nodding harebell

Nuttall's toothwort

rock toothwort (also called serpentine bittercress)

wavyleaf paintbrush (also called pine paintbrush)

frosted paintbrush

California goosefoot

Pacific bleeding heart

broadleaf shooting star (also called mosquito bills)

violet draperia

California fuchsia (also called hummingbird trumpet)

Fringed Northern willowherb (also called slender willowherb)

round-headed buckwheat (also called rock buckwheat)

Bolander's bedstraw

crevice alum root

goldwire

St. John's wort

milk kelloggia

blue flax

Sierra woodland star

Siskiyou Mountain woodland star

California stoneseed (also called Shasta puccoon or California gromwell)

woollyfruit lace parsnip

sagebrush bluebells (also called oblongleaf bluebells)

sweet-cicely

Indian warrior

azure beardtongue

foothill beardtongue (also called bunchleaf beardtongue)

gay beardtongue (also called mountain blue beardtongue)

mountain pride

rock phacelia (also called Kaweah River phacelia)

varileaf phacelia

showy phlox

checker mallow (also called wild hollyhock or dwarf checkerbloom)

Bridges' catchfly (also called Bridges' campion)

whitestem green gentian

bigflower fringe cups

Western woodland star (also called Western star flower)

Western vervain

moosehorn violet

canary violet (also called Astoria violet)

mountain violet

Shelton's violet

California fuchsia (Epilobium canum) blooms in a garden in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice.

Ferns

Five-finger fern (Adiantum aleuticum) in a Marysville garden. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Maidenhair Ferns, Wood Ferns, and Horsetails pages for more information about some of these species.)

five-finger fern

California maidenhair fern

Indian's dream

lace lipfern

brittle bladderfern (also called fragile fern)

common field horsetail rush

coffee fern (also called coffee cliffbrake)

bird's foot fern (also called bird's foot cliffbrake)

goldenback fern

licorice fern

Western sword fern

Western brackenfern

Hansen's spikemoss

Sierra marsh fern

Goldenback fern (Pentagramma triangularis) prefers full shade, as most ferns do. Photo by queerbychoice.

 

Annuals

Monocots

Grasses

California bromegrass

Orcutt's bromegrass

Scribner's grass

Pacific fescue

 

Dicots

Aster Family

Common tarweed (Madia elegans) in a garden in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Daisies and Tarweeds pages for more information about some of these species.)

mountain dandelion

Klamath Western rosinweed

Oregon Western rosinweed

Ramm's madia

common branched hareleaf

threadstem aster

common tarweed

slender cottonweed (also called cotton top or Q-tips)

Santa Barbara wirelettuce

tall rod wirelettuce (also called twiggy wreath plant)

 

Pea Family

Arroyo lupine (Lupinus succulentus) on a levee in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Deervetches, Lupines, and Clovers pages for more information about some of these species.)

foothill shortpod deervetch (also called colchita)

desert smallflower deervetch

Spanish clover

American bird's foot trefoil

calf bird's foot trefoil

chick lupine

harlequin lupine

arroyo lupine (also called hollowstem lupine or succulent lupine)

sour clover (also called bull clover)

hairy maiden clover (also called smallhead field clover)

minitomcat clover (also called fewflower clover)

tomcat clover

Sour clover (Trifolium fucatum) blooms in a garden in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice. Tomcat clover (Trifolium willdenovii) in flower and bud on Table Mountain. Photo by queerbychoice.

Evening-Primrose Family

Tall autumn willowherb (Epilobium brachycarpum) blooms next to a six-foot-tall fence in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice. (See the Clarkias and Willowherbs pages for more information about some of these species.)

twolobe clarkia

farewell-to-spring (also called slender clarkia or graceful clarkia)

Mildred's clarkia

winecup clarkia (also called purple clarkia)

Sierra clarkia

tall autumn willowherb

denseflower willowherb (also called denseflower spike-primrose)

little chaparral willowherb (also called desert willowherb)

narrowleaf willowherb

 

Broomrape Family

(See the Paintbrushes page for more information about some of these species.)

narrowleaf owl's clover

cutleaf Indian paintbrush (also called foothill owl's clover)

sagebrush Indian paintbrush (also called thinlobe owl's clover)

hairy bird's beak

slender bird's beak

 

Lopseed Family

(See the Monkeyflowers page for more information about these and other monkeyflower species.)

yellow and white monkeyflower

Brewer's monkeyflower

Kellogg's monkeyflower

mountain monkeyflower

candelabrum monkeyflower

Torrey's monkeyflower

 

Phlox Family

Globe gilyflower (Gilia capitata) and mountain garland in a garden in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice.

variableleaf collomia

bluehead gilyflower

thread flaxflower

Harkness' flaxflower

slender phlox

mountain pincushionplant

threadstem pincushionplant

Other Plant Families

Smallflower fiddleneck (Amsinckia menziesii) and unidentified popcornflowers on Table Mountain. Photo by queerbychoice. common fiddleneck

common dwarf sandweed

charming centaury (also called canchalagua or beautiful centaury)

thymeleaf sandmat (also called thymeleaf spurge)

miner's lettuce

purple Chinese pagodas

spinster's blue eyed Mary

sticky Chinese houses

common quill cryptanth

chaparral dodder (also called California dodder)

canyon dodder

American wild carrot

whitlowgrass

warty spurge

Sierra largeflower bluecup

common bluecup (also called Venus' looking glass)

common dwarf flax (also called smallflower Western flax or threadstem flax)

California sandwort

Douglas' stitchwort (also called Douglas' sandwort)

mustang mint

small baby blue eyes (also called canyon nemophila)

fivespot

baby blue eyes

harsh popcornflower

sleeping popcornflower

longspur seablush

California knotweed

Douglas' knotweed

Parry's knotweed

woodland fairy mist

California scarlet campion (also called California Indian pink)

sand fringepod (also called hairy lacepod)

The tiny, pale pink flowers of miner's lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) bloom in a garden in Marysville. This plant is prized as a salad ingredient, generally sold only at high-end grocery stores. Growing your own is much cheaper than buying it from a grocery store! Photo by queerbychoice. Purple Chinese pagodas (Collinsia heterophylla) in a garden in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice. Five spot (Nemophila maculata) blooms in a garden in Marysville, along with non-native scarlet mallow. Photo by queerbychoice. Baby blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii) bloom in a garden in Marysville. Photo by queerbychoice.

Footnotes

1. California Department of Fish and Game: Wildlife Habitats—California Wildlife Habitat Relationships System
2. California Department of Fish and Game: Wildlife Habitats—California Wildlife Habitat Relationships System
3. CalFlora.org