List of plants of the Sierra Nevada (U.S.)

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A List of Plants in the Sierra Nevada is below. The Sierra Nevada mountain range, also known locally as the "Sierra" or "Sierra Nevada", run 400 miles (640 km) north-to-south along eastern California, and occasionally in western Nevada; the name "Sierra Nevada" is Spanish, translating as "Serrated Mountain Range".


The Sierra Nevada's immense size in length and height, geological age, and wide variety of ecosystems and habitats present, make them home to one of the most diverse collections of distinct plant species in the United States; the Sierras are bordered by: the Great Basin in rain shadow on the east; the Cascade Range on the north; the Central ValleySan Joaquin Valley on the west; the Tehachapi Mountains linking the Transverse Ranges on the southwest; and the Mojave Desert on the south.


In phytogeography, concerned with the geographic distribution of plant species, floristic provinces are used; the Sierra Nevada are primarily within the California Floristic Province, with the Rocky Mountain Floristic Province to the north, the Great Basin Floristic Province to the east, and Sonoran Floristic Province to the south.


In biogeography, concerned with the distribution of species spatially and temporally, a descending hierarchy is used, with an Ecozone at the top, then Biomes, followed by smaller Terrestrial Ecoregions; the Sierra Nevada are a small part of the North American continental Nearctic ecozone. The Sierras contain portions of two Nearctic biomes:

Plants and distributions[edit]

  • This list of native plants is organized by elevational distribution ranges and their plant communities. Some plants with a broader altitudinal range are found listed in their predominant habitat elevation.
  • All the plant species listed are native to the Sierra's foothills, valleys, and mountains. In addition some are also endemic to here and elsewhere within California - (ca-endemic); and some are further endemic to and only found in the Sierra Nevada - (sn-endemic).

Foothill Woodland and Chaparral Zone[edit]

500 to 3,000 feet (200 to 900 m)

Eastern Slopes Great Basin xeric zone[edit]

Lower Montane Forest[edit]

2,000 to 6,000 feet (600 to 1,800 m)

Upper Montane Forest[edit]

6,000 to 9,000 feet (1,800 to 2,700 m)

Subalpine Zone[edit]

8,000 to 11,000 feet (2,400 to 3,400 m)

Alpine Zone[edit]

above 9,000 feet (2,700 m)

See also[edit]

References and bibliography[edit]

  • Note: references for each plant species are within their own articles.
  • Bibliography of the Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
  • "A Natural History of California," Allan A. Schoenherr, University of California Press, 1992, ISBN 0-520-06922-6.
  • "A California Flora and Supplement," Phillip Munz, 1968, University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-02405-2.
  • "The Jepson Manual," James C. Hickman-editor, University of California Press, 2003, ISBN 0-520-08255-9.
  • "Mountain Sage: The Life of Carl Sharsmith, Yosemite Ranger and Naturalist," Elizabeth Stone O'Neill, ISBN 0-939666-47-2.

External links[edit]