Table Mountain

Table Mountain is a flattop mesa located in Butte County. It is quite distinctive set against the backdrop of the rounded hills of the Sierra Nevada. The State of California owns a 3200 acre parcel that is managed by Fish and Game. This area was long ago formed by lava that cooled into a flat basaltic plateau over what was (65 million years ago) once a river basin. Over time faulting and erosion of the softer shoulders of the river valley has created canyons and cliffs. Winter rainfall creates temporary streams and over time ravines. The spectacular wildflower display starts in late February and continues until hot temperatures dry the area, usually in late May. The timing and breadth of the display depends on the weather each year. Thin soils prevented introduced grasses from dominating and the rocky nature of the mesa made it less attractive for farming. On this page we are picturing geophytes found along Cherokee road, the road that leads to and from Table Mountain, as well as the Fish and Game parcel. Although there are some early blooming species, many of the geophytes bloom later in the cycle after some of the annuals have started to fade. Photos taken April 2006 by Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller show the display of flowers in a good year and some of the different habitats.

Table Mountain, California, Mary Sue IttnerTable Mountain, California, Mary Sue IttnerTable Mountain, California, Mary Sue IttnerTable Mountain, California, Mary Sue IttnerTable Mountain, California, Mary Sue IttnerTable Mountain, California, Bob Rutemoeller

Table Mountain Click for map


Allium species:

Allium cratericola - The photos below were taken on Table Mountain in Butte County by Nhu Nguyen. They show various color forms and this species growing with other geophytic friends.

Allium cratericola, in situ, Nhu NguyenAllium cratericola, in situ, Nhu NguyenAllium cratericola, in situ, Nhu NguyenAllium cratericola, in situ, Nhu NguyenAllium cratericola, in situ, Nhu Nguyen
Allium cratericola, in situ, Nhu NguyenAllium cratericola, in situ, Nhu NguyenAllium cratericola, in situ, Nhu NguyenAllium cratericola, in situ, Nhu NguyenAllium cratericola, in situ, Nhu Nguyen

Calochortus species:

Calochortus albus can be found in the cobbles and along Cherokee road. Photographs from Mary Sue Ittner April 2006 were taken along the road.

Calochortus albus, Table Mountain, Mary Sue IttnerCalochortus albus, Table Mountain, Mary Sue Ittner

Calochortus monophyllus photographed on Cherokee Road by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner.

Calochortus monophyllus, Bob RutemoellerCalochortus monophyllus, Mary Sue Ittner

Dichelostemma species:

Dichelostemma capitatum is found in thin soil and rocky outcrops. It blooms earlier in the season and continues on for a longer period. Photo 1 by Nhu Nguyen. Photos 2-4 taken April 2006 by Mary Sue Ittner.

Dichelostemma capitatum, Butte Co., Nhu NguyenDichelostemma capitatum, Table Mountain, Mary Sue IttnerDichelostemma capitatum, Table Mountain, Mary Sue IttnerDichelostemma capitatum, Table Mountain, Mary Sue Ittner

Iris species:

Iris macrosiphon photographed by Mary Sue Ittner was growing along the Cherokee Road.

Iris macrosiphon growing alongside the road in Butte County, California, Mary Sue Ittner

Lewisia species:

Lewisia rediviva shown growing in the rock outcrops was photographed by Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller April 2006.

Lewisia rediviva, Table Mountain, Mary Sue IttnerLewisia rediviva, Table Mountain, Bob RutemoellerLewisia rediviva, Table Mountain, Bob Rutemoeller

Triteleia species:

Triteleia ixioides ssp. unifolia shown growing in grassland with annuals (Lupinus nanus) and photographed by by Mary Sue Ittner in April 2006.

Triteleia ixioides, Mary Sue Ittner

Triteleia lilacina was growing on the very thin soils of Table Mountain surrounded by annuals. Photo 1 by Bob Rutemoeller; photo 2 from Mary Sue Ittner.

Triteleia lilacina, Bob RutemoellerTriteleia lilacina, Mary Sue Ittner

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Page last modified on April 01, 2015, at 07:45 AM