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California's Fading WildflowersLost Legacy and Biological Invasions$
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Richard Minnich

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520253537

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520253537.001.0001

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Pre-Hispanic Herbaceous Vegetation

Pre-Hispanic Herbaceous Vegetation

(p.9) Chapter 2 Pre-Hispanic Herbaceous Vegetation
California's Fading Wildflowers

Richard A. Minnich

University of California Press

Perhaps the greatest asset of the Spanish land expeditions is their remarkable geographic resolution. Vegetation was described almost daily, and landmarks or place names permit accurate mapping of the expeditions. The accounts highlight the vast extent of pasture in California, but the Spanish explorers also made clear that the quality of potential grazing lands changed with the seasons and from the coast to the interior. This chapter's epigraph by Anza illustrates another basic observation in Spanish texts: that wildflower fields were seen wherever the expeditions traversed California in the vernal season.

Keywords:   Spanish land expeditions, vegetation, California, pasture, Spanish explorers, wildflower fields

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