PlantLife_Index

The Yosemite Plant Life section has separate pages detailing the Giant Sequoias of
the Mariposa Grove, another page on the Giant Sequoias of the nearby Sequoia NP
and King’s Canyon National Park, and a page detailing assorted Yosemite Plant Life
which includes Forest Scenes, Moss and Lichen on the Taft Point, Mirror Lake and
Yosemite Falls Trails, Snow Plants, Lupines, Thistle, Dogwood and other plants.

This Yosemite Plant Life Overview page has selected captioned
sample images and Display Composites linked to each page.

The section includes a page on Giant Sequoias of Sequoia NP and King’s Canyon NP.

Click an image to open a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.

Yosemite Section Index
 

Yosemite Select

Yosemite Valley
Valley Views
Yosemite Assorted
Mirror Lake
Rivers and Creeks

Waterfalls
Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Rim
Glacier Point and Washburn Point
Taft Point

Yosemite Wildlife
Deer and Birds
Squirrel and Marmot

Yosemite Plant Life
Mariposa Grove
Sequoia National Park
Assorted Plant Life

Bodie Ghost Town
Mono Lake
Mariposa

A 75 image Overview of the Yosemite Portfolio

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Discovery View (Wawona Tunnel View) and Valley View
El Capitan, Half Dome, Cathedral Rocks, and other Scenery
The exquisitely beautiful Mirror Lake in Tenaya Canyon
The Merced River, Tenaya Creek, Yosemite Creek and more

Bridalveil, Vernal and Nevada Falls, and selected images of Yosemite Falls
Detail shots, vignettes and scenic images of Yosemite’s signature waterfall

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Yosemite National Park’s two most famous rim views
Taft Point Fissures and spectacular views from 3000’ over Yosemite Valley

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Mule Deer in the Valley meadows, Hummingbirds, Steller’s Jays, etc.
Golden-Mantled Squirrels, Ground Squirrels and a Tioga Pass Marmot

An Overview page with sample images from the following pages:
Images from the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
Images from nearby Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks
Lupines, Dogwood, Snow Plants, Thistle, Forest Moss and Lichen

50 images of the gold mining boom town north of Mono Lake
A highly saline lake in the Eastern Sierras with otherworldly scenery
A Cigar Store Indian, a Thunderbird Totem, and antique Farm Machinery

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Mariposa_Grove_Entrance_2654


Mariposa Grove Entrance 2654
(868 KB)

Near the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park is the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, five miles southeast of Wawona. First described in 1849, the measurements of the trees and the story were considered a tall tale, even though they were being told by the Mariposa Sheriff, Major Burney. The first exploration of the grove was by Galen Clark in 1857.

Woodland_Creek_Mariposa_Grove_X2349


Woodland Creek Mariposa Grove X2349
(643 KB)

An attractive little creek near the base of the Mariposa Grove. The Mariposa Grove is Yosemite’s largest Sequoia grove, and contains hundreds of mature Giant Sequoias. The trees were named for Seqouyah, the only non-literate person to ever create an efficient system of writing (he created a syllabary of the Cherokee language).

Giant_Sequoia_Mariposa_Grove_2664


Giant Sequoia Mariposa Grove 2664
(729 KB)

A Giant Sequoia on a lower slope of the Mariposa Grove.

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Giant Sequoia Mariposa Grove 3031
(554 KB)

A dramatic view towards the crown of a Giant Sequoia.

Giant Sequoias are a species of Redwood which occur naturally only in groves of the
Western Sierra Nevada. The world’s most massive trees by volume, the largest grow
to more than 250 feet tall and 30 feet in diameter at the base. The oldest trees (which
are not necessarily the largest) can reach an age of 3500 years. Giant Sequoias are
protected from rot by the tannic acid in the bark and heartwood, and the thick bark is
 fire resistant. The trees have very shallow roots (3 to 6 feet) that can extend 100 to
150 feet (or more) from the tree, providing a stable base and gathering as much
as several thousand gallons of water per day. Mature trees produce thousands
of egg-shaped seed cones which are opened by fire or Douglas Squirrels.

Bachelor_Three_Graces_Mariposa_Grove_3083


Bachelor Three Graces Mariposa Grove 3083
(561 KB)

The Bachelor and Three Graces are a group of young Sequoias (only 750 years old or so) on the trail leading to the Grizzly Giant (the oldest tree in the Mariposa Grove).

Bachelor_Three_Graces_Mariposa_Grove_X0492


Bachelor Three Graces Mariposa Grove X0492
(564 KB)

The Three Graces (right) grow adjacent to each other, and the Bachelor grows very close by. Their roots are so intertwined that if one tree fell it would take the other trees with it.

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Grizzly Giant Sequoia Mariposa Grove 3086
(716 KB)

The Grizzly Giant, oldest tree in the Mariposa Grove.

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Grizzly Giant Sequoia Fire Scar 2727
(667 KB)

The enormous vertical fire scar on the Grizzly Giant.

At first sight, the cinnamon-barked Giant Sequoias invariably strike the first-time viewer with awe.
Even younger trees are incredibly massive, but a tree such as the Grizzly Giant with a circumference
of 96.5 feet must be seen to be believed. While the Grizzly Giant is only the 25th largest tree in the world
by volume, it is also one of the three most well-known Giant Sequoias along with the General Sherman
and General Grant trees in the nearby Sequoia National Park and King’s Canyon National Park.

Grizzly_Giant_Sequoia_Mariposa_Grove_X2354


Grizzly Giant Sequoia Mariposa Grove X2354
(703 KB)

The Grizzly Giant is the oldest tree in the Mariposa Grove at 1800 years, and the 25th largest tree in the world by volume. A Sierra Currant tree is growing on the largest branch at right, 100 feet off the ground. The Grizzly Giant is surrounded by split-rail fencing made from a Giant Sequoia which had fallen nearby, and is the most popular sight in the Mariposa Grove. A group of visitors at its base provides scale. Note the vertical fire scar rising 30 feet from the base of the trunk.

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California Tunnel Tree Mariposa Grove X2360
(527 KB)

Just beyond the Grizzly Giant is the California Tunnel Tree. The tunnel was cut in 1895 through the fire scar to provide an alternative tunnel tree in the lower grove. The Wawona Tree in the upper grove was cut in 1881 to allow stagecoaches (and later cars) to pass through as a tourist attraction. The California Tunnel Tree is the only living tree with a tunnel in it since the fall of the Wawona Tree during the snowstorm of 1969. It is on the old stagecoach road from the Grizzly Giant.

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Fallen Monarch Roots Mariposa Grove X0461
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The root structure of the 285 foot Fallen Monarch in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.
Sequoias do not have deep taproots. The roots rarely go further than 6 feet below the surface,
but they can spread out as much as 150-300 feet from the trunk. Widely spread roots provide
a stable base for Giant Sequoias. When the trees fall, the roots break off close to the trunk.

Sequoia_Cone_X0466


Sequoia Cone X0466
(600 KB)

The enormous Sequoia begins life as a tiny seed inside a cone like the one above,
which is a little larger than a jumbo egg. Seed cones can remain attached to the tree
after maturity for as long as 20 years. The cones open when they are either dried by fire,
damaged by the long-horned wood-boring beetle (which eats the cone scales and shafts,
causing the cone to dry and open), or the Douglas Squirrel, which also eats the green
scales of young Sequoia cones, causing the cone to dry and open. The cones are
a major food source for these squirrels, who eat them all year and store them
for the winter when there are a lot of squirrels, or eat them in the crowns
of trees when the squirrel density is low. This seed is already dried.

Sequoia_Forest_Still_Life_X2364


Sequoia Forest Still Life X2364
(908 KB)

A still life taken in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in the spring.

Pictured are a Snow Plant (the scarlet flower in the foreground), a green Sequoia cone,
several Sugar Pine and Jeffrey Pine seed cones, and some Wolf Lichen on the branches.

Mariposa_Grove


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Mariposa Grove page

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Ash_Mountain_Sign_Sequoia_X6954


Ash Mountain Sign Sequoia X6954
(635 KB)

Detail of the Ash Mountain Entrance Sign to Sequoia National Park,
carved from a single fallen Sequoia log by George W. Munro in 1935.

General_Sherman_Tree_Sequoia_X0201


General Sherman Tree Sequoia X0201
(680 KB)

The General Sherman Tree in the Giant Forest of Sequoia NP is the largest single-stem tree in the world by volume. It was named for the Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman.

General_Sherman_Tree_Sequoia_X0203


General Sherman Tree Sequoia X0203
(552 KB)

When it was compared in 1931 with the General Grant Tree in the Grant Grove of nearby King’s Canyon NP, the standard of measuring trees by wood volume was established.

General Sherman is among the tallest, widest, and oldest trees on the planet,
but it does not top any of those lists. General Grant is larger in circumference
and diameter, but based upon trunk volume, General Sherman is champion.

General_Grant_Tree_Kings_Canyon_X0211


General Grant Tree King’s Canyon X0211
(736 KB)

The General Grant Tree is the largest tree in the Grant Grove of Giant Sequoias
in King’s Canyon National Park, connected by the General’s Highway to Sequoia NP.
It is the second largest tree in the world by volume. In 1926, President Calvin Coolidge
proclaimed the Grant Tree to be the “Nation’s Christmas Tree”, after he was petitioned
by Charles E. Lee, who had organized the first Christmas program at the Grant Tree in
1925. Prior to 1931, the General Grant Tree was considered to be the largest tree in
the world due to its enormous base, but when it was measured and compared to the
General Sherman Tree in 1931, General Sherman turned out to be larger by volume.

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General Grant Tree King’s Canyon X0210
(657 KB)

The General Grant Tree in King’s Canyon’s Grant Grove.

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Giant Sequoia King’s Canyon X6882
(574 KB)

A Giant Sequoia and surrounding forest in the Grant Grove.

Giant_Sequoia_Fire_Scars_X6923


Giant Sequoia Fire Scars X6923
(488 KB)

Fire scars on the base of a Giant Sequoia in the Grant Grove of King’s Canyon National Park.

Giant_Sequoia_Fire_Scar_X6913


Giant Sequoia Fire Scar X6913
(624 KB)

A large vertical fire scar in a Giant Sequoia in the Grant Grove of King’s Canyon National Park.

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Wolf Lichen Red Fir King’s Canyon HS4355
(617 KB)

Wolf Lichen on Red Fir trees in the Grant Grove.

Wolf Lichen (Letharia vulpina) is a yellow-green branching fungus that grows on the bark of conifers (living and dead), and is toxic to mammals. It was historically used as a poison for wolves and foxes (thus the name).

Wolf_Lichen_Red_Fir_Kings_Canyon_HS4321


Wolf Lichen Red Fir King’s Canyon HS4321
(805 KB)

Wolf Lichen detail on a Red Fir tree in the Grant Grove.

Wolf Lichen is highly resistant to freezing and low temperature and remains active in winter. It can resume photosynthesis a few minutes after thawing. It generally grows at heights on a tree that are above the snow line.

SequoiaNP


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Sequoia National Park page

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Forest_Scene_Taft_Point_Trail_X6789


Forest Scene Taft Point Trail X6789
(606 KB)

A shattered Red Fir stump in the forest leading to Taft Point.

Wolf_Lichen_Taft_Point_Trail_X6774


Wolf Lichen Taft Point Trail X6774
(672 KB)

Wolf Lichen covers a Red Fir on the Taft Point Trail.

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Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0398
(574 KB)

A moss-covered tree stands beside a split-rail fence on the Yosemite Falls Trail, just beyond the Ranger’s houses.

Moss_Detail_Mirror_Lake_Trail_X0269


Moss Detail Mirror Lake Trail X0269
(588 KB)

Boreal forest moss covering a boulder on the Mirror Lake Trail. Note the feathery fronds of this type of moss.

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Moss on Tree Yosemite Falls Trail X0401
(545 KB)

Forest moss on a fallen tree, backlit by diffuse sunlight on the Yosemite Falls Trail.

Brewers_Lupine_Mirror_Lake_Trail_4019


Brewer’s Lupine Mirror Lake Trail 4019
(316 KB)

Brewer’s Lupine on the Mirror Lake Trail.

Brewer’s Lupine was named for William H. Brewer, the Chief Botanist of the California Geological Survey, 1860-1864.

Wawona_Lupines_X0754


Wawona Lupines X0754
(398 KB)

Gray’s Lupine (Lupinus grayi) in a Wawona meadow.

Gray’s Lupine (or Sierra Lupine) was named for Asa Gray, the most important American botanist of the 19th century.

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Wawona Lupines X0767
(787 KB)

Sierra Lupine (Gray’s Lupine) surrounding a boulder in a meadow in Wawona.

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Bull Thistle Skipper Mirror Lake Trail 3968
(331 KB)

A Grass Skipper (butterfly) feeding on a Bull Thistle at the eastern edge of Ahwahnee Meadow on the Mirror Lake Trail.

Snow_Plants_3539


Snow Plants 3539
(457 KB)

Two parasitic Snow Plants (Sarcodes) erupt from the forest floor beside the Wawona Road in spring.

Dogwood_Mirror_Lake_Trail_X0851


Dogwood Mirror Lake Trail X0851
(354 KB)

Pacific Dogwood blossoms beside the Mirror Lake Trail, early on a spring morning.

Yosemite_Plant_Life


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Yosemite Plant Life page

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Yosemite Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 15 Galleries in the Photoshelter Yosemite Collection

For convenience, Galleries containing the images of Wildlife, Plants,
Sequoia National Park, Bodie Ghost Town, Mono Lake and Mariposa
have been copied to the Yosemite Collection from their normal locations.

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Yosemite_Select


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Yosemite Select page

YosemiteNP


Click the Display Composite above to visit the Yosemite Section Index page

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