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U.S. Forest Service


Diversity of Vascular Plants in California Fens

Since fens are a type of wetland, they can support many different species of vascular plants. According to Sue Weis, botanist on the Inyo National Forest, the fens on the Inyo have mostly mosses and Carex. In contrast, many of the fens in northern California have an array of flowering plants. Many of these vascular plants are featured in the photo gallery below.

Common names for vascular plants used the Plant Database Common Names, if available. If the species was not listed then The Jepson Manual, Vascular Plants of California Second Edition was used. The taxonomy also follows the second edition of the Jepson Manual.

Photo Gallery

Enjoy the diversity of vascular plants in the fens in the mountains of California in this photo gallery.

Klamath National Forest

  • Darlingtonia californica in Cabin House Fen

    Darlingtonia californica in Cabin House Fen, Klamath National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Darlingtonia californica, Kangaroo Lake Fen Trail

    Darlingtonia californica, Kangaroo Lake Fen Trail, Klamath National Forest. Photo by Jay Thesken.

  • Drosera rotundifolia

    Drosera rotundifolia, Isinglass Lake, Klamath National Forest. Photo by Danika Carlson.

Lassen National Forest

  • Carex limosa with whiteface dragonfly and damselfly at Willow Lake

    Carex limosa with whiteface dragonfly (Leucorrhinia) and damselfly at Willow Lake, Lassen National Forest. Photo by Don Lepley.

  • Carex limosa, Willow Lake

    Carex limosa, Willow Lake, Lassen National Forest. Photo by Don Lepley.

  • Gentianopsis simplex, Dry Lake

    Gentianopsis simplex close up, Dry Lake, Lassen National Forest. Photo by Sallie Herman.

  • Gentianopsis simplex, Dry Lake

    Gentianopsis simplex, Dry Lake, Lassen National Forest. Photo by Sallie Herman.

  • Kalmia polifolia, late season flowers, Willow Lake

    Kalmia polifolia, late season flowers, Willow Lake, Lassen National Forest. Photo by Don Lepley.

  • Rhynchospora alba, Willow Lake

    Rhychospora alba head, Willow Lake, Lassen National Forest. Photo by Don Lepley.

  • Rhynchospora alba at Willow Lake

    Rhynchospora alba at Willow Lake, Lassen National Forest. Photo by Don Lepley.

  • Scheuchzeria palustris, Willow Lake

    Scheucheria palustris, Willow Lake, Lassen National Forest. Photo by Don Lepley.

  • Scheuchzeria palustris, Willow Lake

    Scheuchzeria palustris, Willow Lake, Lassen National Forest. Photo by George Hartwell.

  • Schoenoplectus subterminalis with spreadwing damselfly (<em>Lestes</em>), Lucious Fen

    Schoenoplectus subterminalis with spreadwing damselfly (Lestes), Lucious Fen, Lassen National Forest. Photo by Don Lepley.

  • Triantha occidentalis ssp. occidentalis head at Willow Lake

    Triantha occidentalis ssp. occidentalis head at Willow Lake, Lassen National Forest. Photo by Don Lepley.

  • Triantha occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Willow Lake

    Triantha occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Willow Lake, Lassen National Forest. Photo by Don Lepley.

Plumas National Forest

  • Camassia leichtlinii ssp. suksdorfii, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Camassia leichtlinii ssp. suksdorfii, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Carol Witham explaining a Darlingtonia californica pitcher, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Carol Witham explaining a Darlingtonia californica pitcher, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Cornus nuttallii

    Cornus nuttallii, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Darlingtonia californica and Sphagnum spp.

    Darlingtonia californica and Sphagnum spp., Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Mike Friend.

  • Darlingtonia californica, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Darlingtonia californica flower, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Drosera rotundifolia, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Drosera rotundifolia, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Drosera rotundifolia

    Drosera rotundifolia, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Drosera rotundifolia, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Drosera rotundifolia, Butterfly Valley fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Drosera rotundifolia, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Drosera rotundifolia, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Drosera rotundifolia, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Drosera rotundifolia, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Drosera rotundifolia, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Drosera rotundifolia, Butterfly Valley, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Mike Friend.

  • Drosera rotundifolia

    Drosera rotundifolia close-up, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Drosera rotundifolia

    Drosera rotundifolia flower, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Drosera rotundifolia

    Drosera rotundifolia, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Eleocharis torticulmis, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Eleocharis torticulmis close-up, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Eleocharis torticulmis habitat in fall, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Eleocharis torticulmis habitat in fall, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Eleocharis torticulmis, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Eleocharis troticulmis plants, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Lillium pardalinum ssp. pardalinum, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Lillium pardalinum ssp. pardalinum, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Lillium pardalinum ssp. pardalinum

    Lillium pardalinum ssp. pardalinum, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Lillium pardalinum ssp. pardalinum, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Lillium pardalinum ssp. pardalinum, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Menyanthes trifoliata, fen on Smith Creek

    Menyanthes trifoliata, fen on Smith Creek, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Mike Friend.

  • Menyanthes trifoliata

    Menyanthes trifoliata, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Menyanthes trifoliata

    Menyanthes trifoliata, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Narthecium californicum, Narthecium Fen

    Narthecium californicum close-up, Narthecium Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Narthecium californicum flowers past bloom

    Narthecium californicum flowers past bloom, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Narthecium californicum in fen on Smith Creek

    Narthecium californicum in fen on Smith Creek, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Mike Friend.

  • Narthecium californicum, Narthecium Fen

    Narthecium californicum, Narthecium Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Narthecium californicum

    Narthecium californicum, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Parnassia palustris

    Parnassia palustris, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Parnassia palustris

    Parnassia palustris side view, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Pedicularis groenlandica, Grassy Lake Fen

    Pedicularis groenlandica, Grassy Lake Fen,Plumas National Forest. Photo by Mike Friend.

  • Pedicularis groenlandica, Grassy Lake Fen

    Pedicularis groenlandica, Grassy Lake Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Mike Friend.

  • Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys

    Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Pyrola asarifolia

    Pyrola asarifolia, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Rhododendron occidentale, Butterfly Valley Fen

    Rhododendron occidentale, Butterfly Valley Fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Linnea Hanson.

  • Sphenosciadium capitellatum

    Sphenosciadium capitellatum, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Triantha occidentalis ssp. occidentalis

    Triantha occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  • Vaccinium fall color, Rogers fen

    Vaccinium fall color, Rogers fen, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

  •  Vaccinium uliginosum

    Vaccinium uliginosum, Plumas National Forest. Photo by Catie and Jim Bishop.

Sequoia National Forest

  • Scirpus microcarpus

    Scirpus microcarpus, Sequoia National Forest.

  • Meesia and Drosera rotundifolia

    Meesia and Drosera rotundifolia, Sequoia National Forest.

  • Vaccinium uliginosum

    Vaccinium uliginosum, Sequoia National Forest.

Shasta-Trinity National Forest

  • Achillea millefolium, Crow Creek Fen

    Achillea millefolium, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Aconitum columbianum, Crow Creek Fen

    Aconitum columbianum, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Allium validum, Crow Creek Fen

    Allium validum, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Parnassia cirrata var. interdemia, Caldwell Fens

    Parnassia cirrata var. interdemia, Caldwell Fens, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Menyanthes triofoliata, Caldwell Fens

    Menyanthes triofoliata, Caldwell Fens, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Arnica mollis, Caldwell Fens

    Arnica mollis, Caldwell Fens, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Lonicera conjugialis, Caldwell Fens

    Lonicera conjugialis, Caldwell Fens, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Calochortus nudus, Crow Creek Fen

    Calochortus nudus, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Caltha leptosepala, Crow Creek Fen

    Caltha leptosepala, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Chimaphila umbellata, Crow Creek Fen

    Chimaphila umbellata, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Cirsium andersonii, Crow Creek Fen

    Cirsium andersonii, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Cypripedium californicum, Saddle Gulch Fen

    Cypripedium californicum, Saddle Gulch Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Darlingtonia californica, Crow Creek Fen

    Darlingtonia californica, Crow Creek fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Drosera rotundifolia, Crow Creek Fen

    Drosera rotundifolia, Crow Creek fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Angelica tomentosa, Fawn Creek Fen

    Angelica tomentosa, Fawn Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Corallorhiza maculata, Fawn Creek Fen

    Corallorhiza maculata, Fawn Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Elymus elymoides var. californicus, Fawn Creek Fen

    Elymus elymoides var. californicus, Fawn Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Hazardia whitneyi var. discoidea, Fawn Creek Fen

    Hazardia whitneyi var. discoidea, Fawn Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Oreostemma alpigenum var. andersonii, Fawn Creek Fen

    Oreostemma alpigenum var. andersonii, Fawn Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Raillardella pringlei, Fawn Creek Fen

    Raillardella pringlei, Fawn Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Sidalcea oregana ssp. spicata, Fawn Creek Fen

    Sidalcea oregana ssp. spicata, Fawn Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  •  Veratrum californicum, Fawn Creek Fen

    Veratrum californicum, Fawn Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Gentiana newberryi var. newberryi, Caldwell Fens

    Gentiana newberryi var. newberryi, Caldwell Fens, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Lillium pardalinum ssp. pardalinum, Crow Creek fen

    Lilium pardalinum ssp. pardalinum, Crow Creek fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Lotus pinnatus, Crow Creek Fen

    Lotus pinnatus, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Menyanthes trifoliata, Crow Creek Fen

    Menyanthes trifoliata, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Perideridia parishii, Middle Fork Sacramento Fen

    Perideridia parishii, Middle Fork Sacramento Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Narthecium californicum, Crow Creek Fen

    Narthecium californicum, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Nuphar polysepala, Crow Creek Fen

    Nuphar polysepala, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Nuphar polysepala, Crow Creek Fen

    Nuphar polysepala close-up, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Oreostemma  alpigenus var. andersonii, Crow Creek Fen

    Oreostemma alpigenus var. andersonii, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Orthilia secunda, Crow Creek Fen

    Orthilia secunda, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Parnassia californica, Saddle Gulch Fen

    Parnassia californica, Saddle Gulch Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Pedicularis attollens, Crow Creek Fen

    Pedicularis attollens, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Platanthera dilatata var.  leucostachys, Crow Creek Fen

    Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Platanthera sparsiflora, Crow Creek Fen

    Platanthera sparsiflora, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Polystichum lemmonii, Saddle Gulch Fen

    Polystichum lemmonii, Saddle Gulch Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Prunella vulgaris, Crow Creek Fen

    Prunella vulgaris, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Pyrola picta, Crow Creek Fen

    Pyrola picta, Crow Creek Fen,Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Pyrola picta, Crow Creek Fen

    Pyrola picta, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Scirpus spp., Crow Creek Fen

    Scirpus spp., Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Sisyrinchium elmeri, Crow Creek Fen

    Sisyrinchium elmeri, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Triantha occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Crow Creek Fen

    Triantha occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Crow Creek fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Veratrum californicum, Crow Creek Fen

    Veratrum californicum, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

  • Veratrum californicum, Crow Creek Fen

    Veratrum californicum, Crow Creek Fen, Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Photo by Julie Nelson.

Stanislaus National Forest

  • Drosera rotundifolia

    Drosera rotundifolia, Stanislaus National Forest. Photo by Margaret Willits.

Tahoe National Forest

  • Darlingtonia californica, Hart Family preserve, Bear Yuba Land Trust

    Darlingtonia californica, Hart Family preserve, Bear Yuba Land Trust. Photo by Carl Wishner.

  • Darlingtonia californica

    Darlingtonia californica, Tahoe National Forest. Photo by Kathy VanZuuk.

  • Drosera rotundifolia

    Drosera rotundifolia, Tahoe National Forest. Photo by Kathy VanZuuk.

  • Gentianopsis simplex, Sierra Butte Fen

    Gentianopsis simplex, Sierra Butte Fen, Tahoe National Forest. Photo by Carl Wishner.

  • Narthecium californicum fruiting, Sierra Butte Fen

    Narthecium californicum fruiting, Sierra Butte Fen, Tahoe National Forest. Photo by Carl Wishner.

  • Perideridia spp.

    Perideridia spp., Sierra Buttes Fen, Tahoe National Forest. Photo by Carl Wishner.