Chrysolepis chrysophylla Shrubland Alliance
Golden chinquapin thickets

USDA Ecological Section Map

Summary Information

  • Primary Life FormShrub
  • Elevation250-650 m
  • State RarityS2
  • Global RarityG2
  • DistributionUSA: CA, OR (TJM2)
  • Endemic to CaliforniaNo
  • Endemic to California Floristic Province and DesertsYes
  • Date Added2009/09/01

Characteristic Species

Chrysolepis chrysophylla is dominant or co-dominant in the shrub or small tree canopy with Adenostoma fasciculatum, Arctostaphylos crustacea, Arctostaphylos glandulosa, Arctostaphylos nummularia, Dendromecon rigida, Pickeringia montana, Quercus wislizeni and Vaccinium ovatum. Emergent trees may be present at low cover, including Arbutus menziesii, Notholithocarpus densiflorus, Pinus muricata or Pseudotsuga menziesii.

Vegetation Layers

Shrubs or small trees < 10 m; canopy is intermittent to continuous. Herbaceous layer is sparse.

Membership Rules

  • Chrysolepis chrysophylla > 30% relative cover in the shrub or tree canopy (Evens and Kentner 2006).
  • Chrysolepis chrysophylla > 50% relative cover in the shrub or tree canopy (Keeler-Wolf et al. 2003a, VegCAMP2018).


Lower to upper slopes, usually convex. Soils are thin and well drained, derived from mostly Franciscan metasedimentary or granitic substrates.

Other Habitat, Alliance and Community Groupings

MCV (1995) Not treated
NVCS (2009) Not treated
Calveg Tree chinquapin
Holland Northern maritime chaparral, Mixed evergreen forest
Munz Mixed evergreen forest
WHR Mixed chaparral
CDFW CA Code 37.417.00

National Vegetation Classification Hierarchy

Formation Class Mesomorphic Tree Vegetation (Forest and Woodland)
Formation Subclass Temperate Forest
Formation Cool Temperate Forest
Division Western North America Cool Temperate Forest
Macro Group Californian-Vancouverian Montane and Foothill Forest
Group Vancouverian evergreen broadleaf and mixed forest