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Sierra Nevada Flora
Relatively immobile and often highly visible, plants are typically the first organisms people notice in a landscape. Plant distributions are strongly tied to environmental factors and can be very useful when describing ecosystems and life zones.
There is an incredible diversity of trees, shrubs, grasses, forbs, and vines, with more than 1,450 native and 275 non-native plant species in Yosemite National Park and 1,200 species in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks. Not only that, but new species are still being discovered. For instance, one group of researchers noticed something peculiar when they examined old records of orchid species in Yosemite. There was a species listed that was typically found only in the southern Rockies. Because Yosemite is so far from the Rockies, they suspected it might actually be a different species. Using the past records for guidance, the researchers searched wet meadows south of Yosemite Valley for the mysterious orchid. They eventually found it, determined that it was actually a new species of orchid, and named it the Yosemite bog orchid (Platanthera yosemitensis) in 2007.
More information on the plants can be found here on the Yosemite National Parks website, along with plant lists for conifers, ferns, sensitive plants, exotic species and a general flora list. There is also a park-wide vegetation map that provides general information.
Sequoia Kings Canyon
More information about the plants in Sequoia Kings Canyon can be found here, along with a vascular plant list. There is also a list of the 30 biggest giant sequoias and their approximate locations. You can also read information about the many non-native plant species in Sequoia Kings Canyon.
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