Actinorhizal Plant Biology

Chamaebatia (Rosaceae)

This actinorhizal genus is comprised of two members - C. foliolosa and C. australis - that grow in the Western part of the United States, particularly California. C. foliolosa has earned the common name of mountain misery for its resinous leaves and generally sticky texture. Nodulation is sparse.

The distribution of C. australis is from San Diego County, California to Baja California, Mexico. It often forms thickets, and is apparently restricted to gabbroic or metavolcanic derived soils. It may be found in conjunction with Pickeringia montana, and is typically surrounded by Chamise Chaparral. San Miguel-Exchequer rocky silt loams are a preferred soil type on Otay Mountain and San Miguel Mountain.

C. foliolosa is found further north on the western slopes of the Cascade Range and the Sierra Nevada from Shasta County south to Kern County, California.

Left: Chamaebatia foliolosa (Mountain misery). Sierra Nevada mountains.

Right: C. australis(Southern mountain misery or Southern Bearclover from California (© 2003 Charles E. Jones)