Pearl Lake Plants
Major native plant communities at Pearl Lake are the following:
- Sagebrush shrubland
- Lodgepole pine forest
- Northern subalpine forest
- Aspen forest
- Willow carr
- Wet meadow
Northern subalpine forest and lodgepole pine forest are the most common vegetation types at Pearl Lake. Northern subalpine forest, comprised of subalpine fir, Englemann’s spruce and Colorado blue spruce, exists more commonly on north-facing slopes. Herbaceous understory species in the lodgepole pine forest include broom huckleberry, geranium, strawberry, arnica and mountain brome.
The aspen forest community is characterized by a rich herbaceous understory of lupine, yarrow, geranium, meadow rue, wheat grass and Thurber fescue. Sagebrush shrublands occur on the northeast side of Pearl Lake. Big sagebrush dominates this community, though rabbitbrush and hoary sagebrush are other common shrubs.
Willow carr, marsh and wet meadow plant communities have become established around the reservoir, in Beaver Creek and in Lester Creek above and below the dam. Willow carr is a wetland shrub community dominated by a variety of willows including wolf, booth, geyer and shining willow.
Marshes are the most common wetland community at Pearl Lake and consist of sedges, rushes,and bulrushes growing in areas of permanent standing water. Small areas of wet meadow possess traits suggestive of periodic wet conditions, such as moist soil and hydrophytic vegetation. Common native species in the wet meadow include tufted hairgrass, elephantella, western bistort, shrubby cinquefoil and scouring rush.