Here's a close-up of the distinctive foliage and acorns of Quercus berberidifolia, a small, brush-sized variety of scrub oak growing near the Lygodium Gulch fossil leaf locality, on the harsh, acidic alkaline soils of the Middle Eocene Ione Formation. It is one of three species of oaks that contribute to the so-called Ione Chaparral, which is a unique association of plants that inhabit the mineralized soils of the Ione Basin, western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Amador County, California. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislezenii and Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii, also grow within the unique Ione Chaparral botanic association--known only from the Ione Basin. Image snapped on October 14, 2002.
Please note: All fossil localities in the Ione Formation of Amador County, California, presently occur on private property; explicit permission from the land owners must be secured before collecting fossils there.