Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Horkelia marinensis in Santa Cruz County - self-compatible?

Horkelia marinensis is a California endemic, endangered plant known from limited geographic regions along the California coast.  At the southerly geographic extent, in Santa Cruz County, there are 5 extant occurrences known (and three other old records that have not been georeferenced).

This note reports that Horkelia marinensis is probably self-compatible.   In 2005, I salvaged several plants that were being taken by instillation of a electrical transmission line pole.  The site (JEPS109793) is at 2500 feet on Ben Lomond Mountain.  The Horkelia occurrence here contained about 1000 plants, most of them growing in the road under the powerline for perhaps half a mile, the adjacent brush being very dense (see power line ROW) 

All but one of the plants dug died, most of the plants I dug had large taproots and hence did not make it.  The survivor, now 10 years old, is about one-half a meter in diameter and flowers nicely.   Several years ago, seedlings from this plant began to grow in pavement and walkway cracks.  This photo shows one on the side of the driveway.  That plant is perhaps 5 years old now. 

The apparent fecundity of this single individual of Horkelia marinensis suggests that it is self-compatible.

Two Santa Cruz county occurrences do not yet appear in NDDB
No. 1 UCSC8932 on a ridge draining to San Vicente Creek
No. 2 Moore Creek Greenbelt site, Santa Cruz

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

David Douglas in California, and the type of the Santa Cruz Tarplant (Holocarpha macradenia)

Type stations are vague: many type specimens of California endemic plants collected long ago cannot be attributed to a specific date or specific place.

The type specimen of the Santa Cruz tarplant was collected by David Douglas.  In, 1836 DeCandolle described it as Hemizonia macradenia in Prodromus (“Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis”), a 17-volume treatise on botany last updated by his son A. de Candolle in October 1873. 

The protologue statements are: “in Nova California legit cl. Douglas” and “v. s. comm. ab hon. Soc. hort. Lond.).  [recall here that typesetting was then manual and abbreviations were used prolifically, but not exactly diagnosed: none of these abbreviations derive specific problems here]. 

There are three specimens of the original Douglas collection, two at Key and one at the de Candolle herbarium in Geneva: barcodes K001079845, K001079846 and G00453655.  All three sheets are attributed to Douglas and to 1833.  Based on the narrative detailing Douglas travels in California (in “California Frontier Naturalists” Biedelman 2006 pages 116-125, the best approximation is that Douglas collected the fall of 1831 and somewhere within a day’s ride of Monterey.  The most probable station therefore being in far northern Monterey County.  One proviso is that H. macradenia is often in peak bloom in September and early October, and the two Kew specimens are clearly in nice flower.  If Douglas had ventured north to Santa Cruz in the fall of 1831, then no mention is given in Biedelman, hence the type station is not very probably directly attributed to Santa Cruz county.  Accordingly, this raises the possibility that H. macradenia might have been VERY extensive in northern Monterey County, and since has contracted significantly. Presently, there is but a singe Monterey County occurrence.  Threrefore, Douglas may have obtained the type somewhere in the vicinity of present day occurrences at Elkhorn Slough and vicinity. 

Based on the narrative in Biedelman (2006) Douglas specifically visited Santa Cruz in February, 1831, but H. macradenia would not have been in flower at that time.

Regardless, the type was not likely to have been collected in 1833, because on November 4th, 1833 Douglas only arrived at San Francisco via Ft. Vancouver, having been away from California.  Douglas had been at destinations other than those in the known geographic range of H. macradenia between March 1832 and August 1832, thence he departed San Francisco for the Sandwich Islands (Hawai’i) in November, then returned again, departing the final time at the end of November 1833.  Holocarpha macradenia has never been documented on the San Francisco peninsula. 

Accordingly, I attribute the holotype to: Monterey County, vicinity “Bolsa Neuva Moho Cojo” [36.80023/- 121.71204], David Douglas s.n. , ±September 1831.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Plants that merit California Rare Plant Rank Status

Presently, 2345 plants enjoy California Rare Plant Rank (CRPR) status.  Status review for new additions proceeds at a pace of 30-40 taxa yearly.  Consequently, there is presently quite a backlog of newly described endemic plants California region plants that may qualify for CRPR status but which have not been reviewed.  Below I list these, and offer a preliminary recommendation for potential CRPR status.

Merit List 1B (14 plants)
Apiaceae                Spermolepis infernensis G. L. Nesom         List 1B.1
Phrymaceae           Erythranthe percaulis G. L. Nesom             List 1B.1
Rhamnaceae          Ceanothus decornutus V. T. Parker            List 1B.1
Brassicaceae          Streptanthus glandulosus Hook. var. josephinensis M. S. Mayer      List 1B.2
Brassicaceae          Streptanthus tortuosus Kell. var. truei Al-Shebaz   List 1B.2
Fabaceae               Trifolium piorkowskii Rand. Morgan & A. L. Barber              List 1B.2
Brassicaceae          Streptanthus glandulosus Hook. var. arkii M. S. Mayer        List 1B.3
Brassicaceae          Streptanthus glandulosus Hook. var. rachiei M. S. Mayer   List 1B.3
Caryophyllaceae     Silene krantzii T. R. Stoughton      List 1B.3
Cyperaceae            Carex xerophila Janeway & Zika   List 1B.3
Lamiaceae             Monardella mohavensis  Elvin & A. C. Sanders       List 1B.3
Polemoniaceae       Gilia ochroleuca M. E. Jones ssp. lanosa Hrusa      List 1B.3
Polygonaceae         Chorizanthe minutiflora Rand. Morgan & Reveal   List 1B.3

Merit List 4 (14 plants)
Ericaceae              Vacciniumn shastense J. K. Nelson & L. Lindstrand ssp. shastense   List 4.1
Polemoniaceae      Navarretia paradoxiclara L. A. Johnson & D. Gowen            List 4.1
Polemoniaceae      Navarretia paradoxinota L. A. Johnson & D. Gowen            List 4.1
Rosaceae              Holodiscus dumosus var. cedrorum Raiche & Reveal           List 4.1?
Asteraceae           Cirsium scariosum Nutt. var. robustum D. J. Keil    List 4.2
Convolvulaceae     Calystegia collina ssp. apricum Brummitt & Namoff       List 4.2
Polygonaceae        riogonum umbellatum Torr. var. nelsoniorum      List 4.2
Pteridaceae          Adiantum shastense Huiet & A. R. Sm.       List 4.2
Themidaceae        Brodiaea rosea Baker ssp. vallicola Preston            List 4.2
Brassicaceae        Streptanthus purpureus Sanchez-Mata et al.          List 4.3
Ericaceae             Vacciniumn shastense J. K. Nelson & L. Lindstrand
                             ssp. nevadense  J. K. Nelson & L. Lindstrand       List 4.3
Hydrophyllaceae   Nemophila hoplandensis M. Baar               List 4.3
Phrymaceae         Diplacus compactus (D.M. Thompson) G. L. Nesom             List 4.3

Uncertain rank status (4 plants)
Lamiaceae            Monardella australis Abrams ssp. gabrielensis Elvin & A. C. Sanders
Lamiaceae            Monardella australis Abrams ssp. occidentalis Elvin & A. C. Sanders
Polemoniaceae    Linanthus dichotomus Benth. var. pattersonii J. M. Porter
Polemoniaceae    Linanthus maculatus (Parish) Milken
                             ssp. emaculatus J. M. Porter, D. S. Bell & R. Patt.

Reject List (recommended CBR rank)
Nemacladus tenuis (McVaugh) Morin var. aliformis Morin
Calliscirpus brachythrix C. N. Gilmour, J. R.Starr & Naczi
Carex orestera Zika
Arctostaphylos glandulosa Eastw. ssp. leucophylla J. E. Keeley, M. C. Vasey & V. T. Parker
Monardella linoides A. Gray ssp. sierrae  Elvin & A. C. Sanders
Spiranthes stellata P. M.Br., Dueck & K. M.Cameron
Eschscholzia papastilii Still
Abies magnifica A. Murray bis var. critchfieldii Lanner
Festuca roemeri (Pavlick) E. B. Alexeev var. klamathensis B. L. Wilson
Pentagramma triangularis (Kaulf.) Yatsk. et al. 
var. rebmanii Winner & M. G. Simpson
Drymocallis pseudorupestris (Rydb.) Rydb. var. crumiana Ertter
Rosa pisocarpa A. Gray ssp. ahartii Ertter & W. H. Lewis
Cylindropuntia chuckwallensis M. A. Baker & M. Cloud-Hughs
Clarkia tembloriensis Vasek ssp. longistyla Vasek
Spiranthes stellata P. M.Br., Dueck & K. M.Cameron ssp. perexilis Sheviak

Friday, July 3, 2015

California Botany Batting Average

The Consortium of California Herbaria database continues to grow.  The rate plot shown below suggests that for the past year the rate of additions has become constant.

Added are an average of 341 specimen records per day

The ability of individual botanists and governmental agencies to keep up with the constant, essentially relentless, addition of data suggests to me a PROBLEM.  We should not to stop adding records, but we do need a mechanism that new records get moved between platforms (vis. Calflora, CNDDB) instantly.

Conservation of the endemic rich California flora is dependent on good data.  Funding to support programming/application development that would result in real-time data ought to be a distinct objective that merits the attention of botanists.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sagebrushes that Almost make California

California is far from deprived of sagebrush vegetation, but is deprived of some sagebrushes (Artemisia Subg. Tridentatae).  Several species approach the eastern California region, and should be sought out, either in Modoc County or in the mountains and eastern Mohave desert.  (Schultz 2012) displays a small (thus low resolution) ecological array depicting sagebrush habitat selection pattern (which I reproduce here).  California has species that fill her entire array (green stars); these ‘missing’ species are the red stars (this also discounts a report of A. tripartita from CA)

Artemisia filifolia
“Sand sage” is distributed over much of Arizona, New Mexico, nw Texas, north in the western Great Plains to South Dakota.  Artemisia filifolia is absent from far southern Nevada (Schultz 2009).  It has been collected often within Washington County in far sw Utah, and in adjacent parts of Arizona.  One record from Mohave County, Hualpai Mountains, : R. Darrow s.n., June 1 1942 (ARIZ52484) if correct would be the most proximal to CA, within ca. 50 miles.    Artemisia filifolia was not reported for the Hualpai Mountain flora (Butterwick et al. 1991), nor was the specimen cited by or mapped by (Schultz 2009).  Absent from the Whipple Mountains (DeGrout 2007)

Artemisia papposa
Centered in the Snake River plains of Idaho, occurrences are known from ncNV in Elko County.  There are very few records generally, and there are no PNW Consortium collections from far se Oregon, where Packard 76-165 (UTC154100) was gathered.  Described in the Pocket Sagebrush Guide (Schultz 2012) as occurring in ‘pockets’ of soil in barren (their term, equal to recent?) lava fields, at 1400-2100 meters elevation (the elevation given both in Intermountain Flora and in FNA Vol. 19).  BONAP records an Elko County, Nevada record.  The center of distribution is in the Owyhee Desert bioregion of Intermountain Flora.  The geographic range west of the mapped occurrences in SEINet are poorly collected.   Mansfield (2000) did not report it in the vicinity of the Steens Mountains, Harney County, Oregon.  If A. papposa were disjunct to the Modoc Plateau (ca. 200 km westward) it would be expected only in far northeast Modoc County.  Artemisia papposa is a low subshrub rarely >2 dm tall, and was not treated in Artemisia Subg. Tridentatae by (Schultz 2009); in FNA Vol. 19 she placed it in Sect. Artemisia and remarked it show alliance to Sphaeromeria.

Artemisia pygmaea
Schulz (2009) maps a record in the vicinity of Clark County, Nevada but does not cite the specimen.  No record is reported from the Spring Mountains (Niles & Leary 2007).  In far northern Arizona, where it is a rare plant, there are records on the Grand Canyon north rim, and a redacted record for Mohave County.  The elevation range given is 1500-2000 meters (Schultz 2009) or 1500-1800 meters in FNA Vol. 19.  Reported from ‘barren outcrops’, ‘fine textured clay soils’ or ‘cemented ash’ (Schulz 2012) or gypsum and shale (Schultz 2009). This compact, low, aromatic sage, would not be unexpected, but would be rare if it were to occur in Inyo or northeastern San Bernardino County, California.

Artemisia rigida
In Steens Mountains ‘rare on rocky slopes below 1600 meters Mansfield (2000).  One occurrence in Harney County T. M. Barkley et al. s.n. in 1956 Squaw Butte Experiment Station, on Juniper Ridge north of the Headquarters” is ca. 115 km from Modoc County.  BONAP does not record A. rigida from Klamath County, but does have a record for Douglas County in a cismontane setting (which is suspect...).  Capable of sprouting after fire (Schultz 2009).  Occurs on loams or montmorillonic clays (which characteristically swell in volume when wet), and at 1500-1800 meters (Schultz 2009). 

Literature Cited
BONAP. 2015.  Biota of North America (
Butterwick, M, BD Parfitt, D. Hillyard. 1991.  J. Arizona-Nevada Acad. Sci. 24:31-49.
DeGrout, SJ.  2007.  Aliso 24:63-96.
Mansfield, DH 2000.  Flora of Steens Mountain.
Niles, WE and PJ Leary. 2007. Mentzelia Vol. 8
Schulz, LM.  2009. Systematic Botany Monographs Vol. 89
Schulz, LM. 2006.  Artemisia, in Vol. 19, Flora North America.

Schulz, LM.  2012. Pocket Guide to Sagebrush (

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Endemic vascular plant genera of the California region

There are on the order of 67 genera endemic to California and the California Floristic Province (‘California region’).  The list below gives my most recent compilation. About half of these are monotypic.  The total number of treated taxa is 155, or about 6% of the endemic flora of the region.

           Chlorogalum Kunth (8)
           Oreonana Jeps. (3)
Achyrachaena Schauer    (1)
Adenothamnus D. D. Keck (1)
Baeriopsis J.T. Howell (1)
Benitoa D. D. Keck (1)
Blepharizonia (A. Gray) Greene (2)
Calycadenia DC. (10)
Constancea B. G. Baldwin (1)
Corethrogyne DC (1)
Eastwoodia Brandegee (1)
Holocarpha Greene (4)
Holozoinia Greene (1)
Jensia B. G. Baldwin (2)
Kyhosia B. G. Baldwin (1)
Hesperevax (A. Gray) A. Gray (3)
Monolopia DC. (5)
Munzothamnus P. H. Raven (1)
Orochaenactis Coville (1)
            Pentachaeta Nutt. (8)
            Phalacroseris A. Gray (2)
            Pseudobahia (A. Gray) Rydb. (3)
            Tracyina S. F. Blake (1)
            Venegasia DC. (1)
             Euclisia (Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray) Greene (9)*
             Heterodraba Greene (1)
 ‘Kruckeberia’ (10)
             Sibaropsis S. Boyd & T.S. Ross (1)
             Twisselmannia Al-Shebaz (1)        
               Bergerocactus Britton & Rose (1)
               Extriplex E. H. Zacharias (2)
               Sedella Britton & Rose (30
               Calliscripus C.N.Gilmour , J.R.Starr & Naczi (2)
               Ornithostaphylos Small (2)
               Pickeringia Nutt. (2)
               Draperia Torr. (1)
  Lemmonia A. Gray (1)
               Carpenteria Torr. (1)
               Acanthomintha (A. Gray) A. Gray (5)
  Pogogyne Benth. (8)
               Umbellularia (Nees) Nutt. (2)
               Sacrcodes Torr. (1)
               Hesperelaea A. Gray (1)
               Heterogaura Rothr. (1)
            Dendromecon Kell. (2)
Ehrendorferia Fukuhara & Lidén (2)
Hesperomecon Greene (1)
Romneya Harv. (2)
Stylomecon G. Taylor (1)
               Neostapfia Burtt-Davy (1)
           Acanthoscyphus Small (4)
           Aristocapsa Reveal & Hardham (1)
           Dedeckara Reveal & J. T. Howell (1)
           Gilmania Cov. (1)
Goodmania Reveal & Ertter (1)
           Hollisteria S. Watson (1)
Mucronea Benth. (2)
Sidotheca Reveal. (3)
Systenotheca Reveal & Hardham (1)
               Chamaebatia Benth. (2)
               Lyanothamnus A. Gray (2)
               Bensoniella C. V. Morton (1)
               Jepsonia Small (3)
               Sequoia Endl. (1)
               Sequoiadendron J. Buchholz (1)
               Odontostomum Torr. (1)
               Bloomeria Kellogg (5)

*genera as indicated in Cacho et al. 2014 (Mol. Phylo. And Evolution 72:71-81), but not yet described

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rubus ulmifolius Santa Cruz County

Both the revised Jepson Manual and Flora North America Vol. 9 treat several non-native blackberries for California which are not fully documented, including R. allegheniensis Porter (p. 35): “...introduced in British Columbia and California, where rare and in at least California, probably no more than a waif.” and Rubus ulmifolius Schott “found primarily in coastal California from the San Francisco Bay region southward.”

Plants that match R. ulmifolius occur in Santa Cruz County, along the upper tidewater reach of Moran Lake.  These plants are unarmed, the canes without any prickles, and would diagnose to R. u. ssp. anoplothyrsus Sudre. (synonym var. inermis).

Diagnosis: stems somewhat pruinose, NO prickles; lower leaf surface not white-pubescent

There are no CCH specimens for Santa Cruz County or Monterey County (these are my #21516, Jan 28 2015).

Overall, based on the distribution given in FNA Vol. 9, there are possibly several other non-native Rubus lurking in California, apomitic microspecies aside.    They are, relative to their invasive potential, understudied here.

Growth Habit

Lower Leaf Surface

Upper Leaf Surface

Saturday, January 10, 2015

67% of the California Flora is Endemic

For the California region (state of California plus the California Floristic Province sections of Oregon, Baja California and the Sierra Nevada portion of Nevada), there are 4064 endemic vascular plants by my estimation.   I have counted them from Munz & Keck 1959, Munz 1969, Hickman 1993 and other regional floras.

Raven & Axelrod (1977) tallied 2125 endemics – 47.7% of the total flora

Baldwin et al. (2012) tally 4976 native species and 1315 endemic full species – 26.6% of the total flora endemic. Their estimate is off the mark because endemic infrataxa are omitted.

Adding the 912 treated endemic infrataxa to their 1315, with 6502 native taxa, results in 34.2% endemic

My count includes 147 endemics confined to Baja California, 34 confined to southwest Oregon, and two in the Sierra Nevada portion of Nevada – 183 taxa.

My tally includes 501 taxa not treated in Baldwin et al. (2012) but which were treated in a previous state flora.

My tally includes 2414 endemic taxa treated as full species in Baldwin et al. (2012) - much higher than reported in their Appendix (page 1520-1521)

If we take the Baldwin et al. (2012) tally of 6502 and my estimate of 4064 endemics – the rate is 67% - the highest rate yet reported.