Ayenia [Ayenia compacta Rose]

Ayenia [Ayenia compacta Rose]

Listing CNPS List 2 R-E-D Code 2-1-1

State/Federal. Status -- None STERCULIACEAE Mar.-Apr.

Global Rank G4 State Rank S3?

Distribution: San Diego County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: Rocky canyons and desert arroyos are the preferred habitat of this subshrub. The rocky periphery of sandy washes are utilized at Box Canyon, growing with Pleurocoronis pluriseta and Sarcostemma cynanchoides.

Known Sites: Ayenia is a very inconspicuous subshrub growing at Box Canyon in a sandy wash, and scattered in hills south of Hellhole Canyon. It is difficult to ascertain how rare this desert species is owing to its cryptic aspect. Old reports are from Pinyon Wash, Corral Canyon, Snail Canyon, Indian Canyon, and Chuckwalla Wash--Anza Borrego State Park. Herbarium specimens at the San Diego Natural History Museum are from Vallecito Station one kilometer east of the County Park, the southeast slope of Pinyon Mountain, southeast of Mine Wash, the banks of Vallecito Wash, Just east of Scissors Crossing, at Yaqui Pass, the west end of Sentenac Canyon, the extreme northeastern corner of the county, at Borrego Palm Canyon at the first palms before the fork, in Borrego Valley, west of the Narrows on a steep canyon wall, and at Agua Caliente. One herbarium collection is from Andreas Canyon in Riverside County. Reports from near Palm Springs in Riverside County include northeast of Big Horn Drive near Highway 74, near Tahquitz Creek, west of Canyon Drive, and west of Murray Hill. Reported by Felger on Tiburon and San Esteban Islands in the Gulf of California; also reported in Riverside County's Deep Canyon in the Coachella Valley. Reported by Daniel and Butterwick from the South Mountains near Phoenix.

Ayenia is reported from the length of Baja California including some islands. Eighteen collections from Baja California are deposited in the herbarium of the San Diego Natural History Museum; south to the Cape Region at 24 11' North where collected by Moran (SD 50555) at Arroyo de los Pozos.

Status: Ayenia is apparently stable in the southern deserts, given the limited historical disturbance to its potential habitat.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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