Nevin's Barberry [Berberis nevinii Gray = Mahonia nevinii (Gray) Fedde]

Nevin's Barberry [Berberis nevinii Gray = Mahonia nevinii (Gray) Fedde]

Listing CNPS List 1B R-E-D Code 3-3-3

State/Federal. Status -- CE/C1 BERBERIDACEAE Mar.-Apr.

Global Rank G2 State Rank S2.2

Distribution: San Diego County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County

Habitat: Chaparral with strong desert affinities is the primary habitat for this shrub at the south end of Vail Lake (soils here are mapped as Gullied lands) in western Riverside County. Shrub cover is relatively low growing and Nevin's Barberry may tower above the surrounding subshrubs.

Known Sites: Nevin's Barberry is planted at Torrey Pines Preserve near the ranger's cabin. A reported site in the desert foothills of Anza-Borrego near Ranchita has never been relocated. A vigorous population occurs near the peninsula on the south side of Vail Lake in Riverside County; also on the slopes immediately downstream of the dam. A few shrubs are still extant at the old Vail Ranch approximately 3 miles southeast of Temecula in Riverside County. It may occur in nearby San Diego County in the little explored foothills of the Agua Tibia Wilderness Area close to the Dripping Springs Trail. Data Base records include in San Bernardino County a few plants in a side canyon of San Timoteo Canyon, a single shrub near the mouth of Scott Canyon southwest of Redlands; for Los Angeles County in San Francisquito Canyon north of Saugus on both sides of the highway before Powerhouse #2, nearby in San Francisquito Canyon one plant 0.5 mile north of the San Francisquito Powerhouse, just west of Padua Avenue in the vicinity of San Antonio Wash a few miles west of Upland and just north of Claremont, on the east bank of Arroyo Seco 0.5 mile north of the Rose Bowl near the corner of Arroyo and Washington Streets where possibly not native, near Vista Del Valle Road in Griffith Park where likely introduced; in Riverside County on the west side of Arroyo Seco Creek approximately 0.3 mile northwest of the Dripping Springs Guard State and north of Highway 71, also scattered nearby about Butterfield Valley, as well as on south-facing slopes of Big Oak Mountain west of Vail Lake; in San Diego County on County Road S-6 approximately 1.6 miles north of its Junction with Highway 76 southwest of Palomar Mountain (where likely not native).

Status: After an earlier period in which Nevin's Barberry was substantially declining, populations are now relatively stable, although few in number. The status of Nevin's Barberry in San Diego County is unknown; no extant native populations have been located; more information is needed. All native populations should be protected.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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