Southern Mountain Misery [Chamaebatia australis (Bdg.) Abrams]

Southern Mountain Misery [Chamaebatia australis (Bdg.) Abrams]

Listing CNPS List 4 R-E-D Code 1-2-1

State/Federal. Status -- None ROSACEAE Nov.-May

Global Rank G3? State Rank S?

Distribution: San Diego County; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: This sprawling shrub, which often forms impenetrable thickets, is apparently restricted to gabbroic or metavolcanic derived soils. It may be found in conjunction with Pickeringia montana, and is typically surrounded by Chamise Chaparral. San Miguel-Exchequer rocky silt loams are a preferred soil type on Otay Mountain and San Miguel Mountain.

Known Sites: This shrub grows in thickets on Otay Mountain (e.g., the upper slopes of Cedar Canyon), San Miguel Mountain, in the Jamul Mountains, and on Tecate Peak. A concentrated population occurs on a north-facing slope of the San Marcos Mountains, west of the large quarry operations on Twin Oaks Valley Road. An unverified recent report is from a southeast-facing slope of San Onofre Mountain; this area burned in 1990. Most sites are currently well protected, growing on steep slopes near the summits of undeveloped mountains. Also known are old reports from Barber Mountain, Iron Mountain, McGinty Mountain, Potrero Peak, and Elena Mountain near Lyon's Peak.

Twenty specimens from Baja are found at the San Diego Herbarium; south to 30 23' North where collected on the main ridge of Cerro San Miguel by Moran (SD 84476).

Status: Populations of Southern Mountain Misery are stable in San Diego County. This plant typically only occurs as extensive thickets, and not as isolated shrubs. All such populations should be protected.

Arizona Spurge [Chamaesyce arizonica (Engelm.) Arthur]

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

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

Global Rank G5 State Rank S?

Distribution: San Diego County, Imperial County, and Riverside County; Arizona; Texas; Baja California and mainland Mexico

Habitat: Sonoran Desert Creosote Bush Scrub is the reported habitat for this tiny perennial spurge.

Known Sites: No recent San Diego County sightings are known for this inconspicuous prostrate species. Herbarium specimens deposited in the San Diego Natural History Museum are from Borrego Palm Canyon and Butler Canyon on the Anza-Borrego Desert. Reports for Riverside County are from west of Murray Hill near Palm Springs, as well as north of Sierra del Sol Road and Thousand Palms. Shreve and Wiggins report this species eastward through Arizona to Texas, and south to Chihuahua and northern Durango.

Three specimens from Baja California are found in the herbarium at the San Diego Natural History Museum; south to 28 30' North where collected by Moran (SD 65366) in a dry bed of Arroyo San Pedro.

Status: The present status of Arizona Spurge in San Diego County and Riverside County is poorly known; it is presumed stable. More collection information is needed. Given the extensive available habitat, one might expect it to occur at a number of additional sites in the southern deserts; superficial similarities with other common Chamaesyce species could readily account for the few collections in this region. The cyathia (i.e., involucre) on this perennial species is distinctly urn-shaped and contracted at the mouth with hairy ovary and capsules. Given the dearth of extant sites for the region, all populations should be protected.


Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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