filaginifolia (Hook. & Arn.) Lane var. filaginifolia]

filaginifolia (Hook. & Arn.) Lane var. filaginifolia]

Listing CNPS List 1B R-E-D Code 3-2-3

State/Federal. Status -- /PT ASTERACEAE Jul.-Sep.

Global Rank G4T1 State Rank S1.1

Distribution: San Diego County

Habitat: Coastal Mixed Chaparral in sandy, open locales is the preferred habitat of the Del Mar Sand Aster. This form of the widely ranging Cudweed Aster seems to thrive on partially disturbed sandy soils on the periphery of Chamise and Arctostaphylos glandulosa ssp. crassifolia, indicating that habitat can be created given the proper geology and soils. Terrace Escarpments are mapped in La Zanja Canyon and at a number of locales where this aster grows.

Known Sites: This herbaceous perennial is common throughout the Torrey Pines Preserve. It grows east of Del Mar and in a number of areas of Encinitas not yet developed for residential uses. It is localized on the north-facing slopes of Carmel Valley near Interstate 5 and on Carmel Mountain, at the foot of eroded bluffs north of Woodwind Drive in Olivenhain, near Desert Rose Way in Encinitas, south of Del Mar Heights Road and east of El Camino Real in vestigial stands of chaparral, north of Manchester Road and west of I-5 in Encinitas, and is sometimes found farther inland such as at La Zanja Canyon. This aster grows at Oak Crest Park in Encinitas and in chaparral to the south. Old biological survey reports note this plant on the Interstate 5 embankments in Del Mar Heights, as well as near the Fairbanks Ranch Golf Course. Data Base records note the Del Mar Sand-aster on the south side of San Elijo Lagoon just west of Interstate 5, north of Del Mar Heights Road and 0.5 mile west of Interstate 5, at Los Encinitos approximately 0.5 mile northwest of Olivenhain, east of el Mar Heights 0.25 mile east of El Camino Real and 1 mile north of Carmel Valley, north of Encinitas Boulevard and west of Vulcan Avenue, west of Acama Street on Lopez Mesa in Mira Mesa, and on both sides of El Camino Real 1.8 miles north of its intersection with La Costa Road.

Status: Del Mar Sand Aster is declining substantially but is still locally common in the Del Mar/Encinitas region. Long term prognosis, however, is questionable owing to extensive habitat reduction. The Del Mar Sand Aster has a preference for mildly disturbed soils and will pioneer on recently cleared chaparral sites with sandstone substrates. Recent taxonomic review (i.e., Dr. Meredith Lane, Kansas) has referred this entity to the very common and wide ranging Cudweed Aster (Lessingia filaginifolia var. filaginifolia), merging a number of additional varieties in the process. Plants with tomentose involucres occur in diverse locales and habitats elsewhere in California: a form once referred to variety latifolia, with a similar involucre but more broadly oblong leaves occurs in the Los Angeles to Santa Barbara area along the coast; a form once referred to variety sessilis with a tomentose involucre and ovate leaves grows in the San Bernardino and Palomar Mountains. Typical variety filaginifolia has a glandular involucre. In addition, leaf shape (typically linear in the Del Mar Sand Aster) is notoriously variable within the common form of sand aster. Merging these entities owing to the irregular patterns of trait distributions may be warranted. However, it should be noted that in the Del Mar region strong edaphic correlations exist with the form which has linear leaves and tomentose involucres. The CNPS notes additional taxonomic study is merited; it is provisionally recommended that substantial portions of sizeable populations are protection.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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