Ribbed Cryptantha [Cryptantha costata Bdg.]

Ribbed Cryptantha [Cryptantha costata Bdg.]

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

State/Federal. Status -- None BORAGINACEAE Feb.-May

Global Rank G3G4 State Rank S?

Distribution: San Diego County, Imperial County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and Inyo County; Arizona

Habitat: Desert sand dunes are utilized by Ribbed Cryptantha near Clark Dry Lake; a site with Carrizo very gravelly loams. At this locale plants were growing on relatively unstable slopes where winds limit competition among plants to only those best adapted to moving sands.

Known Sites: Ribbed Cryptantha grows on fairly well established dunes north of the Salton Seaway near Clark Dry Lake. This site is near to but not sympatric with Cryptantha ganderi sightings. Several plants were seen in the Geraea canescens fields north of Henderson Road in very sandy soils. It is also reported from north of Palm Canyon Drive off Borrego Springs Road on private property. Old herbarium collections are from the Oil Well 5 miles north of Bensons, in Pinto Wash, and from sand dunes at an unidentified locale in Imperial County. A curious report where identification needs to be confirmed is southeast of Hemet Lake in the San Jacinto Mountains of Riverside County. Reported by Dedecker as infrequent in Saline Valley, Inyo County. Shreve and Wiggins report this coarse annual eastward into Yuma County, Arizona. Reported by Norris in Death Valley; by McLaughlin in riverine dunes of eastern Imperial County; also reported at low elevations in Deep Canyon of the Coachella Valley.

Status: The southern desert populations of Ribbed Cryptantha are presumed stable. Apparently it is quite rare and may occur in small, isolated microhabitats. As such, small populations may be vulnerable to a single stochastic event (e.g., a severe storm) or a destructive ORV sortie. Given the limited collections of this species on the western edge of the Colorado Desert, all populations in this region are recommended for protection.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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