Palmer's Goldenbush [Ericameria palmeri (Gray) Hall ssp. palmeri]

Palmer's Goldenbush [Ericameria palmeri (Gray) Hall ssp. palmeri]

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

State/Federal. Status -- /C2 ASTERACEAE Sep.-Nov.

Global Rank G4T2T3 State Rank S1.1

DDDDistribution: San Diego County; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: This sizeable shrub grows along coastal drainages, in mesic chaparral sites, or rarely in Diegan Sage Scrub. Occasionally it occurs as a hillside element (usually at higher elevations inland on north-facing slopes). Las Posas fine sandy loam is mapped for the riparian site at Jamacha Road, while the hillside locale near Sequan Indian Reservation is Vista coarse sandy loam. Seasonally wet/moist locales are strongly preferred.

Known Sites: A population in watercourses along Jamacha Road may be overtaken by development within the next several years. It is difficult to account for the very narrow U.S. range and rarity of this species. Its range is currently on the edge of urban sprawl and this species could become extremely rare if not managed effectively. A small colony in a drainage at the east end of Rice Canyon may no longer be extant following recent development of the area. Another small colony found in the hills near the Singing Hills Golf Course, east of Hillsdale Road, is also proposed for development. A recent report from the Otay River floodplain is north of Lindbergh Street. A second recent report is of a small population clustered at the base of a north facing slope of Carmel Valley east of Interstate 5 and an abandoned nursery site; this site was destroyed in 1992. Palmer's Ericameria grows on a hillside east of the Sequan Gambling Casino. Additional reports are for the south side of Highland Valley Road near Honey Springs Truck Trail, near Old Coach Road in Poway, and at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Data Base reports are along Highway 94 0.8 mile west of the intersection with Tecate Road, and in Steele Canyon 0.1 mile south of Highway 94 and 0.3 mile east of road to Jamacha near The Oaks School.

Found south in Baja California to 30 2' North where collected by Moran (SD 80344) near Aguajito. Twenty-one specimens are recorded for Baja California at the San Diego Natural History Museum's herbarium. A vigorous population was seen west of San Pablo alongside the highway east of Tecate, Mexico.

Status: Palmer's Ericameria is substantially declining; it is a "sleeper" species which may be extirpated in the U.S. before it's missed. All sites should be fully protected with adequate buffers. This shrub appears hardy and should be considered for native plantings.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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