Mission Canyon Blue-Cup [Githopsis diffusa Gray ssp. filicaulis (Ewan) Morin]

Mission Canyon Blue-Cup [Githopsis diffusa Gray ssp. filicaulis (Ewan) Morin]

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

State/Federal. Status -- /C2 CAMPANULACEAE May

Global Rank G5T3T4 State Rank S1.2

Distribution: San Diego County, Riverside County; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: Isolated, sandy openings in chaparral are the typical habitat for this cryptic annual. Visalia sandy loam is mapped at the Moosa Canyon site. Populations observed were in full sun.

Known Sites: Mission Canyon Blue-cup is found growing near Highway 79, south of Green Valley in the Cuyamaca Mountains, where the chaparral gives way to conifers. It is cited in literature from a burn in Harbison Canyon, at Anahuac School, on the south fork of Featherstone Creek near Barona, at the north end of El Cajon Mountain northeast of Barona Mission, and at Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary on the upper part of the chaparral trail. An old report from Murphy Canyon near the San Diego Mission likely represents a locale long since disturbed by urban impacts. It is also reported in Riverside County below the hamlet of Sage, on rocky, gentle hills in coarse sandy soil between chamise and manzanita. It was seen in chaparral understory near Colt Road and De Portola Road in western Riverside County.

Status: The status of the Mission Blue-cup in San Diego County is presumed stable. More information is needed. Given the dearth of collections and reports for this species, it is likely quite rare in San Diego County. All populations should be protected. This annual is quite fragile and it appears to have a short-flowering period with the plant withering soon in warm weather; censusing for this species outside of its spring flowering season is not recommended. The related ssp. candida, with larger flowers, is occasional at higher elevations than ssp. filicaulis, such as around Cuyamaca Lake (and south into the Sierra Juarez of Baja California). It is apparently rare in the U.S. and should be considered for listing with CNPS with a R-E-D Code of 2-2-2.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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