San Diego County Alum-Root [Heuchera rubescens Torrey var. versicolor (Greene) Stewart]

San Diego County Alum-Root [Heuchera rubescens Torrey var. versicolor (Greene) Stewart]

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

State/Federal. Status -- None SAXIFRAGACEAE May-Jun.

Global Rank G4T2T3 State Rank S?

Distribution: San Diego County; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: Rocky outcrops in montane chaparral are the preferred habitat of the San Diego County Alum-Root. At the Hot Springs Mountain summit the exposed rock is mapped as Acid Igneous rock land; the surrounding terrain is Crouch rocky coarse sandy loam. Competition from shrubs is minimal within the boulder crevices where this herbaceous perennial grows.

Known Sites: This species grows in large boulder fields at the summit of Hot Springs Mountain. The colony occurs in an exposed, easily degraded location next to the old Fire Watch Tower. A report is from near the triple falls of the San Luis Rey River east of Barker Valley; another needing verification is from the east end of Harper Canyon on a north-facing wall.

One specimen from Baja California is found at the herbarium of the San Diego Natural History Museum from 31 2' North, on the north slope of Cerro 2828 where collected by Moran (SD 69111).

Status: San Diego County Alum Root is declining at the Hot Springs Mountain locale. This site needs protection from the occasional visitors who are intrigued by the fire tower. Additional plants may grow well below the summit in rocks which are quite dangerous to investigate, except by highly competent rock climbers and bushwhackers. All sites should be protected.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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