Vernal Barley [Hordeum intercedens Nevski]

Vernal Barley [Hordeum intercedens Nevski]

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

State/Federal. Status -- None POACEAE Mar.-Jun.

Global Rank G? State Rank S3S4

Distribution: San Diego County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, Anacapa Island, Kings County, Mono County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara Island, San Benito County, San Clemente Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Catalina Island, San Mateo County, San Nicolas Island, Santa Rosa Island, Ventura County; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: This annual grass typically occurs in saline flats and depressions in grasslands or with vernal pool basins.

Known Sites: This small grass was observed in San Diego County in small vernal pool basins near Dillon Road on Otay Mesa; it is localized nearby in the open grasslands north of Highway 905 towards Heritage Road. It is reported from Witch Creek. Herbarium specimens were examined from Camp Kearney, the south side of the Otay River, and on the beach at San Diego; as well as from Santa Barbara Island and San Clemente Island. Reported by Raven along a rill in dry adobe on the northeast slopes of Conejo Mountain. Reported by Smith for the Santa Barbara region (under the name Hordeum pusillum) in vernal meadows from Santa Barbara to Goleta (e.g., Railroad and Animas roads, State and Constance streets, and Isla Vista tract; also Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island.

Five specimens from Baja California are recorded at the herbarium of the San Diego Natural History Museum south to 29 12' North where collected by Moran (SD 76827) five miles northwest of Punta Blanca.

Status: Little Barley is presumed to be declining in Southern California due to extensive loss of vernal pool and isolated alkaline wetlands habitat. This small grass may be more common than the few collections indicate. More information is needed from vernal pools in the City of San Diego and Hemet areas. Provisionally, it is recommended that all substantial populations in coastal Southern California should be protected; significant portions of all smaller populations should also be protected.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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