Beautiful Hulsea [Hulsea vestita Gray ssp. callicarpha (Hall) Wilken]

Beautiful Hulsea [Hulsea vestita Gray ssp. callicarpha (Hall) Wilken]

Listing CNPS List 4 R-E-D Code 1-2-3

State/Federal. Status -- None ASTERACEAE May-Oct.

Global Rank G5T3 State Rank S3?

Distribution: San Diego County, Riverside County, Orange County

Habitat: This herbaceous perennial grows in mildly disturbed or rocky locales in chaparral and Lower Montane Coniferous Forest. It may regularly occur as a fire follower.

Known Sites: Plants growing on Cuyamaca Peak show some traits of H. heterochroma. Herbarium specimens examined from elsewhere in San Diego County are from the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, Lost Valley, Hot Springs Mountain, and Palomar Mountain; from nearby Riverside County herbarium specimens were seen from Strawberry Creek near Idyllwild and from an unspecified locale in the San Jacinto Mountains. A recent report is from near Aguanga. In Riverside County this hulsea grows on North Mountain east of Hemet along the summit fire road, near Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains at chaparral edges, and near the turnoff to Santa Rosa Peak in the Santa Rosa Mountains.

Status: This herb is part of an extremely variable complex with traits tending to vary from mountain range to mountain range; some intergradation is likely with Hulsea heterochroma and Hulsea californica. It does not have the extremely hairy phyllaries and large flowering heads of the latter, nor the strongly reddish ray flowers of the former. Nevertheless, petals are sometimes orange or with a reddish hue, and phyllaries can be moderately hairy. More information is needed to determine how common this species is in the mountains of western Riverside County, particularly following fires. Provisionally, significant portions of all sizeable populations are recommended for protection. This species is presumed stable given the limited recent loss of habitat within its foothill range.


Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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