Crowned Goldfields [Lasthenia coronaria (Nutt.) Ornduff]

Crowned Goldfields [Lasthenia coronaria (Nutt.) Ornduff]

Listing CNPS Unlisted R-E-D Code None

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

Global Rank None State Rank None

Distribution: San Diego County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Ventura County; Baja California, Mexico, Isla Guadalupe, Mexico

Habitat: This annual prefers openings in Diegan Sage Scrub and Coastal Bluff Scrub. It also occurs in very sandy locales in chaparral.

Known Sites: Crowned Goldfields is occasional on the sandy sea bluffs at Torrey Pines State Park, in the Tijuana Hills just west of Border Field State Park, on NAS Miramar near the vernal pool systems, in sandy substrates on Point Loma near Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, and in Otay Valley east of the Interstate 805. Herbarium specimens were examined from Chollas Valley, Mahogany Canyon east of San Diego, in Balboa Park, the Silver Strand, Sweetwater Valley, the northern base of San Miguel Mountain, north side of Proctor Valley Road, Japatul, Sloane Canyon, Harbison Canyon, Whispering Oaks on the Sweetwater River, 0.75 mile west of Dehesa, the north slope of Mount Soledad, on the north side of the San Luis Rey River 16 miles west of Rincon, Poway Grade, Lilac, the north side of Escondido, Mission Hills, San Diego, Pacific Beach, Kearny Mesa, Rolando Heights; as well as inland at Oak Grove. It is reported from Dennery Canyon on the northwestern side of Otay Mountain, at Otay Lake, University Heights, Sweetwater Dam, Bernardo, Moro Hill, Del Mar, Fallbrook, and Lake Hodges. This annual is common at numerous locales in southwestern Riverside County such as near Sage and in the Vail Lake region.

Fifteen voucher specimens from Baja California are found in the herbarium of the San Diego Natural History Museum; south to 29 35' North where collected by Moran (SD 76845) at Arroyo Santa Catarina.

Status: Crowned Goldfields is seriously declining along the coastal sections of Southern California due to widespread loss of habitat for residential development, but is still present in a number of fragmented stands of Diegan Sage Scrub and Riversidian Sage Scrub, as well as in limited patches of Coastal Bluff Scrub still extant. During drought years it may mimic the much more common Lasthenia californica with entire leaves; small plants may not develop the large pinnate lobes and relatively hairy vestiture seen on mature plants. Declines in western Riverside County have likely been less significant; however, this region is now the focus of massive residential expansion. This species may need to be completely reassessed at the turn of the century following continued urban growth. At present, no recommendations are made for listing.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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