Heart-leaved Pitcher Sage [Lepechinia cardiophylla Epling]

Heart-leaved Pitcher Sage [Lepechinia cardiophylla Epling]

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

State/Federal. Status -- /C2 LAMIACEAE Apr.-Jul.

Global Rank G2 State Rank S2.2

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

Habitat: Chaparral and Cismontane Woodland are both utilized by this broad-leaved shrub. Iron Mountain has primarily Friant rocky fine sandy loams and is covered in a relatively dense, mature chaparral. In Baja California this shrub was found in a low-growing and quite xeric chaparral on volcanic derived soils with Chamise. Exchequer soils are reported for Orange County with associated species such as Knobcone Pine, Tecate Cypress, as well as Ceanothus dominated chaparral.

Known Sites: The one reported San Diego County locale is on a ridge leading to the peak of Iron Mountain near Dos Picos County Park and Ramona. Reported by Roberts for Orange County at Claymine Canyon, Bald Peak, and Upper Maybe Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains. Data Base reports for Orange County are for the headwaters of Coal Canyon just west of the national forest boundary, along the divide road near the radio facility on Sierra Peak, 0.5 mile southeast of Sierra Peak near the divide road, the northeast side of Bald Peak, a ridge between Ladd and East Fork Canyon, along Indian Trail near Santiago Peak, on Trabuco Peak, 0.25 mile southeast of Beeks Place above the main divide road, on Horsethief Trail, along the northern main divide road approximately 2 miles from junction with the main divide road, and both the northwest and northeast slopes of Pleasants Peak.

Twelve specimens for Heart-leaved Pitcher Sage are found at the San Diego Natural History Museum's herbarium. It has been collected by Moran as far south as 31 12' North (13287A Moran number at SD) south of Rancho Escondido. A large population was seen in northern Baja California on the steep slopes of Cerro Bolla.

Status: Heart-leaved Pitcher Sage is still relatively stable within its foothill and montane habitat in the Santa Ana Mountains. It is also apparently stable on Iron Mountain in San Diego County. Current development here is limited to the lower flanks of the mountain and to several minor dirt roads. This disjunct population lies in an intermediate area between the concentrated populations in the Santa Ana Mountains and the sites in the coastal mountains of northern Baja California. Curiously, other intermediate populations have yet to be located. All populations should be protected.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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