Gander's Pitcher Sage [Lepechinia ganderi Epling]

Gander's Pitcher Sage [Lepechinia ganderi Epling]

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

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

Global Rank G2 State Rank S2.2

Distribution: San Diego County; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: This shrub, with distinctive acicular calyx, is apparently restricted to metavolcanic derived soils in chaparral. The preferred soil type is San Miguel-Exchequer rocky silt loams, with a low-growing but relatively dense chaparral dominated by Chamise and Black Sage. Edaphic considerations appear to be critical in determining the potential range of this species. Usually the vegetation is relatively xeric with high summer temperatures; and for the coastal region low winter temperatures, resulting in seasonal extremes.

Known Sites: Several healthy populations are at the upper elevations on Otay Mountain (as near Doghouse Junction), in the Jamul Mountains on the western flanks, and on San Miguel Mountain. Several hundred were seen growing in Chamise dominated chaparral south of Donohoe Mountain.

Only four specimens from two sites for Baja California are found in the San Diego Natural History Museum's herbarium. One site is reported on Cerro Jesus Maria. It was also found on Cerro el Dieciceis 11 km southeast of Tecate at 32 28' North by Moran (SD 101635). Gander's Pitcher Sage is replaced to the south by Lepechinia cardiophylla, and may be extraordinarily rare in both the United States and Baja California, Mexico.

Status: Gander's Pitcher Sage is currently stable in the United States. Proposed development on the western slope of the Jamul Mountains could pose some significant impacts. The BLM has considered increased recreational use of Otay Mountain including an upgrading of the primary east/west access road which is presently little utilized. This shrub is strongly recommended for California Endangered status, given its extremely limited range. All populations should be protected.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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