Warner Springs Lessingia [Lessingia glandulifera Gray var. tomentosa (Greene) Ferris]

Warner Springs Lessingia [Lessingia glandulifera Gray var. tomentosa (Greene) Ferris]

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

State/Federal. Status -- /C2 ASTERACEAE Sep.-Oct.

Global Rank G4?T2? State Rank S1.1

Distribution: San Diego County

Habitat: High Desert Chaparral or grassland are apparently the primary habitats of this annual. Sandy openings (Mottsville loamy coarse sand) in very xeric Chamise Chaparral, or possibly the periphery of alluvial drainages (such as Buena Vista Creek near Ranchita) should be searched for this entity.

Known Sites: This hairy stemmed variety is reported from an extensive population along Chihuahua Valley Road south of Mitchell Camp; also a nearby site in Chihuahua Valley 1 mile west of Boden Field. Other reports are from near Highway 79 three miles west northwest of the Warner Springs post office, and from Agua Caliente Creek near Warner Hot Springs. Herbarium specimens are from Cañada Buena Vista east of Old Warners' Ranch above a road cut, on the road shoulder west of Highway 79 near Barrett Hill Road in Valle de San Jose, and on a cut bank on Highway S-2 2 miles east of Highway 79. An unverified report notes this plant at Skunk Hollow in western Riverside County; CNPS reports for Baja California also cannot be confirmed.

Status: Warner Springs Lessingia may be stable owing to the dearth of development in the Warner/Ranchita region; however, overgrazing by cattle, particularly near the few drainages, may have severely reduced historical populations. More information is needed on its response to grazing pressures. Taxonomic work is recommended to more precisely delineate the distinctive traits of variety tomentosa. Provisionally, all substantial populations should be protected.

Copyright © May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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