Short-sepaled Lewisia [Lewisia brachycalyx Engelm. ex Gray]

Short-sepaled Lewisia [Lewisia brachycalyx Engelm. ex Gray]

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

State/Federal. Status -- None PORTULACACEAE May-Jun.

Global Rank G4G5 State Rank S?

Distribution: San Diego County and San Bernardino County; Arizona; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: Montane Meadows are the primary habitat of this fleshy-leaved perennial. Snow melt may trigger growth of this small, cryptic species which is difficult to locate except when in flower in late spring. It grows in areas devoid of shrub cover which are best characterized as montane seeps; perennial grasses while present, are usually low growing, and the vegetation is more open than with typical Montane Meadows of this region. Boomer stony loam is a soil type utilized at Lake Cuyamaca.

Known Sites: Short-sepaled Lewisia grows in open rocky meadows above Cuyamaca Lake. This species is reported in Big Bear Valley in the San Bernardino Mountains. Reported by Lehr from Arizona. One herbarium specimen seen was from the west side of Highway 78, 200 yards north of the Camp Wolahi Road. A specimen in a Ponderosa Pine forest at Coconino County, Arizona, was also examined.

Three specimens from Baja California are found at the herbarium for the San Diego Natural History Museum. All are in the general vicinity of Laguna Hansen. One locale has a collection by Oberbauer (SD 103738) in a meadow 2 miles north of the lake (approx. 32 6' North latitude).

Status: Short-sepaled Lewisia is stable but potentially endangered in San Diego County by the expansion of housing around Cuyamaca Lake. All local populations in this region should be protected. The habitat of this species is extremely wet and fragile in early spring, and care must be taken not to do considerable damage to the meadows while crossing on foot.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

Back to Craig H. Reiser's Rare Plants of San Diego County