Ocellated Humboldt Lily (Lilium humboldtii Roezl. & Leichtl. ssp. ocellatum (Kell) Elwes]

Ocellated Humboldt Lily (Lilium humboldtii Roezl. & Leichtl. ssp. ocellatum (Kell) Elwes]

Listing CNPS List 4 R-E-D Code 1-2-3

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

Global Rank G4T3 State Rank S3?

Distribution: San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, San Bernardino County, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Rosa Island, Riverside County, San Luis Obispo County, Orange County

Habitat: This lily grows along streamsides in Lower Montane Coniferous Forest and coastal Chaparral. Along San Mateo Canyon it was found in areas mapped as Stony Land. At Roblar Creek a relatively closed canopy provides substantial shade. Recently montane forms were taxonomically merged with this subspecies; these plants grow on relatively dry slopes beneath dense coniferous canopy.

Known Sites: Small colonies were found at three, relatively coastal locales on Camp Joseph Pendleton. The first is within a narrow gorge for San Mateo Creek near the northern boundary of the military base. The other two locales are along Roblar Creek, the eastern site rarely visited by humans in an area of the Santa Margarita Mountains difficult to access. It has been recently reported from several locales on Palomar Mountain (e.g., Barker Valley), and near San Vicente Reservoir. An old report is from Tenaja Canyon, which is east of the San Mateo Creek site. Old biological reports note this species near Cutca Valley, and near the north slope of Lawson Peak. Smith reports this species in the Santa Barbara region from Casitas Pass to the San Julian area in the Santa Ynez Mountains; inland to upper Cuyuma Valley, Sespe Creek, and Thorn Meadows. He also notes an old collection from Santa Cruz Island. Raven reports this species in the Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles County as localized in the vicinity of Rustic Canyon and westward. In Orange County small numbers of this lily occur along the Holy Jim Trail, and a localized colony was seen in a side drainage of Silverado Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains. A more expanded concept of this species in the Jepson Manual (1993) includes the shorter lilies which occupy drier microhabitats beneath coniferous forest. Such plants are scattered at the upper elevations of the Cuyamaca Mountains in San Diego County including near the Azalea Spring Trail; they also occur in very shaded locales near Doane Pond in the Palomar Mountains.

Status: Many populations are regularly endangered by hikers who pick this large showy flower for their transitory enjoyment, or who dig this bulb for transplantation to their gardens (where most likely quickly expire). The taller form of the Ocellated Humboldt Lily along the coast is close to extirpation in San Diego County. All substantial populations are recommended for protection; isolated individuals should be retained within open space whenever possible.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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