Parish's Meadow-Foam [Limnanthes gracilis T. J. Howell var. parishii (Jeps.) C. Mason]

Parish's Meadow-Foam [Limnanthes gracilis T. J. Howell var. parishii (Jeps.) C. Mason]

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

State/Federal. Status -- CE/C2 LIMNANTHACEAE Apr.-Jun.

Global Rank G4T3 State Rank S2.1

Distribution: San Diego County, Riverside County

Habitat: Montane Meadows, largely devoid of shrubs, and with concentrations of annuals and herbaceous perennials not grasses, is the preferred habitat of Limnanthes. At Cuyamaca Lake, where this annual grows in profusion, Crouch rocky coarse sandy loam and loamy alluvial land are utilized. Also abundant here is Ranunculus californicus var. austromontanus, and locally Blennosperma nanum.

Known Sites: Parish's Meadow-Foam is common in meadows around Cuyamaca Lake. It is uncommon now at Shrine Camp in the Laguna Mountains. Cuyamaca Lake has one of the few extensive wildflower displays still found in San Diego County in the spring. L. gracilis is a dominant species at this time. Herbarium specimens are from the entrance road to the Lucky Five Ranch near a tributary to Oriflamme Canyon, at Harper's Creek, in the southern half of Mendenhall Valley in the Palomar Mountains, on the banks of Orinoco Creek just west of Eagle Peak Road, and near Cedar Creek on the Inaja Reservation. Other reports come from a small population near Pine Hill Guard Station, near a pond northeast of Harrison Park east of Highway 79, the meadows at Filaree Flat, Indian Canyon, and Pine Creek Road at Pine Valley Creek. Data Base reports are on the road into Oriflamme Canyon off County Highway S-1 near the Pedro Fages Marker, in Canebrake Canyon 1.5 miles northeast of the northern end of Lake Cuyamaca, Los Rasalies Ravine in Lower Laguna Meadows, Fern Flat on Cuyamaca Peak, a canyon east of Sunrise Highway 3 miles south of the junction of Highway 79 and Highway S-1 in a tributary of Oriflamme Canyon, 0.25 mile southwest of Paso Picacho Campground, at Azalea Spring, La Puerta Springs, on West Mesa 0.15 mile northwest of Japacha Spring, Japacha Creek 0.25 miles southwest of Japacha Spring, along Harper Creek on the east side of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, just south of Rattlesnake Valley along Harper Creek, the mouth of Stonewall Creek at Green Valley. Reported by Lathrop from the largest vernal pool on Mesa de Colorado in western Riverside County.

Status: Parish's Meadow-Foam is slowly declining in San Diego County and Riverside County; increased recreational uses of montane meadows are impacting the vigor of local populations. Further development around Cuyamaca Lake could result in piecemeal survival of what in some years is still one of the last remaining, vast wildflower displays in coastal or montane San Diego County. While it may not be feasible to always protect entire populations, substantial and relatively cohesive portions of all major and secondary populations should be protected. This species is not relatively identifiable in meadows outside of the short blooming season, and surveys in potential habitat out-of-season should take this into account.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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