San Felipe Monardella [Monardella nana Gray ssp. leptosiphon (Torr.) Abrams]

San Felipe Monardella [Monardella nana Gray ssp. leptosiphon (Torr.) Abrams]

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

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

Global Rank G4G5T2 State Rank S2.2

Distribution: San Diego County

Habitat: Lower Montane Coniferous Forest is the preferred habitat of this small woody perennial. At the Jeff Valley site the soils are mapped as Crouch coarse sandy loams; canopy cover from Pseudotsuga macrocarpa provides substantial shade.

Known Sites: San Felipe Monardella was observed growing in coniferous woodland near the entrance to Jeff Valley in the Palomar Mountains. The degree of pubescence may be more variable than previously noted; corolla lobes are distinctly longer in the Jeff Valley population than in typical Monardella nana ssp. nana found on Mount Laguna. Several small plants presumed to be this subspecies, although not in flower, were found west of Barrel Springs and north of San Felipe in the chaparral. Data Base reports are for the south side of the Palomar Truck Trail northwest of Benchmark 5590, on the Barker Valley Trail, several locales near the High Point Lookout, north of East Grade Road between Dyche Valley and Will Valley, on a firebreak along Oak Grove Truck Trail, 1.5 miles east of High Point Lookout, 1 mile southeast of High Point, Pine Hills/Palomar southeast of Dyche Valley. Herbarium specimens are from the Fry Creek Campground, near the stop of the grade on the southwestern slope of Palomar Mountain, Mendenhall Valley, San Felipe, Hot Springs Mountain, Palomar Observatory, Aguanga Ridge, Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, Deer Flats, and south to the Banner Grade 3 miles from Julian. CNPS reports for Baja California cannot be verified.

Status: San Felipe Monardella is presumed stable in San Diego County. A gradual cline of varying traits from one subspecies into the next may typify this monardella, despite distinct geographic centers of distribution for each subspecies. Near the intersection of S-2 and S-22 west of Ranchita are plants growing in chaparral which superficially resemble Monardella nana ssp. tenuiflora, a northern entity, but are probably best referred to ssp. leptosiphon. Monardella nana ssp. nana is locally abundant near Desert View Overlook by Mount Laguna and picks up on the southern end of the range of ssp. leptosiphon. Subspecies arida has herbarium specimens from the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains and is a more northeasterly form. Taxonomic work is warranted to more clearly define all of these subspecies. Provisionally, all populations of ssp. leptosiphon should be protected.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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