Wild Petunia [Petunia parviflora Juss]

Wild Petunia [Petunia parviflora Juss]

Listing CNPS Unlisted R-E-D Code None

State/Federal. Status -- None SOLANACEAE Apr.-Aug.

Global Rank None State Rank None

Distribution: San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, San Luis Obispo County, Monterey County, San Benito County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, San Mateo County, Santa Rosa Island; Arizona; Utah; southeastern U.S.; Mexico; South America

Habitat: This small annual usually grows in this region on the muddy embankments of lakes, ponds, and streams, but may occur in a variety of wetland situations.

Known Sites: In San Diego County Wild Petunia grows on the periphery of the Laguna Lakes in the Laguna Mountains, and is locally common on the periphery of Sweetwater Reservoir. Herbarium specimens include a variety of locales: Old Mission Dam, the Sweetwater Valley near Bonita, Lakeside, Mission Valley, Corte Madera, Pine Valley, Lindo Lake, Mission Bay, Logan Heights, Lake Hodges, Poway Junction, the south end of Cuyamaca Lake, and on Otay Mesa in vernal pool J29A. It is also reported from the San Luis Rey River, Rancho Santa Fe, Mount Soledad, Mission Valley, Pine Valley, and Warner Ranch. Raven reports this species in Los Angeles County near marshy ground at Malibu Lake. Hoover reports this species from San Luis Obisbo County near the Salinas River at San Miguel and Paso Robles, Grant Lake, Arroyo Grande, and the Santa Maria River. Smith reports Wild Petunia in the Santa Barbara region along the lower Santa Ynez and Santa Maria rivers, to Los Alamos and Zaca Lake; also on Santa Rosa Island. Thomas reports this species in the Santa Cruz Mountains at Golden Gate Park where it is invasive, in San Francisco, Spring Valley Lakes, Crystal Springs Lake, Searsville Lake, Santa Cruz, Chittenden Pond, and Pajaro River. Roberts checklist of plants in Orange County includes this species. Herbarium specimens examined include locales in Arizona at the confluence of the Salt and Gila rivers, Quitobaquito at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, and near Sacaton on the Gila River.

Twenty-seven specimens of Wild Petunia from Baja California are found in the herbarium of the San Diego Natural History Museum, south to 23 49' North where collected northwest of Triunfo by Moran (SD 50632). Collections from Coahuila and Sonora were also examined.

Status: This annual can be invasive and now occurs at various locales where it was not present at the turn of the century. Given its broadening California range, no recommendations for protection are made. Wild Petunia is presumed to be uncommon, but stable to expanding in Southern California.


Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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