White Fiesta Flower [Pholistoma racemosum (Nutt.) Constance]

White Fiesta Flower [Pholistoma racemosum (Nutt.) Constance]

Listing CNPS Unlisted R-E-D Code None

State/Federal. Status -- None HYDROPHYLLACEAE Feb.-May

Global Rank None State Rank None

Distribution: San Diego County; Orange County, Los Angeles County; Channel Islands; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: This annual is typically observed in densely growing sage scrub, often in locales with substantial surface rock.

Known Sites: Small populations have been observed on Dictionary Hill, on the slopes by the Sweetwater River and nearby San Miguel Mountain, in Rice Canyon in Chula Vista, on the flanks of Otay Valley, and growing in rocks on the hill east of Massachusetts Avenue and north of the 94 Freeway. It occasionally occurs further inland such as the hills southeast of Dulzura. It is reported from Dehesa, the Sloane Ranch, Emerald Hills, Mission Gorge, Barrett Junction, San Pasqual, Miramar, Pacific Beach, Mission Hills, Lake Murray, and San Diego.

This species is distributed in Baja California from the western foothills of the Sierra Juarez south to near San Borja; as well as occurring on some islands in the Gulf of California and on Isla Guadalupe.

Status: White Fiesta Flower is substantially declining throughout its coastal San Diego County range due primarily to residential construction. While this plant may once have been relatively common in the southwestern corner of the County, its sage scrub habitat has been severely reduced in total acreage. This species would be a good choice for monitoring as it may be a good indicator species to assess sage scrub losses in southwestern San Diego County; it typically occurs in floristically diverse, pristine scrub habitat and not in degraded sage scrub.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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