San Miguel Savory [Satureja chandleri (Bdg.) Druce.]
Listing CNPS List 4 R-E-D Code 1-2-2
Status/Fed. Status -- /C3c LAMIACEAE Mar.-May
Global Rank G1 State Rank S1.1
Distribution: Orange County, Riverside County, San Diego County; Baja California, Mexico
Habitat: This small herbaceous shrub is found in chaparral and oak woodland, and may be restricted to gabbroic or metavolcanic derived soils. On McGinty Peak the soils are mapped as Las Posas stony fine sandy loam; San Miguel-Exchequer rocky silt loam is found on San Miguel Mountain. In mesic, shaded locations on the latter site, San Miguel Savory becomes lanky; on nearby xeric slopes it is typically stunted. Open Chamise dominated slopes seem to be a preferred microhabitat in San Diego County and northern Baja California, while Santa Ana Mountain reports note more mesic situations.
Known Sites: Satureja ia an extremely rare shrub with very few recent reports. It occurs at numerous scattered locales at the upper elevations of San Miguel Mountain. A recent report is from the north side of San Vicente Reservoir, in the chaparral north of Padre Barona Creek and well west of the Barona Casino. Old reports are from Sandia Creek, McGinty Mountain east of the summit, the Barona area, and Otay Mountain. An old biological survey report notes a site 0.5 mile west of Daily Road near the Riverside County line. Data Base reports for San Diego County note an area in Sandia Creek approximately 1 mile north of this creeks confluence with the Santa Margarita River, and three locales in the Jamul Mountains near Callahan Mountain: both 1.3 and 1.7 airmiles southeast of Indian Rock Coral, as well as 4 miles northeast of the Upper Otay Reservoir spillway; from Orange County at Hot Springs Canyon 1.5 miles north of San Juan Hot Springs, Lion Canyon 0.7 mile north northeast of Lower San Juan Picnic Area, one hundred yards upstream of Lower San Juan Picnic Area, Hot Spring Canyon downstream from Los Pinos Spring, the Potrero Los Pinos Area near Chiquita Spring and along Lion Canyon along trails south of Blue Jay Campground, 10 miles west of Murrieta approximately 1.1 mile south southeast of Tenaja Guard Station and outside the forest boundary, De Luz Road 3 miles southwest of Murrieta in the first canyon to the right, 1 mile west of Murrieta in the vicinity of Tenaja Road, and 3 airmiles south of Murrieta 1.8 miles south of the Junction of Del Luz Road and Guava Road; in Riverside County in St. Johns Canyon approximately 6 miles south of Hemet on Highway 79 (a site needing additional confirmation). An old biological survey report is from the hills west of Hayes Avenue on Mesa de Burro of the Santa Rosa Plateau.
Only three specimens from Baja California are found in the San Diego Natural History Museum's herbarium. It was collected by Moran on the north slope of Cerro Blanco at 32 4' North (SD 73002). This species is replaced not far south of the border by Satureja ganderi and is likely rare in Baja California. Several hundred shrubs were seen on Cerro Bolla in northern Baja California.
Status: San Diego County populations of San Miguel Savory are stable. Development is proposed near one of the larger Orange County populations in the Santa Ana Mountains, where populations are otherwise presumed stable. The February 1994 CNPS R-E-D Code does not reflect the true rarity of this species. This is one of Southern California's rarest shrubs. Studies should be conducted to compare genetic material in southern San Diego County with the disjunct populations in the Santa Ana Mountains. All populations should be protected.
Copyright © May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.
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