Rayless Ragwort [Senecio aphanactis Greene]

Rayless Ragwort [Senecio aphanactis Greene]

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

State/Federal. Status -- None ASTERACEAE Jan.-Apr.

Global Rank G3? State Rank S1S2

Distribution: San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, Santa Barbara County, Contra Costa County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz Island, San Luis Obispo County, Solano County, Ventura County, Santa Rosa Island; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: This annual occurs in coastal sage scrub and is reported from cismontane woodland and alkaline flats.

Known Sites: In San Diego County a small colony is still extant on a south-facing slope on the north side of the Santa Margarita River east of the freeway. Here it is growing in an open sage scrub habitat. Herbarium specimens were examined from Pacific Beach, the Tijuana Hills, and the north side of San Miguel Mountain. It is reported from Kearney Mesa, Pacific Beach, the Silver Strand, San Diego, and Jacumba; most of these sites are likely no longer extant. Roberts reports this species for Orange County. Reported by Thomas from the hills south of the City of San Jose. Reported by Smith in the Santa Barbara region from the Santa Ynez Mountains to Jalama Beach; also on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa islands. Reported by Hoover in San Luis Obispo County on sparsely vegetated clay soils around the City of San Luis Obispo, and east of Creston. Reported by Raven in the Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles County.

Fourteen specimens from Baja California are found at the herbarium of the San Diego Natural History Museum, south to 27 32' North where collected by Moran at Cerro Azul (SD 92786)

Status: Rayless Ragwort is substantially declining in Southern California. This inconspicuous annual has a relatively wide distribution, but is apparently quite uncommon to rare in any given region. It may not be able to compete well with invasive Eurasian grasses. All Southern California populations should be protected.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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