Coves' Cassia [Senna covesii (Gray) Irwin & Barneby = Cassia covesii (Gray)]

Coves' Cassia [Senna covesii (Gray) Irwin & Barneby = Cassia covesii (Gray)]

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

State/Federal. Status -- None FABACEAE Apr.-Jun.

Global Rank G5? State Rank S2?

Distribution: San Diego County, Imperial County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, Arizona; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: Sonoran Desert Scrub on washes and plains is the preferred habitat of Coves' Cassia. Locales where observed had relatively open, low-growing desert scrub cover; plants were unshaded and in full-day sun.

Known Sites: This showy herbaceous perennial grows at Box Canyon in Wagon Wash, and also on desert flatlands west of Ocotillo Wells. As the habitat does not appear unusual, it is difficult to account for the rarity of this species in San Diego County. One herbarium collection is from Mason Valley; others are from upper Blair Valley, Earthquake Valley, the extreme northeastern corner of the County, and in Box Canyon. An old report is from Sentenac Canyon. An old biological survey report comes from Mason Valley. Shreve and Wiggins report Coves' Cassia in southern Nevada, Arizona; and Sinaloa, Mexico. Herbarium specimens from Arizona include Congress Junction in Yavapai County, the Kofa Mountains in Yuma County, and Southeast of Growler Valley, at Rancho Bonito, and at Bates Fell in Pima County. Felger reports this species on Tiburon, San Esteban, and Datil Islands in the Gulf of California. It is also reported in Riverside County from Deep Canyon in the Coachella Valley, from the Chuckwalla Mountains west of Corn Springs, near Interstate 10 west of the Pinto Chiriaco Summit, near the Colorado River Aqueduct and the Eagle Mountains, near Martinez Mountain, and near Big Horn Drive and Highway 74.

Twelve collections from Baja California are found in the San Diego Natural History Museum's herbarium; south to the southeast corner of the bay at Bajia Concepcion where collected by Sanders (SD 125947).

Status: Coves' Cassia is rare, but its populations are presumed stable on the southern deserts, where only limited potential habitat has been impacted.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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