Woolly Seablite [Suaeda taxifolia (Standley) Standley]

Woolly Seablite [Suaeda taxifolia (Standley) Standley]

Listing CNPS List 4 R-E-D Code 1-2-1

State/Federal. Status -- None CHENOPODIACEAE Jan.-Dec.

Global Rank G3? State Rank S2S3

Distribution: San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, Anacapa Island, Santa Barbara Island, San Clemente Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Catalina Island, San Nicolas Island, Santa Rosa Island; Baja California, Mexico

Habitat: This herbaceous perennial is usually restricted to Coastal Salt Marsh; rarely it grows in peripheral scrublands adjacent to salt marshes or as isolated plants along beaches.

Known Sites: This species is locally common in the vestigial salt marsh habitat still present along the Southern California Coast. In San Diego County it occurs at Border Field State Park northward into the salt marsh sloughs at Imperial Beach, at the south end of San Diego Bay, the Kendall/Frost Preserve in Mission Bay, San Dieguito Lagoon, Batiquitos Lagoon, San Elijo Lagoon, Agua Hedionda Lagoon, the mouth of the Santa Margarita River, and at Las Flores Lagoon. Herbarium specimens were examined from the Silver Strand, Slaughterhouse Slough in National City, San Marcos Creek Slough, Point Loma, Cardiff, and the National City Salt Works. In Orange County it grows in Newport Back Bay; a few plants were observed near Dana Point. Smith reports this species about the tidal marsh at Goleta near Santa Barbara, as well as on all the Channel Islands. Raven reports Woolly Sea-blite as occasional in salt marshes and along beaches in Los Angeles County north of Santa Monica. Additional herbarium specimens were examined from Huntington Beach in Orange County, near the Santa Barbara and Ventura County line, all of the Channel Islands, near the Santa Barbara/Ventura county line, and near Guadalupe in Santa Barbara County.

Twenty-eight specimens from Baja California were seen at the herbarium of the San Diego Natural History Museum, south to 25 48' North where collected by Moran on Danzanita Island (SD 66505).

Status: Populations of Woolly Seablite are stable; it likely grows at a number of smaller creek mouths (not mentioned above) that empty into the Pacific Ocean, and is still a regular component of most larger stands of coastal salt marsh habitat. No specific recommendations are made for protection of specific populations, continued protection of salt marsh habitat should enable this species to sustain its current numbers despite several decades of substantial loss of such habitat to urban impacts.

Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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