This diminutive plant with pale purple flowers (right of coin)
occurs in Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties, California. Photo Credit: Nancy Ferguson/USFWS
Distribution: San Diego County, Los Angeles County; Baja California, Mexico
Habitat: This annual grows in sandy openings in Diegan Sage Scrub near the coast. At Border Field the soils are mapped as Marina loamy coarse sand.
Known Sites: A small population is still extant on a bluff at Border Field State Park within a few hundred yards of the Mexican border. A recent report is of a small population on the north side of the mouth of the Santa Margarita River on the back dunes. Herbarium specimens record sites in the bed of the San Diego River, on the Silver Strand, and at Crown Point. These historical locales may no longer be extant. Old reports include Downey in Los Angeles County, where probably no longer extant, and near Old Town in San Diego.
Six specimens from Baja California are found in the herbarium of the San Diego Natural History Museum; south to 30 22 minutes North where collected by Moran (SD 91250) on coastal dunes 4 miles southeast of Santa Maria.
Status: This species is almost extirpated in the United States, and apparently quite rare in Baja California. It is recommended for California Endangered status. The Border Field site is situated in a sandy opening which is readily degraded by foot traffic from the numerous tourists to this park; as well as by illegal immigrants crossing at the fence immediately to the south. A synonym for Brand's Phacelia is Phacelia douglasii var. cryptantha. All populations should be fully protected with adequate buffers.
Santiago Peak Phacelia [Phacelia suaveolens Greene var. keckii (M.& J.) J. T. Howell]
April 18, 2014
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