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In 1856 John Lindley made the first description of the firecracker flower, Rhytidea bicolor (now known as Dichelostemma ida-maia), naming a William Lobb collection exhibited in London. This binomial, despite its obvious priority, was proposed to be relegated to synonymy in Taxon, and is discussed here further.
Chloropyron palmatum (Ferris) Tank & J.M Egger (formerly Cordylanthus palmatus [Ferris] J. F. Macbr.) is an annual plant that inhabits seasonally flooded wetlands with saline and alkaline soils in California. In 1986, the plant was listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. We aimed to inform conservation strategies for the species’ five remaining populations by examining the genetic diversity and structure of the populations (on the basis of nuclear DNA markers) and their potential response to demographic and environmental stochasticity. We also assessed fluctuations in population size and whether there was evidence of hybridization between C. palmatum and Chloropyron molle (A. Gray) A. Heller subsp. hispidum (Pennell) Tank & J.M. Egger (formerly Cordylanthus mollis A. Gray subsp. hispidus [Pennell] T.I. Chuang & Heckard). Populations of C. palmatum were genetically distinct with a FST of 0.23, indicating substantial genetic structure among populations. Within populations, there was no evidence of isolation by distance. However, individuals in two adjacent vernal pools were genetically distinct. The pattern of genetic variation within populations suggests that the historical frequency and extent of seed dispersal by overland flooding has strongly affected the genetic structure of populations. Despite founder effects and population bottlenecks, small and large populations had similar levels of genetic variation. We found no evidence of hybridization. All extant populations of C. palmatum are genetically variable and distinct. We recommend that hydrologic connectivity be considered if seeds are collected and sowed with the intent of increasing the size of natural populations or creating experimental populations.
Coastal fog affects many California plant species and can be critically important to species that experience periodic drought. Drought-deciduous species in particular rely on water availability to maintain their leaves during the summer. To determine fog water use in drought-deciduous plants, this study manipulated access to fog drip and measured the water relations of the common shrub, Artemisia californica, near Santa Barbara, CA. Measuring the stable isotope ratio of hydrogen and oxygen, this study found that A. californica uses fog water in the late summer months when fog is present. This additional water increased plant water content but had no effect on pre-dawn xylem pressure potential. While climatic variability inhibits reliable fog input to A. californica in Santa Barbara, this species can use fog water opportunistically and benefits from large fog events during the summer drought.
Erythronium shastense D. A. York, J.K. Nelson, & D. W. Taylor is described as a new species restricted largely to limestone outcrops near Shasta Lake, Shasta County, California. Style, leaf, and anther characters are used to distinguish E. shastense from the similar E. californicum and E. helenae.
KEYWORDS: California endemic, ERICACEAE, Shasta huckleberry, Sierra huckleberry, Sierra Nevada, southeastern Klamath Mountains, Vaccinium shastense subsp. shastense, Vaccinium shastense subsp. nevadense, western Shasta County
Vaccinium shastense J. K. Nelson & L. Lindstrand III (Ericaceae) is described as a new species from interior California. This new species is most similar to V. parvifolium Smith but differs by its ciliate, inrolled leaf margins, much wider hypanthium scar, dark blue, glaucous, quickly deciduous fruits, greater seed count, and pitted seed surface sculpturing. Moreover, V. shastense and V. parvifolium are allopatric, occur in distinct habitats, and have distinct genetic characters. Two subspecies of Vaccinium shastense are described: Vaccinium shastense subsp. shastense, endemic to the southeastern Klamath Mountains in Shasta County, California, and Vaccinium shastense subsp. nevadense J. K. Nelson & L. Lindstrand III from the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, California. The new subspecies differ from one another in flower color, length of persistent calyx ring, growth habit, geographic range and habitat, and distinct genetic characters. Vaccinium shastense subsp. shastense and Vaccinium shastense subsp. nevadense are compared to morphologically similar taxa in California by inclusion of an updated species key.