CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Heading for profile page
CPC Home Join now
About CPC
CPC National Collection
Conservation Directory Resources
Invasive Plant Species Plant News
Plant Links Participating Institutions
Contribute
Search CPC
Search    Alphabetical List    Reference Finder    CPC Home


CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Downingia concolor var. brevior


Family: 
Campanulaceae  
Common Names: 
Cuyamaca Lake Downingia, Maroonspot Calico Flower
Author: 
(McVaugh) R.M.Beauchamp
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
1445

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


Profile Links
 ITIS
 Tropicos
 PLANTS
 Fish & WildLife

Downingia concolor var. brevior is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 

 
Downingia concolor var. brevior


The Cuyamaca Lake downingia is a soft stem annual that germinates only when inundated with water when temperatures are cool. Downingias are one of an important and unique suite of plant and animal species that have adapted to thrive only within a vernal (seasonally moist then turning completely dry) pool habitat. In the spring following a normal rainfall year healthy populations of the Cuyamaca Lake downingia produce a blanket of intensely dark blue flowers sometimes giving the appearance of standing water long after the water has gone. The closest relative of this species occurs over 500 miles to the north.

In 1886, the outlet from the Cuyamaca Valley was dammed to form a reservoir and later in 1960 altered again to create an artificial fishing lake. The creation of the reservoir and lake eliminated many of the valley’s meadows and temporary wetlands, the critical habitat for this uncommon and beautiful native wildflower.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  California
State Range of  Downingia concolor var. brevior
Habitat
  The Cuyamaca Lake downingia is restricted to montane meadows and drainages of the Peninsular Ranges of southwestern California that are vernally wet with saturated soil conditions and pools during the rainy wet season. Elevation occurrences range from 4,000 – 5,000 ft.

Distribution
  Southern California

Number Left
  There exist approximately 20 known sites where this species has been observed with the majority and largest populations occurring within the Cuyamaca Valley.
CDFG NDDB, 2003

Protection

Global Rank:  
G4T1
 
5/1/1989
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
NA
 
1/19/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  California S1.1 E 2/1/1982  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
 

Threats
  Downingia concolor var. brevior is one of eight vernal pool species that are confined to one pool sub-type. Soils supporting pools were never extensive and have been almost completely lost to development. Unique pool sub-types may be at risk for elimination, along with the extinction of the narrow endemics they support.
Pages 56-70 in: C.W. Witham, E.T. Bauder, D. Belk, W.R. Ferren Jr., and R. Ornduff (Editors). Ecology, Conservation, and Management of Vernal Pool Ecosystems - Proceedings from a 1996 Conference. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. 1998

Current Research Summary
 

Current Management Summary
  The Helix Water District, Lake Cuyamaca Recreation and Park District, California Department of Parks and Recreation and the U.S. Forest Services manage about 80% of the land with known remaining populations of this plant species. These agencies, along with the California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, signed a conservation agreement in August 1996 to protect this species. Because of this agreement the Fish and Wildlife Service withdrew a 1994 proposal to list the Cuyamaca Lake downingia.
USFWS News Release, February 6, 1997, Fred Roberts and Susan Saul

Research Management Needs
  Population surveys, assessments, and updating this information into the California Natural Diversity Data Base records (CNDDB) should be initiated. Targeted surveys for populations outside of State Park system.

Ex Situ Needs
  Collect, develop and maintain seed collections from the most at risk sites throughout the plants range, especially those populations that are not under the protection and stewardship of the State Park system.

Seed germination and horticultural research

References

Books (Edited Volumes)

California Native Plant Society, California Department of Fish and Game. 1997 Wild Gardens of California, A Living Legacy.

Conference Proceedings

Witham, C.W.; Bauder, E.T.; Belk, D.; Ferren, W.R. Jr.; Ornduff, R. (Editors). Ecology, Conservation, and Management of Vernal Pool Ecosystems – Proceedings from a 1996 Conference. California Native Plant Society. Sacramento, CA. 1998. p 56-70.

Electronic Sources

California Native Plant Society (CNPS). (2003). Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants (online edition, v6.2). Rare Plant Scientific Advisory Committee, David P. Tibor, convening editor. v6.2. http://www.cnps.org/inventory.

National Plant Data Center, NRCS, USDA. Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. http://plants.usda.gov.

NatureServe. (2008). NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. [Internet].Version 7.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. Accessed: (June 17, 2008).

Reiser, C.H. (1994). http://sandiego.sierraclub.org/rareplants.

Reports

Helix Water District. 1995. Conservation Agreement, Helix Water District, April 21, 1995.

Roberts, F.; Saul, S. 1997. USFWS News Release, February 6, 1997.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
California
Oregon
Washington
Idaho
Nevada
Arizona
Utah
Montana
Wyoming
Colorado
New Mexico
North Dakota
South Dakota
Nebraska
Kansas
Oklahoma
Texas
Minnesota
Iowa
Missouri
Arkansas
Louisiana
Wisconsin
Illinois
Michigan
Michigan
Indiana
Ohio
Kentucky
Tennessee
Mississippi
Alabama
Florida
Georgia
South Carolina
North Carolina
Virginia
West Virginia
Pennsylvania
Delaware
Maryland
New Jersey
Connecticut
Rhode Island
Massachusetts
Vermont
New Hampshire
Maine
New York
New York
Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii