CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum

Photographer:
Dieter Wilken

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum


Family: 
Liliaceae  
Common Name: 
purple amole
Author: 
Brandegee
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
918

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureumenlarge
Photographer: Dieter Wilken
dwilken[at]sbbg.org

Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureumenlarge
Photographer: Dieter Wilken
dwilken[at]sbbg.org


Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Dieter Wilken, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum


Purple amole is a bulbous perennial with 3-7 basal spreading leaves. Each plant produces a central naked inflorescence 25-50 cm tall, which bears 7-30 flowers. Purple amole has a fragmented distribution with less than 500 documented sites or "populations" distributed within 4-5 disjunct areas. About a third of the populations each have less than 100 individuals. Most of the largest "populations", each composed of over 1,000 plants, occur in an area of about 90 hectares in northern San Luis Obispo County. Much of the fragmentation, which occurs in Monterey County, can be attributed to extensive cultivation and grazing during the late 1800s, exacerbated by continued grazing and military training during the last 50 years.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  California
State Range of  Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum
Habitat
  Purple amole generally occurs on thin, rocky to gravelly clay soils of open sites in oak savanna, grasslands, and occasionally chaparral. Common associates include other bulbous perennials and late spring to early summer annuals. (USFWS 2000)

Distribution
  Along the eastern base of the Santa Lucia Mountains of southern Monterey and northern San Luis Obispo counties, California. (USFWS 2000)

Number Left
  Perhaps 300,000 plants are known to exist, but over 230,000 are restricted to an area of about 90 hectares on Camp Roberts, San Luis Obispo County. The remaining plants are distributed as patches or colonies over a much larger area in Fort Hunter Liggett, Monterey County. (USFWS 2000)

Protection

Global Rank:  
G1T1
 
1/3/2006
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
 
3/20/2000
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  California S1.1 5  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Longevity and age to reproduction from in situ seedlings is unknown, but studies of cultivated plants at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden suggest that reproduction does not take place for at least 3-4 years. Most four-year-old plants produced inflorescences comparable to the smallest size class observed in natural populations. Purple amole is self-compatible, but will not set seed without insect visitation. Butterflies (Lycaenidae) and sweat bees (Halictidae) are active visitors of plants in Monterey County (Wilken, pers. observations).

Threats
  Primary threats at Fort Hunter Liggett include loss of plants, habitat alteration, and further fragmentation, all caused by military training activities (USFWS 2000). Other potential threats include human-caused fires during the late flowering and fruiting season and unauthorized cattle grazing. At Camp Roberts military training poses a lesser threat, but some sheep grazing may cause trampling. Feral pig activities and competition from noxious weeds pose additional threats in both areas.

Current Research Summary
  Monitoring is being conducted by Environmental Division staff at Fort Hunter Liggett, and similar studies are planned for Camp Roberts. Research at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden includes studies of fitness relative to self-pollination and outcrossing. (Wilken 2000)

Current Management Summary
  Fort Hunter Liggett is managed by the Department of Defense, US Army. Camp Roberts is managed by the California National Guard. Military activities have been reduced on some purple amole areas at Fort Hunter Liggett and temporarily suspended on the Camp Roberts training area occupied by purple amole (JoAnn Froland, pers. comm.).

Research Management Needs
  • Demographic and life history studies.
• Analyses of genetic variation at several hierarchical levels, including comparisons of disjunct populations and variation within large and small local populations.
• Relationship of germination and early establishment to substrate composition and disturbance, and competition from noxious weeds.

Ex Situ Needs
  Additional collection of seeds representing the entire geographic distribution.

References

Books (Single Authors)

Skinner, M.W.; Pavlik, B.M. 1997. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California: Electronic Inventory Update of 1994, 5th edition. Sacramento: California Native Plant Society.

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Electronic Sources

CalPhotos. (2002). CalPhotos: Berkely Digital Library Project. University of California, Berkeley. http://elib.cs.berkeley.edu/photos/. Accessed: 2002.

CDFG. (2002). California's Plants and Animals, Threatened and Endangered Plants. List and Species Accounts. California Department of Fish and Game, Habitat Conservation Planning Branch. http://www.dfg.ca.gov/hcpb/species/t_e_spp/teplant/teplanta.shtml. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Hoover, R. 1940. A monograph of the genus Chlorogalum. Madroño. 5: 137-147.

Jernstedt, J.A. 1980. UV absorption by flowers of Chlorogalum liliaceae. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 107, 2: 163-171.

USFWS. 1976. Proposed Endangered Status for 1700 U.S. Plants. Federal Register. 41: 24523-24572.

USFWS. 1998. Proposed Threatened Status for Chlorogalum purpureum (Purple Amole), a plant from the South Coast Ranges of California. Federal Register. 62, 60: 15158-15164.

USFWS. 2000. Determination of threatened status of Chlorogalum pupureum (purple amole) a rare plant from the South Coast Ranges of California. Federal Register. 65, 54: 14878-14888.

USFWS. 2001. Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat for Chlorogalum purpureum, a Plant From the South Coast Ranges of California. Federal Register. 66, 217: 56508-56530.

Reports

USFWS. 2002. Final draft economic analysis of critical habitat designation for the purple amole and the Camatta Canyon amole. Prepared for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Economics by Industrial Economics, Incorporated. p.22.

Wilken, D. 2000. Rare plant survey at Fort Hunter Liggett: Technical Report No. 2. Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. p.35 + appendices.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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