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La Graciosa Thistle
(
Cirsium loncholeppis)

Status: Federally Endangered, California Threatened.

Characteristics:
The La Graciosa Thistle (LGT) is a short-lived (1-2 years), spiny member of the sunflower family with purple and white flowers that can grow up to 3 feet tall.

Habitat:
LGT occurs adjacent to coastal dune slack ponds, freshwater ponds and in brackish marsh habitat at the mouth of the Santa Maria River. Approximately 2,500 individuals occur on the former Guadalupe Oil Field (see Listed Plant Species Occurrence).

 


Beach Spectacle-Pod
(Dithyrea maritima)

Status: California Threatened
Beach spectacle-pod is limited to the remaining coastal foredunes of Central and Southern California.

Characteristics:
Beach spectacle-pod is a low growing, small perennial herb of the mustard family. The flowers are white and cross-shaped. The seed pods have two side-by-side sections, each surrounded by a rim, which gives it the appearance of a pair of spectacles.

Habitat:
this species is found in foredunes, active sand and dune scrub from San Luis Obispo to Baja California, Mexico. At the former Guadalupe Oil Field, approximately 2,500 plants were observed in the 2000 survey (see Listed Plant Species Occurrence).


Surf Thistle
(Cirsium rhothophilum)

Status: California Threatened
Surf thistle often occurs in the same areas as beach spectacle-pod on the former Guadalupe Oil Field. Approximately 5,000 plants were observed in the 2000 survey.

Characteristics:
Surf thistle is a bushy, short-lived perennial plant that grows to a height of 1.5-2.5 feet. This member of the sunflower family is characterized by large rosettes of spiny, white-woolly, deeply lobed and undulating leaves, with whitish flowers that occur in dense heads.

Habitat:
Surf thistle grows in coastal foredunes, often on the slopes of transverse dunes at elevations between 10 and 200 feet. Surf thistle does not occur on beaches or further back in the stabilized dunes (see Listed Plant Species Occurrence).

 


Blochman's Leafy Daisy
(Erigeron blochmaniae)

Status:
California Native Plant Society List 1B: Plants Rare, Threatened or Endangered in California and Elsewhere.

Characteristics:
Blochman's leafy daisy is a perennial herb of the sunflower family with purple and yellow daisy-like flowers. Named for Ida Blochman, a teacher in the Santa Maria Valley.

Habitat:
This species is only found in limited dune scrub habitats of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. However, on the former Guadalupe Oil Field, it is a common and widespread herbal species found in the coastal scrub habitat.

 


Dune Mint
(Monardella crispa)

Status: California Native Plant Society List 1B: Plants Rare, Threatened or Endangered in California and elsewhere.

Characteristics:
Dune mint is a highly aromatic bushy perennial herb or subshrub. Its leaves are small and oblong. The purple flowers are clustered in dense heads.

Habitat:
Occurring in foredunes and in areas of open sand in the backdunes, dune mint is able to colonize areas of moving sand and is one of the pioneer species of the active dunes. Dune mint is common at the former Guadalupe Oil Field (see Listed Plant Species Occurrence).

 


Dunedelion
(Malacothrix incana)

Status: California Native Plant Society List 4: Plants of Limited Distribution-A Watch List

Characteristics:
Dunedelion is a compact, somewhat fleshy perennial herb with milky sap. Its stems and leaves range from woolly to nearly smooth. Its yellow, dandelion-like flower heads and its dune habitat together give it the common name, Dunedelion.

Habitat:
Dunedelion occurs primarily in the foredunes along the immediate coast from Ventura County to San Luis Obispo County and also on San Nicolas, Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands. On the former Guadalupe Oil Field, dunedelion is found sporadically in the foredunes and coastal scrub areas near the ocean.

 


Suffrutescent Wallflower
(Erysimum insulare var. suffrutescens)

Status: California Native Plant Society List 4: Plants of Limited Distribution-A Watch List

Characteristics:
Suffrutescent wallflower is a 6 to 24 inch subshrub with stiffly erect stems and numerous linear leaves. In the spring when it is in flower, its brilliant yellow flowers are conspicuous.

Habitat:
Suffrutescent wallflower occurs on coastal sand dunes from the Morro Bay area to Los Angeles County. It is an occasional to locally common component of coastal dune scrub communities. At the former Guadalupe Oil Field, suffrutescent wallflower is found commonly throughout the coastal scrub area.

 


Giant Coreopsis
(Coreopsis gigantea)

Status: Local Special Interest
Giant Coreopsis is a species of special, local interest due to its limited distribution along the coast in sand dune areas.

Characteristics:
Giant Coreopsis is a peculiar shrub that grows to about 6 feet tall. The principal stem and its few branches are each tipped by a rosette of finely dissected, green leaves. In early spring the plants produce showy clusters of large golden-rayed heads.

Habitat:
Giant Coreopsis occurs both on dunes and rocky sites. Its range is from Los Angeles County to southern San Luis Obispo County and on several of the Channel Islands. It reaches its northern limit at Big Coreopsis Hill, north of the former Guadalupe Oil Field. At the former Guadalupe Oil Field, Giant Coreopsis is found primarily in the northwestern portion on coastal scrub hillsides.

 


Pholisma
(Pholisma arenarium)

Status: Local Special Interest
Pholisma (also known as Sand Food) is a species of special, local interest due to its limited distribution along the coast in sand dune areas. It occurs sporadically at the former Guadalupe Oil Field, primarily in the coastal dune scrub community.

Characteristics:
Pholisma is a root parasite whose presence can only be observed when the flower stalk is produced, because the rest of the plant grows underground.

Habitat:
Pholisma occurs in coastal dune scrub and desert scrub from San Luis Obispo County to San Diego, and the Mojave and Colorado Deserts to Baja California, Mexico.

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