Endangered and Threatened Species of Plants and Animals found on Banning Ranch.
Encelia californica is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common name California brittlebush. It is also commonly referred to as "California bush sunflower". This shrub is native to southern California and Baja California where it is a member of the coastal sage plant community at the shoreline. It can also be found on inland foothills in the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges. It is drought tolerant but not frost tolerant, and needs full sun.
It is a bushy, sprawling shrub reaching between one half and 1.5 meters in height. It has many thin branches covered in widely spaced green leaves which are a rounded diamond shape. The solitary flower heads are daisylike, with 15 to 25 bright yellow ray florets 1 to 3 centimeters long around a center of protruding yellowish to purplish brown disc florets.
Suaeda taxifolia is a species of flowering plant in the amaranth family known by the common name Woolly Seablite. It is native to the coastline of southern California and Baja California, where it grows in saline habitat such as salt marshes, beaches, dunes, and scrub. It is quite variable in appearance.
Suaeda taxifolia is a generally a shrub or subshrub spreading or growing erect to a maximum height near 1.5 metres (4.9 ft). It is hairless to densely hairy, and waxy in texture. It has woody lower stems and fleshy green to reddish upper stems. The succulent leaves are lance-shaped to nearly oval, measuring up to 3 centimeters in length. They vary in color from bluish to green to yellowish or reddish. There is usually a knobby bump at the base of each. Flowers occur in clusters along the stems, each cluster containing 1 to 3 flowers. Leaflike bracts accompany the clusters. The flower has no petals and is composed of a calyx of fleshy, rounded, hairy sepals.
The Tecate Tarplant is a rare annual herb that is native to California and Baja California. It is included in the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered plants on list 1B.2 (rare, threatened, or endangered in California and elsewhere), and has declined significantly over the last century.
Hordeum intercedens is an uncommon species of wild barley known by the common names bobtail barley and vernal barley. It is native to southern California and northern Baja California, where it is an increasingly rare member of the flora in saline and alkaline soils near seasonal waterflows and vernal pool habitat. Today most occurrences are located on the Channel Islands of California; many of the occurrences known from the mainland have been extirpated in the process of land development. This is an annual grass growing erect to bent in small tufts with stems up to 40 centimeters long. The flower cluster is a green spike up to 6.5 centimeters long made up of awned spikelets between 1 and 2 centimeters long.
Saltgrass is a perennial halophyte. The subspecies, Distichlis spicata, is a California native that tolerates the alkali soil in the marsh plains and salt pans of coastal saltmarshes.
Saltgrass plants usually form a low dense mat ground cover of sprawling, large, patchy colonies that are about 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 in) tall. The plants can be somewhat erect. This grass has stiff, narrow, pointed blades that alternate up the stem, growing away from the base at an angle. The blades are 2.54 to 15.2 (1-6 in) long and about 6.3 mm (0.25 in) wide.
They are blue-green in color and often coated with salt crystals. Rhizomes are scaly and yellowish. Small purple or straw-colored flowers appear in the spring. The seeds are smooth and 1.5 mm (0.06 in) long.
One of the taller growing US prickly pears, opuntia oricola may reach heights of 8 feet or more and can become tree-like, with a central trunk, though some plants remain close to the ground and form rather smaller clumps. The oval-shaped pads are dark green in color, up to 7 inches long and have the usual regular pattern of areoles bearing light brown glochids and 5 to 13 short, yellow spines, which become dark brown with age. The spring flowers are bright yellow, reddish on the underside of the outermost petals, while the fruits are red-purple.
The plant grows in a thin band, about 20 miles wide, along the coast of southern California, extending a little way south into Baja California.
Upright to spreading perennial herb that can take the form of a prostrate creeper along the ground to a somewhat erect shrub approaching 1.5′ in height. Its growth is from from thick with creeping roots. Thrives in dry or moist saline and alkaline areas. Indigenous to California this species has whitish to blue flowers.
Due to its low water needs, this plant is a good selection for xeriscaping and is a prime butterfly nectar plant!
Baccharis salicifolia is a flowering shrub native to the desert southwest of the United States and northern Mexico, as well as parts of South America. Its usual common name is mule fat; it is also called seepwillow or water-wally. This is a large bush with sticky foliage which bears plentiful small, fuzzy, pink or red-tinged white flowers. The long pointed leaves may be toothed. It is most common near water sources.
Mulefat is an extremely tough and easy to grow plant, flowers year round, and is a great choice for butterfly gardens. The downside is that it requires a fair amount of water to look good year round. Place in a naturally moist area, or be prepared to regularly irrigate during the dry season. It is quite drought tolerant once established, but will look weedy and unattractive if it doesn't get much water. If it does get weedy, cut down to 3-4 inches above the base and it will resprout with all fresh green folliage.
A 3 ft. or taller green and brown perennial growing in dense-leaved clumps; overall uncommon but locally common mainly along the coast in freshwater or brackish areas, salt marsh borders and along small drainages and streams; northwest and southwest coast (Upper Newport Bay, Bolsa Chica, San Diego Creek), Santa Ana Mountains (Roberts). Juncus are wind-pollinated. Fruiting time June - August. Used by Native Americans in basket-making.
California designate purple needlegrass (Nassella pulchra) as the official state grass in 2004. California grasslands are one of the most endangered ecosystems in the United States.
Tolerant of summer drought and heat once established, the seeds of purple needlegrass were one of several grass species used as a food source by Native Americans in California. Today purple needlegrass is used for habitat restoration, erosion and levee control (and also continues to provide forage for California's cattle and wildlife).
Prior to the import of Mediterranean annual grasses (which now dominate California grasslands), purple needlegrass was the major grassland cover type of California.
Narrow-leaved milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis ) is an important nectar source for monarchs. Due to loss of habitat and other environmental factors, monarch butterflies have been in decline. They are currently being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Monarch butterflies depend on different varieties of milkweed plants during every stage of their lifecycle for food, reproduction and shelter. The plants contain a toxic alkaloid which makes monarchs and other butterflies that feed on them toxic to certain predators.
Narrow-leaved milkweed is drought tolerant and pest resistant. It can grow in harsh conditions including soils high in clay and seasonal flooding. The tall stems support a burst of intricate white to dusky-rose flowers. The long-leaved foliage is a pleasant brilliant green. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the plant are the milky seed pods which burst open to reveal silky tassels of fluff to be dispersed by wind or an eager human.
A 3 to 6 ft. tall entangled shrub, locally common on ocean bluffs, mesas, and borders of estuaries in coastal bluff scrub along the coast from Bolsa Chica and Newport Beach south (Roberts). It is included on the California Native Plant Society watch list (List 4.2) of species with restricted distribution within California. Flowering: Feb.- July.