Lilium pardalinum ssp. pitkinense
|Pitkin marsh lily|
|(Beane & Vollmer) M. Skinner|
|Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Programs
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
The conservation of Lilium pardalinum ssp. pitkinense is fully sponsored.
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.
Only three populations of this beautiful lily have ever been discovered. The Fish and Wildlife Service listed the lily as Endangered in 1997, however it is afforded no legal protection as all three populations are on privately owned land. Listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides no legal protection to plants on private land. The owners of one property have denied researchers access to the population there since 1975. It is presumed that the plants still exist there, but there is no way of determining the number of individuals remaining. The second known site was nearly destroyed by development in 1960s, but approximately 200 plants remain. A major subdivision is planned in the surrounding area, but a "conservation easement" agreement between the California Department of Fish and Game and the landowner will help to preserve this population. At the third known site, where this had once been a common species, only two plants remain. This loss was due in part to wetland filling, but was primarily because of the removal of plants and bulbs for horticultural use. Owners of the latter two sites entered into voluntary protection agreements with The Nature Conservancy in 1989.
The Sonoma County Department of Planning has designated both marshes as "critical habitat." This designation requires that any construction must be separated from the wetland boundaries by a minimum of 50 ft (15 m). Unfortunately, the requirement for a 50-ft setback can be waived if the setback would make the land unsuitable for construction.
Distribution & Occurrence
Grows only in permanently saturated sandy soils in freshwater marshes and wet meadows at an elevation of approximately 115-200 ft (35-60 m).
|As of 1995: 3 Populations. One population with unknown numbers of plants (the property owners have denied access to search for the plant). One population with approximately 200 plants. One population with approximately 2 plants (in 1996) (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1995; California Natural Diversity Data Base).|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Lilium pardalinum ssp. pitkinense grows best in open, moist meadows. Plants that grow under tree or shrub cover may grow tall and thin. These plants lack the structural integrity to remain upright when their large flowers emerge. They often fall over, thereby placing their flowers close to the ground, where they are inaccessible to hummingbirds for pollination (Lynn Lozier, 1990, memo to Ed Guerrant, on file at BBG).
Habitat loss due to urbanization (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1995).
Competition from invasive species, including blackberries (U.S. Fish an
A recovery plan is being developed.
The Nature Conservancy and the California Conservation Corps have built and maintained cattle exclosures at two sites (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1995).
Listed as Endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1997 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1997).
Place sturdy fencing around all emerged plants to decrease loss due to grazing.
Study genetic diversity within and between known populations.
Reintroduce plants in suitable habitat.
Determine propagation and reintroduction protocols.
Skinner, M.W. 1988. Comparative pollination ecology and flood evolution in Pacific Coast Lilium. [Ph.D. Thesis]: Harvard University. Cambridge, MA.