Limnanthes floccosa ssp. bellingeriana

Family:
Limnanthaceae
Common Names:
Bellinger's meadowfoam
Author:
(M.E. Peck) Arroyo
Synonyms:
Growth Habit:
Forb/herb
CPC Number:
2556
Profile Contributors:
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
Sponsorship:
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Programs


The conservation of Limnanthes floccosa ssp. bellingeriana is fully sponsored.
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.

Description

In contrast to some of its showier relatives, such as the outbreeding Limnanthes alba, which form spectacular carpets of creamy white flowers in California's Central Valley in May and June, wooly meadowfoam (L. floccosa ssp. bellingeriana) has a more subtle beauty. The plants are small in stature, and their small self-pollinating creamy white flowers often do not open widely.

Fortunately for this rare plant, the very nature of its habitat helps to protect it from some common threats. The rocky, shallow soils in which the diminutive annual plant Limnanthes floccosa ssp. bellingeriana grows are poorly suited to farming. Nevertheless, urban development and road construction are still a threat.

Currently, there is no commercial use for any of the subspecies of Limnanthes floccosa. However, the related Limnanthes alba, a common vernal pool species in the northern part of California's great Central Valley, is being developed as an oil crop for use in Oregon's Willamette Valley, in part because it can grows well in shallow, nutrient poor, waterlogged soils. The oil derived from the seeds is used as an environmentally friendly alternative to whale oils in cosmetics and industrial uses (see Meadowfoam.org (2002) for the story of how this new crop was developed over the last half of the twentieth century). In addition to its intrinsic value, L. floccosa ssp. bellingeriana may harbor important genetic properties, such as those related to self-pollination, which could be used to improve the newly domesticated meadowfoam as an even more environmentally friendly crop. But, unless habitat is protected from development, we may never find out.

Distribution & Occurrence

Pollinators

Protection

Global Rank:
G4T2
11/19/1997
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:
SC
11/30/-0001
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:
No

State / Area Protection

State/Area Rank Status
California S1.1 0
Oregon S2 CAND.

Conservation, Ecology & Research

References