Trichostema austromontanum ssp. compactum
|Hidden Lake Bluecurls|
|Terry Higgins, Naomi S. Fraga|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
The conservation of Trichostema austromontanum ssp. compactum is fully sponsored.
Terry Higgins, Naomi S. Fraga contributed to this Plant Profile.
Trichostema austromontanum subsp. compatcum (Hidden lake bluecurls) is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). This taxon is very small and is only about 10 cm tall. Hidden Lake blue curls is known to occur at one location in the world, in the San Jacinto Mountains in Riverside, County. Trichostema austromontanum subsp. compatcum occurs in a special habitat along the margins of a vernal lake and blooms in the late summer (July-August) when the lake has receded and has started to become dry.
Distribution & Occurrence
Trichostema austromontanum subsp. compatcum is restricted to one locality on the southeastern flank of the San Jacinto Mountains; Hidden Lake, Riverside County, California (Bauder 1999, CNDDB 2011). This sole occurrence of T. a. subsp. compatcum lies within both Mount San Jacinto State Wilderness Area and Hidden Divide Natural Preserve. Hidden Lake (also known as Lake Surprise prior to 1910) is a small montane vernal lake (0.97 hectares [2.4 acres]) that sits at 8700 ft (2650 m) in elevation and is 2.5 air miles ESE of San Jacinto Peak. The lake occupies a small shallow depression that is underlain by granite derived solids (Rodgers 1967). The adjacent slopes rise to ca. 8,800 ft (2,682 m) on the north and south sides of the lake and are a source of water via runoff from rain and snow. The water level of the lake fluctuates markedly depending on the available moisture and time of year (Bauder 1999). During exceedingly wet years, the lake may remain filled for multiple years, and in years of drought the lake may be completely dry leaving the soil of the lake basin exposed for extended periods of time (Bauder, 1999). The basin effectively functions as a small vernal lake or depressional wetland with an annual hydrological cycle of shallow inundation from precipitation and interflow from adjacent uplands followed by a lengthy period of exposure (Bauder 1999). Hidden Lakes maximum depth is reported to be 4.3 ft (1.3 m) (Bauder 1999). There is a single location where water flows out of the lake located at the southwest corner of Hidden Lake.
|The population has been documented to be as large as 27,000 individuals in 2008, to as few as 75 individuals in the year 2000 (CNDDB 2011, Fraga & Wall 2008). The population appears to decline during periods of above and below normal precipitation (Bauder 1999). This is due to lack of suitable habitat (a narrow band along the margin of Hidden Lake) and suitable conditions for germination (Bauder 1999).|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Associated species include: Crassula aquatica (water pygmyweed), Cyperus squarrosus (bearded flatsedge), Eleocharis bella (beautiful spikerush), Gnaphalium palustre (western marsh cudweed), Lotus nevadensis (Nevada birds foot trefoil), Calyptridium parryi var. parryi (Parrys pussypaws), Juncus bufonius. (toad rush), J. duranii (Durans rush), Muhlenbergia f iliformis. (pullup muhly), Limosella acaulis (Owyhee mudwort), Mimulus breweri (Brewers monkeyflower), M. floribundus (manyflowered monkeyflower), M. pilosus (false monkeyflower), M. suksdorfii (Suksdorfs monkeyflower), and Veronica peregrina. subsp. xalapensis (hairy purslane speedwell).
Rules for visitors to the Hidden Lake Divide Natural Preserve include no camping or picnicking and hikers must stay on designated paths. Pets are not allowed in the Wilderness and pack animals are not allowed off trail.
Propagation experiments: investigate and develop protocol to grow plants up to reproductive maturity in a nursery setting.
Genetic diversity of Hidden Lake bluecurls: level of genetic diversity is not known for T. a. subsp. compatcum. An understanding of the genetic diversity within the single known population of this taxon will greatly aid in any future recovery efforts.
Identify additional research needs as progress toward conservation proceeds: additional research objectives and needs may include research on the effects of climate change for T. a. subsp. compatcum and an additional study of this taxons evolutionary history.
Life history assessment ; conduct germination trials to determine optimal conditions for germination of this species.
Assess the genetic diversity and population structure of the species to facilitate appropriate seed sampling and establish criteria that will trigger management actions.
California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB). (2011). RareFind 4.0. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Fish and Game. [ ]. https://nrmsecure.dfg.ca.gov/cnddb/view/query.as
USFWS (United States Fish and Wildlife Service). (1998). Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; Final rule to determine endangered or threatened status for six plants from the mountains of southern California.. [ ].