The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
The conservation of Calyptridium pulchellum is fully sponsored.
Holly Forbes contributed to this Plant Profile.
Mariposa pussypaws (Cistanthe puchella, syn. = Calyptridium pulchellum) is a small, compact, attractive, annual herb belonging to the purslane family (Portulacaceae). The plant has fibrous roots and many prostrate stems. The smooth, slender stems are 2 to 8 inches long. The stems form a small rosette and the leaves are spatula-shaped. Both stems and the spatula-shaped leaves have smooth surfaces. Four-petalled flowers appear in April and May. These flowers grow in loose clusters at the end of stems. Petals are rose-colored. Anthers are yellow. Styles are hidden within the flower. (5-Year Review, December 2007)
Distribution & Occurrence
This species grows in small, barren areas on decomposed granitic sands in annual grasslands and openings in woodlands in the southwestern foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Little else grows on these shallow, bare substrates. Mariposa pussypaws co-occurs with Lupinus citrinus var. citrinus (orange lupine) at five locations and with L. citrinus var. deflexus (Mariposa lupine) at two locations. Mimulus layneae (Laynes monkeyflower) is the second most common associate, occurring with C. pulchellum at four sites. Other frequent associates include Lupinus stiversii (harlequin lupine) and Streptanthus diversifolius (varied-leaved jewelflower), which grow with C. pulchellum at three sites each, and Arctostaphylos viscida ssp. mariposa (Mariposa manzanita), Camissonia sierrae ssp. sierrae (Sierra sun-cups), and Mimulus gracilipes (slender-stalked monkeyflower) at two sites each. The plants grow at an elevation of between 1,500 and 3,600 feet. (5-Year Review, December 2007)
|Seven small populations are patchily distributed over a 750 square mile area in Fresno, Madera and Mariposa counties. Judging from early botanical literature, this plant has never been much more widely distributed than it is today. Collectively, the seven populations are estimated to occupy a total of only 14 acres. (5-Year Review, December 2007)
Six of the seven populations are on private land. Five of these populations are marginal in quality and contain fewer than 300 plants. The sixth population on private land has about 900 plants. The seventh population of is on lands administered by the Sierra National Forest. It is fenced to protect it from livestock trampling and grazing . Little else grows on these shallow, bare substrates. (5-Year Review, December 2007)
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Vehicles, including trail bikes
Small size of populations
Small number of populations
Map the potential habitat and survey for additional populations.
Develop techniques for germination and growth to reproductive maturity.
Hinton, W. F. 1975. Systematics of the Calyptridium umbellatum complex (Portulacaceae). Brittonia . 27: 197-208.