CPC Plant Profile: Large-flower Fiddleneck
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Plant Profile

Large-flower Fiddleneck (Amsinckia grandiflora)

The bright orange flowers of the large-flowered fiddleneck. Photo Credit: Holly Forbes
Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Boraginaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 156541
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 08/30/1988

The large-flowered fiddleneck is a striking annual plant, growing to 50 cm. tall and having bright orange flowers (14-20 mm. long) from April to May in northern California. It is now found in only three populations, one on private rangeland and two on the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory property (this area of the facility was used to test nuclear bomb triggers and high explosives for nearly 50 years).

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Updates
Center for Plant Conservation
  • 12/02/2021
  • Reintroduction

A. Y. Cantillo, with Mills College, reports on the initial efforts to recover Amsinckia grandiflora Kleeb. Ex Gray (boraginaceae) by re-establishing the species in appropriate habitat within its historic range, with consideration given to genetic and demographic characteristics of the founding population. The oldest and largest reintroduced population has experienced increased size, population area and plant size.


  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, University of California Botanical Garden holds 4 accessions of Amsinckia grandiflora in orthodox seed collection. We are uncertain as to how many total seeds are in this collection.

  • 08/17/2020
  • Reintroduction

A number of studies have been done on large-flowered fiddleneck. These include cryptic self-incompatibility (Weller and Ornduff 1977), nutlet production and germination (Pavlik 1988), pollen tube growth and inbreeding depression (Weller and Ornduff 1991), a reintroduction effort in 1989 (Pavlik et al. 1993), morph parenthood and nutlet yield (Espeland and Carlsen 1995), effects on germination (Carlsen and Gregory 1995), competition between Amsinckia grandiflora and grasses (Carlsen and Menke 1995), and reducing competitive suppression (Carlsen et al. 2000).

  • 08/17/2020
  • Propagation Research

A number of studies have been done on large-flowered fiddleneck. These include cryptic self-incompatibility (Weller and Ornduff 1977), nutlet production and germination (Pavlik 1988), pollen tube growth and inbreeding depression (Weller and Ornduff 1991), a reintroduction effort in 1989 (Pavlik et al. 1993), morph parenthood and nutlet yield (Espeland and Carlsen 1995), effects on germination (Carlsen and Gregory 1995), competition between Amsinckia grandiflora and grasses (Carlsen and Menke 1995), and reducing competitive suppression (Carlsen et al. 2000).

  • 08/17/2020
  • Reproductive Research

A number of studies have been done on large-flowered fiddleneck. These include cryptic self-incompatibility (Weller and Ornduff 1977), nutlet production and germination (Pavlik 1988), pollen tube growth and inbreeding depression (Weller and Ornduff 1991), a reintroduction effort in 1989 (Pavlik et al. 1993), morph parenthood and nutlet yield (Espeland and Carlsen 1995), effects on germination (Carlsen and Gregory 1995), competition between Amsinckia grandiflora and grasses (Carlsen and Menke 1995), and reducing competitive suppression (Carlsen et al. 2000).

  • 08/05/2020
  • Seed Collection

Based on an August 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, University of California Botanical Garden has collected 4 seed accessions of Amsinckia grandiflora from 3 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass an unknown number of maternal plants

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Amsinckia grandiflora is only known from 8 sites historically, 5 of which are either extirpated or poor introductions. The 3 extant sites occur on LL lab property and on private land. Only a little over 3000 plants come up in all sites in any given year. None are in permanent protection with management for weed control and grazing control.

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

Threats include (as stated by USFWS 1997): Non-native plants Agriculture Development Grazing Possibly by altered fire frequency

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

There are two populations on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) property: 1 population has between 23-400 individuals and the other has < 29 individuals. Another population of thousands of individuals on private land was recently discovered not far from the LLNL populations. An ex situ population has been established within the historic range at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Contra Costa Co.

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

A number of studies have been done on large-flowered fiddleneck. These include cryptic self-incompatibility (Weller and Ornduff 1977), nutlet production and germination (Pavlik 1988), pollen tube growth and inbreeding depression (Weller and Ornduff 1991), a reintroduction effort in 1989 (Pavlik et al. 1993), morph parenthood and nutlet yield (Espeland and Carlsen 1995), effects on germination (Carlsen and Gregory 1995), competition between Amsinckia grandiflora and grasses (Carlsen and Menke 1995), and reducing competitive suppression (Carlsen et al. 2000).

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

The U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the California Department of Fish & Game established the 160-acre Amsinckia grandiflora Reseve on the Site 300 Experimental Test Facility of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in April 2000. The populations in this reserve are monitored by the staff ecologist at LLNL.

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

Studies are needed to evaluate all the impacts (trampling, soil compaction, herbivory) as well as the benefits (increased habitat patchiness) of using livestock to favor native herbs over introduced annual grasses. The effective management of introduced competitors will be critical to successful reintroductions of large-flowered fiddleneck. Additional trials are needed to determine the range of species, habitats, and land-use situations in which herbicides could be used safely, responsibly, and effectively to meet conservation objectives (Pavlik et al. 1993). Long-term monitoring of the ex situ population at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve is needed to confirm the success of this introduction.

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

Seeds are needed for long-term storage.

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Nomenclature
Taxon Amsinckia grandiflora
Authority (Kleeb. ex A. Gray) Kleeb. ex Greene
Family Boraginaceae
CPC Number 114
ITIS 31708
USDA AMGR3
Common Names large-flowered fiddleneck | largeflowered fiddleneck
Associated Scientific Names Amsinckia grandiflora | Amsinckia vernicosa var. grandiflora
Distribution Between 1869 and 1917, large-flowered fiddleneck was collected from the hills near Antioch and in scattered locations south through the Diablo Range to northern San Joaquin County (Pavlik et al. 1993)
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1
Habitat

This species prefers deep loamy soils of sedimentary origin on mesic, north-facing slopes (Pavlik et al. 1993).

Ecological Relationships

Populations of large-flowered fiddleneck suffer from low reproductive output, usually less than 20 nutlets per plant, compared to 200-300 by other species of Amsinckia. This species exhibits a primitive form of heterostyly (pin-thrum flower types) with cryptic self-incompatibility and inbreeding depression (Ornduff 1976; Weller and Ornduff 1977, 1991). The populations are composed of pin individuals (having flowers with long styles and short stamens) and thrum individuals (having flowers with short styles and long stamens), and seed set is promoted by pollen transfer between plants of different flower types (pin and thrum). Pollen transfer between plants of the same flower type (pin to pin or thrum to thrum) and self-pollination greatly reduce seed set (Ray and Chisaki; Barrett 1990). The possession of heterostyly and cryptic self-incompatibility indicates that A. grandiflora has an outbreeding mating system with a potential for high levels of heterozygosity and genetic recombination (Pavlik et al. 1993). Large-flowered fiddleneck has specific habitat requirements (deep loamy soils of sedimentary origin; mesic, north-facing slopes), and is negatively impacted by non-native species in grasslands.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bees
Anthophorine bees Anthophora edwardsii Confirmed Pollinator Link
Honey bees Apis mellifera Floral Visitor Link
Bumble bees Bombus edwardsii Floral Visitor Link
Mining bees Andrena cressonii Floral Visitor Link
Sweat bees Dialictus orthocarpi Floral Visitor Link
Flies
Syrphid flies Syrphidae Floral Visitor Link
Flesh flies Scatophaga stercoraria Floral Visitor Link
Reintroduction
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting
Mills College California Reintroduction 1989
Mills College California Reintroduction 1989
Mills College California Reintroduction 1989
Mills College California Reintroduction 1989

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