CPC Plant Profile: Indian Knob Mountainbalm
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Plant Profile

Indian Knob Mountainbalm (Eriodictyon altissimum)

Photo Credit: John Chesnut
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Hydrophyllaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 153142
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 01/17/2019

Eriodictyon altissimum is a rare species of flowering plant in the borage family known by the common name Indian Knob mountainbalm. This is a shrub growing erect to a maximum height near 4 meters. It has shreddy bark on its larger branches and stems and a sticky exudate on its smaller twigs. The very narrow, linear leaves are up to 9 centimeters long, white-hairy on the undersides and hairless and sticky on top. The inflorescence is a curled cluster of bell-shaped lavender flowers each just over a centimeter long and blooms from March through June. The fruit is a small capsule containing many tiny seeds. [Jepson] [Calscape]

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  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 1 accessions of Eriodictyon altissimum in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 43 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.

  • 08/05/2020
  • Seed Collection

Based on an August 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has collected 1 seed accessions of Eriodictyon altissimum from 1 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 8 maternal plants

  • 01/01/2010

development utility construction tar sand mining diversion of water from seeps cattle grazing competition with alien plants recreational activities possibly dredging of Morro Bay

  • 01/01/2010

ca. 6 stands are known around Morro Baytotaling ca. < 600 individuals


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Taxon Eriodictyon altissimum
Authority P.V. Wells
Family Hydrophyllaceae
CPC Number 1677
ITIS 31365
Common Names Indian Knob Mountain Balm | Indian Knob Yerba-santa
Associated Scientific Names Eriodictyon altissimum
Distribution Eriodictyon altissimum is endemic to San Luis Obispo County, California, where it is known from only about six occurrences in the Irish Hills on the coast and nearby Indian Knob. [CNPS]
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1

Eriodictyon altissimum grows in scrub, oak woodland, and chaparral habitat on sandstone soils. [CNPS]

Ecological Relationships

Eriodictyon altissimum sometimes occurs with the also threatened endemic Morro manzanita (Arctostaphylos morroensis). 

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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