CPC Plant Profile: Burke's Goldfields
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Plant Profile

Burke's Goldfields (Lasthenia burkei)

This shot is a closeup of the flower. Photo Credit: Mark Elvin
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 141666
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/04/1991

Lasthenia burkei is a herbaceous annual with narrow leaves and produces small clusters of whitish-yellow flowers. This aster grows in vernal pools and swales in Cotati Valley in Sonoma County, California. Vernal pools, one of California's most threatened habitats, are natural depressions that fill with water during the winter and spring and dry up during the summer. Plants that live in the vernal pool ecosystem are specifically adapted to ephemeral ponds. Like other vernal pool plants, Lasthenia burkei germinates during the flooding period and blooms as the pools dries. Urbanization, agriculture and widening along Highway 101 have negatively impacted this species in Sonoma County. Lasthenia burkei was placed on the endangered species list in 1991 (USFWS 1992).

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Center for Plant Conservation
  • 08/18/2021
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

In 2021, CPC contracted the University of California Davis Arboretum to recollect seed from a population currently held in long term orthodox seed storage as part of an IMLS-funded seed longevity experiment. The National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation will evaluate how germination tested viability and RNA Integrity of seed lots decline over time in storage.

  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 40 accessions of Lasthenia burkei in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 1367267 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, California Botanic Garden has collected 4 seed accessions of Lasthenia burkei from 2 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 12 maternal plants

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to California, Lasthenia burkei is likely known from fewer than ten viable occurrences in Lake, Mendocino, and Sonoma Counties. Its status is declining rapidly (it could easily be extinct by 2025) due to runaway urban development in its wetland habitat. Other threats are agriculture and grazing. All remaining populations of any size and quality should be protected.

  • 01/01/2010

Urbanization, agriculture and widening along Highway 101 have negatively impacted this species in Sonoma County. Gully erosion at Manning Flat, Lake County is degrading the habitat at that site (USFWS 1992).

  • 01/01/2010

Populations are reported from Manning Flat and Steurmer Winery in Lake County historically from Ukiah in Mendocino County. Several populations have been found at the Sonoma County Airport.

  • 01/01/2010

In 1993, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden created 30 small vernal pools as part of their plant display as well as part of a long term gene flow study by the Garden's Research Department and Endangered Species Program. Artificial vernal pools have also been created by the University of California's Botanic Garden. Because these pools require careful tending it has been concluded that recreated pools are not self-sustaining and therefore not a viable option to replace the loss of naturally occurring vernal pools.

  • 01/01/2010

A management plan for the Santa Rosa plains (Sonoma County) was recently completed using Tax check-off funds and addresses the protection of endemic vernal pool plants (USFWS1992). Under the terms of a settlement agreement approved Monday, July 23, 2001 by the U.S. District Court in Sacramento, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) will map critical habitat for 15 endangered and threatened species that are dependent on vernal pool wetlands in California. The critical habitat designation will add protection to California's remaining vernal pool habitat.

  • 01/01/2010

Population monitoring, seed ecology and relationship to other vernal pool plants and animals would aid in conservation efforts as well as general understanding of Vernal Pool ecosystem processes.


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Taxon Lasthenia burkei
Authority (Greene) Greene
Family Asteraceae
CPC Number 2434
ITIS 37834
Common Names Burke's goldfields | Burke's baeria
Associated Scientific Names Lasthenia burkei
Distribution Lasthenia burkei is found in Cotati Valley in Sonoma County and to a lesser degree in Lake County, California. (USFWS 1991)
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1

Vernal pools and swales in California's Great Central Valley. (USFWS 1991)Burke's goldfields is associated with other endangered Vernal Pool species including, California Orcutt Grass (Orcuttia californica), San Diego button-celery (Eryngium aristulatum) and San Diego mesa mint (Pogogyne abramsii).

Ecological Relationships


Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Mining bees Andrena submoesta Confirmed Pollinator Link
Honey bees Apis mellifera Confirmed Pollinator Link
Mining bees Andrena pensilis Confirmed Pollinator Link
Mining bees Andrena angustitarsata Confirmed Pollinator Link
Sweat bees Lasioglossum Confirmed Pollinator Link
Sweat bees Halictus tripartitus Confirmed Pollinator Link
Bee flies Conophorus cristatus Confirmed Pollinator Link
Syrphid flies Syrphid flies Confirmed Pollinator Link
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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