CPC Plant Profile: Sebastopol Meadowfoam
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Plant Profile

Sebastopol Meadowfoam (Limnanthes vinculans)

  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Limnanthaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 160276
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/04/1991

Limnanthes vinculans is an annual from the false mermaid family. It is named so for living in the vernal pool systems of Cotati Valley in Sonoma County, California. This annual produces white flowers in the spring. It was added to the endangered species list in 1991 (USFWS 1992). 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 their ephemeral environment. The pools are too wet in winter for upland plants and too dry in summer for the survival of marsh or aquatic plants (Wiesner 1994). Like other vernal pool plants, Lasthenia burkei germinates during the flooding season and blooms as the pools dries. Urbanization and agricultural conversion are the primary sources of threat for population decline.

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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 12 accessions of Limnanthes vinculans in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 10015 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 2 seed accessions of Limnanthes vinculans from 2 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

Limnanthes vinculans is endemic to California and known from the Cotati Valley in Sonoma Co. This is a vernal pool species and its major threat is loss or degradation of habitat. Other threats to this species exist, however, habitat removal and alteration are the biggest threats. No protected EOs. Extirpated or historic at 8 sites.

  • 01/01/2010

More than 90% of the original vernal pool habitat has been destroyed by urbanization and agricultural development. Other threats include mowing, livestock grazing, off-road vehicle recreation, trash dumping and invasion of weedy, non-native plants.

  • 01/01/2010

Number of individuals is largely unknown, but the California Department of Fish and Game lists this species as declining. (CDFG 2002)

  • 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

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, reproductive/seed biology and general ecology of vernal pool dynamics would aid in the conservation of this and associated species.


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Taxon Limnanthes vinculans
Authority Ornduff
Family Limnanthaceae
CPC Number 2562
ITIS 29176
Common Names Cunningham marsh meadowfoam | Sebastopol meadowfoam
Associated Scientific Names Limnanthes vinculans
Distribution Limnanthes vinculans is only found in the Cotati Valley in Sonoma County, California. (USFWS 1991)
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1

Vernal pools and swales. (USFWS 1991)Sebastopol Meadowfoam (Limnanthes vinculans) is associated with other endangered Vernal Pool species including, Burke's goldfields (Lasthenia burkei, 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 pulverea 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
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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