CPC Plant Profile: San Clemente Island Woodland-star
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Plant Profile

San Clemente Island Woodland-star (Lithophragma maximum)

This closeup shows details of the flowers and some of the stems. Photo Credit: Mark Porter
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Saxifragaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 136453
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 09/22/2021

Lithophragma maximum is a perennial herb that grows on the moist- northern facing, canyon slopes of San Clemente Island. Plants consist of three lobed leaflets on slender stalks that produce pinkish-white flowers (Hickman 1993). It is threatened by feral goats and pigs and ranching activities that have promoted erosion (USFWS 1995). As part of its feral animal removal program, the U.S. Navy, has been removing the goats and pigs from the island (USFWS 1997).

Participating Institutions
  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 10 accessions of Lithophragma maximum in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 271167 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 8 seed accessions of Lithophragma maximum 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

Narrowly endemic to southeastern San Clemente Island, southern California, and currently known from 3 small populations. The total range is about 7 mi long and covers under 100 acres. Only about 30 plants are known, but current surveys are needed. Feral goats and pigs were a serious threat until the mid 1990's; the Navy reduced or eliminated these and now monitoring is needed to follow the plant's recovery.

  • 01/01/2010

Extensive herbivory by feral goats, pigs and erosion (USFWS 1995).

  • 01/01/2010

Less than 50 plants remain in the wild and are divided between two remote locations (USFWS 1997).

  • 01/01/2010

There is currently no active research.

  • 01/01/2010

The U.S. Navy is removing feral goats and pigs as part of its Feral Animal Removal Plan (USFWS 1997).

  • 01/01/2010

Research needs to include reproductive biology and ecology.


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Taxon Lithophragma maximum
Authority Bacig.
Family Saxifragaceae
CPC Number 2642
ITIS 24397
Common Names San Clemente Island woodland star
Associated Scientific Names Lithophragma maximum
Distribution Lithophragma maximum is only found in two areas of San Clemente Island (USFWS 1995, 1997).
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1

Lithophragma maximum is restricted to the moist northern-facing slopes in canyons in the eastern portion of San Clemente Island, currently under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy (USFWS 1995).

Ecological Relationships

There are no known ecological relationships.

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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