CPC Plant Profile: San Clemente Island Bushmallow
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Plant Profile

San Clemente Island Bushmallow (Malacothamnus clementinus)

This shot shows the plant and flowers. Photo Credit: Dylan Hannon
Description
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Malvaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 157119
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/10/1987

Malacothamnus clementinus, an evergreen shrub, is a member of the mallow family. It has numerous branches with large, hairy lobed leaves and produces inflorescences of clustered, pink flowers. Introduction of goats to San Clemente Island in the early 1800's has essentially decimated this species (Mohlenbrook 1983). M. clementinus was listed as endangered in August of 1977 (USFWS 1977).

Participating Institutions
Updates
Center for Plant Conservation
  • 08/19/2021
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

In 2021, CPC contracted University of California, Santa Cruz, 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, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden holds 2 accessions of Malacothamnus clementinus in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 318 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.

  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 4 accessions of Malacothamnus clementinus in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 3785 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 2 seed accessions of Malacothamnus clementinus from 1 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 38 maternal plants

  • 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 Malacothamnus clementinus from 4 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

Malacothamnus clementinus is only known from a portion of San Clemente Island in California. There are about 6 known EO's and perhaps 50 total plants. There may be more plants now that the goats have been eradicated from the island by the Navy, but no information has been provided. The level of current protection is not known. Threats may be minimal, but more information is needed.

  • 01/01/2010

The introduction of alien herbivores more than a century ago has had dramatic negative effects on plant community composition on all of the Channel Islands. These effects include the reduction of native plant cover, density and biomass (USFWS 2000). Inten

  • 01/01/2010

The population for Malacothamnus clementinus is so small that it still remains endangered (CDFG 2002).

  • 01/01/2010

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens, Claremont, California has collected specimens of this species for propagation (USFWS 2001).

  • 01/01/2010

Since the U.S. Navy has removed goats, as a part of its Feral Animal Removal Program, the general condition of native species has improved (CDFG 2002).

  • 01/01/2010

Protection from further herbivory, erosion and fire is necessary. Because this species is critically endangered, information on reproductive biology and germination requirements will greatly aid in conservation efforts.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Malacothamnus clementinus
Authority (Munz & Johnston) Kearney
Family Malvaceae
CPC Number 2781
ITIS 21824
USDA MACL
Common Names San Clemente Island Bush-mallow | San Clemente Island bushmallow
Associated Scientific Names Malvastrum clementinum | Malacothamnus clementinus | Sphaeralcea orbiculata var. clementina
Distribution Malacothamnus clementinus is endemic to San Clemente Island, part of the Channel Islands, California (USFWS 1977).
State Rank
State State Rank
California S2S3
Habitat

Remaining populations of Malacothamnus clementinus are restricted to steep slopes and cliffs, specifically sedimentary rock walls and ridges of San Clemente Island, Los Angeles County (CDFG 2002).

Ecological Relationships

Ecological relationships are unknown.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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