CPC Plant Profile: California Dandelion
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Plant Profile

California Dandelion (Taraxacum californicum)

Taraxacum californicum whole plant Photo Credit: Valerie Soza
Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 134157
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 09/22/2021

Taraxacum californicum (California dandelion) is a thick rooted perennial herb in the sunflower family (Asteraceae) endemic to the San Bernardino Mountains, San Bernardino County, California. The leaves are light green and arranged in a basal rosette, the flowers are light yellow and bloom from May to August. The flowers are clustered in heads on leafless stalks (CNPS, 2007). There are only three species of Taraxacum known in the State of California, the widespread species is the non native common dandelion, T. officinale, which was introduced from Europe (Hickman 1993). Taraxacum californicum was listed as endangered by the federal government in 1998.

Participating Institutions
Updates
  • 09/30/2020
  • Propagation Research

Results from bagging experiments demonstrate that T. californicum is a self incompatible species with an outcrossing breeding system. The high genetic diversity and limited distribution of this species suggests that the breeding system a role in maintaining genetic variation (Lyman & Elstrand 1998).

  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 14 accessions of Taraxacum californicum in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 16369 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 3 seed accessions of Taraxacum californicum from 1 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 2 maternal plants

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California. Fewer than 20 occurrences are currently known extant, most of them very small and many with just a few individual plants. Extensive habitat was probably lost with the construction of a dam and reservoir in the late 1880s. Habitat has also been destroyed or degraded by recreational (ski area) development, livestock grazing and trampling, and ORVs. About half of the remaining occurrences are in or adjacent to developed areas. Hybridization with the exotic T. officinale is an ongoing threat.

Naomi Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

Taraxacum californicum populations are subject to several impacts leading to destruction, alteration and fragmentation of habitat. Threats include: Alteration of hydrologic regimes Unauthorized livestock grazing Grazing by feral burros Hybr

Naomi Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

There are currently 40 occurrences recorded for T. californicum in the California Natural Diversity Database (2007). Population size of this species ranges from two to 300 individuals. About half of the occurrences are located within or adjacent to urbanized areas (USDA FS 2007).

Naomi Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

Results from bagging experiments demonstrate that T. californicum is a self incompatible species with an outcrossing breeding system. The high genetic diversity and limited distribution of this species suggests that the breeding system a role in maintaining genetic variation (Lyman & Elstrand 1998).

Naomi Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

A recovery plan for T. californicum is being developed but is not yet complete. The following is a list ofconservation practices that should be considered for this species: Implement strategies in the SBNF Meadow Habitat Management Guide and the USFWS Recovery Plan (when completed). Monitor and repair protective fence lines and signing in timely manner. Promote partnership for hybridization study. Survey all new occurrences of Taraxacum californicum and any occurrences that have not been visited in the past ten years, and record occurrence status, habitat condition, and threats. Collect a herbarium voucher specimen of Taraxacum californicum to document new occurrences or to verify a historical occurrence if the occurrence is not known to have been documented in at least ten years prior.

Naomi Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

It is likely that proper management of National Forest System lands will be crucial to the recovery of this species through protection of known occurrences. Restoration/ reintroduction into historical and protected habitats, acquisition of lands that support occurrences or that are suitable for recovery efforts, and additional data collection and research are needed to determine management needs (USDA FS 2007).

Naomi Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

Further study of hybridization between T. californicum and T. officinale Establish and maintain a genetically representative seed bank.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Taraxacum californicum
Authority Munz & I.M. Johnston
Family Asteraceae
CPC Number 4197
ITIS 36203
USDA TACA5
Common Names California Dandelion | California taraxacum
Associated Scientific Names Taraxacum californicum | Taraxacum ceratophorum var. bernardinum
Distribution Taracaxum californicum is endemic to the northeastern San Bernardino Mountains, San Bernardino County, California. There are 40 occurrences currently recorded for T. californicum in the California Na
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1S2
Habitat

Taracaxum californicum occurs in wet meadows and seeps, usually in areas free of taller vegetation at elevation of 5,500-8,500 ft (1,675-2,590 m). It is often associated with Poa atropurpurea (San Bernardino bluegrass), another federally listed species.

Ecological Relationships

Taraxacum californicum appears to hybridize with the common dandelion T. officinale. Taracaxum officinale is an apomictic species (reproducing without fertilization), but produces fertile pollen while T. californicum is a self incompatible outcrossing species (Lyman & Elstrand 1998). Pollen from T. officinale may be involved in the fertilization of T. californicum, and intermediates have been observed at several localities (USDA FS 2007).

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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