CPC Plant Profile: Pioneertown Linanthus
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Plant Profile

Pioneertown Linanthus (Linanthus bernardinus)

Linanthus bernardinus Photo Credit: Cheryl Birker
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Polemoniaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 898761
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 10/29/2019

Annual herb. Plants (1.5) 2–9 cm tall; glandular-villous. Stems erect, simple to branched. Cotyledons sessile with sheathing bases, persistent, 1–2 mm long, ovate to lanceolate. Leaves opposite, sessile to short (1 mm) petiolate, often sheathing at the base; blades 1.5–7 (10) mm long, palmately lobed with (3) 4–5 linear divisions, adaxial surface densely villous, abaxial surface more sparsely villous, margins entire. Inflorescence a cyme, generally in 1–3 flowered units. Floral bracts leaf-like, but larger, 3–10 (12) mm long. Pedicels sessile to short (to 1 mm long). Flowers diurnal, opening in full sunlight. Calyx 5–7 mm long, campanulate to narrowly urnshaped, with stipitate glands, sparsely villous proximally, lobes erect, costa green and herbaceous, darker and narrower than the hyaline intercostal regions, the sinuses narrowly V-shaped and divided less than half way to the base. Corolla 13–25 mm long, funnelform, lobes white to cream or pale lavender-pink, with a solitary maroon to red narrowly ellipse-shaped spot at the base of each lobe, apices apiculate, throat white, tube maroon to purple, glabrous throughout, tube 6–14 mm long, cylindric, expanding gradually to the limb. Stamens equal, 3– 5 mm long; anthers yellow, glabrous, included, pollen yellow. Gynoecium 9–16 mm long; ovary narrowly ovoid, green; style and stigma yellow, glabrous; stigma slightly exserted. Capsules ellipsoid, 2.5–3.5 mm long, 2–10 seeds per locule. Seeds 0.5– 1 mm long, irregularly shaped, sometimes angular and prismlike, light brown with net-like seed coat, producing a small amount of mucilage when wetted. Flowering occurs between March and early May, fruiting between late April and May.

Participating Institutions
  • 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 Linanthus bernardinus in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 13416 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 Linanthus bernardinus from 2 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 182 maternal plants

Cheryl Birker
  • 10/30/2019

Linanthus bernardinus was recently described in 2013 by Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) staff Naomi Fraga and Duncan Bell. It is a narrow endemic only known from 11 occurrences within the Sawtooth Range of San Bernardino County. The main threat to Linanthus bernardinus is competition from non-native plant species. Before 2019, this plant had not been seen in the wild since the year it was described. We suspect that it requires snow-pack in order to germinate, and is thus also threatened by climate change.

In 2019, RSABG staff made two maternal line conservation seed collections of Linanthus bernardinus. The seed collection from the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB) Element Occurrence (EO) #1 contains 4,985 seeds, and the seed collection from CNDDB EO #2 contains 1,723 seeds. The germination test resulted in 53.8% germination after administering a two-week cold-moist stratification.

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Taxon Linanthus bernardinus
Authority N.S. Fraga & D.S. Bell
Family Polemoniaceae
CPC Number 47162
Common Names Pioneertown Linanthus
Associated Scientific Names Linanthus bernardinus
Distribution Linanthus bernardinus is endemic to San Bernardino County, California. This taxon is known primarily from a small mountain range called the Sawtooths located 3.5 air mi NW of Yucca Valley, E of the San Bernardino Mountains and W of the Little San Bernardino Mountains.  Elevations range from 1098–1341 m (3600–4400 ft)
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1

Plants occur in Joshua tree woodland, often in small depressions, gentle slopes, or on hillocks surrounded by large granite boulders in decomposed granite sand.

Ecological Relationships

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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