CPC Plant Profile: Mariposa Pussy-paws
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Plant Profile

Mariposa Pussy-paws (Calyptridium pulchellum)

Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Threatened
  • Family: Portulacaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 129416
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 12/01/2021

Mariposa pussypaws (Cistanthe puchella, syn. = Calyptridium pulchellum) is a small, compact, attrInactive, annual herb belonging to the purslane family (Portulacaceae). The plant has fibrous roots and many prostrate stems. The smooth, slender stems are 2 to 8 inches long. The stems form a small rosette and the leaves are spatula-shaped. Both stems and the spatula-shaped leaves have smooth surfaces. Four-petalled flowers appear in April and May. These flowers grow in loose clusters at the end of stems. Petals are rose-colored. Anthers are yellow. Styles are hidden within the flower. (5-Year Review, December 2007)

Updates
  • 09/01/2020
  • Propagation Research

In growth chambers, Mariposa pussypaws is capable of growing on other soil types, suggesting that it is restricted to certain soil types in nature because it competes poorly with other species on more fertile soils. The plants grow at an elevation of between 1,500 and 3,600 feet. (5-Year Review, December 2007)

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Known from six or seven occurrences in three counties in the Sierra Nevada foothills of central California. Populations are small: there are fewer than 3,000 individuals estimated in total. Four populations are threatened by development; at least three are in lots adjacent to or in the midst of subdivisions.

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

Habitat destruction through urbanization Vehicles, including trail bikes Small size of populations Small number of populations

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

Seven small populations are patchily distributed over a 750 square mile area in Fresno, Madera and Mariposa counties. Judging from early botanical literature, this plant has never been much more widely distributed than it is today. Collectively, the seven populations are estimated to occupy a total of only 14 acres. (5-Year Review, December 2007) Six of the seven populations are on private land. Five of these populations are marginal in quality and contain fewer than 300 plants. The sixth population on private land has about 900 plants. The seventh population of is on lands administered by the Sierra National Forest. It is fenced to protect it from livestock trampling and grazing . Little else grows on these shallow, bare substrates. (5-Year Review, December 2007)

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

In growth chambers, Mariposa pussypaws is capable of growing on other soil types, suggesting that it is restricted to certain soil types in nature because it competes poorly with other species on more fertile soils. (5-Year Review, December 2007)

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

Southern Sierran Foothills plants (recovery plan under development).

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

Two populations occur on lands administered by the Sierra National Forest that are fenced to protect them from livestock trampling and grazing. Determine population trend. Map the potential habitat and survey for additional populations.

Holly Forbes
  • 01/01/2010

Long term seed banking Develop techniques for germination and growth to reproductive maturity.

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Nomenclature
Taxon Calyptridium pulchellum
Authority (Eastw.) Hoover
Family Portulacaceae
CPC Number 700
ITIS 509993
USDA CAPU28
Common Names Mariposa Pussy Paws
Associated Scientific Names Calyptridium pulchellum | Cistanthe pulchella
Distribution This species can be found in Mariposa, Madera and Fresno counties, California.
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1
Habitat

This species grows in small, barren areas on decomposed granitic sands in annual grasslands and openings in woodlands in the southwestern foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Little else grows on these shallow, bare substrates. Mariposa pussypaws co-occurs with Lupinus citrinus var. citrinus (orange lupine) at five locations and with L. citrinus var. deflexus (Mariposa lupine) at two locations. Mimulus layneae (Laynes monkeyflower) is the second most common associate, occurring with C. pulchellum at four sites. Other frequent associates include Lupinus stiversii (harlequin lupine) and Streptanthus diversifolius (varied-leaved jewelflower), which grow with C. pulchellum at three sites each, and Arctostaphylos viscida ssp. mariposa (Mariposa manzanita), Camissonia sierrae ssp. sierrae (Sierra sun-cups), and Mimulus gracilipes (slender-stalked monkeyflower) at two sites each. The plants grow at an elevation of between 1,500 and 3,600 feet. (5-Year Review, December 2007)

Ecological Relationships

The number of plants of this annual species in any one population fluctuates widely from year to year. Patterns of fluctuation are not consistent between populations. Its possible that encroachment from oak species is negatively impacting some populations. (5-Year Review, December 2007)

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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