CPC Plant Profile: Kelso Creek Monkeyflower
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Plant Profile

Kelso Creek Monkeyflower (Erythranthe shevockii)

Image of Erythranthe shevockii Photo Credit: Naomi Fraga
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Phrymaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 149849
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 10/26/2021

Erythranthe shevockii (Kelson Creek monkeyflower) is a member of the lopseed family (Phrymaceae). It is an annual herb that is only known from within the Kern River drainage in the southern sierra Nevada of Kern County, California. Erythranthe shevockii blooms from March to May and fruits from April to June. Plants of this species have a very distinctive flower that has a maroon-purple upper lip, and a yellow lower lip. In years of ample rain this species can form carpets on the desert floor, but can be difficult to find in drier years.

Participating Institutions
  • 09/10/2020
  • Reproductive Research

Systematics of Mimulus shevockii and relatives (Naomi Fraga, unpublished) Pollination Biology of Mimulus shevockii (Naomi Fraga, unpublished)

  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 8 accessions of Erythranthe shevockii in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 28640 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 Erythranthe shevockii from 5 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 240 maternal plants

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to the Kern River drainage in northeastern Kern County, California, at the junction of the southern Sierra Nevada Foothills and the western edge of the Mojave Desert. Approximately 8-9 occurrences are believed extant, 4-5 of which are on BLM land, 3 of which on both BLM and private land, and 1 of which is on private land. Plants on private land are threatened by residential development (subdivisions and mobile homes); at least one occurrence is also threatened by agricultural land conversion and fire suppression activities. Occurrences adjacent to developing areas may experience indirect impacts from activities such as road maintenance. Other threats include off-road vehicle use and competition from non-native species.

Terry Higgins and Naomi S. Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

Agriculture Development Road Maintenance OHV use Cattle grazing Residential development Habitat loss due to water inundation

Terry Higgins and Naomi S. Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

There are currently 11 known occurrences of Mimulus shevockii.

Terry Higgins and Naomi S. Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

Systematics of Mimulus shevockii and relatives (Naomi Fraga, unpublished) Pollination Biology of Mimulus shevockii (Naomi Fraga, unpublished)

Terry Higgins and Naomi S. Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

Currently, M. shevockii has monitoring and adaptive management prescriptions that are outlined in the West Mojave Plan (BLM 2005). Monitoring prescriptions are: Continue surveys on public land identified as potential habitat. Document any spillover impacts to public lands from private lands. BLM will make a determination of regional rangeland health standards on public lands in the Rudnick Common Allotment within five years of Plan approval. Adaptive management prescriptions are: Adjust boundaries of conservation area based on survey results. Change route designation as necessary to protect occupied habitat. Adjustments in grazing practices and Allotment Management Plans in Kelso Valley will be made as necessary based on results of the rangeland health determinations. Pursue land purchase or exchange. Fence BLM/private property boundaries if spillover impacts are evident. Lands trusts such as the Kern River Preserve, Kern Valley Heritage Foundation, or the Mojave Desert Land Trust may also look into acquiring land that is currently zoned for development on which M. shevockii occurs.

Terry Higgins and Naomi S. Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

Field surveys: Search potential habitat for additional populations. Life history assessment: Study breeding systems, pollinators, and investigate germination requirements by conducting germination trials. Genetic study: Investigate the genetic structure of the species.

Terry Higgins and Naomi S. Fraga
  • 01/01/2010

Seeds from the Cyrus Canyon population have been secured for long term conservation; however seed collections from the southern populations near Kelso creek and Kelso Valley are needed.


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Taxon Erythranthe shevockii
Authority (Heckard & Bacig.) N.S. Fraga
Family Phrymaceae
CPC Number 7634
Common Names Kelso Creek Monkey-flower
Associated Scientific Names Mimulus shevockii | Erythranthe shevockii
Distribution Mimulus shevockii is edemic to the Kern River drainage in the southern Sierra Nevada, Kern County, California. All but one of the eight extant populations occur along Kelso Creek or in Kelso Valley (
State Rank
State State Rank
California S2

Erythranthe shevockii is a winter annual with a highly restricted distribution. However, the habitat requirements of M. shevockii do not appear to be stringent. Populations occur in Joshua tree or California juniper woodland habitats ranging from 2700 to 4400 ft (825-1340 m) in elevation (CNDDB 2011). The mean annual precipitation in this region is 20 cm (8 in) (Heckard and Bacigalupi 1986). The substrate is typically loamy, course sands of granitic origin on alluvial fans of dry streamlets (BLM 2004; Heckard and Bacigalupi 1986). However, the Cyrus Canyon population grows on finer soils developed from metasedimentary rocks (Heckard and Bacigalupi 1986).

Ecological Relationships

Based on the relative size of the corolla , nectar guide patterning and corolla colors this species is presumed to be outcrossing and likely pollinated by small solitary native bees. Soft wing flower beetles have been observed as floral visitors (Fraga, personal communication). Associated species summarized from all localities include; Anisocoma acaulis Torr. And A.Gray (scalebud), Camissonia graciliflora (Hook. And Arn.) P.H.Raven (hill suncup), Canbya candida Parry ex. A.Gray (white pygmy poppy), Chrysothamnus nauseosus (Pall. Ex. Pursh) Britton (rabbitbrush), Cylindropuntia echinocarpa (Engelm. and J.M.Bigelow) F.M. Knuth (golden cholla), Ephedra nevadensis S.Watson (Nevada joinfir), Ericameria linearifolia (DC.) Urbatsch and Wussow (narrowleaf goldenbush), Eriogonum fasciculatum Benth. var. polifolium Benth. S.Stokes. (Mojave buckwheat), Eriophyllum pringlei A.Gray (Pringles wooly sunflower), Hymenoclea salsola Torr. and A.Gray (cheesebush), Linanthus aureus (Nutt.) Greene (golden linanthus), L. parryae (A.Gray) Green (sandblossoms), Lupinus concinnus. J.Agardh (bajada lupin), Mimulus androsaceus Curran ex. Green (rockjasmine monkeyflower), M. fremontii (Benth.) A.Gray (Fremonts monkeyflower), Pectocarya penicillata (Hook. and Arn.) A.DC. (sleeping combseed), P. setosa A.Gray (moth combseed), and Salvia dorrii (Kellogg) Abrams (purple sage) (Heckard and Bacigalupe 1986).

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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