CPC Plant Profile: Santa Catalina Mountain-mahogany
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Plant Profile

Santa Catalina Mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus traskiae)

This closeup shows leaf and stem details. Photo Credit: Michael Wall
Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • State: CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 142253
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/14/1986

The Catalina Island mountain mahogany is considered to be one of the rarest shrubs in the continental United States. It has been rare as long as its existence has been known. This tree was first discovered in 1897 when there was a single population of forty individuals. Now there are only seven individuals remaining. The loss has been attributed to foraging by feral animals on the island. The Santa Catalina Conservancy has taken measures to protect the few remaining individuals, but there are still threats to their continued survival. This evergreen shrub is a member of the rose family, producing flowers that lack petals from March to May.

Participating Institutions
Updates
  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, San Diego Zoo Global holds 3 accessions of Cercocarpus traskiae in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 961 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 7 accessions of Cercocarpus traskiae in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 222 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, San Diego Zoo Global has collected 3 seed accessions of Cercocarpus traskiae from 1 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 3 maternal plants

  • 08/05/2020
  • Seed Collection

Based on an August 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden has collected 1 seed accessions of Cercocarpus traskiae from 1 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

Known with certainty only from a single arroyo on Santa Catalina Island, southern California. There are 12 mature individuals. Trees and seedlings are being given some protection from the island's non-native herbivores and seedlings have been planted in other locations in an attempt to save the species from extinction. Hybridization is also a threat.

  • 01/01/2010

Habitat disturbance Hybridization with common relatives Feral animals (USFWS 1997)

  • 01/01/2010

This species lives in a single gully on California's Santa Catalina Island. Only seven adult trees remain. (CDFG 2002)

  • 01/01/2010

None known.

  • 01/01/2010

The Santa Catalina Island Conservancy owns all of the habitat that this species occupies, and has been managing it since 1988, when they first fenced the remaining individuals to protect them from browsing animals. (CDFG 2002; USFWS 1997)

  • 01/01/2010

Reintroduction efforts to suitable habitat on the island are necessary to ensure the stability of the species. Genetic analysis to determine the threats to the species via inbreeding depression as well as hybridization with the common island mountain mahogany.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Cercocarpus traskiae
Authority Eastw.
Family Rosaceae
CPC Number 872
ITIS 25137
USDA CETR4
Common Names Catalina mountain-mahogany | Santa Catalina Mountain-mahogany | Catalina Island mountain-mahogany | Catalina cercocarpus
Associated Scientific Names Cercocarpus traskiae | Cercocarpus betuloides var. traskiae | Cercocarpus montanus var. traskiae | Cercocarpus betuloides ssp. traskiae
Distribution A single population in an arroyo on Santa Catalina Island.
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1
Habitat

The slopes of a steep-sided, narrow, dry arroyo in a coastal sage scrub community with sausserite gabbro soils.

Ecological Relationships

Unknown.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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