Tony Gurnoe, San Diego Botanic Garden
Baccharis vanessae, Encinitas baccharis, was originally described from a small population in Encinitas, California, just a couple of miles from the San Diego Botanic Garden (SDBG). The last individual to live within the garden was documented in 1997 and has not been observed since. The nearby type locality has also dwindled to just over two dozen individuals. Last year the team from the SDBG joined the efforts to conserve Encinitas baccharis by monitoring this population and collecting seeds from the few maternal lines available. Most of these seeds went into seed banks as part of the California Biodiversity Initiative and California Plant Rescue programs, but a cohort were also grown in SDBG’s nursery. This fall Baccharis vanessae will be reintroduced to the botanical garden with the goal of gaining a better understanding of how the species behaves in varying soil types and exposure scenarios. Meanwhile, SDBG staff continue to work with other populations, other institutions, and various other agencies toward the culmination of major in situ reinforcement and establishment of long-term management plans for Baccharis vanessae.