Seedbanking of Scotts Valley Polygonum

Holly Forbes, University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley

Polygonum hickmanii (Scotts Valley polygonum) is a small annual species in the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae) restricted to a small area of Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz County, California. Populations have historically occurred across three privately owned properties. Population numbers were critically low in 2009 when the 5-Year Review was published (USFWS 2009) and have declined since then. Since 2019, only one population has produced individuals. We are working with the USFWS to perform a seed augmentation for conservation seed banking and for use in augmenting the numbers in situ. Experimentation with a congener was conducted to determine the most productive germination protocols to use with this species. We used the most successful protocol to germinate P. hickmanii in early 2021 and are growing plants for seed production.