This fact sheet was prepared by Dylan M. Neubauer under award NA04N0S4200074 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NOAA or the DOC.
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Last updated: Mar 11, 2016 12:49
Flat to gently sloping sandy or gravelly openings in chaparral, oak woodland, or coniferous forest, often in disturbed areas or in poor soil where there is little competition; 305–1530 m.
Annual herb, 2–11 cm, from a slender taproot, stems leafy, spreading to ascending; leaves basal and cauline, 1–3 cm long, basal generally withering in fruit; inflorescence 1–3.5 cm long, axillary, open to dense, bracts ovate to elliptic; sepals 2–4.5 mm long, ovate, generally unequal in width, with margins generally narrowly scarious; petals 4, 1.5–3 mm long, generally white, quickly deciduous and forming a caplike structure covering the fruit tip, stamens generally 3, stigma ± sessile; fruit 3–6 mm, ovate to oblong, readily deciduous; seed 0.5–0.7 mm, with marginal papillae (Guilliams and Miller 2016).
Though Calyptridium parryi var. hesseae can be difficult to distinguish from the widespread, and closely related, C. monandrum, the former has fully developed, planar capsules that are ± ovate to lanceolate and ≤ 2x the length of the sepals, while the latter has slender (< 1 mm wide), oblong to linear, non-planar capsules that are ca. 3x the length of the sepals (Guilliams personal communication 2010; Simpson et al. 2010; Guilliams and Miller 2016).
Calyptridium parryi var. parryi occurs at higher elevations than var. hesseae (1400 –3500 m), has fruit generally not deciduous, and seed papillate throughout. (Simpson et al. 2010; Guilliams and Miller 2016).
Santa Lucia Mountains (Monterey County)
Known from San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties (CNPS 2011). Specimens labeled as this taxon from San Benito and Fresno counties are considered to be intermediate between C. p. var. h. and C. p. var. parryi (CNPS 2008).
Originally collected by Boulder Creek resident Vesta F. Hesse in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the early 1950s, her name is commemorated in the varietal epithet of this taxon (Carter and Thomas 1986). Miss Hesse’s numerous collections formed the basis of the 1961 Flora of the Santa Cruz Mountains of California by John H. Thomas.
Calyptridium parryi var. hesseae was described in 1956 by John H. Thomas from a type specimen collected near Eagle Rock on Ben Lomond Mountain in Santa Cruz County. The Jepson Manual (1993) treatment recognized three varieties, including var. hesseae, however the 2003 Flora of North America, Volume 4 [under Cistanthe parryi (A. Gray) Hershkovitz] treatment did not, due to the variability of what were deemed “minor characters” between populations (Kelley et al. 2004). An in-depth morphological analysis (Simpson et al. 2010) concluded that four varieties, including var. hesseae, were distinct enough to merit taxonomic status, and the latest treatment (Guilliams and Miller 2016) includes C. parryi var. hesseae as a valid taxon.
Known from ca. 12 occurrences worldwide, a definitive example of this highly localized annual has not been documented for decades. During the 2007 and 2008 field seasons, researchers surveyed over the range of the taxon, with special focus at the type locality, but were unsuccessful at locating any specimens that were “directly atributable” to var. hesseae (Guilliams 2008). A specimen collected from Chew’s Ridge, in the northern Santa Lucia Mountains in Monterey County, appeared to be more similar morphologically to var. parryi, though plants examined were immature (Guilliams 2008). In 2008, Calyptridium parryi var. hesseae was re-ranked from California Rare Plant Rank 3 to 1B.1 (CNPS 2011). More field surveys are needed in historical locations and in additional areas where the taxon might be expected to occur (Guilliams 2008).
Development, fire-suppression, non-native species, and road-maintenance activities (CNPS 2011).
California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB). 2016. RareFind 5 [Internet]. California Department of Fish and Wildlife [accessed 20 February 2016].
California Native Plant Society (CNPS), Rare Plant Program. 2011. Calyptridium parryi var. hesseae. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants (online edition, v8-02). California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. Website http://www.rareplants.cnps.org/detail/59.html [accessed 20 February 2016].
A. M. Carter and J. H. Thomas. 1986. Vesta Florence Hesse, 1901–1982. Madroño 33(4):307–308.
C. M. Guilliams. 2008. Communication in CNPS Forums Rare Plant Status Review of Calyptridium parryi var. hesseae.
C. M. Guilliams and J. M. Miller. 2016. Calyptridium parryi var. hesseae, Revision 2, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=55522 [accessed 20 February 2016].
W. A. Kelley, J. M. Miller, and J. G. Packer. 2004. Cistanthe. P. 463 in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America north of Mexico. 19+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 4. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242415718 [accessed 21 February 2016].
Simpson, M. G., M. Silveira, and C. M. Guilliams. 2010. Taxonomy of Calyptridium parryi (Montiaceae). Madroño 57(3):145–160.
Thomas, J. H. 1956. A review of Calyptridium parryi. Leaflets of Western Botany 8:9–11.
Wilken, D. H. and W. A. Kelley. 1993. Calyptridium. Pp. 896–898 in J. C. Hickman (ed.), The Jepson manual: higher plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.