New Population of Rare Species Found at Point Reyes

Small, rounded yellow flowerhead
The rare Erigeron supplex, or supple daisy, thought to be extirpated from Point Reyes National Seashore, was recently rediscovered in the park.

NPS / Eric Wrubel

October 2017 - Inventory & Monitoring Program staff recently confirmed the presence of a previously undocumented population of Erigeron supplex, or supple daisy, at Pierce Point. This CNPS 1B.2 species is considered rare and endangered in California and elsewhere, and is known from only a few populations on the coast between Salt Point and Mendocino. Point Reyes is the southernmost known location for this species. It was last collected there in 1900 and had not been seen since. As a result, the species was presumed extirpated from the park.

This population of E. supplex was first seen during grassland monitoring in 2015, but the collected specimen could not be positively identified. However, monitoring this year found a sizable population of >200 plants in a grassland on a southeast exposure on clay soil. The plants are growing along with non-natives such as Briza maxima and Hypochaeris radicata, as well as native species including Danthonia californicaand Deschampsia cespitosa.

A voucher specimen collected from the park was found to be unique from other E. supplex collections, in that it has disciform (round) rather than discoid (flat) heads. The Jepson Manual description of this species is now being updated to reflect this new information. Staff plan to return to the site next spring/summer to do a more thorough survey.

Contact Eric Wrubel with questions.