Endemic Plants

A shaggy-haired herb with basal leaves and rose-colored flowers that occur in dense, ball-shaped, pink clusters.
Sonoma spineflower (Chorizanthe valida) is only known to exist at Point Reyes and is a federally listed endangered species.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "endemic" as "Native only to a particular locality or region." If a plant is endemic to Point Reyes, that means that it is only found at Point Reyes and nowhere else in the world.

The 2007 edition of Marin Flora listed four plants as being endemic to Point Reyes.

The 1970 edition of Marin Flora, had listed six plants that were considered at the time to be endemic to Point Reyes.

  • Agrostis aristiglumis
  • Lupinus layneae - Layne's lupine
  • Sidalcea rhizomata - Point Reyes checkerbloom or Point Reyes sidalcea
  • Arctostaphylos cushingiana f. repens - Cushing manzanita
  • Castilleja leschkeana - Point Reyes paintbrush
  • Blennosperma nanum var. robustum - Point Reyes blennosperma

Interestingly, there are no plants that are on both the 2007 list and the 1970 list. These changes in the plants that have been considered endemic have largely been due to an increase in what is known about these plants and their ranges. Sometimes, botanists have discovered that some of these plants can be found growing beyond Point Reyes, as is the case with Blennosperma nanum var. robustum (Point Reyes blennosperma). Or botanists recognize that a plant has been misidentified or that a name is illegitimate. Or developments in science (such as the increasing use of genetic analysis to identify species) have resulted in some plants which were thought to be different species, subspecies, or varieties being recognized to be the same. As of 2021, the Jepson eFlora project recognizes:

As our scientific understanding of these plants continues to change and evolve, so may the list of endemic plants at Point Reyes. Currently, there are three. Please help us protect them (and all native plants and other organisms) by taking only pictures and leaving only footprints. Use only authorized trails and leave no trace.

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Last updated: April 28, 2024

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Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


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