Nolina cismontana - Dice
California Bear-grass
Other English Common Names: Chaparral Beargrass, Chaparral Nolina
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Nolina cismontana Dice (TSN 507567)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.149440
Element Code: PMAGA080E0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Century-Plant Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Liliales Agavaceae Nolina
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Concept Reference Code: B99KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Nolina cismontana
Taxonomic Comments: Nolina cismontana published as the name for this taxon by Hess and Dice (1995). Accepted by Kartesz (1999). Apparently formerly included in Nolina parryi as "ssp. parryi", for example by Munz, but in a sense excluding its type.   Accepted by Baldwin et al. (2012).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 16Mar2015
Global Status Last Changed: 16Mar2015
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Found only in the cismontane region of southern California (Western Transverse Ranges and northern and western Peninsular Ranges), in Ventura, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties. Approximately 49 occurrences are believed extant. Many are highly threatened by development. Potential indirect effects from development include changes in the frequency and timing of wildfires; fire regime alteration is likely the primary threat to the species in protected areas.  Believed to be declining throughout its range (on both protected and unprotected lands) due to habitat loss and degradation.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to southern California.  Found only in the cismontane region of southern California, in the Western Transverse Ranges and northern and western Peninsular Ranges. Scattered populations range from the Ojai Valley area/foothills of Santa Ynez Mountains (western Ventura Co.) south to the Simi Hills and Santa Monica Mountains (southeastern Ventura Co.), Santa Ana Mountains (Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Cos.), foothills west of the Palomar and Cuyamaca Mountains (San Deigo Co.), and the vicinity of Viejas Mountain (San Deigo Co.). Apparently, no locations in Los Angeles County have been documented (USFWS 2007). There are no element occurrences from Riverside County, but the species has been reported from that county in the Cleveland National Forest near Corona (USFWS 2007).

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are approximately 49 extant occurrences (CNDDB 2015).  

Population Size Comments: "Over 10,000 plants" have been documented among a cluster of four occurrences in Orange County, with various other smaller occurrences (1-1000+ plants) and several which have not be censused. 

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some (13-40)

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threats include development, agriculture, roads, recreation, inappropriate burning regime (CNDDB 2015).  Occurrences not on protected land are highly threatened by habitat loss to development, including urban development, conversion to agriculture (e.g. orchards), and road construction (Reiser 1994, USFWS 2007, Ingram 2008, CNPS 2009). Remaining habitat is also becoming more fragmented as a result of these activities. Potential indirect effects from development include changes in the frequency and timing of wildfires due to increased human-caused ignitions associated with new urban areas and increased access to open spaces (Stephenson and Calcarone 1999); fire regime alteration is likely the primary threat to this species in protected areas (USFWS 2007). Altered fire regimes may also prompt increases in fire suppression activities, which could further disturb habitat (Stephenson and Calcarone 1999). Another potential indirect effect of development is increases in non-native species as a result of new roads, urban areas, and other ground-disturbing activities (Stephenson and Calcarone 1999). Recreational activities have also been cited as a threat to this species (CNPS 2009).

Short-term Trend Comments: Believed to be "likely declining throughout its range due to habitat loss and degradation" (USFWS 2007). Described as "slowly declining in the Pala region owing to land clearance for orchards and extensive residential yards, and in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains for residential development" (Reiser 1994). Also believed to be declining within the Cleveland National Forest (Stephenson and Calcarone 1999).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Endemic to southern California.  Found only in the cismontane region of southern California, in the Western Transverse Ranges and northern and western Peninsular Ranges. Scattered populations range from the Ojai Valley area/foothills of Santa Ynez Mountains (western Ventura Co.) south to the Simi Hills and Santa Monica Mountains (southeastern Ventura Co.), Santa Ana Mountains (Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Cos.), foothills west of the Palomar and Cuyamaca Mountains (San Deigo Co.), and the vicinity of Viejas Mountain (San Deigo Co.). Apparently, no locations in Los Angeles County have been documented (USFWS 2007). There are no element occurrences from Riverside County, but the species has been reported from that county in the Cleveland National Forest near Corona (USFWS 2007).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA Los Angeles (06037), Orange (06059), Riverside (06065), San Diego (06073), Ventura (06111)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
18 Ventura (18070101)+, Calleguas (18070103)+, Santa Monica Bay (18070104)+, Los Angeles (18070105)+, Santa Ana (18070203)+, Newport Bay (18070204)+, Aliso-San Onofre (18070301)+, San Luis Rey-Escondido (18070303)+, San Diego (18070304)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A yucca-like perennial shrub or subshrub. Leaves are silver-green and form a dense rosette at ground level. The inflorescence grows along a tall (to 3 dm, occasionally to 15 dm), slender stalk that arises from the center of the rosette. The species is dioecious, meaning that each plant is either male or female. Flowers April - June.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Intermediate in size between the smaller N. interrata and the larger N. parryi (Ingram 2008). Morphologically distinguished from N. parryi by its fewer leaves per rosette (30-90 leaves vs. 65-200 leaves), narrower leaves (12-30 mm vs. 20-40 mm wide just above expanded leaf base), and thinner inflorescence stalks (1.4-3.5 cm vs. 2.6-9 cm diameter at base) (Hess and Dice 1995). The two species also differ in their range locations: N parryi occurs from the Kern Plateau in southern Tulare Co. south to the Laguna and Pinyon Mountains of San Diego Co.; in the drier parts of the Peninsular Ranges, along the western edge of the Colorado Desert and in the desert ranges of the Mojave Desert. N. cismontana occurs west of N. parryi, in coastal drainages below 1300 m from Ventura to San Diego Cos. (Hess and Dice 1995). In addition to the geographical difference, N, parryi is found on granite and granodiorite-derived substrates in the xeric pinyon-juniper woodlands, while N. cismontana occurs principally on sandstone and gabbro-derived substrates of chaparral vegetation (Hess and Dice 1995). Newly-sprouted rosettes are about the size of those of N. interrata, but they lack the blue cross-banding of that species (Ingram 2008).
Ecology Comments: Appears to follow fire; for example, was observed in greater abundance in burned Tecate cypress stands at Coal Canyon than in unburned stands (Scott 1990 cited in Stephenson and Calcarone 1999). Resprouts quickly and blooms profusely following fires (Ingram 2008); fire management may be necessary to promote reproduction (Atwood et al. 1997).
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Shrubland/chaparral
Habitat Comments: Coastal foothills on dry, rocky or gravelly shrub-covered slopes. Found on sandstone and gabbro-derived substrates within open chaparral and xeric coastal scrub communities. In San Diego County, associated species include Adenostoma fasciculatum, Erodictyon crassifolium, Rhamnus crocea, Quercus species, Rhus laurina, Ceanothus species, and Salvia species. In Orange County, occurs with Salvia melifera, Salvia apiana, Yucca whipplei, and Adenostoma fasciculatum. In Ventura County, associates include Adenostoma fasciculatum, Hemizonia minthornii and Erodictyon crassifolium. 140 - 1300 m.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 16Mar2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: D. Gries, rev. K. Gravuer (2009), rev. R. Bittman (2016)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Atwood, J., P. Bloom, D. Murphy, R. Fisher, T. Scott, T. Smith, R. Wills, and P. Zedler. 1997. Principles of Reserve Design Species Conservation and Adaptive Management for the Proposed Southern Orange County NCCP. Online. Available: http://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentVersionID=20531

  • Baldwin, B. G., D. H. Goldman, D. J. Keil, R. Patterson, T. J. Rosatti, and D. H. Wilken, eds. 2012. The Jepson manual: vascular plants of California. 2nd edition. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. 1568 pp.

  • CalFlora. 2005. Information on California plants for education, research and conservation. Berkeley, California: The CalFlora Database [web application]. Available: http://www.calflora.org/. (Accessed 2005)

  • California Native Plant Society (CNPS). 2009. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants. California Native Plant Society. Sacramento, CA. Online. Available: http://www.cnps.org/inventory (accessed 2009).

  • California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB). 2015. RareFind Version 5.1.1. California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 26. Magnoliophyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxvi + 723 pp.

  • Hess, W.J, and D.C. Dice. 1995. Nolina cismontana (Nolinaceae), a new species name for an old taxon. Novon 5: 162-164.

  • Ingram, S. 2008. Cacti, Agaves, and Yuccas of California and Nevada. Cachuma Press, Los Olivos, California. 243 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Reiser, C. 1994. Rare plants of San Diego County. http://sandiego.sierraclub.org/rareplants/. Site updated October 6, 2001 by E. Kanner and B. Buffett. Site accessed 2003.

  • Smith, C.F. 1998. A flora of the Santa Barbara region, California. 2nd edition. Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Capra Press, Santa Barbara. 391 pp.

  • Stephenson, J. R., and G. M. Calcarone. 1999. Southern California mountains and foothills assessment: habitat and species conservation issues. General Technical Report GTR-PSW-175. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. 402 pp.

  • U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2007. Biological Opinion 1-6-07-F-812.8. Intra-Service Formal Section 7 Consultation/Conference for Issuance of an Endangered Species Act Section 10(a)(1)(B) Permit (TE144113-0, TE144140-0, and TE144105-0) for The Southern Orange Natural Community Conservation Plan/Master Streambed Alteration Agreement/Habitat Conservation Plan,Orange County, California. Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, California. January 10, 2007.

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