Rare Fritillaria found

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Sat, 02 Oct 2004 08:11:32 PDT
Dear All,

I've written before about Fritillaria roderickii (syn. F. biflora biflora, 
F. grayana, F. biflora var. grayana, F. biflora var. roderickii). Part of 
the problem with what to call it is that not everyone agrees that this 
plant should be considered F. biflora so some people cling to older names. 
I wrote about it:


The coastal population of this plant has not been seen for several years. 
One of my CNPS (California Native Plant Society) friends, Mary Rhyne, has 
been looking for it every year. She had found some of the last plants and 
rescued them when they would have been lost because of work on Highway One, 
but the ones she relocated she has not found recently and she thinks they 
may have been eaten by rodents or died. The other populations she knew 
about she hasn't seen either.

This spring she found it again. She found it very close to a temporary 
bridge that CalTrans (the  name for the group in California that builds 
roads) has put in to replace part of Highway One when a winter storm 
several years ago caused one lane to slip into the ocean. They were set to 
replace that part of the highway and because of this plant, that has been 

I thought you all might be interested in knowing that Cal Trans has a 
biologist and that they are going to try to save any that might be found 
where they are going to reroute the road. The ones she found they plan to 
put a fence around to protect. Mary and I have offered to help if they do 
indeed find them and need some one to care for them until they are 
replanted in another site they will have chosen. Whether we would be 
satisfactory as they were looking for a suitable "commercial nursery" I 
don't know. We both rather doubt they will find them and even if they do 
rescuing them when they are dormant when they plan to do the work could be 
a challenge. But it is exciting that Mary has once again found some of 
these plants on the Mendocino Coast and that there will be an attempt to 
protect them.

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers

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