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Catalina Island Mountain Mahogany
Cercocarpus traskiae
  
About Catalina Island Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus traskiae) 2 Nurseries Carry This Plant Cercocarpus traskiae, known by the common names Santa Catalina Island mountain-mahogany and Catalina mahogany, is a rare species of plant in the rose family. It is endemic to Catalina Island, one of the southern Channel Islands in Los Angeles County, ]]California]]. It is known from just a single population. It was rare when it was first discovered in 1897 or 1898, when about 40 to 50 plants were counted. When it was federally listed as an endangered species in 1996 there were only six mature plants remaining. It has been called "one of the rarest shrubs in the continental United States" and "one of the rarest trees in North America. " in Wild Boar Gully, an arroyo covered in coastal sage scrub on Catalina. The steep sides of the arroyo contain soils of saussurite gabbro. Cercocarpus traskiae is a large shrub or tree that grows up to 8 meters in height. The leaves have thick, leathery oval blades with serrated edges and woolly-haired undersides. The leathery, woolly texture of the leaves distinguishes it from other Cercocarpus. The inflorescence is a cluster of up to 10 flowers which do not have petals. Plants do not always flower each year. While there are sometimes many seedlings noted, the seedling survival rate and rate of recruitment are quite low. As of 2007, there are only seven adult trees capable of reproduction, all located in Wild Boar Gully, and most of these are very old. The Catalina Island mountain mahogany is threatened by ungulates such as deer, and feral goats and pigs. The goats have been removed from the island, and fencing has been placed to prevent the remaining animals from touching the plants. This rare species hybridizes with its relative, Cercocarpus betuloides, a situation that may lead to genetic swamping of the rare plant. This hybridization may be made more likely by the animals' disturbance of the habitat. Many of the seedlings and saplings growing today may be hybrids. The population of pure Cercocarpus traskiae is not increasing and the species is entirely dependent on human intervention today.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub

Size
Size
13.1 - 26.3 ft tall

Dormancy
Dormancy
Evergreen

Wildlife Supported
 


Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Common uses
Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Bird Gardens

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Dry, rocky soils

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 12.6" - 38.0", Summer Precipitation: 0.15" - 0.36", Coldest Month: 47.4" - 56.2", Hottest Month: 63.6" - 72.6", Humidity: 1.33" - 17.87", Elevation: 7" - 2092"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Catalina Mahogany, Santa Catalina Island Mountain-mahogany


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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