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Lompoc Yerba Santa
Eriodictyon capitatum

About Lompoc Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon capitatum) Eriodictyon capitatum, the Lompoc yerba santa, is a rare evergreen shrub in the borage family. It is endemic to western Santa Barbara County, in California. The plant is endemic to western Santa Barbara County, California, where it is known from only five remaining populations, two of which are located on Vandenberg Air Force Base. It was made a federally listed endangered species in 2000. Besides the Vandenberg populations, there are two populations located just north of Lompoc and a single population just south on the slopes of the Santa Ynez Mountains. Ecology. This plant grows in two types of habitat. The first is California coastal sage and chaparral, including maritime chaparral and coastal sage scrub on sandstone soils. Here it grows amongst buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus), black sage (Salvia mellifera) and California sagebrush (Artemisia californica). The second habitat type of the plant is coastal coniferous forest, where it is often associated with bishop pine (Pinus muricata). Eriodictyon capitatum is rare plant produces hairless, resinous, sticky stems up to about 3 meters (9 feet) tall. The bark is shreddy. The leathery herbage is aromatic, lining the stems with very narrow linear leaves up to 9 centimeters long. The inflorescence is a cluster of hairy bell-shaped lavender flowers. The plant undergoes both sexual and vegetative reproduction. During the latter it produces more aboveground stems from its rootstock, sometimes creating a "population" of many plants which are actually one genetic individual. Some occurrences are made up of fewer than 20 plants. Threats to the existence of this species include non-native plants and fire management regimes in the area. Also, the plant is not prolific in its reproduction, producing little seed. Because some colonies are made up of clones, this self-incompatible plant has less chance of being pollinated by genetically separate individuals.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
9.8 ft (3 m)


Flower Color

Native Status
Natural Setting
Elevation ?
53' - 1717'

Annual Precip. ?
14.2" - 25.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.20" - 0.26"

Coldest Month ?
42.3° F - 49.9° F

Hottest Month ?
65.4° F - 76.5° F

Humidity ?
0.76 vpd - 24.08 vpd

Landscaping Information
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

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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