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San Clemente Island Bushmallow
Malacothamnus clementinus
About San Clemente Island Bushmallow (Malacothamnus clementinus) Nurseries Show All Photos Malacothamnus clementinus is a rare species of flowering plant in the mallow family known by the common name San Clemente Island bushmallow. It is endemic to San Clemente Island, one of the Channel Islands of California, where it is known from fewer than ten occurrences in the steep, rocky seaside canyons. The plant became a federally listed endangered species in 1977 when it was limited to a single population nearing extinction due to herbivory by the feral goats which once infested the small island. The goats have since been removed and the plant is recovering well, but many threats still remain, including competition with introduced species of plants, wildfire, erosion, and damage to the landscape by United States Navy bombing exercises. This is a bushy shrub with a thin, multibranched stem coated in long, fine hairs. It reaches heights between 40 centimeters and one meter. It bears rounded dark green leaves several centimeters long which are divided into sharp lobes. The flower cluster is a spikelike cluster of a few pale pink, lavender, or nearly white flowers with somewhat lance-shaped, hairy petals several millimeters long. It rarely produces fertile seed and it is believed to propagate itself mainly via rhizomes.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1.3 - 3.3 ft (0.4 - 1 m)

Bears rounded dark green leaves several centimeters long which are divided into sharp lobes

Flower Color
Pink, White, Lavender

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status
Natural Setting
Site Type
Rocky canyon walls


Elevation ?
26' - 2781'

Annual Precip. ?
6.0" - 43.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.20" - 0.59"

Coldest Month ?
46.6° F - 57.3° F

Hottest Month ?
65.3° F - 78.0° F

Humidity ?
1.31 vpd - 29.37 vpd


Butterflies ?


Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Common uses
Hummingbird Gardens, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Sometimes 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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