Pentachaeta bellidiflora (Flowering Plants)
The White-Rayed Pentachaeta is in the aster (Asteraceae) family. The species is a very small wildflower “endemic” to the San Francisco Bay Area. It was first collected in 1853 or 1854 during a railway route exploration, although the species was not described until 1885.
The White-Rayed Pentachaeta is now restricted to serpentine grasslands. It is an annual wildflower with pale pink ray flowers and yellow disk flowers. Although each plant is short in stature, the population within the San Francisco Peninsula Watershed is very large (thousands of plants) and makes for a bright show in late winter through early spring. This is still a great place to find the species within the GGNP legislative boundary.
At one time, there were ten occurrences documented of the White-Rayed Pentachaeta. It ranged from Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz Counties; it was the widest ranging of all the species in the San Francisco Bay Area that are now considered in danger of extinction. Today just one population of White-Rayed Pentachaeta remains in the wild. The species was protected as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act in 1995.
A combination of threats has reduced the White-Rayed Pentachaeta to its present state: urban development and habitat conversion caused by non-native plant invasions are two of the biggest threats the species faces. Lolium multiflorum, the Italian ryegrass, has been particularly hard on White-Rayed Pentachaeta.
Conservation Action Item
Help control invasive plants:
Become a GGNRA Weed Watcher
In order to fight back against invasive weeds, the GGNP has created a citizen-science program designed to detect infestations of invasive weeds before they get out of control. Called “Weed Watchers,” the program teaches individuals how to identify invasive weeds, and then report findings of where these weeds may be located in the Park. Get trained and become a Weed Watcher and help combat the invasive weeds that are threatening the continued existence of the White-Rayed Pentachaeta.
Big Year Competitors have reported 0 sightings and taken 0 actions to help this species recover so far this year.
Monthly Big Year Prize!
Monday, 01 Oct 2012, 12:00 - 20:00 Pacific Time (US & Canada)
Log in to participate in Big Year!