Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Endemic to California, known only from Olcott Lake and vicinity.

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Historic Range:
U.S.A. (CA)

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Annuals, Terrestrial, not aquatic, Stems nodes swollen or brittle, Stems geniculate, decumbent, or lax, sometimes rooting at nodes, Stems caespitose, tufted, or clustered, Stems terete, round in cross section, or polygonal, Stems branching above base or distally at nodes, Stem nodes bearded or hairy, Plants conspicuously hairy, grayish, or wooly, Plants viscid, sticky, glandular-hairy, Plants aromatic or malodorous, Stem internodes solid or spongy, Stems with inflorescence less than 1 m tall, Stems, culms, or scapes exceeding basal leaves, Leaves mostly cauline, Leaves conspicuously 2-ranked, distichous, Leaves sheathing at base, Leaf sheath mostly open, or loose, Leaf sheath hairy, hispid or prickly, Leaf sheath hairy at summit, throat, or collar, Leaf blades linear, Leaf blades very narrow or filiform, less than 2 mm wide, Leaf blades 2-10 mm wide, Leaf blades mostly flat, Leaf blade margins folded, involute, or conduplicate, Inflorescence terminal, Inflorescence solitary, with 1 spike, fascicle, glomerule, head, or cluster per stem or culm, Inflorescence single raceme, fascicle or spike, Inflorescence branches more than 10 to numerous, Rachis angular, Flowers bisexual, Spikelets sessile or subsessile, Spikelets laterally compressed, Inflorescence or spikelets partially hidden in leaf sheaths, subtended by spatheole, Spikelet 3-10 mm wide, Spikelets with 3-7 florets, Spikelets solitary at rachis nodes, Spikelets all alike and fertille, Spikelets bisexual, Sp ikelets disarticulating above the glumes, glumes persistent, Spikelets disarticulating beneath or between the florets, Rachilla or pedicel glabrous, Glumes present, empty bracts, Glumes 2 clearly present, Glumes equal or subequal, Glumes shorter than adjacent lemma, Glumes 8-15 nerved, Glumes 2-5 toothed, Lemmas thin, chartaceous, hyaline, cartilaginous, or membranous, Lemma similar in texture to glumes, Lemma 8-15 nerved, Lemma glabrous, Lemma apex acute or acuminate, Lemma mucronate, very shortly beaked or awned, less than 1-2 mm, Lemma margins thin, lying flat, Lemma straight, Palea present, well developed, Palea about equal to lemma, Palea 2 nerved or 2 keeled, Stamens 3, Styles 2-fid, deeply 2-branched, Stigmas 2, Fruit - caryopsis.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Type Information

Isotype for Orcuttia mucronata Crampton
Catalog Number: US 2241392
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of alleged type specimen
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): B. Crampton
Year Collected: 1958
Locality: 1/2 mi S of Olcott, 12 mi S of Dixon., Solano, California, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Crampton, B. 1959. Madrono. 15: 107.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Germinates in warm, turbid, somewhat alkaline vernal pools; these dry out by early summer.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Persistence: ANNUAL

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N1 - Critically Imperiled

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled

Reasons: Known from only 3 vernal pools in Solano and Yolo counties, California. The number of plants varies greatly at each pool from year-to-year. No plants have been seen since 1993 at the type locale. At a second site the number of observed individuals has varied from a single plant to about 150. The third site, discovered in 1993 on what was then Department of Defense land, was observed to have several thousand plants in 2000 (Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Program 2003). This is the only large population known. The site is being transferred to the Yolo County Parks Department.

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Current Listing Status Summary

Status: Endangered
Date Listed: 09/29/1978
Lead Region:   California/Nevada Region (Region 8) 
Where Listed:


Population detail:

Listing status: E

For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Tuctoria mucronata, see its USFWS Species Profile

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Global Short Term Trend: Unknown

Global Long Term Trend: Unknown

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Threats

Degree of Threat: Very high - high

Comments: Nonnative plants are a threat (CNPS 2001).

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Wikipedia

Tuctoria mucronata

The grass Tuctoria mucronata, which is known by several common names including Solano grass, Crampton's tuctoria, and prickly spiralgrass, is a federally listed endangered plant species endemic to two counties in northern California. It is a small annual, with stems growing decumbent against the ground to a maximum length of 12 cm, and turning upward at the tips. The leaves are 2-4 cm long, and secrete a sticky, aromatic juice. In the spring, the grass bears a small inflorescence 1.5-6 cm long, with numerous crowded spikelets.

Solano grass is a vernal pool plant. It is only found in these seasonally wet areas, a type of habitat which is endangered. This species is thought to have once grown in isolated parts the northern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, in areas which flooded during the wet season, but any former habitat there has been long since reclaimed for agriculture. Only a few individuals of the plant now exist, mostly in Yolo County. It was found during the 1990s at Jepson Prairie Preserve, an area dedicated to conserving vernal pool habitat, but it may no longer exist there.

Loss of critical habitat is the main cause of the near extinction of Solano grass. This loss is caused by land reclamation for development, recreation, and agricultural use, including for grazing animals, fertilizer runoff, and disturbance of the natural hydrology of the Central Valley. Invasive plants have also played a role in crowding out more delicate native grasses, such as Solano grass, Greene's tuctoria (Tuctoria greenei), Colusa grass (Neostapfia colusana), and several species of genus Orcuttia.

See also[edit]

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