Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plants of Upper Newport Bay
Ron Vanderhoff, Orange County CA Native Plant Society, guest Contributor
Almost everyone reading this article already knows that the Upper Newport Bay is an incredible botanical treasure. Orange County, an area of more than 500,000 acres, has about 1,435 recorded wildland plant species of which about 890 are native. Upper Newport Bay, at only about 1,000 acres, has a flora of 580 species. That is 38% of all the plants of Orange County on about one fifth of one percent of the land mass. Upper Newport Bay is a remarkable place.
Upper Newport Bay has several rare plants as well. The designation, “Rare,” for a plant is defined as being listed as a CA or US Endangered or Threatened Species or a species listed by the California Native Plant Society Rare Plant Ranking. Of the 18 species at Upper Newport Bay that might fit these criteria, two are suspicious or invalid records, one has had a taxonomic change, one is extinct and six are found in very old records or with uncertain details, bringing the list of the current rarest plants at Upper Newport Bay to a tidy eight species:
All Photos: Ron Vanderhoff