|Liliopsida (Grasses, Lillies, Orchids): Lilaceae
Roderick’s Fritillary (Fritillaria roderickii)
Potential Occurrence: Likely to Occur
Photos: Halleh Paymard
pecies Description: Roderick’s Fritillary is a perennial herb growing 10 to 45 cm high from a bulb (Hickman 1996). It has 3 to 7 alternate oblong to ovate leaves often crowded just above the base (Hickman 1996). The flower is nodding, 1.8 to 4 cm with narrowly ovoid, dark brown, greenish purple or yellowish green perianth parts. The fruit is an angled, thin walled, loculicidal capsule with many flat brownish seeds (Hickman 1996).
Nomenclature: Fritillaria roderickii Knight Liliaceae (USDA 2010)
Synonyms: The taxonomy of this species is under revision. USDA (2010), CNPS (2010), and Smith and Wheeler (1992) all identify the primary synonym as F. grayana. Hickman(1996) also lists F. biflora var. biflora as a synonym to F. roderickii. Callfora (2010) lists F. roderickii as a synonym for F.biflora var. ineziana:
Taxonomic validity has been questioned; further study needed. A synonym of F. biflora var. biflora in The Jepson Manual. USFWS uses the name F. grayana. See Four Seasons 2(2):14-16 (1967) for original description. (From CNPS 2010)
Distribution: This species occurs in the North Coast Range specifically in Napa, Mendocino, and Sonoma counties from 15 to 600 m (CNPS 2010, Hickman 1996, Smith and Wheeler 1992). CNPS (2010) reports that plants are introduced in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. The type specimen for F. roderickii was found in Mendocino County about 4 miles south of Point Arena (Roderick 1965). NatureServe (2009) lists the distribution for F. biflora var. ineziana as “California: Mendocino County (F. roderickii) and Hillsborough area in San Mateo Co.”
Life History & Threats: Roderick’s fritillary is threatened by road maintenance, residential development, and erosion (CNPS 2010)
Habitat & Habitat Associations:
Vegetation Types: Habitat descriptions for this species (i.e., F. roderickii, F. grayana, F. biflora var. biflora or F. biflora var.ineziana) vary among leading texts and on-line databases:
CalFlora (2010): F. roderickii - Coastal Prairie, Valley Grassland, Northern Coastal Scrub
Hickman (1996): F. biflora var biflora - Grassy slopes, mesas, serpentine barrens.
NatureServe (2009): F. garyana - Clay and serpentine soils within Valley Grassland and Foothill/Cismontane Woodland communities. 0 - 200 m.
CNPS (2010): F. roderickii - Coastal bluff scrub (CBScr), Coastal prairie (CoPrr), Valley and foothill grassland (VFGrs)
Topography and Microclimates:
Given excellent drainage … and full or nearly full sun (tolerates summer afternoon sun), grows especially well in zones 20 and 21 and also in zones 14, 15, 16, 17, and 24. (From Jepson Horticultural Database 2006)
Elevation: 15 to 600 m (CNPS 2010; Smith and Wheeler 1992) (The Study Area ranges from 230 to 710 m).
Geology and Soils: clay or serpentine (NatureServe 2009)
Species Associations: Roderick’s Fritillary is associated with grasses, coastal shrubs, broadleaved and evergreen trees (CNPS 2010, NatureServe 2009).
Conceptual Basis for GIS Model Development: Potential habitat in the Study Area was mapped as areas:
below 630 m (includes a 30 m buffer relative to known elevational occurrences)
grasslands or cismontane woodland (mixed, montane mixed, or single dominant hardwoods with a canopy cover of 10-40%)
Best potential habitat in areas defined above with clay, clay loam soil texture. Serpentine soils are not known to occur on the Preserve (see below).
Potential Occurrence in the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve:
Habitat: Best habitat for this species in the Preserve is cismontane woodland and grasslands below 630 m with clay parent material. Low elevation grasslands and cismontane woodlands generally run north-south through the central portion of the Preserve, and clay and clay loam soils are common within these vegetation types. Serpentine soils, while common regionally, are not indicated by the GIS soil data as occurring in the Study Area. To verify the GIS information, we identified all areas (11 sites) of exposed rocky soils from high-resolution satellite imagery. During site visits to these areas, the only serpentine found was rocks exposed by road maintenance activity at a waterbar.
Habitat quality is difficult to assess given the uncertainty of habitat requirements for this species. We list habitat quality as moderate: clay soils occur within appropriate vegetation types but serpentine, a habitat element noted as coincident with many occurrence of this species, is lacking in the Preserve.
Documented Occurrence in the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve: Previous species list for the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve did not find this species (SSU Field Station and Nature Preserves 2010)
Nearest Occurrence to the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve: This species (here including F. roderickii, F. biflora var. biflora, and F. grayana) is known from 21 occurrences in Mendocino County (CalFlora 2010), all located north of the Preserve. The nearest occurrence is approximately 5 miles northwest of the Preserve in the Navarro Watershed (Calflora 2010). The greatest nearest neighbor distances among reported occurrences in Mendocino County is over 30 miles.
Summary: We anticipate this species is “Likely to Occur” due to the large areas of moderate quality habitat and the close proximity of the nearest documented occurrence (relative to maximum distances observed among known occurrences).
Calflora. 2010. Information on California plants for education, research and conservation.. Accessed 2010 Jun 18.
California Native Plant Society (CNPS). 2010. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants. Online edition, v7-10b. . Accessed 2010 Jun 18.
Hickman JC editor. 1996. The Jepson Manual Higher Plants of California. 3rd printing. London: University of California Press, Ltd. 1195 p.
Jepson Horticultural Database. 2006. . Accessed 2010 Jun 24.
NatureServe. 2009. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life. Version 7.1. Accessed 2010 Jun 18.
Paymard H. 2008. Fritillaria roderickii; Roderick’s Fritillaria. . Accessed 2010 Oct 4.
Roderick W. 1967. Consortium of California Herbaria.. Accessed 2010 Jun 24.
Smith GL, Wheeler CR. 1992. A flora of the Vascular Plants of Mendocino County, California. San Francisco: University of San Francisco. 104 p.
SSU Field Stations and Nature Preserves. 2010. Galbreath Wildlands Preserve Vascular Plant List. Compiled by CNPS Milo Baker Chapter, Linden Schneider, and others. Updated June 2009. http://www.sonoma.edu/preserves/docs/galbreath_vascular_plants.pdf.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2010. PLANTS Profile. . Accessed 2010 Oct 4.
Species Account Description: Linden Schneider