Chorizanthe valida02
Photo by Doreen Smith

Chorizanthe valida  (Sonoma spineflower)

by Doreen Smith

This is one of the rarest plants in the world now found as a natural population only on Point Reyes National Seashore. There is some doubt that the original type specimen really came from Sonoma County and it is possibly a Marin endemic. Sonoma botanists need to check for it near Duncan’s Mills to refute this statement!

The plants are annuals so populations fluctuate in numbers and the size of individual plants. The pictures show well-developed plants from a “good” year Each year can be different depending on the weather conditions present before and during the vegetative period. The Seashore personnel monitor it carefully and check on its survival. Flowering begins in June in the sites which it favors they do best in an unusual sort of coastal soil. It is one of the local native annual species likely reliant on animal grazing to keep down competing non-native species of grasses and other weeds.