Native "Endemic" Plants
Found on Santa Cruz Island

This page covers some of the plants that are "endemic" to the Channel Islands (they grow only on the Channel Islands, and nowhere else).  The map following each endemic plant shows its distribution on the islands.

Note: "s." denotes subspecies, and "v." denotes variety.  Distribution information from "A Flora of Santa Cruz Island" Steve Junak et al. Copyright Santa Barbara Botanic Garden & California Native Plant Society 1995.

Click on a photo to see a large version!

 

Northern island bush poppy
(Dendromecon harfordii)
is in the poppy family.  This plant grows only on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands.
Unlike the "California Poppy" this plant is a perennial shrub. A close-up of the flower.

Distribution of Northern island bush poppy

 

Island Ceanothus
(Ceanothus arboreus)
is in the Buckthorn family.  This particular plant is about 12 feet high.

This plant grows only on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Santa Catalina and Guadalupe (Mexico) islands.
An extreme close-up of the tiny flowers. A close-up of the leaves.

Distribution of Island Ceanothus

 

Island big-pod Ceanothus
(Ceanothus megacarpus  s. insularis)
is in the buckthorn family.

This plant grows only on Santa Cruz, San Miguel (not seen since 1886) Santa Rosa, Anacapa, Santa Catalina and San Clemente islands.

Distribution of Island big-pod Ceanothus

 

Santa Cruz Island silver lotus
(Lotus argophyllus v. niveus)

is in the Pea family.  This plant grows only on Santa Cruz Island and is listed as an endangered species by the Sate of California. 

 

Distribution of Santa Cruz Island silver lotus

 

Santa Cruz Island Manzanita
(Arctostaphylos insularis)

is in the Heath family.  This plant grows only on Santa Cruz Island.
Many manzanitas (found all over the western U.S.) are known for their attractive bark. In Spanish, "Manzanita" means, "little apple."  In this photo you can see where it got its name.

Distribution of the Santa Cruz Island Manzanita

 

Santa Cruz Island ironwood
(Lyonothamnus floribundus s. aspleniifolius)
is in the rose family.  This is a grove on the Pelican Trail.  This sub-species is found only on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Clemente Islands.
 
A small specimen of the tree found on the Ridge Road.
A close up of the leaves. A comparison of the leaves from the two sub-species of the tree.  The one on the right (sub-species floribundus) grows only on Santa Catalina island.

Distribution of Santa Cruz Island Ironwood.

 

Cliff-aster
(Malacothrix saxatilis v. implicata)

is in the sunflower family.  This plant grows only on Santa Cruz, San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Anacapa and San Nicolas Islands.
A close-up of Cliff-aster.

Distribution of Cliff-aster.

 

Santa Cruz Island bush mallow
(Malacothamnus fasciculatus v. nesioticus)
is in the Mallow family.  This plant grows only on Santa Cruz Island.  It is listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of California.

Distribution of the Santa Cruz Island bush mallow

 

Hoffmann's rock cress
(Arabis hoffmannii)
is in the Mustard family.  This plant is known from only Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands, although it was last seen on Santa Rosa in 1930.  It grows in only a few locations on Santa Cruz and is listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Distribution of Hoffmann's rock cress

 

Island paintbrush
(Castilleja lanata s. hololeuca)
is in the figwort family (although it will likely be reclassified).  This plant grows only on Santa Cruz, San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Anacapa Islands.

Distribution of the Santa Cruz Island paintbrush.

 

Northern island Hazardia
(Hazardia detonsa)
is in the sunflower family.

This plant grows only on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and Anacapa Islands.

Distribution of Northern Island Hazardia

 

"island alum-root"
(Heuchera maxima)

is in the Saxifrage family.  This plant grows only on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and Anacapa Islands.

Distribution of Island alum-root

 

Candleholder Dudleya
“Liveforever”
(Dudleya candelabrum)

is in the Stonecrop family.  This plant grows only on Santa Cruz, San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands.
This particular group of Dudleya are growing on the Coastal Live-Oak.  This plant can often be found growing in thin soils on rocky slopes.

Distribution of Candleholder Dudleya.

 

Santa Cruz Island buckwheat
(Eriogonum arborescens)

is in the Buckwheat family.  This plant grows only on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and Anacapa Islands.
A close-up of the flowers.
The whole plant (with dried flowers).

Distribution of the Santa Cruz Island Buckwheat.

 

Island Morning Glory
(Calystegia macrostegia s. macrostegia)

is in the Morning Glory family.  This plant grows only on Santa Cruz, San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Anacapa and Santa Catalina Islands, plus the two Mexican islands of San Marin and Guadalupe.

Distribution of Island Morning Glory/

 

Island nightshade
(Solanum clokeyi - AKA Solanum wallacei)
is in the nightshade family.  It grows only on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and Guadalupe (Mexico) Islands.

Distribution of Island nightshade

 

Island deerweed
(Lotus dendroideus v. dendroideus)
is in the pea family.
This plant grows only on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and Santa Catalina Islands.

Distribution of island deerweed.

 

Island monkeyflower
(Mimulus flemingii)
is in the figwort family (although it will likely be reclassified).  It grows only on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Anacapa and San Clemente Islands.

Distribution of the Santa Cruz Island monkeyflower

 

Island scrub oak
(Quercus pacifica)
is in the oak family.  It grows only on Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and Santa Catalina Islands.

Distribution of island scrub oak.