Endangered Species Recovery Program
None federal or state. California Native Plant Society List 1B.
The typical flowering period for Comanche Point layia, an annual, is March to April. However, it has been observed only in years of higher than average rainfall. Cross-pollination is necessary for seed set. In the Comanche and Tejon Hills, Comanche Point layia grows on sparsely-vegetated microhabitats in annual grasslands. Associated species include annual buckwheats (Eriogonum spp.), hollisteria (Hollisteria lanata), leafy-stemmed coreopsis (Coreopsis calliopsidea), and Tejon poppy (Eschscholzia lemmonii ssp. kernensis) [CL]. On the Valley floor, Comanche Point layia was restricted to the margins of alkali sinks and hummocks. Comanche Point layia has been reported from light-colored, subalkaline clay soils at elevations of 150 to 350 m.
Comanche Point layia has glandular, pale yellow stems. The leaves are oblong, fleshy, and entire to lobed. Each daisy-like flower head is composed of 6-15 flattened, white ray florets and 20-100 yellow disk florets. The achenes (single-seeded fruits) produced by the ray and disk florets differ slightly.
Comanche Point layia is endemic to Kern County, where it occurred historically in the extreme southern San Joaquin Valley and adjacent hills to the east. Collection localities included the Comanche and Tejon Hills, the area between Edison and Bena, and the Valley floor near the southern end of Kern Lake. Comanche Point layia remains in the Comanche and Tejon Hills. However, it has not been observed in the Edison-Bena area or on the Valley floor since 1935, where large-scale conversion to agriculture has eliminated most suitable habitat.
Subclass ASTERIDAE, Order ASTERALES, Family ASTERACEAE, Genus Layia, Species leucopappa
Twisselmann, E.C. 1967. A flora of Kern County, California. University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 395 pp.; Twisselmann, E.C. 1969. Status of the rare plants of Kern County. California Native Plant Society Newsletter 5(3):1-7; Baldwin, B., and S.J. Bainbridge. 1993. Layia. Pp. 300-303 in The Jepson manual: higher plants of California (J.C. Hickman, ed.). University of California Press, Berkeley, 1400 pp.; Keck, D.D. 1935. Studies upon the taxonomy of the Madinae. Madroño 3:4-18; Skinner, M.W., and B.M. Pavlik, eds. 1994. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. Fifth edition. Spec. Publ. No. 1, California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, 338 pp.; Rarefind, California Natural Diversity Data Base, Sacramento.
< 3 cm across
2-3.5 mm long
Comanche Point layia is distinguished from other members of the genus that have white ray flowers by the fleshy leaves and by microscopic characters of the flower head and achenes.