Rare Plant Profile – Episode 1 – Stebbin’s Morning Glory
Stebbin’s Morning Glory
Stebbin’s Morning Glory is a rare species endemic to clearings in the chaparral on gabbro soils. It is listed as Rank 1B.1, the designation given to species of the utmost concern and endangerment. It is known from only two general areas — the gabbro chaparral around Grass Valley and the Pine Hill gabbro in El Dorado County.
Of particular note are the deeply lobed, almost finger-like leaves, which are very atypical compared with the leaves of most other morning glory species. Stebbin’s Morning Glory relies on fire to clear the overgrowth and germinate its seeds. The suppression of fire threatens this species, because without fire other plants will grow above and shade out the full-sun requirements of this plant. Seeds can remain in the soil for some time, waiting for fire to sweep through and present the proper circumstances for germination and growth.