Butte County Meadowfoam

Photo by Rick Kuyper, USFWS

Kids' Species Information

Butte County Meadowfoam

STATUS

Endangered. That means we are afraid the species may go extinct.

DESCRIPTIONButte Co Meadowfoam, FWS

These plants have white flowers with five petals.

The petals form a cup. This is a way to tell that it's not some other meadowfoam.

There are dark yellow veins at the base of each of the petals. The flowers are quite small. Petals are 8-10 mm long. (About 1/3 inch)

Stems are 2.5 to 25 centimeters long. (1 to 10 inches) They generally lie flat on the ground with the tips curved upward. They have few leaves in the flowering stage. Flowers bloom late March through April.

REPRODUCTION

Vernal pool meadowfoam is largely self-pollinating. But many vernal pool species depend on bees for pollination. Learn more.

Butte County vernal poolHABITAT

Along the edges of vernal pools and seasonal streams. Plants generally grow on level to gently sloping terrain. They thrive in waterlogged soils.

RANGE

A 25-mile strip along the eastern side of the Sacramento Valley. This runs from central Butte County to the north side of Chico.

THREATS

Butte County meadowfoam is primarily threatened by urban development in and around Chico.

EXPLORE

If you live in Butte County, you may be able to find the meadowfoam. Wherever you live, you can enjoy wildflowers. Throughout lots of California, you can visit vernal pools. Many of them will have a meadowfoam species.

In the spring, vernal pools have beautiful wildflowers that form rings. Some endangered vernal pool plants include:

  • Baker's stickyseed RTF
  • Burke's goldfields RTF
  • Butte County Meadowfoam RTF
  • Contra Costa Goldfields
  • Loch Lomond Coyote-Thistle
  • Sacramento Orcutt Grass
  • Many-Flowered Navarretia

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Enjoy wildflowers and take pictures. But leave them for other people to enjoy.

Plant some wildflowers or other native plants. (Get permission first.)

See What You Can Do to Help Wildlife and Plants (201 KB PDF) for other ideas for protecting the environment.

MORE READING

Splash has lots of information. There is a video that gives a good overview of vernal pools. For more Sacramento area plants see their plant page.

Photo Credits: Rick Kuyper, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The yellow flowers in the second picture are not Butte Co. meadowfoam. The picture is just to give you a sense of the habitat.

Words to Learn

Botanists call Butte County meadowfoam Limnanthes floccosa californica. Scientific names are in Latin or Greek.

Butte County meadowfoam is a subspecies of woolly meadowfoam. The word californica added to the species name indicates this.

The species is also known as Shippee meadowfoam.

Meadowfoam species are in the Limnanthaceae family.