Stebbins’ morning-glory is a leafy herbaceous perennial vine in the morning-glory family. The species is restricted to the Pine Hill Preserve and immediate vicinity in El Dorado County and two sites near Grass Valley in Nevada County.
At the time of listing, Stebbins’ morning-glory occurred primarily on the Pine Hill formation in western El Dorado County, California, ranging in elevation from 453 to 2,060 feet. Stebbins’ morning-glory had a few known isolated occurrences in El Dorado, Nevada and Tuolumne counties.
Threats include alteration of the natural fire regime and encroachment of native plants due to succession. The long fire return interval due to fire suppression is preventing the formation of necessary clearings for Stebbins’ morning-glory establishment and possibly the scarification of seeds needed for their germination.
Stebbins’ morning-glory was listed as endangered on October 18, 1996.
Stebbins’ morning-glory is found in gabbro soils and is also known to occur on serpentine soils. Two of the three serpentine sites for Stebbins’ morning-glory in Nevada County are possibly extirpated, but the species continues to persist at one serpentine site in that county and an additional serpentine site near Shingle Springs in El Dorado County.
Land on which the natural dominant plant forms are grasses and forbs.
A dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large tract.
Environments influenced by humans in a less substantial way than cities. This can include agriculture, silvaculture, aquaculture, etc.
Flowering occurs from April through July and is insect pollinated, primarily by bees. Though initially thought to be an obligate seeding species, it seems to have the capability to recruit by seed or rhizomatous resprout after fire or other disturbance. Seeds require scarification or heat treatment for successful germination. It has a seedbank that may persist for over 60 years. Plants grow from seed rapidly and flower profusely 2-3 years after fire.
While an above-ground shoot may appear in the same spot for only several years, other portions of this plant’s extensive root system might survive much longer.
Stebbins’ morning-glory has stems of up to 3.3 feet in length that generally lie flat on the ground or climb nearby vegetation and rocks. Leaves are palmately lobed with 7 to 9 lobes. White, creamy yellow, and sometimes pink-tinged flowers are on stalks 1 to 5 inches long and bear two leaf-like bracts in addition to being generally glabrous. Flowering occurs April through July.
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