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Dwarf meadowfoam (Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila)
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila flower
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila plant
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila habitat
Flower (left), habit (center), and habitat (right) of dwarf meadowfoam. Photos by Stephen Meyers. If downloading images from this website, please credit the photographer.


Plant description
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila is an annual herb with herbage glabrous throughout. Stems are simple or sparingly branched near the base, ranging from 5-10 cm high. Leaves are 1-5 cm long and are pinnately divided with  linear to oblanceolate leaflets 3-8 mm long. Peduncles are stout, glabrous, and 2-4 cm long. Sepals are broadly lanceolate, acute, 6-10 mm long, and are glabrous to sparse woolly hairy within and glabrous without. Petals are white, oblong, rounded, and less than or equal to the sepals in length. Each flower produces 3-5 ovoid nutlets that are wrinkled below. Depending on the rains and temperature, the taxon can be found flowering from the beginning of March to mid-April.

Distinguishing characteristics
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila is morphologically similar to two other meadowfoams found in the same geographical region, L. floccosa ssp. floccosa (woolly meadowfoam) and L. floccosa ssp. grandiflora (big-flowered wooly meadowfoam). Dwarf meadowfoam differs from these taxa in that this species has glabrous leaves, stems, and outer sepals.

When to survey
Surveys for this species must be completed during its bloom time between the beginning of March and mid-April.

Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila is usually found near the edges of vernal pools. However, the taxon may also be found near the edges of wet trails, roads, and small streams. The soils it inhabits are volcanic in origin. Dwarf meadowfoam is often found with other vernal pool species such as California goldfields (Baeria chrysostoma), giant blue eyed Mary (Collinsia grandiflora), and miniature lupine (Lupinus bicolor).

Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila is currently, and historically, only known to exist on the summits of Upper and Lower Table Rocks, north of Medford.

Oregon counties

Federal status
Species of Concern

The main threats to Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila are competition from invasive species and physical damage to plants from off trail hikers on the summits of Upper and Lower Table Rocks. On Upper Table Rock grazing may be having an impact on the taxon. On Lower Table Rock small aircraft continue (illegally) to use an abandoned dirt airstrip on the summit. These aircraft are likely having a negative impact on L. floccosa ssp. pumila populations on and near the airstrip.

Conservation planning
A Draft Recovery Plan (pdf document, 5.30 MB) for listed species of the Rogue and Illinois Valleys was released in 2006 by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Did you know?
Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila has never been seen or collected at any location except the summit of the Table Rocks. A diligent eye may one day find this taxon near the base of either of the Table Rocks, or in the adjacent valley.

Current/Recent ODA projects
Evolutionary studies within the plant family Limnanthaceae

Arroyo, M.T.K. 1973. A taximetric study of infraspecific variation in autogamous Limnanthes floccosa (Limnanthaceae). Brittonia 25:177-191.
Mason, C.T. 1952. A systematic study of the genus Limnanthes R. Br. University of California Publication in Botany 25:455-512.
Meinke, R.J. 1982. Threatened and endangered vascular plants of Oregon: An illustrated guide. Unpublished report for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1, Portland, Oregon. Oregon Department of Agriculture, Salem, Oregon.
Oregon Flora Project. 2005. Oregon plant atlas home page. http://www.oregonflora.org/atlas.php. Accessed September 6, 2007.