It’s always a treat to feature a photograph from the late James Gaither (aka J.G. in S.F.@Flickr). Today we feature Hoita strobilina (image 1 | image 2), or Loma Prieta hoita, of the Fabaceae. These photographs were taken in Regional Parks Botanic Garden, in Tilden Regional Park in the Berkeley Hills in July of 2009, and uploaded to the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. Thanks again, James!
Hoita strobilina is a threatened, perennial herb endemic to California. It occurs naturally in chaparral or oak woodland on serpentine, or Franciscan-formation substrata. It descends into gravelly creek beds draining from the mountains into the Santa Clara Valley. This species went largely unnoticed (and without protection measures) until a comprehensive monograph was conducted. It is now listed as rare, threatened, or endangered in California and elsewhere by the California Native Plant Society. The CNPS also notes that this species is threatened by urbanization, and possibly by feral pigs and foot traffic.