The Blazing StarMay/June 2014
By Justen Whittall
On Sunday, March 2nd, 2014, the federally-endangered Metcalf Canyon Jewelflower (Streptanthus albidus ssp. albidus) was reintroduced to Tulare Hill in southern Santa Clara County. Approximately 16,000 seeds were sown in four locations on Tulare Hill, an isolated serpentine grassland nestled between Santa Teresa Blvd. and Monterey Hwy. The property is owned by Santa Clara County Parks and the Silicon Valley Land Conservancy who are partners in the reintroduction. Seeds will also be planted near existing populations at the Motorcycle County Park atop Metcalf Rd. on March 4th, 2014 as controls and to supplement those existing populations.
This historic population of jewelflower at Tulare Hill declined primarily due to overgrazing by cattle. No jewelflowers have persisted at Tulare Hill since 1980 when the remaining population was extirpated by residential development.
A modified grazing regime and improved understanding of the jewelflower’s biology have been a collaborative effort ...