During the course of a floristic study of the Cal Poly Swanton Pacific Ranch, in Santa Cruz County, we observed and collected several specimens that keyed to Sanicula crassicaulis Poepp. ex. D.C. but were notably distinct from other S. crassicaulis that we collected in the area. On further investigation, we found that these plants match the type specimen of S. nudicaulis Hook & Arn., described in 1839 and later synonymized with S. crassicaulis. This taxon is distinguished primarily by its long, sinuate marginal leaf trichomes, in contrast to the short, straight marginal trichomes of S. crassicaulis. Additionally, the length of the most proximal prickles on the schizocarps is about the same as the length of the most distal rather than the distal prickles being much longer as in S. crassicaulis and the angle of attachment of the prickles is more or less perpendicular as opposed to acute in S. crassicaulis. The known range of this taxon is between the San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Barbara County, generally near the coast. Here we recognize this taxon as a variety in S. crassicaulis. We provide a diagnosis, a map of the known range of the taxon and a key to the varieties of S. crassicaulis in California.
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Vol. 69 • No. 1