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Red Hills Soaproot
(Chlorogalum grandiflorum )

Red Hills soaproot
BLM Photograph

Description: Perennial herb growing from a 2 - 2 3/4 inch (5-7 cm) bulb that is reddish to brown in color. Leaves growing from base of plant, 1/4 - 1/2 inch (4 -12 mm) wide and wavy.  Inflorescence is 12-40 inches (30-100 cm) with ascending branches.  Flowers are white with purplish midvein, opening in evening and closing by next morning.  Fruit is 1/4 - 3/8 inches in length (5-8 mm).

Distribution: Red Hills Soaproot is known from serpentine and gabbro rock sites primarily in Tuolumne and El Dorado counties.  These sites are primarily chaparral; the soaproot growing in the openings.  However, there are also a number of occurrences that are associated with westside ponderosa pine forest from El Dorado to Calaveras County.  BLM manages extensive habitat for this species in the Red Hills of Tuolumne County (on serpentine) and in the Pine Hill gabbro formation of El Dorado County, as well as a smaller amount of forest habitat.

Habitat: Grows in chaparral and wooded hills on serpentine and gabbro rock outcrops from 984 - 1640 feet (300-500 m). Also found in westside ponderosa pine forests up to 3800 feet (1160 meters).

Flowering Period: May-June

Similar Plants:

Status: BLM Sensitive, California Native Plant Society List 1B

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Field Office: Mother Lode

Last updated: 08-05-2010