Rare plant finds home in GGNRA

12/22/2011

Golden Gate National Recreation Area is now home to one of the rarest plants in the country: the marsh sandwort. An herbaceous green perennial known also as swamp sandwort or Arenaria paludicola, the plant was once found abundantly in marshes and riparian areas along the Pacific coast, but has fallen victim to coastal development. Today, there are about ten known individuals growing in the wild, all near San Luis Obispo. Earlier this month, a team of biologists from the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.C. Santa Cruz and several nonprofits planted over 800 marsh sandwort plants in wetlands within GGNRA. According to officials, the success of these new populations will be followed closely in the coming months and years.