The San Diego Sea Dahlia (Leptosyne maritima), or Dalia marítima de San Diego in Spanish, is native to southern California and Baja California, Mexico and is a member of the sunflower family. Found growing in coastal chaparral, ocean bluffs, and coastal woodland habitats, it can grow from six to 24 inches tall with a round flower consisting of 15 to 20 bright yellow petals.
Due to habitat loss, caused by erosion, human activity, and invasive plants, it has been ranked 2.B by the California Rare Plant Ranking System. The 2.B ranking recognizes the importance of protecting this flower as it is endangered in California, but it is more common in other states thus not eligible for consideration under the Federal Endangered Species Act. For additional information, please refer to the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended by the 108th Congress.
To see more photos of the San Diego Sea Dahlia, visit the San Diego Natural History Museum’s San Diego County Plant Atlas.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jon Rebman, SDNHM