The Otay tar plant is restricted to heavy clay soils in coastal sage scrub and grassland habitats. It is threatened by development and intensive agriculture.
It was listed as Federally Threatened in 1998, State Endangered in 1979. Distribution is very limited, consisting of 15 populations near Spring Valley. Species occurrence has been recorded at several sites surrounding the Sweetwater Reservoir. Researchers from San Diego State University are currently investigating populations, including those at the Sweetwater Reservoir site, to develop a management plan for this species.
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Photo by Anthony Mercieca©