Along with Mike Vasey, I've been fortunate enough to give names to several new taxa. One on the left is Arctostaphylosgabilanensis V.T. Parker & M.C. Vasey, an endemic to granite outcrops in the Gabilan Mountains. Two different biologists first brought this one to our attention, Vern Yadon and Dean Taylor, at two different sites, both on private ranches. The plant has a shorty dense pubescence, auriculate leaves, and large fruit with completely fused nutlets.
In the middle is Arctostaphylos ohloneana M.C. Vasey & V.T. Parker, a very rare plant found on Monterey shale in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The leaves are plain green, and the infloresence is a simple panicle. Genetic work suggests it may be a relict, or a paleoendemic in the words of some.
On the right, OK, it's not a manzanita, but a Ceanothus, C. decornutus V.T. Parker. This plant is endemic to a small area in western Marin County on serpentine outcrops. While similar in some ways to the more widespread C. jepsonii, this species differs in floral color and structure, and the fruit lacks the prominent horns of C. jepsonii.
We also named two new subspecies. On the left is Arctostaphylos patula subsp. gankinii M.C. Vasey & V.T. Parker. Roman Gankin pointed this one out to us. Subspecies gankinii differs from the nominate species principally in pubescence. Arctostaphylos patula is well known to have short hairs that are tipped with yellow or golden glands; while subspecies gankinii lack those hairs, and instead has densely packed short white hairs, either stiff or interwoven.
On the right is Arctostaphylos purissima subsp. globosa V.T. Parker & M.C. Vasey. This plant is found in the westernmost parts of the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara County. The new subspecies differs from the nominate taxon in having globose, or spherical fruit, and with nutlets fused a little over half the time. It's also glandular, and A. purissima purissima is not. This was in a site suspected to have the potential for a new taxon, and specimens had surfaced from consultants collecting in the area who noticed it didn't fit normal descriptions.
If you'd like more information (and more photos below):
Parker VT, MC Vasey. 2016. Two newly described subspecies of Arctostaphylos (Ericaceae) and implications for
understanding diversification in this genus. Madroño 63(3): 283-291.
Parker VT 2014. A newly described serpentine-endemic Ceanothus (Rhamnaceae) in coastal Marin County, California.
Madroño 61: 399-406.
Vasey MC, VT Parker. 2008. A newly described species of Arctostaphylos (Ericaceae) from the central California coast.
Parker VT, MC Vasey. 2004. Arctostaphylos gabilanensis, a newly described auriculate-leaved manzanita from the Gabilan
Mountains, California. Madroño 51 (3): 322-325.