notes Habit of Sanicula maritima seen here in fruit, growing in coastal prairie habitat.
Note that the inflorescences of this species consist of heads (actually sessile umbels) with a central cluster of 3-8 bisexual flowers surrounded by more numerous staminate flowers. One can see this reflected in the late phenology image here, where the uppermost inflorescence has a bulging central cluster of plump, prickled fruits surrounded by relatively spindly dried remnants of the staminate flowers. A key character of this species is that the fruits have prickles only on the upper half-to-third of their surfaces...which can be seen in the companion post to this one.
This is a rare plant that I had never seen (or heard of) before. But I was in the field here with Randy Morgan who, immediately upon seeing it, exclaimed: ''Wow! Look at that...Sanicula maritima !!'':-) It certainly didn't look like any Sanicula I'd ever seen...with those long-petiolate and large, fleshy, entire leaves. So later, to learn more, I keyed it out in a number of floras and, sure enough, it went to S. maritima in all of them.
This species was originally described by Albert Kellogg (but formally published in 1880 by Sereno Watson) based on plants found in the San Francisco Bay area. In Willis Jepson's 1936 ''A Flora of California, Vol. II'', its habitat is given as:
''Low adobe flats bordering salt marshes, 0 to 20 feet: east and west sides of San Francisco Bay south of the Golden Gate. Locs.— Potrero, San Francisco, E. Cannon; Alameda Greene.''
CalFlora currently lists 3 CCH records from San Francisco County (by Miss E. Cannon and Alice Eastwood) and 3 records from Alameda County (by Edward Greene and George Vasey)...all from 1895 or earlier. Apparently it is now presumed extirpated from the San Francisco Bay area. The following appears on pg. 109 of the 1958 ''A Flora of San Francisco'' by Howell & Raven:
''Sanicula maritima Kellogg ex Watson. Dobie Sanicle. Formerly known from depressions in clayey soil: San Francisco, T. S. Brandegee in 1893 (Dudley Herbarium); Potrero Hills, Cannon in 1891. This was the northernmost station for an exceedingly rare species. The type was collected ''about San Francisco'' by Kellogg.''