Tumamoc Globeberry - Illustration by Bill Singleton

Tumamoc Globeberry
Tumamoca macdougalii

 

The Tumamoc globeberry (Tumamoca macdougalii) is a delicate vine with lacy leaves in the squash family. The plants are found under trees or shrubs which act as nurse plants and provide physical support for the vines. The stems arise from large tuber-like roots, beginning in late summer in response to summer rains, and continue growing until November. The round, fleshy, bright red fruits are relished by javelina and other wildlife.

Habitat: This vine grows in the Arizona Upland subdivision of Sonoran Desert scrub. It is associated with a variety of nurse plants and in settings ranging from sandy valley bottoms to rocky bajada slopes.

Range: The range of this species extends as far north as southern Pinal and Maricopa counties, Arizona, south into Sonora, Mexico. Easternmost populations are located in Tucson and the western limits occur in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

Status: In 1986, the species was listed as endangered. In June 1993, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to delist the species, largely on the basis of a survey and study in the United States and Mexico contracted by the Bureau of Reclamation (BLM).1 Given its large range, the number of known populations, the remote habitat, ability to withstand some habitat degradation, and nonspecific habitat needs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the Tumamoc globeberry does not warrant the protection of the Act.2 This species is considered "salvage restricted" under the Arizona Native Plant Law.

Tumamoc Globeberry in Pima County:
The Bureau of Land Management has established permanent plots to monitor Tumamoc globeberry through 1998. The monitoring plots are located on BLM-managed land in the Avra Valley. Coronado National Forest is continuing to collect data for the population in the Santa Catalina Mountains which is the only population on National Forest lands.1 Other studied populations are those found along the CAP canal right-of-way, or in preserves constructed as part of the CAP construction process. Monitoring is occuring for some known populations by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and contractors.

 

References:

1. Federal Register, Vol. 58, No. 116, Friday, June 18, 1993, Rules and Regulations

2. Reichenbacher, F.W. 1990 Tumamoc globeberry studies in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Final report prepared for the U.S.D.I. Bureau of Reclamation, Phoenix, Arizona. 109 pp.


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