Townsendia fendleri
Author: Gray


Fendler's townsend-daisy


Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Close up of Townsendia fendleri by Scott Smith
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Close up of Townsendia fendleri by Stephanie Neid
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Taxonomic Comments

The taxonomy and distribution of this species is in need of further research.

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G3
State rank: S2
Federal protection status: None
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Townsendia fendleri: artwork in progress

General description: A perennial species with decumbent to erect, spreading, and much-branched stems.  The ray flowers are white or pinkish, disk flowers are yellow, and the phyllaries have acute tips (Weber and Wittmann 2012, Flora of North America 1993+).  The leaves of T. fendleri are usually nearly linear or sometimes narrowly oblanceolate (Ackerfield 2012).

Look Alikes: The decumbent to erect stems, relatively smaller flowering heads, and acute phyllary tips distinguish this species from others in the genus Townsendia on Colorado's eastern slope. Townsendia grandiflora is sometimes confused with T. fendleri. Townsendia fendleri has smaller flowers and is known primarily from the Salida area in Colorado.

Phenology: Flowers mid-June through early September (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012, Flora of North America 1993+).

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Townsendia fendleri housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

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[+] Habitat

Habitat of Townsendia fendleri by Stephanie Neid
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This species is found on sparsely vegetated badland slopes. The dominant plant community is characterized by Pinus edulis-Juniperus monosperma/Bouteloua gracilis or Pinus edulis-Cercocarpus montanus. Additional associated plant species include Chrysothamnus nauseosus, Chrysothamnus greenei, Tetradymia canescens, Guitierrezia sarothrae, Yucca glauca, Opuntia polyacantha, Eriogonum jamesii, Hymenoxys filifolia, Sphaeralcea coccinea, Chondrosum gracile, Aliciella pinnatifida, Heterotheca villosa, Artemisia frigida, Hesperostipa comata, and Achnatherum hymenoides. Two occurrences are found in association with occurrences of another globally rare plant, Eriogonum brandegeei (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).


Elevation Range: 7,208 - 8,136 feet (2,197 - 2,480 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Townsendia fendleri in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).
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Distribution of Townsendia fendleri in Colorado
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Colorado endemic: No
Global range: This species is known from Colorado and New Mexico (Kartesz and BONAP 1998) and several recent herbarium specimens were collected in Arizona. In Colorado, it has been documented in Chaffee, El Paso, Fremont, and Pueblo counties. In New Mexico it is known from Catron, Cibola, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Santa Fe counties (pers. comm. Jane Mygatt UNM Herbarium 1999 to Kim Fayette, Colorado Natural Heritage Program). At Rocky Mountain Herbarium, specimens from NM were collected in the following counties: Taos, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Santa Fe. Calculations of range extent include herbarium specimens.
State range: Known only from Chaffee County in Colorado (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012, USDA NRCS 2012). Reports from Fremont County need to be confirmed.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Summary results of an analysis of the status of Townsendia fendleri based on several ranking factors. This species was concluded to be “Moderately Conserved”. From Rondeau et al. 2011.
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The primary threats appear to be motorized recreation and noxious weed management activities, for example, spraying and mowing (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Beardsley, M. and D. A. Steingraeber. 2013. Population dynamics, rarity and risk of extirpation for populations of Mimulus gemmiparus (budding monkeyflower) on National Forests of Colorado. A research report submitted to the USFS Forest Service. Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forets and Pawnee National Grassland. pp 17. Accessed online on May 11 at: http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/Rare_Plants/profiles/Critically_Imperiled/mimulus_gemmiparus/ documents/USFS_MimulusStatusReport2013.pdf
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2012. Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation System. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, ed. (FNA). 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, Oxford.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2006. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 20. Magnoliophyta: Asteridae, part 7: Asteraceae, part 2. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxii + 666 pp.
    • Heil, K.D., S.L. O'Kane Jr., L.M. Reeves, and A. Clifford, 2013. Flora of the Four Corners Region, Vascular Plants of the San Juan River Drainage; Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis, Missouri. 1098 pp.
    • Kartesz, J., and the Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 1998. A Synonymized Checklist of the Vascular Flora of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. http://plants.usda.gov.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
    • Kartesz, John and the Biota of North America Program. 1998. "A Synonymized Checklist of the Vascular Flora of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands". http://plants.usda.gov.
    • Lavender, A.E., M.M. Fink, S.E. Linn, D.M. Theobald. 2011. Colorado Ownership, Management, and Protection v9 Database. Colorado Natural Heritage Program and Geospatial Centroid, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. (30 September).
    • Neely, B., S. Panjabi, E. Lane, P. Lewis, C. Dawson, A. Kratz, B. Kurzel, T. Hogan, J. Handwerk, S. Krishnan, J. Neale, and N. Ripley. 2009. Colorado Rare Plant Conservation Strategy, Developed by the Colorado Rare Plant conservation Initiative. The Nature Conservancy, Boulder, Colorado, 117 pp.
    • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Eastern Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 555 pp.
    • Weber, W.A., and R.C. Wittmann. 1996b. Colorado flora: Western slope. Univ. Press of Colorado, Niwot, Colorado. 496 pp.

Last Updated

2013-02-06