Packera pauciflora
Author: (Pursh) A.& D. Love

few-flowered ragwort

Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Close up of Packera pauciflora by Scott Smith
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Close up of Packera pauciflora by Scott Smith
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Taxonomic Comments

Ackerfield (2012) reports that Packera pauciflora does not occur in Colorado, and that the Colorado plants identified as such are likely P. debilis. The Flora of North America does not list Colorado in the distribution information for P. pauciflora.

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G4G5
State rank: S1
Federal protection status: BLM Sensitive
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Packera pauciflora from USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 544.
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General description: Packera pauciflora is a glabrous, perennial herb with stems that are 15-40 cm high and arising from a simple or branched rootcrown with fibrous roots. The basal leaves are 3-10 cm long and have long petioles and thick, spade-shaped blades with coarsely toothed margins. The alternate stem leaves, some with a pair of basal lobes, become smaller and sessile upward. Usually, 2-6 erect flower heads are borne in a crowded, terminal inflorescence. Each flower head has a single series of reddish-purple, narrow, pointed involucral bracts that are 6-8 mm long. Disk flowers are orange to reddish. Rays are inconspicuous or lacking. The achene has a pappus at its summit.

Look Alikes: Packera debilis has yellow disk flowers and green phyllaries, while P. pauciflora has orange disk flowers and purple phyllaries (Weber and Wittmann 2012).

Phenology: In Colorado this species flowers from July through August (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] Habitat

Habitat of Packera pauciflora: not available

Packera pauciflorus is found in meadows and wet places (Hulten 1968). Associated species include Pedicularis crenulata, Sisyrinchium pallidum, Carex scirpoidea, Juncus spp., Scirpus spp., and Salix spp. Common soils are minerotrophic peatlands, rich fen areas, with high pH (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

Elevation Range: 8,868 - 10,410 feet (2,703 - 3,173 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Packera pauciflora in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).
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Distribution of Packera pauciflora in Colorado
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Colorado endemic: No
Global range: This species is known from Canada and the United States.  The PLANTS Database (USDA NRCS 2012) reports it from the west from Alaska to Colorado and in the east in the Upper Great Lakes to Newfoundland.
State range: Known only from Park County in Colorado. Weber and Wittmann (2012) also report that the species is found in North Park, but we have not seen specimens to support this.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

This species is threatened by peat mining, alterations to hydrology, and residential development. The effects of cattle grazing are unknown. Small range and area of occupancy make it vulnerable to stochastic events.

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, ed. (FNA). 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, Oxford.
    • Hulten, E. 1968. Flora of Alaska and Neighboring Territories. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA.
    • 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, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • Welsh, S. L. 1974. Anderson's Flora of Alaska and Adjacent Canada. Brigham Young University Press, Provo, UT.

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