Sphaeromeria capitata
Author: Nutt.


Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Close up of Sphaeromeria capitata by Robert Dorn
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Taxonomic Comments

Recent research supports the placement of Sphaeromeria in Artemisia (Garcia et.al. 2011).

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G4
State rank: S1
Federal protection status: BLM Sensitive
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Sphaeromeria capitata by Kaye Thorne
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General description: Sphaeromeria capitata is a densely caespitose, perennial herb, up to 12 cm tall, with yellow flowers.  The flower heads are solitary and on the ends of subscapose branches.  Leaves are mainly basal, 4-10 mm long, with narrow linear lobes.  Cauline leaves are entire and reduced upward.

Look Alikes: Sphaeromeria argentea has several flower heads, and wider and shorter leaf lobes.

Phenology: Flowers June through July (Cronquist 1994, Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Sphaeromeria capitata housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

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[+] Habitat

Habitat of Sphaeromeria capitata courtesy of the Colorado Natural Areas Program
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Dry, rocky hills, and desert flats in silty soils. Associated taxa include Artemisia, Atriplex, Haplopappus, Cryptantha, Agropyron, Eriogonum, Oxytropis, and Machaeranthera.

Elevation Range: 6,667 - 7,835 feet (2,032 - 2,388 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Sphaeromeria capitata in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).
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Distribution of Sphaeromeria capitata in Colorado
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Colorado endemic: No
Global range: This species is known from Wyoming, southwestern Montana, northwestern Colorado, and disjunct onto the Utah Plateaus in Garfield Co, Utah (Cronquist et al. 1994, USDA NRCS 2012).
State range: Only known from Moffat County in Colorado.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Potentially threatened by oil and gas development (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Atwood, D. et al. 1991. Utah Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Plant Field Guide. US Forest Service Region 4, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Utah Natural Heritage Program, US Fish & Wildlife Service, EPA Region 8, Navajo Natural Heritage Program, Skull Valley Goshute Tribe.
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2012. Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation System. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
    • Cronquist, A., A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren, J. L. Reveal, P. K. Holmgren. 1994. Intermountain Flora Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, USA: Vol. 5. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY.
    • 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. 19. Magnoliophyta: Asteridae, part 6: Asteraceae, part 1. Oxford University Press, New York. xxiv + 579 pp.
    • Garcia, Sònia, Teresa Garnatje, E. Durant McArthur, Jaume Pellicer, Stewart C. Sanderson, and Joan Vallès. 2011. Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Rearrangements in Artemisia Subgen. Tridentatae, Including a Redefinition of Sphaeromeria (Asteraceae, Anthemideae). Western North American Naturalist. 71 (2): 158-163.
    • 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.
    • 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, Western Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.
    • Weber, W.A., and R.C. Wittmann. 1996b. Colorado flora: Western slope. Univ. Press of Colorado, Niwot, Colorado. 496 pp.
    • Welsh, S.L, N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins. 1993. A Utah Flora, second edition, revised. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

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