Herrickia horrida
Author: Woot. & Standl.

Canadian River spiny aster

Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Close up of Herrickia horrida by Steve O'Kane.
Click image to enlarge.

Close up of Herrickia horrida by Steve O'Kane.
Click image to enlarge.
Close up of Herrickia horrida by Jill Handwerk.
Click image to enlarge.
Close up of Herrickia horrida by Jill Handwerk.
Click image to enlarge.

Taxonomic Comments

=Eurybia horrida (USDA NRCS 2017).

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G3
State rank: S1
Federal protection status: None
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Herrickia horrida by Carl Victor Stein
Click image to enlarge.

General description: Perennials or subshrubs, 3-6 dm tall. Leaves, oblong to nearly orbiculate, 1-5 cm long, thick, rigid, and the margins coarsely toothed with spine tips (holly-like). Flower heads about 10 mm high. Ray flowers purple, disk flowers yellow (Spackman et al. 1997, Ackerfield 2015).

Look Alikes: Easily recognized by its holly-like leaves (Weber and Wittmann 2012).

Phenology: Flowers July-October. Usually in prime flower in mid-August (Spackman et al. 1997).

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Herrickia horrida housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

[+] Habitat

Habitat of Herrickia horrida by Jill Handwerk.
Click image to enlarge.

Habitat of Herrickia horrida by Jill Handwerk.
Click image to enlarge.

In Colorado this species is found on rocky hillsides and on the sides of canyons, often with Gambel's oak, in dry sandy or rocky soils, and sometimes on almost bare sandstone bedrock.  Also found growing in pine duff in openings of Ponderosa pine-Gambel’s oak woodlands. Additional associated plant species: Mountain mahogany (Colorado Native Plant Society 1989, Weber and Wittmann 2012, Ackerfield 2015, Colorado Natural Heritage Program occurrence records 2017).

Elevation Range: 6,709 - 9,350 feet (2,045 - 2,850 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Herrickia horrida in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2017, COMaP).
Click image to enlarge.

Distribution of Herrickia horrida in Colorado.
Click image to enlarge.

Colorado endemic: No
Global range: South Las Animas County, Colorado and along the Canadian River drainage in Colfax, Harding, Mora, and San Miguel counties, New Mexico (USDA NRCS 2017).
State range: Known from Las Animas County in Colorado. Estimated range in Colorado is 48 square kilometers (19 square miles), calculated in GIS in 2008 by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Summary results of an analysis of the status of Herrickia horrida based on several ranking factors. This species was concluded to be "Weakly Conserved”. From Rondeau et al. 2011.
Click image to enlarge.

Threats are not documented. Plants occurs on private land and on James M. John State Wildlife Area near Interstate 25 and the New Mexico border. Preferred habitat of species not suitable for development and very inaccessible. Some oil and gas drilling occurs within the vicinity of the occurrences with unknown impacts. Colorado climate scenarios for 2050 suggest temperature will increase by 3-7 F and precipitation may decrease or increase. The impact to any given rare plant habitat is likely to vary. Long-term monitoring that includes weather and soil moisture data is critical to understanding climate impacts.

[+] References

    • 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 and the Geospatial Centroid. 2017. The Colorado Ownership and Protection Map (COMaP). Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO.
    • Fletcher, R., B. Isaacs, P. Knight, W. Martin, D. Sabo, R. Spellenberg, and T. Todsen. 1984. A Handbook of Rare and Endemic Plants of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM.
    • 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.
    • Harrington, H. D. 1954. Manual of the Plants of Colorado. Sage Books, Denver, CO. 666 pp.
    • 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.
    • Knight, Paul. No date. New Mexico Natural Heritage Program personal communication with the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.
    • 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.
    • Nesom, G.L. 2009. Taxonomic overview of Eurybia sect. Herrickia (Asteraceae: Astereae). J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 3(1): 161 -167.
    • New Mexico Native Plant Protection Advisory Committee. 1984. A handbook of rare and endemic plants of New Mexico. Univ. New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. 291 pp.
    • Sivinski, R., and K. Lightfoot, eds. 1994. Inventory of the rare and endangered plants of New Mexico. 2nd edition. Miscellaneous Publication No. 3, New Mexico Forestry and Resources Conservation Division, New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Dept., Santa Fe. 46 pp.
    • Spackman, S., B. Jennings, J. Coles, C. Dawson, M. Minton, A. Kratz, and C. Spurrier. 1997. Colorado rare plant field guide. Prepared for Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Colorado Natural Heritage Program.
    • USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, PLANTS Database [USDA PLANTS]. http://plants.usda.gov/. Accessed 2017.
    • Weber, Johnston and Wilken. 1979. Additions to the flora of Colorado. Phytologia 41(7):490.
    • 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.
    • Wooten, E. O. and P.C. Standley. 1913. Descriptions of new plants preliminary to a report upon the flora of New Mexico. Contributions from the US National Herbarium. 16: 109-196.

Last Updated