Aliciella sedifolia
Author: Brandeg.

Stonecrop gilia

Polemoniaceae (Phlox Family)

Close up of Aliciella sedifolia by Bob Beehler
Click image to enlarge.

Taxonomic Comments

=Gilia sedifolia

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G1
State rank: S1
Federal protection status: USFS Sensitive
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Aliciella sedifolia by Teresa Burkert.
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General description: A small-statured, taprooted herb with a basal rosette of leaves. Leaves are linear, entire, terete, and suculent. Flowers are are dark purple-blue and have corollas with lobes longer than the tube. Flowers are borne in a somewhat spikelike, few-flowered cluster. Like many other members of this family it appears to be a biennial, or possibly a short-lived, monocarpic perennial. An abundance of old leaves at the base of the stem that suggests it may be a perennial (Komarek 1995).

Look Alikes: Aliciella sedifolia is unlike any other species of Aliciella or other members of Polemoniaceae (Porter personal communication 2002). The elevation at which A. sedifolia is found is far higher than any other member of the genus Aliciella (Porter personal communication 2002). It is morphologically unusual, with succulent, Sedum-like leaves.

Phenology: Flowering and fruiting occur in late June-August, possibly into September (Anderson 2004, Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Aliciella sedifolia housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

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[+] Habitat

Habitat of Aliciella sedifolia by Susan Komarek
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Aliciella sedifolia occurs in the high alpine zone on a substrate of white volcanic ash (Anderson 2004). It is apparently restricted to dry, rocky or gravelly talus of tuffaceous sandstone (Porter 1998; Komarek 2003).  Habitat is very sparsely vegetated.  Associated species include Erysimum capitatum, Elymus scribneri, Thalictrum alpinum, and Acomastylis rossii (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

Elevation Range: 12,723 - 13,832 feet (3,878 - 4,216 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Aliciella sedifolia in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).
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Distribution of Aliciella sedifolia in Colorado
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Colorado endemic: Yes
Global range: Endemic to Colorado (the San Juan Mountains in Hinsdale County). Estimated range is 8 square kilometers (3 square miles), calculated in GIS by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences (calculated by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in 2008).

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Summary results of an analysis of the status of Aliciella sedifolia based on several ranking factors. This species was concluded to be “Moderately Conserved”. From Rondeau et al. 2011.
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The primary threat at this time is considered to be non-motorized recreation (Hogan pers. comm. 2008). This species is found in areas popular for hiking. Other threats, in order of decreasing priority, are off-road vehicle use and other recreation, sheep grazing and its secondary impacts, mining, exotic species invasion, effects of small population size, global climate change, and pollution (Anderson 2004).

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Anderson, D.G. 2004. Gilia sedifolia Brandeg. (stonecrop gilia): A Technical Conservation Assessment. [Online]. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region. [2006-01-09]
    • Clark, D. and T. Hogan. 2000. Noteworthy collections from Colorado. Madroño 47:142-144.
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2005. The Second Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: G1 Plants of Colorado. Symposium Minutes. Available on-line
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2010. The Seventh Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: G1 Plants of Colorado. Symposium Minutes. Available on-line
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2012. Biodiversity Tracking and Conservation System. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO.
    • Harrington, H.D. 1954. Manual of the plants of Colorado. Sage Press, Chicago. 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.
    • Hogan, T. 2008. Personal communication with Colorado Natural Heritage Program staff.
    • 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.
    • Komarek, S. 1995. Element occurrence data for Gilia sedifolia. Unpublished report provided to the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.
    • Komarek, S. 2003. Plant species of special concern survey form submitted to the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Boulder, Colorado.
    • 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).
    • Lyon, P. and M. Denslow. 2002. Rare Plant Survey: San Juan National Forest. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Fort Collins, Colorado.
    • Lyon, P., D. Culver, M. March, and L. Hall. 2003. San Juan County Biological Assessment. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Fort Collins, Colorado. 256 pp.
    • Michener-Foote, J. and T. Hogan. 1999. The Flora and Vegetation of the Needle Mountains, San Juan Range, Southwestern Colorado. Natural History Inventory of Colorado No. 18. University of Colorado Museum, Boulder, Colorado.
    • 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.
    • Porter, J.M. 1998. Aliciella, a recircumscribed genus of Polemoniaceae. Aliso 17(1):23-46.
    • Porter, J.M. 2002. Personal communication with expert on the Polemoniaceae regarding Gilia (Aliciella) sedifolia.
    • 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.

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