Lygodesmia doloresensis
Author: S. Tomb


Dolores River skeletonplant


Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Close up of Lygodesmia doloresensis by Peggy Lyon
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Close up of Lygodesmia doloresensis by Susan Spackman Panjabi
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Taxonomic Comments

=Lygodesmia grandiflora var. doloresensis (Flora of North America 1993+). Not included in Weber and Wittmann (2012) except to mention the "trivial variety" of L. grandiflora considered by the Flora of North America. Ackerfield (2012) also recognizes this taxon as L. grandiflora var. doloresensis.

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G1G2
State rank: S1S2
Federal protection status: BLM Sensitive
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Lygodesmia doloresensis by Janet Wingate
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Lygodesmia doloresensis by Mary Clark
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General description: Lygodesmia doloresensis is a pink flowered, broomy plant with reduced leaves, appearing to be nearly all stem. Like other members of its tribe, it has milky juice. Each head has (usually) five ray flowers, which distinguish it from the closely related L. grandiflora with 8 or more rays. It is similar to L. grandiflora var. dianthopsis, which is distinguished by being less branched and by having broader leaves (FNA 2007).

Look Alikes: L. grandiflora occurs at slightly higher elevations, is not as tall, and has darker flowers, usually with 9 ray flowers.

Phenology: Plants begin flowering in late May and early June (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012).

[+] Herbarium Photos

Images of Lygodesmia doloresensis housed at the Colorado State University Herbarium.

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[+] Habitat

Habitat of Lygodesmia doloresensis by Susan Spackman Panjabi
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Reddish purple, sandy alluvium and colluvium of the Cutler Formation between the canyon walls and the river in juniper, shadscale, and sagebrush communities. Many of the known occurrences are along roads, and there are fewer plants away from disturbed roadsides.

Elevation Range: 4,475 - 6,125 feet (1,364 - 1,867 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Lygodesmia doloresensis in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2012, COMaP v9 ).
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Distribution of Lygodesmia doloresensis in Colorado
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Colorado endemic: No
Global range: Known from one county in Utah and one adjacent county in Coloado (USDA NRCS 2012).
State range: Known from Mesa County in Colorado. Estimated range in Colorado is 897 square kilometers (346 square miles), calculated in GIS by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences (calculated by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in 2008). There was an erroneous report from San Miguel County, CO, which has been removed from the database.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Summary results of an analysis of the status of Lygodesmia doloresensis 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 roads. (Rondeau et al. 2011). It is not known if all of the occurrences are or are not threatened by these activities. Several of the Colorado occurrences are found along roadsides and are impacted by road maintenance activities, and the possible introduction of noxious weeds. Overgrazing is considered to be another potential threat.

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Anderson, J. 1987. Lygodesmia doloresensis. Unpublished report to files, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Grand Junction, Colorado.
    • Atwood, D., J. Holland, R. Bolander, B. Frnaklin, D. E. House, L. Armstrong, K. Thorne, and L. England. 1991. Utah Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Plant Field Guide. US Forest Service Intermountain Region, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Utah Natural Heritage Program, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Navajo Nation, and Skull Valley Goshute Tribe.
    • Colorado Native Plant Society. 1989. Rare plants of Colorado. Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Colorado Native Plant Society, Estes Park, Colorado. 73 pp.
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2005. The Second Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: G1 Plants of Colorado. Symposium Minutes. Available on-line http://www.cnhp.colostate.edu/teams/botany.asp#symposia.
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2005. The Second Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: G1 Plants of Colorado. Symposium Minutes. Available on-line http://www.cnhp.colostate.edu/teams/botany.asp#symposia.
    • Colorado Natural Heritage Program. 2010. The Seventh Annual Colorado Rare Plant Symposium: G1 Plants of Colorado. Symposium Minutes. Available on-line http://www.cnhp.colostate.edu/teams/botany.asp#symposia.
    • Dorn, R., Mt. West Environmental Services. 1988. Rare plant inventory: final report to the Bureau of Land Management, Grand Junction, Colorado.
    • Harrington, H.D. 1954. Manual of the plants of Colorado. Sage Press, Chicago. 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.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • O'Kane, S.L. 1988. Colorado's rare flora. Great Basin Naturalist 48(4): 434-484.
    • Panjabi, S., B. Neely and P. Lyon. 2011. Preliminary Conservation Action Plan for Rare Plants in the Gateway Priority Action Areas. Prepared by The Nature Conservancy and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. Unpublished report prepared for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. 29 pp.
    • Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists. 2009. RARE Imperiled Plants of Colorado, a traveling art exhibition. Exhibition catalogue developed by the Denver Botanic Gardens and Steamboat Art Museum.
    • Rondeau, R., K. Decker, J. Handwerk, J. Siemers, L. Grunau, and C. Pague. 2011. The state of Colorado's biodiversity 2011. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.
    • Rondeau, R., K. Decker, J. Handwerk, J. Siemers, L. Grunau, and C. Pague. 2011. The state of Colorado's biodiversity 2011. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.
    • Tomb, A.S. 1980. Taxonomy of Lygodesmia (Asteraceae). Systematic Botany Monographs 1: 48-49.
    • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Utah Natural Heritage Program. 2006. Biological Conservation Datasystem. Salt Lake City, UT
    • 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.
    • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich, and L.C. Higgins (eds.) 1993. A Utah flora. 2nd edition. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah. 986 pp.

Last Updated

2013-02-19