Erigeron kachinensis
Author: Welsh & Moore

Kachina daisy

Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Close up of Erigeron kachinensis by Loraine Yeatts
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Close up of Erigeron kachinensis by Loraine Yeatts
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Ranks and Status

Global rank: G2
State rank: S1
Federal protection status: BLM Sensitive
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Erigeron kachinensis by Kaye Thorne
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Erigeron kachinensis by Sharon Eaton.
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General description: Perennial from branching caudex; glabrous; stems several, slender and lax, up to 2 dm long, simple or few-branched above the middle.  Stolons form late in the season.  Stems are 6-18 cm tall, usually amply leafy, spreading hirsute at least above.  Basal leaves are well developed, spatulate, up to 6 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, and rounded at the tips; cauline leaves several but reduced.  Flowering heads are 1-several, with yellow disk flowers and white to lavender or pinkish ray flowers (rays 10-25, 4-7 mm long, 1-2.5 mm wide).  Involucres are 3-4.5 mm high, less than 8 mm wide, finely glandular or stipitate-glandular to glabrous, imbricate, and greenish.  Achenes are inconspicuously 2-nerved; pappus of approximately 15 slender bristles (Spackman et al. 1997, Weber and Wittmann 2012, Culver and Lemly 2013).

Look Alikes: No other member of the Asteraceae grows in this uncommon habitat of canyon alcoves, seeps and springs (Culver and Lemly 2013).

Phenology: Flowering occurs in May-August (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2013). The plants often bloom twice during the year, once in the spring, and again in late summer (Colorado Native Plant Society 1997).

[+] Habitat

Habitat of Erigeron kachinensis by Loraine Yeatts
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Habitat of Erigeron kachinensis by Loraine Yeatts
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Occurs in wet, saline soils in alcoves, seeps, and hanging gardens on sandstone cliffs and canyon walls (Allphin 1991, Spackman et al. 1997, Ackerfield 2012, Culver and Lemly 2013). Associated species include Epipactis gigantea, Aquilegia micrantha, Mimulus eastwoodiae, and Calamagrostis. Surronding plant communitities include Pinyon-juniper, Fraxinus, and Salix (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2013).

Elevation Range: 4,688 - 6,653 feet (1,429 - 2,028 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Erigeron kachinensis in Colorado.
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Colorado endemic: No
Global range: Endemic to the Colorado Plateau region of southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado. Genetic study has evaluated three potential races: typical hanging garden material (Natural Bridges National Monument, San Juan County, Utah), ecologically similar material from the Delores River drainage (Montrose County, Colorado), and a high elevation (Elk Ridge, San Juan County, Utah) race that might possibly be recognized as a distinct variety (Allphin et al. 1996).
State range: In Colorado, known from Dolores, Gunnison, Mesa, Montrose, San Miguel counties.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Summary results of an analysis of the status of Erigeron kachinensis based on several ranking factors. This species was concluded to be “effectively conserved”. From Rondeau et al. 2011.
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The primary threat at this time is considered to be hydrologic alteration (Rondeau et al. 2011). It is not known if all of the occurrences are or are not threatened by these activities. The plants are dependent on seeps and springs on the cliff faces; diversion of the mesa top springs and streams to livestock tanks would disrupt this hydrologic system. Other possible threats are trampling by botanists and changes in hydrology of the mesa tops due to drought.

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Albee, B.J., L.M. Shultz, and S. Goodrich. 1988. Atlas of the vascular plants of Utah. Utah Museum Natural History Occasional Publication 7, Salt Lake City, Utah. 670 pp.
    • Allphin, L. 1994. Habitat requirements for Erigeron kachinensis, a rare endemic of the Colorado Plateau. Western North American Naturalist. Vol. 54, Issue 3, page 193.
    • Allphin, L. 1991. Survey of Grand Gulch Primitive Area for Erigeron kachinensis.
    • Allphin, L. and K. Harper. 1997. Demography and Life History Characteristics of the Rare Kachina Daisy (Erigeron kachinensis, Asteraceae). American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 138, No. 1, pp. 109-120.
    • Allphin, L., and K.T. Harper. 1994. Habitat requirements for Erigeron kachinensis, a rare endemic of the Colorado Plateau. Great Basin Naturalist. 54(3): 193-203.
    • Allphin, L., and M.D. Windham, M.D. 2002. Morphological and genetic variation among populations of the rare Kachina daisy (Erigeron kachinensis) from southeastern Utah. Western North American Naturalist. 62: 423-436.
    • Allphin, L., D. Wiens, and K.T. Harper. 2002. The relative effects of resources and genetics on reproductive success in the rare Kachina daisy, Erigeron kachinensis (Asteraceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences. 163(4): 599-612.
    • Allphin, L., M.D. Windham, and K.T. Harper. 1996. A Genetic Evaluation of Three Potential Races of the Rare Kachina Daisy. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-283. Proceedings of the Southwestern Rare and Endangered Plant Conference; September 11-14; Flagstaff, AZ. In: Maschinski, J.; Hammond, H.D.; Holter, L., editors. 1996. USDA and US Forest Service. p 68-76.
    • 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.
    • Cronquist, A. 1994. Asterales. In A. Cronquist, A.H. Holmgren, N.H. Holmgren, J.L. Reveal, and P.K. Holmgren. Intermountain flora: Vascular plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Vol. 5. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 496 pp.
    • Culver, D. R. and J. M. Lemly. 2013. Field Guide to Colorado's Wetland Plants. Colorado Natural Heritage Program. Colorado State University. 694 pp.
    • 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.
    • Franklin, M.A. 1991. Report for 1990 Challenge Cost Share Project Wasatch-Cache National Forest; Target Species: Cymopterus beckii and Erigeron kachinensis. Utah Natural Heritage Program, Utah Department of Natural Resources. Salt Lake City, Utah.
    • Franklin, M.A. 1992. Survey report on Cymopterus beckii Welsh & Goodrich and Erigeron kachinensis Welsh & Moore. 1992 Challenge Cost Share Project, Utah Natural Heritage Program and Manti-La Sal National Forest, U.S. Forest Service. Unpublished report on file Utah Natural Heritage Program, Salt Lake City. 10 pp. + appendices.
    • Franklin, M.A. 2005. Plant information compiled by the Utah Natural Heritage Program: A progress report. Publication Number 05-40. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Salt Lake City, Utah. 341 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Stone, R.D. 1998. Endemic and rare plants of Utah: an overview of their distribution and status. Prepared for: Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission, U.S. Department of the Interior by Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. 566 pp. + appendices. []
    • The Colorado Native Plant Society. 1997. Rare Plants of Colorado, second edition. Falcon Press Publishing Co.,Inc. Helena, Montana. 105pp.
    • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Utah Native Plant Society. 2003-2013. Utah rare plant guide. A.J. Frates editor/coordinator. Salt Lake City, UT. Utah Native Plant Society. Online. Available: (accessed 2013).
    • 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. 2012b. Colorado Flora, Western Slope, a field guide to the vascular plants, fourth edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.
    • Welsh, S.L. 1979. Illustrated manual of proposed endangered and threatened plants of Utah. Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT. 318 pp.
    • Welsh, S.L., N.D. Atwood, S. Goodrich and L.C. Higgins. (Eds.) 2008. A Utah Flora. 4th edition, revised. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, U.S.A. 1019 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.

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