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Xerophyllum tenax - Sanguisorba officinalis Meadow
Translated Name: Common Beargrass - Great Burnet Meadow
Unique Identifier: CEGL003439
Classification Approach: International Vegetation Classification (IVC)
Summary: This association occurs on acidic mineral soil around the margins of seasonally wet meadows in the northern Coast Ranges of Oregon. The association is characterized by hummocks of Xerophyllum tenax interspersed with pockets of Sanguisorba officinalis, throughout which are distributed tightly packed mats and hummocks of Sphagnum capillifolium and Sphagnum mendocinum. The hummocks of Sphagnum capillifolium are in part elevated above groundwater influence, lowering the nutrient status of this association. Vaccinium cespitosum, Pteridium aquilinum, and Carex obnupta are occasional to frequent associates. The juxtaposition of the typically upland Xerophyllum with typically wetland Sanguisorba and Sphagnum suggests that this association occurs in a long-term hydrologic tension zone between upland and wetland. Long-term variation in water levels can be caused by beavers, humans, climatic variability, or combinations of these variables.


Classification Confidence: Moderate
Classification Comments: This association has been sampled at only two sites but is expected to occur in a few other places. Inventories in the central Oregon Coast Ranges are still incomplete. Similar stands have been observed in ultramafic fens in the Klamath Mountains of Oregon, but it is not known if these are the same association. Sphagnum does not occur in ultramafic fens and other elements may also differ.

Vegetation Hierarchy
Class 2 - Shrub & Herb Vegetation
Subclass 2.B - Temperate & Boreal Grassland & Shrubland
Formation 2.B.2 - Temperate Grassland & Shrubland
Division 2.B.2.Nf - Western North American Grassland & Shrubland
Macrogroup Rocky Mountain-Vancouverian Subalpine-High Montane Mesic Meadow
Group Rocky Mountain-North Pacific Subalpine-Montane Mesic Grassland & Meadow
Alliance Subalpine Sitka Valerian - Smooth Woodrush - Beargrass Mesic Meadow

This is the revised vegetation hierarchy. For more information see Classification Sources and

Related Concepts from Other Classifications

Ecological Systems Placement

Ecological Systems Placement
Ecological System Unique ID Ecological System Name
CES200.998 Temperate Pacific Subalpine-Montane Wet Meadow
CES204.087 North Pacific Montane Shrubland

NatureServe Conservation Status
Global Status: G1 (21Oct2002)
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This association is known from only two sites, where it covers 10-20 acres. The percentage of original acreage remaining is unknown. Habitat conditions are highly specific; seasonal flooding, low nutrient status, and lack of tall-shrub or tree cover are required. Existing occurrences are protected, but located in an area of high off-road vehicle use with limited resource protection. Stands are small and could be irreversibly damaged by off-road vehicle use.

Color legend for Distribution Map
United States Distribution: OR
Global Distribution: United States
Global Range: This association is currently known only from northern Coast Range of Oregon. It is possible that it also occurs in ultramafic fens in the Klamath Mountains of Oregon, but it is not known if these are the same association.

U.S. Forest Service Ecoregions
Domain Name: Humid Temperate Domain
Division Name: Marine Regime Mountains
Province Name: Cascade Mixed Forest - Coniferous Forest - Alpine Meadow Province
Province Code: M242 Occurrence Status: Confident or certain
Section Name: Oregon and Washington Coast Ranges Section
Section Code: M242A Occurrence Status: Confident or certain


Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Charact-
Dominant Constant
Cover Class %
Sanguisorba officinalis G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)  
Xerophyllum tenax G1 Flowering forb Herb (field)  

Environmental Setting

Wetland Indicator: N

Dynamic Processes

Plot Sampling & Classification Analysis

Plots stored in VegBank

Concept Author(s): J.A. Christy
Element Description Edition Date: 21Oct2002
Element Description Author(s): J.A. Christy
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 21Oct2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author(s): J.A. Christy

Ecological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

  • Christy, J. A. 2001b. Wetland vegetation of Fanno Meadows Preserve, Polk County, Oregon. Report to The Nature Conservancy of Oregon, Portland. Oregon Natural Heritage Program. 17 pp.

  • Western Ecology Working Group of NatureServe. No date. International Ecological Classification Standard: International Vegetation Classification. Terrestrial Vegetation. NatureServe, Boulder, CO.

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Version 7.1 (2 February 2009)
Data last updated: March 2019