Mirabilis rotundifolia - (Greene) Standl.
Roundleaf Four-o'clock
Synonym(s): Oxybaphus rotundifolius (Greene) Standl.
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Mirabilis rotundifolia (Greene) Standl. (TSN 19663)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.160996
Element Code: PDNYC0A140
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Four-O'clock Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Caryophyllales Nyctaginaceae Mirabilis
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: 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.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Mirabilis rotundifolia
Taxonomic Comments: Weber and Wittmann (2012) list as Oxybaphus rotundifolius, and Ackerfield (2015) lists as Mirabilis rotundifolia.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 31May2006
Global Status Last Changed: 03Jan2000
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Known only from southcentral Colorado, the species is restricted to a narrowly distributed geological substrate. Although there are 38 documented occurrences only 23 are of good viability, and the total known population size is small. Residential expansion and mining for cement production have destroyed some plants in the past and continue to threaten the species.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Colorado (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to Colorado; known from Custer, El Paso, Fremont, Las Animas, and Pueblo counties. 

Area of Occupancy: 6-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: The total occupied habitat is about 1,968 acres. Occurrences without specific information on occupied habitat were considered to occupy 0.5 acre.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 38 principal occurrences documented in the Colorado Natural Heritage Program database. Two of the 38 occurrences has not been observed in over 20 years, all of the others have been observed more recently.

Population Size Comments: Total estimated sum of individuals from 23 of the 29 occurrences is 6192. The remaining occurrences do not report the number of individuals.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some (13-40)
Viability/Integrity Comments: There are 23 occurrences with an A or B rank.

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Residential development is considered to be the primary threat at this time. The species is also threatened by industrial activities including mining and cement plants. Campground construction heavily impacted one occurrence. Other occurrences were lost to the construction and filling of Pueblo Reservoir, and the construction of Pueblo West housing development. Three sites are bisected by state highways (Colorado Natural Heritage Program occurrence records 2017). Predation by Hawk Moth Caterpillars (horn worms) may be a problem (pers. comm. Kelso 1996). 

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Habitat has declined in past 50 years as a result of residential, industrial, and recreational developments: Pueblo and Pueblo West, Portland Cement Plant, Pueblo Reservoir, and Juniper Breaks Campground.

Long-term Trend: Unknown
Long-term Trend Comments: Unknown.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: This species is found primarily on shale barrens that have not been altered by human uses. Although the species has been found adjacent to roads, it has not been found on road cut created habitat as other shale barren species are found.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Endemic to Colorado; known from Custer, El Paso, Fremont, Las Animas, and Pueblo counties. 

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CO

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CO Custer (08027), Fremont (08043), Las Animas (08071), Pueblo (08101)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
11 Upper Arkansas (11020002)+, Fountain (11020003)+, Purgatoire (11020010)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb with round, densely soft-hairy, opposite leaves and trumpet-shaped magenta flowers in bloom in the summer (the flowers close by mid-morning).
General Description: Round-leaf four o?clock (Oxybaphus rotundifolius) is 2-3 dm tall, erect to spreading, taprooted perennial with bright trumpet-shaped magenta flowers.  The flowers occur in groups of three, and normally close by mid-morning.  The almost round, basal leaves which give the plant its name are densely hairy, and are usually withering close to the flowering time. Flowering stems, which are also densely covered with short hairs, arise from axils where pairs of the ovate leaves join the stem. The bright pink flowers have 5 strongly exerted stamens with five notched petals and are about 1 cm in diameter. The fruit are obovoid, 4-5 mm long, and hairy (Spackman et al. 1997, Ackerfield 2015).  
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Barrens, Forest/Woodland, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: Mirabilis rotundifolia (Oxybaphus rotundifolius) is generally restricted to outcrops of the lower shale unit of the Smoky Hill member of the Cretaceous Niobrara Formation. The plant community is sparse shrubland or woodland with a barren aspect. Frequent associates are James' frankenia (Frankenia jamesii) and oneseed juniper (Juniperus monosperma). Other associated species may include:  Bolophyta (Parthenium) teraneuris, Oryzopsis hymenoides, Atriplex confertifolia, Eriogonum fendlerianum, Cryptantha jamesii, Zinnia grandiflora, Melampodiium leucanthum, Lesquerella ovalifolia, Gutierrezia sarothrae, Hoffmanseggia drepanocarpa and Lesquerella montana.  
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Any naturally occurring population. EOs are separated by either: 1 mile or more across unsuitable habitat or altered and unsuitable areas; or 2 miles or more across apparently suitable habitat not known to be occupied. Justification: The rationale for this large a separation distance across suitable but apparently unoccupied habitat is that it is likely additional research will find this habitat to be occupied. It can often be assumed that apparently unconnected populations will eventually be found to be more closely connected; these are best regarded as suboccurrences.
Date: 11May2000
Author: Spackman, S., and D. Anderson.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: Size: 500 or more individuals. Condition: the occurrence has an excellent likelihood of long-term viability as evidenced by the presence of multiple age classes and evidence of flowering and fruiting, indicating that the reproductive mechanisms are intact. This occurrence should be in a high-quality site with less than 1% cover exotic plant species and/or no significant anthropogenic disturbance. Landscape Context: the occurrence is surrounded by an area that is unfragmented and includes the ecological processes needed to sustain this species. Justification: Large populations in high quality sites are presumed to contain a high degree of genetic variability, have a low susceptibility to the effects of inbreeding depression, and to be relatively resilient.
Good Viability: Size: 100 to 500 individuals. Condition: the occurrence should have a good likelihood of long-term viability as evidenced by the presence of multiple age classes and evidence of flowering and fruiting, indicating that the reproductive mechanisms are intact. Anthropogenic disturbance within the occurrence is minimal. If exotic species are present, they comprise less than 10% of the total ground cover. Landscape Context: the surrounding landscape should contain the ecological processes needed to sustain the occurrence but may be fragmented and/or impacted by humans.
Fair Viability: Size: 25 to 100 individuals. Condition: The occurrence may be less productive than the above situations, but is still viable, with multiple age classes and evidence of flowering and fruiting, indicating that the reproductive mechanisms are intact. The occupied habitat is somewhat degraded (exotic plant species make up between 10-50% of the total ground cover and/or there is a moderate level of anthropogenic disturbance). Landscape Context: there may be significant human disturbance, but the ecological processes needed to sustain the species are still intact.
Poor Viability: Size: Less than 25 individuals. Condition: little or no evidence of successful reproduction is observed (poor seedling recruitment, no flowering or fruiting observed, or poor age class distribution). Exotic plant species make up greater than 50% of the total ground cover, and/or there is a significant level of human disturbance. Landscape context: the surrounding area is fragmented with many ecological processes no longer intact. The occurrence has a low probability of long-term persistence due to inbreeding depression, natural stochastic events, and its intrinsic vulnerability to human impacts.
Justification: Justification: EOs not meeting "C"-rank criteria are likely to have a very high probability of inbreeding depression and extirpation due to natural stochastic processes and/or occur in degraded habitat with low long-term potential for survival.
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 14Jan2013
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: S. Spackman, rev. Maybury/Spackman (1996), rev. Neuhaus, K., J. Handwerk, and S. Spackman Panjabi (2006); rev. Smith, P. (2013)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 18Dec2007
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Handwerk, J.

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Ackerfield, J. 2015. Flora of Colorado. Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth, TX. 818 pp.

  • Ackerfield, J. 2015. Flora of Colorado. Brit Press, Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth, TX. 818 pp.

  • 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 and the Geospatial Centroid. 2017. The Colorado Ownership and Protection Map (COMaP). Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO.
     

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2003b. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 4, Magnoliophyta: Caryophyllidae, part 1. Oxford University Press, New York. 559 pp.

  • Kartesz, J. T. 1991. Synonym names from 1991 checklist, as extracted by Larry Morse, TNC, June 1991.

  • 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.

  • Kelso, S., K. Heckmann, J. Lawton, and G. Maentz. 1995. The Ecology and Distribution of Oxybaphus rotundifolius and Penstemon versicolor: geobotany and endemism in the Arkansas Valley, Colorado. Report to the Colorado Natural Areas Program and Colorado Native Plant Society. 30 pp. + appendices.

  • Kelso, S., K. Heckmann, J. Lawton, and G. Maentz. 1995. The Ecology and Distribution of Oxybaphus rotundifolius and Penstemon versicolor: geobotany and endemism in the Arkansas Valley, Colorado. Report to the Colorado Natural Areas Program and Colorado Native Plant Society. 30 pp. + appendices.

  • Naumann, T.S. 1990. Status report for Oxybaphus rotundifolius. Unpublished report prepared for the Colorado Natural Areas Program, Denver, CO.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Standley, P.C. 1909. The Allioniaceae of the United States with notes on Mexican species. Contributions from the US National Herbarium 12:303-389.

  • 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.

  • Weber, W.A., and R.C. Wittmann. 2012a. Colorado Flora, Eastern Slope, a field guide to the vascular plants, fourth edition. University of Colorado Press. Boulder, Colorado. 555 pp.

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