Phacelia formosula - Osterhout
North Park Phacelia
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Phacelia formosula Osterhout (TSN 31493)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.138184
Element Code: PDHYD0C1H0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Waterleaf Family
Image 21762

Public Domain

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Solanales Hydrophyllaceae Phacelia
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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: Phacelia formosula
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 30Aug2012
Global Status Last Changed: 30Jun1988
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: A narrow endemic of an area known as North Park in northern Colorado. There are currently 13 known occurrences (only 10 with positive identification) with annually fluctuating populations sizes. The species is restricted to outcrops of the Coalmont Formation - a coal-bearing substrate that is very susceptible to erosion and is often used by off-road vehicle enthusiasts. Coal extraction and domestic cattle grazing are also threats. The rank may change to G1G2 or G2, if Phacelia plants documented in the Laramie River Valley during 2004 are determined to be Phacelia formosula. However, initial research indicates that the Laramie River Valley population is a separate species. Until a final determination has been made with both morphological and genetic traits, we will maintain the Laramie River occurrences here, with Phacelia formosula.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1

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 (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (01Sep1982)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R6 - Rocky Mountain

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Known from Jackson County, Colorado. The species is found within about 145 square miles in North Park, Jackson County.  

Area of Occupancy: 1-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: The total area occupied by the mapped occurrences is 583 acres (calculated by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program in 2012). The occupied acreage in North Park is 507 acres. The Laramie River Valley occurrences occupy 76 acres. Imprecisely reported occurrences are not included.

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 13 principal occurrences documented in the Colorado Natural Heritage Program database. Two of the 13 occurrences have not been observed in over 20 years (as of 2012). Three of the 13 (not the historical records) are tentatively identified as Phacelia formosula (the Laramie River Valley occurrences in Larimer County).

Population Size Comments: Approximately 20,000 individuals have been documented within 12 of the 13 occurrences (including 2,500 from the Laramie River Valley). The remaining occurrence does not report the number of individuals. Populations sizes are annually fluctuating.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Ten of the occurrences are ranked A or B, including the three occurrences that are tentatively identified.

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Motorized recreation is considered to be the primary threat to the species (Rondeau et al. 2011). Habitat is susceptible to erosion. Frequently used motorcycle trails and dirt roads from the airport to the campground have been documented to disturb the plants. 10 to 15 plants were reportedly lost at the State Natural Area in North Park (CNHP 2004). Other threats include livestock trampling/ trailing, grazing, and coal, oil and gas development.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Although there are no data to indicate a specific trend, the species seems to be stable within its limited available habitat. Monitoring and recovery efforts are being undertaken by cooperating agencies including the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Long-term Trend: Unknown
Long-term Trend Comments: No long term data is available.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Most occurrences have some grazing. Mature plants have been observed to be trampled.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Known from Jackson County, Colorado. The species is found within about 145 square miles in North Park, Jackson County.  

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 Jackson (08057), Larimer (08069)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 North Platte Headwaters (10180001)+, Upper Laramie (10180010)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A biennial herb, 1.5-2.2 dm high, with deeply divided, leaves and bearing violet-purple flowers in a coiled, scorpion tail-like cluster. The species has been observed in flower in July and August, but flowering and fruiting times may be somewhat variable depending on rainfall and other environmental conditions.
General Description: Herbaceous biennial up to 22 cm tall; much branched, erect to spreading. Inflorescence is a helicoid cyme. Flowers are purple, stamens and styles are exserted. Leaves are pinnately dissected, lancelotate or elliptical. Plants appear somewhat grayish; gladular and hursute (Spackman et al. 1997).
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree
Habitat Comments: Poorly vegetated exposures of the Coalmont Formation.  Steep-sided ravines, low sandy hills and bluffs (Spackman et al. 1997).  Associated taxa include: ChrysothamnusArtemisiaOryzopsis hymenoides, Chaenactis douglasii, Gilia pinnatifida, Ipomopsis congesta, Stipa sp., Tetradymia canescensEriogonum exilifolumE. umbellatumE. pauciflorumE. cernuumArtemisia frigidaLupinus sp., Astragalus kentrophytaOpuntia polyacantha and Comandra.
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 that is separated by a sufficient distance or barrier from a neighboring population. As a guideline, 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. No information on mobility of pollen and propagules is available on which to base the separation distance for this species.
Date: 28Sep2000
Author: Spackman, S., and D. Anderson.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: Size: 1000 or more individuals (based on available EOR data). Condition: The occurrence has an excellent likelihood of long-term viability as evidenced by 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. These include a lack of chronic disturbance but occasional disturbance due to soil movement or storm water runoff which permits seedling establishment. 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: 200 or more individuals (based on available EOR data). Condition: The occurrence should have a good likelihood of long-term viability as evidenced by the presence of a robust seed bank, and by the observation of flowering and fruiting individuals. 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: 50 to 200 individuals (based on available EOR data). Condition: The occurrence may be less productive than the above situations, but is still viable, with evidence of flowering, fruiting, and a robust seed bank 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 50 individuals (based on available EOR data). Condition: Little or no evidence of successful reproduction is observed (poor seedling recruitment or no flowering or fruiting observed). 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: 30Aug2012
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Roth, E., rev. Maybury/Spackman (1996), J.M. Burt, rev. Spackman, S. and D. Anderson (2000), rev. Neuhaus, K., J. Handwerk, and S. Panjabi (2006), rev. Handwerk, J. (2011-2012)

Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 12Mar2015
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Panjabi, Susan

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
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  • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.


  • Atwood, D. 2010. Progress Report for Phacelia formosula Osherhout in North Park, Jackson County, Colorado and the Scully Phacelia in Larimer County, Colorado; prepared for USFWS.

  • Coles, Janet. 2004. Field Visit to Phacelia formosula in North Park and Phacelia sp. in Larimer County. unpublished notes on field visit of August 7, 2004.

  • 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. 2006. Biological Conservation Datasystem. Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO.

  • 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.

  • O'Kane, S.L. 1986. Endangered Species Information System Species Workbook Part VII. Unpublished report for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, CO.

  • Peterson, J. S. and K.L. Wiley-Eberle. 1986. North Park Phacelia Recovery Plan. USFWS, Denver, CO. 28pp.

  • Peterson, J. Scott and K.L. Wiley-Eberle. 1986. North Park Phacelia Recovery Plan. USFWS, Denver, CO. 28pp.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1982. Determination that Phacelia formosula is an endangered species. Federal Register 47(170): 38540-38543.

  • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

  • Warren, K.D. 1990. A Comparative Study of the Reproductive Biology of a Rare and a Common Phacelia Species. Unpublished thesis.

  • 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.

  • Wiley-Eberle, K.L. 1979. Status report for Phacelia formosula. Unpublished report prepared for the Bureau of Land Management.

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