Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Range limited to Pleistocene relict dunes along the Kobuk River in northwest Alaska.

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Perennial, Herbs, Stems woody below, or from woody crown or caudex, Taproot present, Nodul es present, Stems very short, acaulescent or subacaulescent, Stems erect or ascending, Stems less than 1 m tall, Stems solid, Stems or young twigs sparsely to densely hairy, Leaves alternate, Leaves petiolate, Stipules conspicuous, Stipules green, triangulate to lanceolate or foliaceous, Stipules persistent, Stipules free, Stipules clasping stem at the base, Stipules adnate to petiole, Leaves compound, Leaves odd pinnate, Leaf or leaflet margins entire, Leaflets opposite, Leaflets 10-many, Leaves hairy on one or both surfaces, Flowers in axillary clusters or few-floweredracemes, 2-6 flowers, Inflorescences racemes, Inflorescences spikes or spike-like, Inflorescence terminal, Bracts conspicuously present, Bracts hairy, Flowers zygomorphic, Calyx 5-lobed, Calyx hairy, Petals separate, Corolla papilionaceous, Petals clawed, Petals blue, lavander to purple, or violet, Banner petal ovoid or obovate, Wing petals narrow, oblanceolate to oblong, Keel abruptly curved, or spirally coi led, Stamens 9-10, Stamens diadelphous, 9 united, 1 free, Filaments glabrous, Style terete, Style persistent in fruit, Fruit a legume, Fruit freely dehiscent, Fruit oblong or ellipsoidal, Fruit coriaceous or becoming woody, Fruit exserted from calyx, Fruit beaked, Fruit hairy, Fruit 11-many seeded, Seeds reniform, Seed surface smooth, Seeds olive, brown, or black.
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Dr. David Bogler

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Sparsely vegetated sand on active dunes, in dune slacks, and on less exposed dune slopes. Also in Dryas heaths and white spruce woodlands on stabilized sand bordering active dune fields. Rarely on older sandbars near rivers, but never on actively flooded sandbars.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 1 - 20

Comments: Depending on how EO's are delimited, there may be fewer than five or more than six. Several individuals were seen in 1984 at three locations on sand bars along the Kobuk River; these may have been transient occurences, and at least one of them was not seen in 2003. The populations on the Great Kobuk Dunes may constitute one large interbreeding population or may have several discreet sub-populations.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G2 - Imperiled

Reasons: A narrowly distributed species, known from a 40 km section of the Middle Kobuk River in northwestern Alaska. It is restricted to areas of relictual (Pleistocene) sand dunes, where it can be locally abundant.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.

Comments: Restricted to active sand dunes and open sand sheets.

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Global Short Term Trend: Unknown

Comments: No specific studies to look at this, but apparently stable.

Global Long Term Trend: Increase of 10-25% to decline of 30%

Comments: No specific studies to look at this, but apparently stable.

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Threats

Degree of Threat: Medium

Comments: The threat referenced above, concerns possible effects of increased use of dune areas by ATV's and hikers and campers as ecotourism and local use of the area increases. Although remote, the Kobuk Dunes are becoming increasingly well known and visited.

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: A distinctive neoendemic with a highly restricted geographic range.

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Disclaimer

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