Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Endemic to Wayne County, Utah in an area of about 90 square km.

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Physical Description

Type Information

Type collection for Gilia caespitosa A. Gray
Catalog Number: US 145803
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): L. F. Ward
Year Collected: 1875
Locality: Rabbit Valley., Utah, United States, North America
Elevation (m): 2134 to 2134
  • Type collection: Gray, A. 1876. Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 12: 80.
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Type collection for Gilia caespitosa A. Gray
Catalog Number: US 46311
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): L. F. Ward
Year Collected: 1875
Locality: Utah, United States, North America
  • Type collection: Gray, A. 1876. Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 12: 80.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: On Navajo and Wingate sandstone in crevices, Carmel Limestone formations, detrital slopes, and (infrequently) in sandy wash bottoms. Found within open pinyon-juniper communities, often mixed with mountain brush, sagebrush, or ponderosa pine, at 1554 to 2743 m elevation.

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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: 6 - 20

Comments: Six population areas, with about 40 subpopulations (USFWS 2004), all in a single county of Utah.

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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: Very narrowly endemic, known only from Wayne County, Utah. About 15,000 plants are known to exist at about 40 scattered locations in six population areas, with sites have from one to a few thousand individuals. Some locations have only a limited amount of suitable habitat and therefore little potential for populations to increase. Collecting for rock-garden use remains a broad but low-level threat.

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.

Comments: known primarily from Navajo Sandstone, growing in sand-filled crevices and in sand pockets.

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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Comments: Apparently relatively stable, with additional subpopulations discovered during intensive inventories in recent years; one subpopulation was lost due to a flash flood in the 1990's (USFWS, 2004).

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

Comments: Apparently relatively stable (USFWS, 2004). No historically known population areas have been extirpated.

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Threats

Degree of Threat: High - medium

Comments: Collection of plants and seeds by rock garden enthusiasts is a significant threat (USFWS 2004), especially because the plants produce few seeds and international trade is not controlled by CITES; however, many of the subpopulations are in relatively inaccessible places where collecting is unlikely (USFWS, 2004). Potential highway widening may affect some areas (USFWS, 2004). Former threats from sand mining and sandstone quarrying would now be inconsistent with the species' interagency Conservation Agreement and Strategy.

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Wikipedia

Aliciella caespitosa

Aliciella caespitosa (syn. Gilia caespitosa) is a species of flowering plant in the phlox family known by the common names Rabbit Valley gilia and Wonderland Alice-flower. It is endemic to Utah, where it is known only from Wayne County.[1][2]

This perennial herb has a thick basal clump of sticky leaves growing just a few centimeters tall. The flowers are scarlet to blue-purple[2] in color, sometimes fading maroon or purple.[1] Flowering occurs in June and July,[1] and seeds are produced in July and August.[2]

This species was collected in 1875 and not reported again for 90 years. There are about 6 populations spread across 40 sites, for a total of 15,000 to 25,000 individuals. All are within 90 square kilometers in one Utah county. The plant grows on the Navajo and Wingate Sandstones in sandy rock crevices, rocky slopes, and arroyos.[1] The habitat is often pinyon-juniper woodland, sometimes with sagebrush or Ponderosa pine.[2]

Threats to this species include poaching for the horticultural trade; however, most plants are located on inaccessible terrain. Widening of highways may be a threat.[1] Sand and sandstone mining may be a threat.[2]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Gilia caespitosa. The Nature Conservancy.
  2. ^ a b c d e Gilia caespitosa. Center for Plant Conservation.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: The species widely known as Gilia caespitosa was reclassified in Aliciella by Porter (Aliso 17:34. 1998).The spelling used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the June 13, 2002 Candidate Notice of Review is "Alicelia caespitosa". The spelling was changed in the May 4, 2004 CNOR to "Alicellia caespitosa". However, in some USFWS lists it is spelled "Aliciella cespitosa". In the 2006 Candidate Notice of Review (USFWS 2006), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that listing of this species was not warranted and removed it from the candidate list.

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