Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Grindelia squarrosa


SPECIES: Grindelia squarrosa
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Walsh, Roberta A. 1993. Grindelia squarrosa. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : GRISQU SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : GRSQ COMMON NAMES : curlycup gumweed tarweed resinweed curly-top gumweed sticky-heads gumweed TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of curlycup gumweed is Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh) Dunal [10,14]. It is in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). Recognized varieties are: G. s. var. squarrosa [1,10,12] G. s. var. nuda (Wood) Gray [1,10,14] G. s. var. quasiperennis Lunnell [10,14] G. s. var. serrulata (Rydb) Steyerm. [10,12] LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Grindelia squarrosa
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Curlycup gumweed is native to much of the area from Manitoba south to Texas and east to Idaho and Arizona.  It is naturalized in eastern North America and the Pacific Coast states [16,17]. ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES15  Oak - hickory    FRES17  Elm - ash - cottonwood    FRES20  Douglas-fir    FRES21  Ponderosa pine    FRES26  Lodgepole pine    FRES29  Sagebrush    FRES30  Desert shrub    FRES31  Shinnery    FRES34  Chaparral - mountain shrub    FRES35  Pinyon - juniper    FRES36  Mountain grasslands    FRES38  Plains grasslands    FRES39  Prairie    FRES40  Desert grasslands STATES :      AZ  CA  CO  CT  ID  IL  IN  IA  KS  ME      MA  MI  MN  MO  MT  NE  NV  NH  NJ  NM      NY  ND  OH  OK  OR  PA  RI  SD  TX  UT      WA  WI  WY  AB  BC  MB  ON  PQ  SK BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :     1  Northern Pacific Border     2  Cascade Mountains     3  Southern Pacific Border     4  Sierra Mountains     5  Columbia Plateau     6  Upper Basin and Range     7  Lower Basin and Range     8  Northern Rocky Mountains     9  Middle Rocky Mountains    10  Wyoming Basin    11  Southern Rocky Mountains    12  Colorado Plateau    13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont    14  Great Plains    15  Black Hills Uplift    16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K011  Western ponderosa forest    K012  Douglas-fir forest    K016  Eastern ponderosa forest    K017  Black Hills pine forest    K018  Pine - Douglas-fir forest    K022  Great Basin pine forest    K023  Juniper - pinyon woodland    K037  Mountain-mahogany - oak scrub    K038  Great Basin sagebrush    K039  Blackbrush    K040  Saltbush - greasewood    K041  Creosotebush    K046  Desert: vegetation largely lacking    K047  Fescue - oatgrass    K050  Fescue - wheatgrass    K051  Wheatgrass - bluegrass    K055  Sagebrush steppe    K056  Wheatgrass - needlegrass shrubsteppe    K057  Galleta - three-awn shrubsteppe    K063  Foothills prairie    K064  Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass    K065  Grama - buffalograss    K066  Wheatgrass - needlegrass    K067  Wheatgrass - bluestem - needlegrass    K068  Wheatgrass - grama - buffalograss    K069  Bluestem - grama prairie    K070  Sandsage - bluestem prairie    K071  Shinnery    K074  Bluestem prairie    K075  Nebraska Sandhills prairie    K081  Oak savanna    K082  Mosaic of K074 and K100    K098  Northern floodplain forest SAF COVER TYPES :     42  Bur oak     62  Silver maple - American elm     67  Shin (Mohrs) oak    210  Interior Douglas-fir    218  Lodgepole pine    220  Rocky Mountain juniper    229  Pacific Douglas-fir    230  Douglas-fir - western hemlock    237  Interior ponderosa pine    239  Pinyon - juniper SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Associates of curlycup gumweed in sagebrush-grassland vegetation in southeastern Montana include big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), plains prickly pear (Opuntia polyacantha), western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii), buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides), and blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) [30]. Associates of curlycup gumweed on shortgrass rangeland in fair condition in eastern Colorado include blue grama, buffalo grass, rush skeletonplant (Lygodesmia juncea), wavyleaf thistle (Cirsium undulatum), pricklepoppy (Argemone intermedia), and crazyweeds (Oxytropis spp.) [20]. Associates of curlycup gumweed in tallgrass and mixed-grass prairie in southwestern Oklahoma include big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) [25]. Associates of curlycup gumweed on land adjacent to creek bottoms in central Montana include wheatgrasses (Agropyron and Pascopyrum spp.), foxtail barley (Critesion jubatum), brome (Bromus spp.), desert saltgrass (Distichlis stricta), big sagebrush, silver sagebrush (Artemisia cana), greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus), and rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus) [26].


SPECIES: Grindelia squarrosa
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Curlycup gumweed was eaten by sage grouse chicks aged 5 to 8 weeks in central Montana.  It was used by 28 percent of chicks and made up 3 percent by volume of crop contents.  At ages 9 to 12 weeks it was used by 39 percent of chicks and made up 4 percent of crop contents.  It was not used by chicks younger than 5 weeks old [26]. PALATABILITY : Curlycup gumweed is unpalatable to cattle, sheep, and horses [8,19], though sheep will occasionally crop flower heads in the absence of other forage [17].  Tannins, volatile oils, resins, bitter alkaloids, and glucosides give curlycup gumweed an unpleasant taste [1]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : The energy value and protein value of curlycup gumweed for livestock is poor.  Its food value for several species of wildlife in some western states is [8]:                               MT       ND       UT      Elk                     ----     ----     poor      Mule deer               ----     ----     poor      Pronghorn               ----     ----     poor      Upland game birds       good     good     fair      Waterfowl               ----     ----     poor      Small nongame birds     fair     good     fair      Small mammals           ----     ----     fair COVER VALUE : The cover value of curlycup gumweed for several species of wildlife in some western states is [8]:                              MT       ND       UT      Elk                    ----     ----     poor      Mule deer              poor     fair     poor      White-tailed deer      ----     fair     ----      Pronghorn              good     fair     poor      Upland game birds      fair     fair     fair      Waterfowl              ----     fair     poor      Small nongame birds    fair     fair     fair      Small mammals          ----     poor     fair VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Curlycup gumweed occurred in only trace amounts on unreclaimed and reclaimed bentonite mine spoils in southeastern Montana.  It occurred in greater abundance on adjacent grasslands [30]. Curlycup gumweed was used in a roadside reseeding project in southern Wisconsin.  It showed a high ability to survive and grow under adverse conditions.  Seedlings transplanted easily to the field and grew rapidly.  Results for both direct seeding and seedling transplant were excellent [24]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Native Americans used curlycup gumweed extracts to treat asthma, bronchitis, colic, and skin rash [17].  The Pawnees boiled the flower heads and leaves, and used the decoction for bathing saddle sores and other skin irritations [1].  Today, medicinal uses include treatment of bronchial spasm, whooping cough, asthma, and rashes caused by poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) [17].  Curlycup gumweed extract is valuable as a stimulant, sedative, astringent, purgative, emetic, diuretic, antiseptic, and disinfectant [1]. Curlycup gumweed is used as an ornamental.  It produces flowers over a long period, even when the soil is poor and dry [1]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Curlycup gumweed increases with grazing [18] and has a negative economic impact on rangelands [8].  It forms dense, brushlike cover in rangelands where there is much broken sod [35].  In the Central Great Plains, it is not usually found on ranges of excellent or good condition, but is found on ranges in fair condition [20]. Curlycup gumweed stems, leaves, and flowers produce a sticky exudate. The coats of livestock can become gummed with it [2]. Curlycup gumweed is drought resistant due to deep roots and resinous secretions [1]. Curlycup gumweed is a facultative selenium absorber [1].


SPECIES: Grindelia squarrosa
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Curlycup gumweed is a warm-season [17] perennial or biennial native forb [8].  It grows 0.33 to 3.3 feet (0.1-1 m), with one to several branched stems [14,12].  Flower heads are several to numerous.  The floral disk is 0.6 to 2.75 inches (1.5-7 cm) wide.  The fruit is an achene [14]. Curlycup gumweed is taprooted, and develops a short, vertical rhizome. The root system extends 6.5 feet (2 m) into the soil [1], with extensive shallow root development [35]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :       Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Curlycup gumweed is a biennial or short-lived perennial which reproduces by seed [12].  Seeds have a pappus [14], and are dispersed by wind. Curlycup gumweed seeds were stratified for 10 weeks with a cold, damp regime.  When planted, germination time was 3 days [24]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Curlycup gumweed favors dry areas, but grows on moist soils that lack other vegetation [17].  It is most common in dry prairies, waste places, roadsides, railroads, depleted rangelands, and abandoned croplands.  It often forms almost pure stands [14,15,31]. Curlycup gumweed growth is poor to fair on gravel, clay, and dense clay, and good in sandy loam, loam, and clayey loam.  It makes fair growth on saline soils, good growth on gentle and moderate slopes, and fair growth on steep slopes.  Optimum soil depth is 10 to 20 inches (25-50 cm) [8]. In eastern North Dakota, curlycup gumweed occurred on saltflats and in wet lowlands where salinity ranged up to 1.3 percent [28]. Curlycup gumweed occurs at the following elevations [8,15,29]:                    Elevation (feet)    Elevation (m)           CO         3,500-8,500        1,067-2,590           MT         3,200-6,700          975-2,042           SD         3,600-5,000        1,097-1,524           UT            5,000              1,524           WY         3,600-8,600        1,097-2,621 SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Curlycup gumweed is subdominant in climax prairie communities [6].  It also occurs on disturbed sites [14].  It is highly drought resistant, and may be abundant after dry periods [17].  However, by 1943 curlycup gumweed in the mixed-grass prairie of Kansas showed only partial recovery from the great drought of the 1930s [7]. In a black-tailed prairie dog town in a tallgrass prairie in southwestern Oklahoma, prairie dogs of one colony progressively retreated from the outside of the colony toward its center prior to abandoning it.  Plant succession at this site was studied the summer after the animals left.  Order of succession was apparent in concentric rings of vegetation circumscribing a bare area at the center of the colony.  Curlycup gumweed did not occur in the most recently abandoned area, the colony center.  It did occur in longer-abandoned, surrounding rings in association with annual threeawn (Aristida oligantha) and other short grasses, forbs, and mid-sized grasses such as sideoats grama.  It was not found in the undisturbed peripheral rings, which supported climax tall grasses such as big bluestem [25]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Curlycup gumweed forms a rosette the first year.  The next summer, the plant grows erect stems which branch considerably and produce many flower heads [12,35]. Curlycup gumweed flowering times are [1,10,14,22,23,31]:                     Begin         Peak           End                   Flowering     Flowering     Flowering      CA             July          ----        September      CO             June         August       September      IL             July          ----        September      KS             July          ----        October      MT             July         August       August      ND             July         August       September      WY             July         August       September      Great Plains   July          ----          ----      New England    July          ----        September In North Dakota, curlycup gumweed began growth in May, and by the end of May had attained 50 percent of its yearly growth [13].  Curlycup gumweed attained maximum height in August.  The average length of flowering period was 41 days; the median date when flowering was 95 percent complete was September 4 [4].


SPECIES: Grindelia squarrosa
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Curlycup gumweed may sprout from its short, vertical rhizome after fire. However, no information was available concerning its sprouting performance. Curlycup gumweed seeds probably establishes on burned sites by wind-dispersed seed. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil    Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)    Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Grindelia squarrosa
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Curlycup gumweed is probably top-killed by fire. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Curlycup gumweed colonizes disturbed areas, and establishes or increases after fire. Curlycup gumweed was a trace species with 0.1 percent cover before a natural range fire occurred in a cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum)-sand dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus)-red threeawn (Aristida longiseta) community during the summer of 1956.  It was not present the first growing season following the fire, in 1957.  At the end of the next growing season, its cover was 1.2 percent.  During the next 2 years it was present only in trace amounts [5]. Curlycup gumweed populations increased following a 1983 or 1984 wildfire of unknown intensity and season in a 9,600 square foot (800 sq m) area in central Utah [21]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : The Research Project Summary Vegetation response to restoration treatments in ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir forests of western Montana provides information on prescribed fire and postfire response of plant community species including curlycup gumweed. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Grindelia squarrosa
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