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U.S. Forest Service

Celebrating Wildflowers News 2009

December 2009

Eriogonum villosissimum (Polygonaceae), A New Species Endemic to Acker Rock, Oregon - December 2009

Eriogonum villosissimum. Eriogonum villosissimum. Reveal, York, & Heliwell 2009.

In 2005, while rock climbing in the Western Cascades of southwestern Oregon, Dana York, California Department of Transportation, discovered a previously unknown buckwheat, Eriogonum villosissimum, growing in crevices and small shelves of a volcanic rock formation known as Acker Rock. The plants form clumps that are scattered over the south-facing vertical faces of the formation. Nearby outcrops were searched in 2006 with no success of finding another population. The discovery is officially published in the Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (Reveal, York, & Heliwell. J. Bot. Res. Inst. Texas 3(2): 639 – 643. 2009.).

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November 2009

Rare Orchid New to the United States Doing Fine on the Lincoln National Forest - November 2009

The leaves of Microthelys rubrocallosa. Microthelys rubrocallosa. Photo by Tyler Johnson.

In August, 2004, botanist Marc Baker discovered an orchid on the Lincoln National Forest that he could not identify, so he asked his friend and orchid expert Ron Coleman for help. It was a year later before Coleman could find plants suitable for an accurate identification. He determined the orchid was Microthelys rubrocallosa, a close relative of the ladies’-tresses orchids in the genus Spiranthes. This orchid had never been seen in the United States. Previously, it was only known from a few collections in the Sierra Madre of Chihuahua, Mexico, some 270 miles to the south.

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June 2009

MacFarlane’s four-o’clock Poached from Hell’s Canyon NRA - June 1, 2009

Pollinator and Native Plant Interpretive Display Sign. The plant was last seen on May 18, 2009 while still in bud by forest personnel.

Pollinator and Native Plant Interpretive Display Sign. The hole discovered on Memorial Day weekend where the MacFarlane’s four-o’clock plant once grew.

Forest Botanist, Gene Yates, of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, traveled to the Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area after the Memorial Day weekend to monitor a population of MacFarlane’s four-o’clock (Mirabilis macfarlanei) located along the Snake River in Hells Canyon. MacFarlane’s four-o’clock is designated as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Gene discovered that one of the plants had been excavated from the population.

Forest personnel last saw the plant on May 18, 2009, while still in bud. The hole was over a foot in diameter and one foot deep.

This is the second time that a MacFarlane’s four-o’clock has been illegally removed from this population during the last seven years. In 1991, this population of MacFarlane’s four-o’clock consisted of 17 plants. By 2003, the population had decreased to 12 plants.

Now, with this second illegal removal, fewer than a dozen plants are present. These two thefts are significant losses for the continued existence of this small population.

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February 2009

Seedlings of Rare Black Hawthorn Planted on Ottawa National Forest - February 2009

Black hawthorn seedlings. Black hawthorn seedlings.

Black hawthorn, Crataegus douglasii, is classified as a Regional Forester's Sensitive and Michigan special concern plant. The Ottawa Botany Program obtained permission to collect fruits, extract seeds, and raise plants at the J.W. Toumey Forest Service Nursery. These Black hawthorn shrubs raised at the Forest Service Nursery were later planted at Black River Harbor to boost population viability.