Amsinckia carinata

Common Names:
Malheur Valley fiddleneck
A. Nels. & J.F. Macbr.
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Programs

The conservation of Amsinckia carinata is fully sponsored.
Edward Guerrant, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.


A case of mistaken identity could lead to the extinction of the Malheur Valley fiddleneck. In 1993, Amsinckia carinata was listed as a synonym of the rare, though not endangered Amsinckia vernicosa (the populations are separated by nearly 500 miles (800km)). The decision was based on the examination of a single specimen from a herbarium sheet, as the populations in Oregon were believed to be extirpated. In contrast, local botanists believe that the two species are taxonomically distinct. Since 1993, the discovery of 6 extant populations and more scientifically rigorous research has shown that they are indeed different. Unfortunately, the original case of misidentification continues to influence its status and Amsinckia carinata remains unprotected. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed this species from consideration from listing under the Endangered Species Act, as A. carinata was not recognized as a distinct species in the 1993 taxonomic publication.

While this rare Oregon endemic plant is listed as threatened in the state of Oregon, it is only found on federal property, where state plant conservation laws are unenforceable. Recently, mining claims for gold and other metals have proliferated in Malheur County. At least some of the populations are on potential mining sites, and mining activity would destroy the unique substrate that Malheur fiddleneck requires, potentially pushing this rare species to extinction.

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research