|miner's candle, Owl Creek miner's candle, Wallowa cat's-eye|
|Dorn & Lichvar|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
CPC National Office
The conservation of Cryptantha subcapitata is fully sponsored.
Jim Locklear contributed to this Plant Profile.
The foothills of Wyoming's Owl Creek and Bridger mountains are dry, desolate jumbles of rock and clay, yet the Owl Creek miner's candle occurs nowhere else, part of the tapestry of dwarf plants that mantles the rocky ridges and slopes. When not in bloom, it is hard to distinguish this plant from the other silver and gray cushions and mats that grow here. But during the brief flowering season of spring, Owl Creek miner's candle is lit up by clusters of sparkling white forget-me-not flowers.
Distribution & Occurrence
Sandy-gravelly slopes and barren ridges. Appears to be restricted to sandstones and conglomerates derived from the Eocene-age Wind River Formation, although it has been reported from limestone soil. Occurs in cushion plant communities, often dominated by Sphaeromeria capitata or Artemisia nova, within more densely vegetated cold desert shrubland dominated by big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata). Elevation 4700-6000 ft.
|Known from 3 extant populations, with approximately 38,000 individuals in an area of 1460 acres (Fertig 2000).|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Exact habitat characterization.
Dorn, R.D.; Lichvar, R.W. 1981. A new species of Cryptantha (Boraginaceae) from Wyoming. Madroo. 28, 3: 159-162.