|Colorado butterfly plant, Colorado butterfly-weed|
|(Rydb.) Raven & Gregory|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The conservation of Oenothera coloradensis is fully sponsored.
Jim Locklear contributed to this Plant Profile.
The meadows that hug stream banks on the plains of southeastern Wyoming and adjacent Colorado and Nebraska are lush compared to the shortgrass prairie of the surrounding uplands. These refreshing places are the last stand of the Colorado butterfly plant, a plant threatened with extinction due to the loss and alteration of this rare meadow habitat.
Distribution & Occurrence
Subirrigated, alluvial soils on level or slightly sloping floodplains and drainage bottoms, and old, abandoned stream channels with a high water table. Colonies are often found in low depressions or along bends in wide, meandering stream channels. Most populations are found a short distance from the actual channel and may even occur at the base of low, alluvial ridges at the interface between riparian meadows and drier grasslands. Elevation 5000-6400 ft.
|Fertig (1998) estimated the entire population of this taxon to contain between 47,000 and 50,000 reproductive plants.|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Mowing habitat for hay before seed is released.
Competition from weeds.
Loss of habitat to urban expansion.
Two occurrences on Warren Air Force Base near Cheyenne, WY are within a designated Research Natural Area and are protected from spraying, mowing and livestock grazing. All other occurrences are on private land or state lands managed primarily for agriculture (Fertig 2000b).
Establish additional populations within historic range.
Martner, B. 1986. Wyoming Climate Atlas. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. 432p.