|Arizona rabbit-brush, Tusayan rabbit-brush|
|(Blake) L.C. Anders.|
|Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The Arboretum at Flagstaff
The conservation of Chrysothamnus molestus is fully sponsored.
Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.
C. molestus is a perennial prostrate shrub or sub-shrub that is found only on the Coconino Plateau in northern Arizona. It produces profuse yellow rayless flowers in the fall and can be distinguished from common rabbitbrush by its hairy leaves which are less than 2mm wide. (Cobb et al. 1996) Cobb and colleagues (1996) have done extensive research on the impact of fire on this species and determined that the season of the burn determines how it impacts the plants. While adult plants benefit from fall burns, seedling establishment is heavily reduced. In the spring, the trend is reversed, with seedling establishment improving and adults plants suffering.
Distribution & Occurrence
This species is typically found in open pinyon-juniper grasslands where periodic natural fires naturally occur at an interval of every 15 to 30 years (Cobb et al. 1996).
|Chrysothamnus molestus is extant at 21 locations within Coconino County, Arizona, only a few may be protected. (NatureServe Explorer 2001)|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
grazing by wild and domestic ungulates
low recruitment in natural populations
Cobb et al. (1996) examined the effects of fall and spring prescribed burning on C. molestus. They found fall burns enhanced growth of mature plants, but reduced seedling establishment 12-fold. Conversely, spring burns caused 25% mortality of adult plants and 3-fold reduction in volume. They recommend fall burns, but not in a year when seedlings are beginning to establish.
Cobb, N.; Gori, D.F.; Whitham, T.G. The Effects of Prescribed Burning in the Rare Plant Chrysothamnus molestus. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-283. Proceedings of the Southwestern Rare and Endangered Plant Conference; September 11-14; Flagstaff, AZ. In: Maschinsk