We’d like to commend Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG), one of our Participating Institutions, for their work and research to save plants. One of the plants they are protecting is North Park Phacelia (Phacelia formosula) which is known from multiple populations in the erosive sandstone outcrops of the Coalmont Formation in North Park of Jackson County, Colorado. Phacelia formosula has many stiff hairs on branching or single, upright stems. The leaves are highly divided and the purple flowers bloom from July to August. This species is a biennial or short-lived perennial. It was first listed as an endangered species in 1982 (USFWS 1982).
DBG completed a genetic diversity assessment on 15 populations of Phacelia throughout Jackson, Larimer, and Grand Counties. Additionally, microsatellite primers were developed to characterize genetic diversity across Phacelia species in this region (Riser et al. 2017). There are currently 29 seed collections in storage, collected from 1987-2014.
For over twenty years, DGB has worked to protect the rare and endangered flora of the Rocky Mountains. Population monitoring (Demography), seed collection and banking, conservation genetics, rare plant reintroductions, invasive plant research, plant-insect interaction studies, habitat restoration, and documentation are a few of the methods used to conserve the biodiversity of the Southern Rocky Mountain region.
CPC thanks Denver Botanic Gardens’s for protecting over 70 plant species in our National Collection!
The conservation experts at CPC participating institutions such as the Denver Botanic Gardens share their in-depth conservation expertise about rare plants through CPC’s National Collection Plant Profiles.
North Park Phacelia photo credit: USFWS