Found only in northern Arizona in alpine tundra areas of southwestern spruce-fir forests on talus slopes between elevations of 10,991 and 12,303 feet on the San Francisco Peaks. The San Francisco Peaks groundsel (Packera franciscana), a critically impaired or G1 listed endangered species, is threatened by trampling from off-trail hiking, and natural disturbances, such as avalanches on the steep talus slopes where the species resides.
In fall 2017, The Arboretum at Flagstaff has been preparing packets of Packera franciscana propagules for seed banking at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation Laboratory in Fort Collins, Colorado. With funding provided by the USDA USFS Region 3 Forests Project and the Bureau of Land Management’s Seeds of Success Program, the Arboretum has collected eight species from 12 populations (totaling over 73,000 seeds!) that are important for conservation and research. Collecting trips have ranged from western Arizona, dipping into the Mohave Desert and north to the Arizona Strip, as well as to the top of Agassiz Peak just outside Flagstaff (CPC November 2017 Newsletter).
CPC is grateful to The Arboretum at Flagstaff for working to preserve packera franciscana.
The conservation experts at CPC participating institutions such as The Arboretum at Flagstaff share their in-depth conservation expertise about rare plants through CPC’s National Collection Plant Profiles.
San Francisco Peaks groundsel photo credit:Janette Milne