Laramie False Sagebrush / Center For Plant Conservation
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Plant Profile

Laramie False Sagebrush (Sphaeromeria simplex)

This small herb flowers from May to August, producing large, yellow flowers heads. Photo Credit: J. Locklear
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • State: WY
  • Nature Serve ID: 135228
  • Lifeform: Forb/herb
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/09/1992

The arid basins and plains of Wyoming are a tough place to live. Desert dryness couples with punishing winds and extremes of heat and cold to create an environment not unlike that found high in the mountains. It should not be surprising, then, to find similar plants in both places - dwarf plants that hunker down out of the elements. These diminutive, compact plants occur in Wyoming's basins and plains with an abundance matched in few other places in the world. Among them is the Laramie false sagebrush.

Where is Laramie False Sagebrush (Sphaeromeria simplex) located in the wild?


Gentle slopes or rims of dry, rocky limestone-sandstone """"pebble plains"""" in wind-scoured openings. Occurs in cushion plant communities within more densely vegetated stands of juniper (Juniperus osteosperma), limber pine (Pinus flexilis), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), or mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus). Elevation 7200-8760 ft.


Limited to southeastern Wyoming in the western foothills of the Laramie Range and Shirley Mountains, and the western edge of the Shirley Basin (Albany, Carbon, Converse, and Natrona counties).

States & Provinces:

Laramie False Sagebrush can be found in Wyoming

Which CPC Partners conserve Laramie False Sagebrush (Sphaeromeria simplex)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Known only from south-central Wyoming where it is restricted to windswept ridges, rims, buttes, and barren slopes of rocky or gravelly limestone-sandstone. Approximately 22 occurrences are known. Threats include wind energy development and mining.

Jim Locklear
  • 01/01/2010

One population near Laramie is located on the edge of an active limestone quarry. Some BLM populations are along roadsides that are potentially impacted by compaction from vehicles, new road and trail development, and competition from exotic plants (Fert

Jim Locklear
  • 01/01/2010

Long thought to be limited to one population near Laramie. Now known from 11 occurrences in Wyoming, all of which have been observed or discovered since 1996. Probably close to 1 million individuals within these populations (Fertig 2000).

Jim Locklear
  • 01/01/2010

None known.


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Taxon Sphaeromeria simplex
Authority (A. Nels.) Heller
Family Asteraceae
CPC Number 4071
ITIS 38436
Duration Perennial
Common Names Laramie false sagebrush | Laramie chickensage
Associated Scientific Names Sphaeromeria simplex | Tanacetum simplex
Distribution Limited to southeastern Wyoming in the western foothills of the Laramie Range and Shirley Mountains, and the western edge of the Shirley Basin (Albany, Carbon, Converse, and Natrona counties).
State Rank
State State Rank
Wyoming S2
Ecological Relationships

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
small flies Suspected Pollinator Floral Link
Ants Suspected Pollinator Floral Link

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