Holy Ghost ipomopsis is known from only a single location in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of north-central New Mexico. In May 1998, approximately 1800 seeds were planted at 7 sites along Willow Creek by the NM Forestry Division. By Aug 1999 1 reproductive plant and several rosettes were found at all sites (however rosettes could not be distinguished from congener I. aggregata). The sites were re-visited in 2000,2001 & 2002, but only 1 reproductive plant was found. This preliminary study suggested that direct seeding may not be a viable option for establishing new Holy Ghost ipomopsis populations. Therefore, in 2004, we identified 3 potential transplant locations (outside of the known range of the species, but with wetter soil conditions than the Willow Creek site). In July 2005, we transplanted 169 seedlings to Panchuela Creek and 212 to Winsor Creek and hand watered them until mid-August. By 2006, 280 (73.5%) of transplants survived at the sites combined, 258 flowered and produced mature capsules. In July 2006, we transplanted 308 and 299 more rosettes to P and W Creeks respectively. By 2007, 842 plants remained as rosettes and 135 seedlings emerged. By 2008, 157 seedlings, 93 rosettes and 11 flowering plants grew at the sites.
The Arboretum at Flagstaff holds several long term seed accession of the Holy Ghost Ipomopsis dating back to at least 1993.
In 2018, as part of CPC-USFS Region 3 seed banking intiative, The Arboretum at Flagstaff conducted germination trials on Ipomopsis sancti-spiritus seed to determine if this rare species is maintaining viability in in long term storage. Previous germination trials conducted in winter 1993 by The Arboretum at Flagstaff (FLAG; accession #1993-0419) contrasted 84 fresh seeds that did not receive a germination pretreatment with 60 seeds receiving one month of cold stratification. Both sets of seed (treated and cold stratified) and exhibited 50% germination. In 1997, FLAG staff conducted germination trials on 29 seeds, ranging in age from one to five years old. FLAG staff subjected seeds to two months of cold stratification and observed an overall germination rate of 31%.
For this project in 2018, the Arboretum at Flagstaff examined germination rate in four accessions spanning ages from 19 to 21 years. Germination across the accessions ranged from 8-70%. The average germination rate was 28%, not including shelf-stored samples (Table 2). Freezer storage resulted in higher seed longevity than shelf storing. Seed treatments included one, two or three months (1MC, 2 MC and 3MC) of cold/moist treatment. Cold moist treatments involved placing seeds in moist Perlite, inside Ziplock bags, in the freezer. The treatment with the best germination rate was one month of cold/moist storage (Table 2 - 38%). Increasing the cold/moist period decreased germination rate. Germinated seedlings grew well in the greenhouse.
Robert Sivinski of New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department has done common garden experiments and reintroductions.
Endemic to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico and restricted to a single canyon population with relatively few individuals. Threats include recreation, fire suppression, invasive plants, road maintenance, and spruce budworm control.
An estimated 1,200-2,500 plants grow in the Santa Fe National Forest (USFWS 1992)
Wild populations are monitored yearly (Maschinski 2001). Population viability models indicate that the species is at very high risk of extinction within the next 50 years. Maschinski is also examining flower morphology of Holy Ghost ipomopsis to determine if there are anomalies that may be causing low reproductive success. Robert Sivinski of New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department has done common garden experiments and reintroductions.
Holy Ghost ipomopsis is a federally listed endangered species and is managed by the Santa Fe National Forest.
The severe reproduction problems of Holy Ghost ipomopsis are the most critical research need. Its overall seed production is so low in the wild and in controlled cultivation in gardens that little material is available for reintroduction efforts.
Propagation of large numbers of propagules for reintroduction efforts is needed.
Road construction (11 plants lost in 1989 to road straightening/paving activity)
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