CPC Plant Profile: Andean Prairie-clover
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Plant Profile

Andean Prairie-clover (Dalea cylindriceps)

Dalea cylindriceps in Sheridan County, Nebraska. Photo Credit: Lauritzen Gardens
Description
  • Global Rank: G3 - Vulnerable
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • State: CO, KS, NE, NM, OK, SD, TX, WY
  • Nature Serve ID: 155802
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 12/01/2021

Dalea cylindriceps is a short-lived perennial herb in the Bean Family (Fabaceae). It grows 3-6 cm tall and has pinnate leaves with 7-9 leaflets. Its most distinctive trait as a member of the genus Dalea is the length and thickness of the flower spike, which can reach up to 18 cm in length. It flowers June-September.

Participating Institutions
Updates
  • 10/17/2020
  • Demographic Research

In 2010, Jim Locklear of Lauritzen Gardens surveyed the sites of 23 historic occurrences of Dalea cylindriceps in western Nebraska, se Wyoming, and ne Colorado. Almost all of this habitat was sandsage prairie. Only five extant populations were found, and some consisted of very few individuals. This preliminary research indicates Dalea cylindriceps may have declined significantly and could be more imperiled than its large distribution would indicate.Field survey of historic occurrences of Dalea cylindriceps by Jim Locklear in 2010 found that many former sites have been taken over by aggresive introduced weeds, particularly yellow sweetclover (Melilotus officinalis) and cheatgrass (Bromus japonicus).

  • 10/17/2020
  • Demographic Research

The Lauritzen Gardens conducted a rare plant survey in the central grassland of North America with an initial focus on Dalea cylindriceps. It was revealed that this rare prairie clover is primarily associated with a plant community called sandsage prairie. Sandsage prairie is actually a type of shrub-steppe community dominated by Artemisia filifolia (Sand Sagebrush). Many of the sites visited still had a good intact sandsage prairie but Dalea cylindriceps was not found prompting questions as to what exactly was going on with the sandsage prairie and what were the dynamics involved. Subsequently, this led to a focus study on sandsage prairie regions concentrating on the southwest corner of the state of Nebraska. The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project identified regions within the state they call "Biologically Unique Landscapes" that are of high priority for conservation values which also includes sandsage prairie. The Nebraska sandsage prairie rare plant survey targeted 14 Nebraska at-risk plants (S1 and S2) including Berlandier's flax (Linum berlandieri), a Nebraska S1, state critically imperiled species. It was discovered that most of these rare plants were associated with early stages of succession from the dynamic sandy habitat known as a blowout. This is turn peaked a larger scale study into the distribution of dune fields and sand habitat ecological associations in the Great Plains. There are three different plant communities consisting of: (1) Sand Prairie dominated by grass species (Andropogon hallii - Calamovilfa longifolia); (2) Sand Shinnery dominated by shin oak (Quercus havardii); (3) Sandsage Prairie dominated by Artemisia filifolia. The main focus of this study was to understand the geographic extent of the sandsage plant community as well as its floristic composition. Not only it is rare in Nebraska but it is deemed a plant community of conservation concern in five different states in the Great Plains. (Locklear 2018)

Elvia Ryan
  • 08/13/2018

Dalea cylindriceps is currently listed as G3, an at-risk species native to the western Great Plains.  It may be common in some areas in Nebraska but one survey will reveal a good size population of 300 individuals but the following year will result in only 50 individuals.  This plant appears to be a transitory short-lived perennial dependent on a transitory habitat.   (Locklear 2018)

Elvia Ryan
  • 08/12/2018

In order to identify the processes and patterns that sustain the ecological health and integrity of Dalea cylindriceps and the sandsage prairie plant community, Lauritzen Gardens will be launching the Sandsage Prairie Research Initiative this year.  This reconnaissance survey of the sandsage prairie will focus on the following list of topics:  (1) distribution;  (2) environmental factors;  (3) floristic composition;  (4) vegetation structure;  (5) vegetation dynamics;  (6) at-risk species;  (7) conservation values;  (8) management implications;  (9) literature review.  The intent of this initiative is to devise management implications and conservation practices in order to be able to contribute to the conservation not only of Dalea cylindriceps but for the sandsage plant community as well.  This work will result in the first comprehensive publication on the ecology and floristic composition of the sandsage prairie. (Locklear 2018)

Elvia Ryan
  • 08/12/2018

The Lauritzen Gardens conducted a rare plant survey in the central grassland of North America with an initial focus on Dalea cylindriceps.  It was revealed that this rare prairie clover is primarily associated with a plant community called sandsage prairie.  Sandsage prairie is actually a type of shrub-steppe community dominated by Artemisia filifolia (Sand Sagebrush).  Many of the sites visited still had a good intact sandsage prairie but Dalea cylindriceps was not found prompting questions as to what exactly was going on with the sandsage prairie and what were the dynamics involved.  Subsequently, this led to a focus study on sandsage prairie regions concentrating on the southwest corner of the state of Nebraska.  The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project identified regions within the state they call "Biologically Unique Landscapes" that are of high priority for conservation values which also includes sandsage prairie. The Nebraska sandsage prairie rare plant survey targeted 14 Nebraska at-risk plants (S1 and S2) including Berlandier's flax (Linum berlandieri), a Nebraska S1, state critically imperiled species.  It was discovered that most of these rare plants were associated with early stages of succession from the dynamic sandy habitat known as a blowout.  This is turn peaked a larger scale study into the distribution of dune fields and sand habitat ecological associations in the Great Plains.  There are three different plant communities consisting of: (1) Sand Prairie dominated by grass species (Andropogon hallii - Calamovilfa longifolia);  (2) Sand Shinnery dominated by shin oak (Quercus havardii);  (3) Sandsage Prairie dominated by Artemisia filifolia.  The main focus of this study was to understand the geographic extent of the sandsage plant community as well as its floristic composition.  Not only it is rare in Nebraska but it is deemed a plant community of conservation concern in five different states in the Great Plains.  (Locklear 2018)

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Apparently infrequent throughout its range. It occurs in many states, and in seven counties of at least one (NM), but is not abundant. Need actual EO counts to verify rank.

James Locklear, Lauritzen Gardens
  • 01/01/2010

Field survey of historic occurrences of Dalea cylindriceps by Jim Locklear in 2010 found that many former sites have been taken over by aggresive introduced weeds, particularly yellow sweetclover (Melilotus officinalis) and cheatgrass (Bromus japonicus).

James Locklear, Lauritzen Gardens
  • 01/01/2010

The number of extant populations of Dalea cylindriceps throughout its historic range are unknown. Field survey in the northern part of the species range by Jim Locklear of Lauritzen Gardens resulted in the location of 5 populations (out of 23 historic occurrences surveyed).

James Locklear, Lauritzen Gardens
  • 01/01/2010

In 2010, Jim Locklear of Lauritzen Gardens surveyed the sites of 23 historic occurrences of Dalea cylindriceps in western Nebraska, se Wyoming, and ne Colorado. Almost all of this habitat was sandsage prairie. Only five extant populations were found, and some consisted of very few individuals. This preliminary research indicates Dalea cylindriceps may have declined significantly and could be more imperiled than its large distribution would indicate.

James Locklear, Lauritzen Gardens
  • 01/01/2010

Much of the sandsage prairie habitat of Dalea cylindriceps is in private management. However, extant populations of Dalea cylindriceps occur on federal lands in the Cimarron National Grassland (KS) and Comanche National Grassland (CO).

James Locklear, Lauritzen Gardens
  • 01/01/2010

Field survey of historic occurrences throughout the range of Dalea cylindriceps is needed to assess its current status and conservation needs.

James Locklear, Lauritzen Gardens
  • 01/01/2010

Seed collections Dalea cylindriceps should be made in order to propagate plants for reintroduction into sites where the species has been eliminated.

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Nomenclature
Taxon Dalea cylindriceps
Authority Barneby
Family Fabaceae
CPC Number 15365
ITIS 26607
USDA DACY
Common Names Large-spike prairie-clover | Sandage prairie-clover | Andean prairie clover | Andean prairieclover | largespike prairieclover
Associated Scientific Names Petalostemon macrostachyus | Petalostemon compactus sensu | Petalostemon macrostachyum | Petalostemon macrostachyus
Distribution Dalea cylindriceps has a wide geographic range, from sw South Dakota to the southern plains of Texas. Historic occurrences are known from SD, WY, NE, CO, KS, OK, NM, and TX. The greatest number of h
State Rank
State State Rank
Colorado S3?
Kansas S2
Nebraska S2
New Mexico SNR
Oklahoma S1
South Dakota SNR
Texas S2
Wyoming S2
Habitat

Dalea cylindriceps is strongly associated with sandsage prairiea plant community of the western Great Plains with grassland intermixed with scattered to dense stands of sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia). Sandsage prairie occurs in rolling sand hill habitat and is a dynamic plant community, with areas of open sand transitioning to areas with a more dense cover of vegetation. Dalea cylindriceps appears to prefer habitat with intermediate levels of vegetation cover. The availability of such habitat would naturally change over time in response to fluctuations in precipitation, in some cases expanding habitat for the prairie-clover and in others contracting or eliminating its habitat. Association with such dynamic habitat could make Dalea cylindriceps a naturally rare species.

Ecological Relationships

The close relationship between Dalea cylindriceps and sandsage prairie habitat could make the plant a key indicator of the health of this unique and imperiled plant community.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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