CPC Plant Profile: Wonderland Alice-flower
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Plant Profile

Wonderland Alice-flower (Aliciella caespitosa)

View of plant in native habitat. Note the tight rounded growing habit. Photo Credit: Carol Dawson
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Polemoniaceae
  • State: UT
  • Nature Serve ID: 156590
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/04/1991

Gilia caespitosa is a perennial forb in the phlox family. Flowers bloom in July and vary fro in color from a bright scarlet to a bluish-blue purple. The leaves that form a dense base are entire or few-lobed and sticky. Seed is set in late July or August. (Atwood 1991). Because of its inherent rarity, Rabbit Valley Gilia may be particularly vulnerable to over-collection in the wild. Fortunately, intensive surveying has found additional populations and increased the known distribution and number of individuals.

Participating Institutions
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  • 08/26/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Additional seed collection and banking.

  • 08/26/2020
  • Seed Collection

Additional seed collection and banking.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Narrow endemic of Wayne County, Utah. Occurs at about 40 scattered locations in six population areas, with sites have from one to a few thousand individuals. Some locations have only a limited amount of suitable habitat and therefore little potential for populations to increase. Collecting for rock-garden use remains a broad but low-level threat.

Thomas Grant
  • 01/01/2010

Threats include mining for limestone and gypsum is slated for the habitat of the gilia, collection for propagation and trade.

Thomas Grant
  • 01/01/2010

Fewer than 5000 known plants at 13 locations (Atwood 1991).

Thomas Grant
  • 01/01/2010

Since the early 1990's the Denver Botanic Gardens has monitored five populations of Gilia caespitosa.

Thomas Grant
  • 01/01/2010

The National Park Service oversees several populations within Capitol Reef National Park.

Thomas Grant
  • 01/01/2010

Population monitoring and surveys for new populations would be useful. Research needs include understanding this species general reproductive biology and ecology as well as seedling establishment and recruitment, and population dynamics.

Thomas Grant
  • 01/01/2010

Additional seed collection and banking. Study of taxon's use/desire in horticultural areas.


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Taxon Aliciella caespitosa
Authority (Gray) J. M. Porter
Family Polemoniaceae
CPC Number 2024
ITIS 845242
Common Names Rabbit Valley gilia | wonderland alice-flower
Associated Scientific Names Gilia caespitosa | Aliciella caespitosa | Gilia grayi | Navarretia caespitosa
Distribution Endemic to Wayne County, Utah. (Atwood 1991)
State Rank
State State Rank
Utah S2

G. caespitosa is known from the Pinyon-juinper community on unstable and faulting soils of Carmel and Navajo formations. It is mostly confined to protected areas on the north aspects in dry, rocky slopes of white talus at elevations between 5,200 and 8,515 feet (Atwood 1991).

Ecological Relationships

Ecological relationships are unknown, however G.caespitosa is associated with species in the Pinyon-juniper and mahogany plant communities. (State of Utah Natural Resources 2002).

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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