CPC Plant Profile: Aztec Gilia
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Plant Profile

Aztec Gilia (Aliciella formosa)

Closeup of Aliciella formosa Photo Credit: Al Schneider
Description
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Polemoniaceae
  • State: NM, NN
  • Nature Serve ID: 135541
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/10/1987

Aztec gilia is a rare herbaceous perennial from northwestern New Mexico. Diminutive in size, it is only 7-30 cm tall. This perennial can develop a woody base, and has numerous, branched stems. Leaves are entire, 25 mm long, glandular, and sharp-pointed. Flowers are a lovely pinkish-purple, trumpet-shaped, and about 22 mm long. Flowering occurs in late April and May. Endemic to clay-like soils of the Nacimiento Formation, this species was previously a Gilia, and then was placed into the Aliciella genus in 1998 by Mark Porter. (New Mexico Rare Plants Technical Council. 1999)

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Updates
  • 08/16/2020
  • Reintroduction

Aliciella formosa occurs in an area of intense oil and gas exploration and development. Populations in these disturbed sites appear to recover over time. This plant does not transplant well and is difficult to raise from seed. (New Mexico Rare Plants Technical Council. 1999) The Bureau of Land Management asked an oil/gas company to remove Aliciella formosa for mitigation purposes. The plant was moved to a greenhouse for one year and then transplanted back into the field. Only 12 percent of the plants survived. It was advised that agencies should generally avoid transplanting for mitigation purposes since these projects rarely succeed. (US Army Corps of Engineers. 1997)

  • 08/16/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Seed banking attempts have been made by The Arboretum at Flagstaff and the BLM, but were unsuccessful due to timing and low seed set (2006). (Sheila Murray, 2006).

  • 08/16/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Seed banking attempts have been made by The Arboretum at Flagstaff and the BLM, but were unsuccessful due to timing and low seed set (2006). (Sheila Murray, 2006).

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Although over 140 occurrences of this plant have been recorded for the U.S., it is a very narrow endemic; dependent on soil type. Locally it can be very abundant but the degree of development and disturbance makes its distant future less than secure.

Sheila Murray, Kristin Haskins
  • 01/01/2010

pipeline right-of-way (ROW) activity oil and gas development off-road vehicles (NatureServe. 2008)

Sheila Murray, Kristin Haskins
  • 01/01/2010

Over 100 element occurrences have been recorded. Plants are frequently very numerous when found. It should be noted that there are large areas of suitable habitat that are not occupied by Aliciella formosa. (NatureServe. 2008)

Sheila Murray, Kristin Haskins
  • 01/01/2010

Aliciella formosa occurs in an area of intense oil and gas exploration and development. Populations in these disturbed sites appear to recover over time. This plant does not transplant well and is difficult to raise from seed. (New Mexico Rare Plants Technical Council. 1999) The Bureau of Land Management asked an oil/gas company to remove Aliciella formosa for mitigation purposes. The plant was moved to a greenhouse for one year and then transplanted back into the field. Only 12 percent of the plants survived. It was advised that agencies should generally avoid transplanting for mitigation purposes since these projects rarely succeed. (US Army Corps of Engineers. 1997)

Sheila Murray, Kristin Haskins
  • 01/01/2010

Navajo Nation BLM

Sheila Murray, Kristin Haskins
  • 01/01/2010

Survey and monitoring data need to be acquired to examine growth rates, reproductive output, and survivorship.

Sheila Murray, Kristin Haskins
  • 01/01/2010

Seed banking attempts have been made by The Arboretum at Flagstaff and the BLM, but were unsuccessful due to timing and low seed set (2006). (Sheila Murray, 2006). Increased effort in this area needs to occur. Conduct genetic studies Develop a propagation protocol

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Aliciella formosa
Authority (Greene ex Brand) J.M. Porter
Family Polemoniaceae
CPC Number 2025
ITIS 845243
USDA ALFO3
Common Names Aztec Gilia | Beautiful Gilia
Associated Scientific Names Aliciella formosa | Gilia formosa
Distribution New Mexico, San Juan County, near the towns of Aztec and Bloomfield. (New Mexico Rare Plants Technical Council. 1999)
State Rank
State State Rank
New Mexico S2
Navajo Nation S1
Habitat

Salt desert scrub communities in soils of the Nacimiento Formation; 1,500-1,950 m (5,000-6,400 ft). (New Mexico Rare Plants Technical Council. 1999)

Ecological Relationships

Aliciella formosa is only found growing in soils derived from the Nacimiento Formation and is often found with Sclerocactus cloveriae ssp. brackii, another rare plant found in San Juan County. Small populations of A. formosa have been found northwest of Farmington. (New Mexico Rare Plants Technical Council. 1999)

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

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