CPC Plant Profile: Todsen's False Pennyroyal
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Plant Profile

Todsen's False Pennyroyal (Hedeoma todsenii)

The lance-shaped leaves and orange-yellow flowers of this rare mint. Photo Credit: Joyce Maschinski
Description
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • State: NM
  • Nature Serve ID: 156973
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/04/1991

Todsen's pennyroyal is a rare mint that is found in south-central New Mexico. It is a small perennial rhizomatous herb with lance-shaped leaves are arranged oppositely along the stem. The tubular orange (or less frequently yellow) flowers open to two lips, observable during its flowering season from July to September (NatureServe 2016). Typical of plants in the mint family, the leaves of this species emit a distinctive fragrant odor. Even though thousand of stems may occur at a site, the number of genetically distinct individuals is likely to be far less because of the tendency of the species to form clonal mats. Plants either do not form seed or form very little seed in the wild (USFWS 2001).

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

In an attempt to determine if genetic or pollination factors were limiting seed set in the wild, Huenneke (1993) did pollination and genetic studies of Todsen's pennyroyal, however the genetic results do not clearly explain patterns of poor seed set seen in the wild.

  • 10/17/2020
  • Reproductive Research

In an attempt to determine if genetic or pollination factors were limiting seed set in the wild, Huenneke (1993) did pollination and genetic studies of Todsen's pennyroyal, however the genetic results do not clearly explain patterns of poor seed set seen in the wild.

  • 10/17/2020
  • Genetic Research

Genetic analysis of shoot tips after up to 13 years of storage in LN showed little change (Pence et al., 2027). Despite the lack of seed production, H. todsenii populations do show some genetic diversity (Pence et al., 2009; Philpott et al., in prep.). Further genetics work is underway at CREW to guide collecting and ex situ conservation of shoot tips (Philpott et al., unpubl.).

  • 10/17/2020
  • Propagation Research

Tissue culture propagation protocols have been developed at CREW (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden) and have been used to initiate in vitro cultures of multiple genotypes. These are being used to provide plants for ex situ living collections at the Arboretum at Flagstaff and at the CZBG.

  • 10/17/2020
  • Living Collection

Tissue culture propagation protocols have been developed at CREW (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden) and have been used to initiate in vitro cultures of multiple genotypes. These are being used to provide plants for ex situ living collections at the Arboretum at Flagstaff and at the CZBG.

  • 10/17/2020
  • Tissue Culture

Tissue culture propagation protocols have been developed at CREW (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden) and have been used to initiate in vitro cultures of multiple genotypes. These are being used to provide plants for ex situ living collections at the Arboretum at Flagstaff and at the CZBG. Shoot tip cryopreservation protocols have also been developed and genotypes initiated into culture are also being cryopreserved and stored in liquid nitrogen in CREW's CryoBioBank. Shoot tips showed good survival after 13 years of storage in liquid nitrogen. Since there are few or no seeds produced by H. todsenii, shoot tip cryopreservation provides an alternative method for long-term ex situ conservation for this species (Pence et al., 2009; Pence et al., 2017). Research on improving in vitro growth and rooting of H. todsenii is continuing at CREW. Research on cryopreservation protocols for shoot tips of this species has shown improved survival using droplet vitrification, compared with encapsulation dehydration and encapsulation vitrification (Pence et al., 2017).

Valerie Pence
  • 01/08/2018

Research on improving in vitro growth and rooting of H. todsenii is continuing at CREW.  Research on cryopreservation protocols for shoot tips of this species has shown improved survival using droplet vitrification, compared with encapsulation dehydration and encapsulation vitrification (Pence et al., 2017).  Genetic analysis of shoot tips after up to 13 years of storage in LN showed little change (Pence et al., 2027).  Despite the lack of seed production, H. todsenii populations do show some genetic diversity (Pence et al., 2009; Philpott et al., in prep.).  Further genetics work is underway at CREW to guide collecting and ex situ conservation of shoot tips (Philpott et al., unpubl.).

Valerie Pence
  • 01/08/2018

Tissue culture propagation protocols have been developed at CREW (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden) and have been used to initiate in vitro cultures of multiple genotypes.  These are being used to provide plants for ex situ living collections at the Arboretum at Flagstaff and at the CZBG.  Shoot tip cryopreservation protocols have also been developed and genotypes initiated into culture are also being cryopreserved and stored in liquid nitrogen in CREW's CryoBioBank.  Shoot tips showed good survival after 13 years of storage in liquid nitrogen.  Since there are few or no seeds produced by H. todsenii, shoot tip cryopreservation provides an alternative method for long-term ex situ conservation for this species (Pence et al., 2009; Pence et al., 2017).

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

This edaphic species is known from 32 locations in the San Andres and Sacramento mountains of south central New Mexico. The plants are locally abundant but restricted to limited suitable habitat. The plants primarily spread by cloning, but also by limited sexual reproduction.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Natural threats currently appear to be greater than threats from human activities, because populations are relatively inaccessible. Grazing by livestock and wild ungulates impacts plants, but drought is probably a more serious threat.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

18 populations are found on federal lands in the San Andres and Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

In an attempt to determine if genetic or pollination factors were limiting seed set in the wild, Huenneke (1993) did pollination and genetic studies of Todsen's pennyroyal, however the genetic results do not clearly explain patterns of poor seed set seen in the wild.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Todsen's pennyroyal habitat on BLM-lands has been recommended for designation as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern. On USFS lands, the plant's habitat is not authorized for logging or fuelwood harvest and the grazing allotment has been withdrawn.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

More research is needed on factors responsible for low sexual reproduction.

Joyce Maschinski, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

The species has been successfully propagated vegetatively through traditional and tissue-culture techniques, however because no or few seed is produced in the wild, plants can only be kept ex situ through vegetative propagation.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Hedeoma todsenii
Authority Irving
Family Lamiaceae
CPC Number 2159
ITIS 32509
USDA HETO2
Common Names Todsen's Pennyroyal | Todsen's False Pennyroyal
Associated Scientific Names Hedeoma todsenii
Distribution Known primarily from the San Andres mountain range of Sierra County in southern New Mexico, it notably resides on public lands owned by the U.S. Army (USFWS 1981). It is also found in the Sacramento Mountains in south-central New Mexico (USFWS 2011).
State Rank
State State Rank
New Mexico S2
Habitat

This endangered herb is endemic to the loose gypsum-limestone soils in pinyon-juniper woodlands at 1900-2075 meters elevation (USFWS 1981).

Ecological Relationships

Plants grow in shady areas of woodlands dominated by Colorado Pinyon and one seed juniper. The taxon is also associated with mountain mahogany, wavyleaf oak, snakeweed and muhly grass (USFWS 2001).

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Birds
Hummingbirds Selasphorus platycercus Link
Other
Thread-waisted wasps Sphecidae Link

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