CPC Plant Profile: Santa Rita Yellowshow
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Plant Profile

Santa Rita Yellowshow (Amoreuxia gonzalezii)

The leaves of this small herb have long reddish petioles and 5-7 spoon-shaped lobes. Photo Credit: Lynda Pritchett-Kozak
Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Bixaceae
  • State: AZ, SI
  • Nature Serve ID: 142932
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/10/1990

Herbaceous perennial up to 8 cm tall from a fusiform tuberous rootstock. Leaf blades alternate, long petioled, 3 to 6 cm wide, deeply 5 to 7 parted, dark green above and paler or with scattered dark brown spots beneath. Petals 3 cm long, bright orange-yellow with 1 or 2 brownish-carmine spots near the base (Shreve and Wiggins 1964). However flowers are descrived as 'pale salmon with lowermost anthers cream-colored and uppermost anthers purple. A. palmatifida flowers are deel salmon orange with anthers that are all purple (Hodgson 1989). Flowers close in daytime, making species determination challenging. The ovary is densely silky-pubescent in A. gonzalezii but puberulent-pappilose in A. palmatifida. Fruits are pendant ellipsoidal, 4.5-8 cm long, longitudinally striate and brownish. The brown seeds are globose and the aril is readily removed.The anthers and the shape of the fruits and seeds separate it from A. palmatifida, which has all purple anthers, and rounded fruits with kidney-shaped seeds. The range of A. gonzalezii overlaps with the range of A. palmatifida. Fruits and flowers are needed to distinguish the two species with certainty. Fruits of A. gonzalezii are elipsoid, while fruits of A. palmatifida are globose, 3-4 cm long, weakly striate, and with scattered reddish glands intermingled with fine hairs. A. palmatifida has leaf blades that have 7-9 lobes and coarsely serrate with seeds that are kidney-shaped and not globose. There is no evidence of hybridization between the two species of Amoreuxia. A. gonzalezii could be confused with manihot.

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Updates
  • 08/16/2020
  • Seed Collection

Desert Botanical Garden has 142 seeds collected in Arizona and 72 seeds collected in Mexico. Garden staff has produced seed in cultivation by rubbing flowers together. Repeat visits to the population in the Santa Rita Mountains confirm the low reproductivity of plants in the U.S. Removal of seeds from habitat must carefully be considered on an annual basis.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Known with certainty only from northern Mexico and extending north to 2 locations in southern Arizona. Threatened by herbivory as this species is very palatable to cattle (AGFD 1995, 2011). Other threats include the aggressive spread of non-native grass species, including buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris) and Lehmans lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana); which has been widely planted as a forage grass for cattle.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Threats to plants besides its limited occurrence include development, grazing, mining, habitat degradation due to overgrazing, competition with introduced exotic grasses and rarity (Hodgson 1994). Javelina dig up roots to eat. It is no longer used as f

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

There are less than 5 populations known in the known in the US. Sites in Sonora, Mexico have been documented, but further surveys are necessary.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

There has been a great deal of debate as to which family this species belongs to. It was last placed in Cochlospermaceae, a currently accepted designation (Sprague 1922).

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Coronado National Forest, private land.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

In the future, surveys for additional populations in the U.S. and Mexico are needed. Research needs include monitoring, understanding the mexican status, avoiding direct impacts through urbanization or mining, collection of herbarium specimens, and additional surveys on potential habitat.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Desert Botanical Garden has 142 seeds collected in Arizona and 72 seeds collected in Mexico. Garden staff has produced seed in cultivation by rubbing flowers together. Repeat visits to the population in the Santa Rita Mountains confirm the low reproductivity of plants in the U.S. Removal of seeds from habitat must carefully be considered on an annual basis.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Amoreuxia gonzalezii
Authority Sprague & Riley
Family Bixaceae
CPC Number 4459
ITIS 22253
USDA AMGO
Common Names saiya | Santa Rita yellowshow | zaya | Santa Rita throwup weed | Santa Rita mountain yellowshow
Associated Scientific Names Amoreuxia gonzalezii
Distribution Devil's Cash Box, Santa Rita Mountains, Santa Cruz County. Would expect to find it south of Tucson into Cochise County (Hodgson 1994). About 8 sites: Southern Arizona south to Sonora, Mexico and pr
State Rank
State State Rank
Arizona S1
Sonora S2
Habitat

In Sonora, the populations around Mazocahue-Aconchi (Rio Sonora and Rio Moctezuma watersheds) are found on an east facing gentle granitic slope (USFWS 1996).In the United States, Amoreuxia gonzalezii is known only from the Santa Rita Mountains in Santa Cruz county. It is found on a single limestone outcrop with four weakly defined populations totaling less than 65 plants. (Hodgson 1994) Elevation ranges from 4,200 ft to 4,500 ft in Arizona.In Arizona, associated speciees include Eysenhardtia, Erythrina, Cercidium floridum, Tecoma stans, Agave schottii, Heteropogon contortus, Fouquieria splendens, Calliandra eriophylla, Opuntia spp,. Krameria grayii, Janusia gracilis, Agave palmeri, Gossypium thurberi, Abutilon parishii, Abutilon palmeri, and Hibiscus coulteri.

Ecological Relationships

Dependent on mid-summer rains for flowering. Flowers July-September with flowers closing after midday. Pollen may be released by vibrations caused by bees buzzing nearby. Fruit develops in late July and August, maturing from September to mid-October. Amoreuxia gonzalezii, an obligate outcrosser, is pollinated by bees. (Hodgson 1994)The fleshy roots of both species were eaten by the Seri, Pima and Tohono O'odam people living in the area.

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

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