CPC Plant Profile: Larimer Aletes
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Plant Profile

Larimer Aletes (Aletes humilis)

Full view of the mat forming perennial herb in native habitat. Photo Credit: Carol Dawson
Description
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • State: CO, WY
  • Nature Serve ID: 128703
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/25/1988

This species is found on granite outcrops and on cliff-sides. This type of habitat occurs nearly everywhere in north-central Colorado, but in over a century of searching, less than a dozen population of this species have been found.

Participating Institutions
CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.
Updates
Alexandra Seglias
  • 01/03/2022

As part of the IMLS seed longevity project, Aletes humilis was targeted for seed collection in 2021. The original accession was collected in 1987 with limited location information. Element occurrence records from the Colorado Natural Heritage Program were used to locate a population that we believe was either the original accession or within a mile of the original collection. This population was found at Cherokee Park area, northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado, in early June 2021. The population had just finished flowering and fruits were becoming visible. Seed was collected by maternal line from the same population a month later. 200 seeds from the collection were sent to NLGRP for longevity testing and the rest of the collection will be stored at Denver Botanic Gardens in -20C conditions. Viability of the seeds will be tested in 2022 and every five years after.

Katie Heineman
  • 12/23/2021
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

As of 2021, Denver Botanic Gardens holds several long term conservation collections of Aletes humilis in its seed collection under orthodox storage.

Katie Heineman
  • 12/22/2021
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

In September 2021, NLGRP initiated germination testing and RNA extraction from seeds newly collected by Denver Botanic Gardens in summer 2021 to compare with seed from the same population held in long term storage. This comparison is part of CPC's IMLS funded project to evaluate seed storage longevity in wild rare plant species.

Center for Plant Conservation
  • 08/17/2021
  • Seed Collection

In 2021, CPC contracted Denver Botanic Gardens to recollect seed from a population currently held in long term orthodox seed storage as part of an IMLS-funded seed longevity experiment. The National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation will evaluate how germination tested viability and RNA Integrity of seed lots decline over time in storage.

  • 08/16/2020
  • Genetic Research

Genetic variation between A. humilis and A. acaulis (presumed progenitor) was determined through electrophoretically-detectable protein loci by Yan Linhart and Andrea Premoli at the University of Colorado. (Linhart and Premoli 1993)

  • 08/16/2020
  • Demographic Research

Cooperative project between the Nature Conservancy (1989) and Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) collected seed during July of 1989. Germination and transplanting of seedlings at Phantom Canyon preserve and at DBG. Permanent marking of approximately 350 species has allowed tracking and lifespan estimation. Genetic variation between A. humilis and A. acaulis (presumed progenitor) was determined through electrophoretically-detectable protein loci by Yan Linhart and Andrea Premoli at the University of Colorado. (Linhart and Premoli 1993) The Denver Botanic Garden studied five populations at Phantom Canyon on Nature Conservancy property. Survival of tagged individuals over a 5-year period suggests a life span on the order of several decades.

  • 08/16/2020
  • Seed Collection

Cooperative project between the Nature Conservancy (1989) and Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) collected seed during July of 1989. Germination and transplanting of seedlings at Phantom Canyon preserve and at DBG. Permanent marking of approximately 350 species has allowed tracking and lifespan estimation. Genetic variation between A. humilis and A. acaulis (presumed progenitor) was determined through electrophoretically-detectable protein loci by Yan Linhart and Andrea Premoli at the University of Colorado. (Linhart and Premoli 1993) The Denver Botanic Garden studied five populations at Phantom Canyon on Nature Conservancy property. Survival of tagged individuals over a 5-year period suggests a life span on the order of several decades.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

There are 39 occurrences in a restricted area of Colorado, possibly extending into southern Wyoming (although only 1 possible Wyoming collection, made in the 1890s, is known). Most occurrences are good-sized; at least 1 has over 10,000 individuals. The plants are probably somewhat protected by their inaccessible habitat, but the impacts of recreational uses including off-road vehicles should be monitored. One large population is protected on a Nature Conservancy preserve.

Carol Dawson and Rich Stark
  • 01/01/2010

Threats for this species include: Flooding by dam construction. (Von Bargen 1997)

Carol Dawson and Rich Stark
  • 01/01/2010

300 individuals at Phantom Canyon Preserve, Colorado and seven localities have been identified in Colorado, six in Larimer County and one in Boulder County (Linhart and Premoli 1993).

Carol Dawson and Rich Stark
  • 01/01/2010
  • Reintroduction

Cooperative project between the Nature Conservancy (1989) and Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) collected seed during July of 1989. Germination and transplanting of seedlings at Phantom Canyon preserve and at DBG. Permanent marking of approximately 350 species has allowed tracking and lifespan estimation. Genetic variation between A. humilis and A. acaulis (presumed progenitor) was determined through electrophoretically-detectable protein loci by Yan Linhart and Andrea Premoli at the University of Colorado. (Linhart and Premoli 1993) The Denver Botanic Garden studied five populations at Phantom Canyon on Nature Conservancy property. Survival of tagged individuals over a 5-year period suggests a life span on the order of several decades.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Aletes humilis
Authority Coult. & Rose
Family Apiaceae
CPC Number 70
ITIS 29574
USDA ALHU
Common Names Larimer aletes | Colorado aletes
Associated Scientific Names Aletes humilis
Distribution Limited to one or two counties in Colorado (possibly near the Wyoming state line, but unconfirmed)
State Rank
State State Rank
Colorado S2S3
Wyoming SH
Habitat

A. humilis grows in cracks of massive Silver Plume granite, and in adjacent thin soils composed of disintegrated granite and pine needles, usually along west and north-facing cliffs (Jennings 1990). Associates include Ponderosa pine, Rocky Mountain juniper, wax-current, waxflower and ninebark, muhly grasses, Colorado wildrye, Fendler sandwort and needle-and-thread grass. (TNC)

Ecological Relationships

Ecological relationships are unknown.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bees
Honey bees Honey bees Floral Visitor Link
Sweat bees Dialictus Floral Visitor Link
Flies
Root-maggot flies Anthomyiidae Floral Visitor Link
Reintroduction
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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