CPC Plant Profile: Agate Desert Lomatium
Search / Plant Profile / Lomatium cookii
Plant Profile

Agate Desert Lomatium (Lomatium cookii)

Lomatium cookii's feathery leaves blend in with the surrounding grass. Only its creamy yellow flowers make it visible. Photo Credit: Tom Kaye
Description
  • Global Rank: N/A
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • State: OR
  • Nature Serve ID: 133801
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/10/1987

This usually inconspicuous member of the parsley family, with green feathery leaves, is easily spotted when in flower. Although it occurs near well-populated areas, it wasn't discovered until about 20 years ago during a search for another rare plant, the large-flowered wooly meadowfoam (Limnanthes floccosa ssp. grandiflora) in the vernal pools of the Agate Desert (Kagan 1986). Both species were proposed as endangered by the Fish and Wildlife Service in May of 2000 (USFWS 2000a, 2000b). Vernal pool habitat was once widespread south of the Rogue River in Oregon. It has now been virtually eliminated. Land has been converted to pasture, agricultural fields, commercial and industrial complexes, and housing developments. Areas not impacted directly by development have had their hydrology altered by nearby construction: construction of parking lots and roads has led to increased water run-off and higher water levels in the vernal pools in some areas, while irrigation ditches and activities that altered the hardpan clay layer in the soil led to decreased water levels in other areas. Both situations were detrimental to Lomatium cookii, which depends on seasonal inundation. Development of land also created fragmented populations, leading to decreased gene flow. This may eventually prove to be detrimental to the populations.

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
  • 09/19/2020
  • Propagation Research

A study of effective management tools. Plots containing Lomatium. cookii were subjected to one of three treatments: raked, raked and scarified, or left as a control. Germination and seedling survivorship were greatest in the raked plots (D. Borgias in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 2000a).

  • 09/19/2020
  • Genetic Research

Preliminary genetic work (using AFLPs) has not revealed any differences between the Agate Desert and French Flat populations (Gitzendanner, M. at Washington State University (now at the University of Florida)).

  • 09/19/2020
  • Demographic Research

Demographic monitoring from 1994 through 1999 at populations on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. Transition matrices were prepared to assist in determining population trends (Kaye 2000a, 2000b).

  • 09/19/2020
  • Propagation Research

Seed germination trials were done at the Berry Botanic Garden. Three batches of seeds (11, 12, and 16 years old) were subjected to 4 sets of environmental conditions with two variables: length of cold stratification and growth chamber temperature regime. Cold stratification for 8 or 16 weeks followed by 68F (20C) or 50/68F (10/20C) treatment resulted in 20-100% germination depending on the parent plant. No one treatment was consistently better than the others. The 16 year old accession, stored since the first year the seed bank was in operation (1983), yielded a maximum of 90% germination (8 weeks of cold stratification followed by alternating 10/20C (50/68F) (Gasser 1999).

  • 09/19/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Seeds from 3 locations in Jackson County (Agate Desert) and 2 locations in Josephine County (French Flat) are stored at The Berry Botanic Garden.

  • 09/19/2020
  • Seed Collection

Seeds from 3 locations in Jackson County (Agate Desert) and 2 locations in Josephine County (French Flat) are stored at The Berry Botanic Garden.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

A narrow endemic, restricted to 2 small valley bottoms in Jackson and Josephine counties in southwestern Oregon. Fairly complete surveys of this species' limited vernal pond habitat have been conducted and 32 occurrences were found with a total of about 50,000 reproductively mature plants. Both of the areas in which the species occurs are being threatened by residential and urban development and one area is also threatened by mining and off-road vehicle traffic.

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Habitat loss due to industrial, commercial, agricultural, and residential development (USFWS 2000a). Changes in hydrology of vernal pools due to: ORV use. When driven in moist areas, ORV tires create large ruts and can fracture the clay hard pan la

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

As of 2000: 13 occurrences in the Agate Desert, Jackson County and 10 in French Flat, Josephine County. Total occupied habitat is about 200 acres. Mapped potential habitat totals 133 acres in the Agate Desert, but recent disturbances have limited occupied habitat to approximately 69 acres. In French Flat, about 150 acres of habitat is occupied (USFWS 2000a). The largest French Flat population consists of an estimated 207,000 individuals, while many populations contain fewer than 50 (Kaye 2000a, 2000b).

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Seed germination trials were done at the Berry Botanic Garden. Three batches of seeds (11, 12, and 16 years old) were subjected to 4 sets of environmental conditions with two variables: length of cold stratification and growth chamber temperature regime. Cold stratification for 8 or 16 weeks followed by 68F (20C) or 50/68F (10/20C) treatment resulted in 20-100% germination depending on the parent plant. No one treatment was consistently better than the others. The 16 year old accession, stored since the first year the seed bank was in operation (1983), yielded a maximum of 90% germination (8 weeks of cold stratification followed by alternating 10/20C (50/68F) (Gasser 1999). Demographic monitoring from 1994 through 1999 at populations on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. Transition matrices were prepared to assist in determining population trends (Kaye 2000a, 2000b). Preliminary genetic work (using AFLPs) has not revealed any differences between the Agate Desert and French Flat populations (Gitzendanner, M. at Washington State University (now at the University of Florida)). A study of effective management tools. Plots containing Lomatium. cookii were subjected to one of three treatments: raked, raked and scarified, or left as a control. Germination and seedling survivorship were greatest in the raked plots (D. Borgias in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 2000a).

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Three populations occur on Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Land. According to the ODOT website, they are under ""special management"" The largest known population is in the Agate Desert and is managed by The Nature Conservancy. Here, they manage approximately 17 acres of Lomatium cookii habitat. The Nature Conservancy attempted to salvage 140 plants from an area that was to be graded for road construction on private property. Although the landowner approved removal of the plants, only one individual was salvaged before grading occurred. It died after transplantation (USFWS 2000a). Seeds from 3 locations in Jackson County (Agate Desert) and 2 locations in Josephine County (French Flat) are stored at The Berry Botanic Garden. One site in French Flat is designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Fence land to restrict access. Restrict Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) use on BLM land and Agate Desert Preserve. Mowing, burning, light grazing or raking of habitat after seed maturation but before fall growth to reduce plant cover from exotic grasses (Brock in USFWS 2000a). Continued monitoring on managed lands (BLM land and Agate Desert Preserve).

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Collect and store adequate numbers of genetically representative seeds. Determine germination requirements. Initial germination trials were inconclusive. Attempt with larger sample sizes. Determine propagation and re-introduction protocols.

MORE

Be the first to post an update!

Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Lomatium cookii
Authority Kagan
Family Apiaceae
CPC Number 7022
ITIS 503533
USDA LOCO8
Common Names Agate Desert lomatium | Cook lomatium | Cook's lomatium | agate desertparsley
Associated Scientific Names Lomatium cookii
Distribution OR: Klamath Mountains: """"Agate Desert"""" in Jackson County and the Illinois Valley in Josephine County
State Rank
State State Rank
Oregon S1
Habitat

Populations in the Agate Desert are found on the margins and bottoms of vernal pools with standing water from December to April or May. Populations in the Illinois Valley can be found in moist, grassy meadows.

Ecological Relationships

To prevent self-pollination, stigmas (female parts) are exposed and receptive to pollen prior to anther dehiscence (pollen release) on the same flower (Kagan 1986). Flowering stems emerge from a rosette in late February and flowers appear from mid-March through May. The earliest umbels (clusters of small flowers) are predominantly staminate (male) while later have both staminate and hermaphroditic (male and female) flowers (some other Lomatium species share this characteristic). Plants that only produce one umbel produce few, if any fruits (Kaye 2000a, 200b). Observed pollinators include a small bee in the Andrerae family (Brock 1987 in Kaye 2000b), a small black moth (Kagan 1986 in Kaye 2000b) and several bumblebees (Bombus spp.) (Kaye 2000b). The Agate Desert populations and French Flat populations have slight morphological differences, but the differences are not considered great enough to separate them into subspecies (USFWS 2000a). Plants such as Lomatium cookii that live in vernal pools are adapted to grow, flower, and set seed during the short time that water is available in the spring (USFWS 2000a). Seeds of Lomatium cookii are not able to germinate under the heavy thatch created by many non-native grasses that have begun invading (USFWS 2000a).

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Reintroduction
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting
Institute for Applied Ecology - Oregon Oregon Reinforcement 2006
Institute for Applied Ecology - Oregon Oregon Reinforcement 2007
Institute for Applied Ecology - Oregon Oregon Reinforcement 2009
Institute for Applied Ecology - Oregon Oregon Reinforcement 2009

Donate to CPC to Save this Species

CPC secures rare plants for future generations by coordinating on-the-ground conservation and training the next generation of plant conservation professionals. Donate today to help save rare plants from extinction.

Donate Today