CPC Plant Profile: Grimy Ivesia
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Plant Profile

Grimy Ivesia (Ivesia rhypara var. rhypara)

This unusual looking plant grows in soil that few other plants tolerate. Photo Credit: Gary Schoolcraft
Description
  • Global Rank: T2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • State: NV, OR
  • Nature Serve ID: 138076
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 03/15/1995

Ivesia rhypara var. rhypara is an unusual looking plant with an unusual name that grows on unusual soil. It is listed as Endangered by the State of Oregon and is on Nevada's watch list. The substrate that this unusual plant is limited to is similar to known gold-bearing deposits in Oregon and Nevada. It is therefore not surprising that all of the known sites are on mining claims (USFWS 1992). In order to mine for gold, the substrate would likely be removed, thereby destroying the habitat of the grimy ivesia. In some areas, the soil may be so shallow that plants only grow along fissures in the bedrock.. When this happens, plants can be seen growing in neat rows (Kaye et al. 1991). The leaves of the Grimy ivesia are 1-3 inches (3-8 cm) long, and are comprised of 5 to 15 pairs of tightly overlapping leaflets. Each leaflet itself is lobed 3-5 times. The entire leaf is covered with dense, grayish white hairs, which serve to reflect light and reduce water loss in the harsh environment that this plant calls home (BLM 2002). Interestingly, the "rhypara" part of the name Ivesia rhypara (grimy ivesia) is a double pun. The scientists that named the plant wanted to describe the plant (it looks dusty or grimy) as well as honor its co-discoverer, James W. Grimes. The Greek word "rhyparos," which means "grimy" or "dirty", was chosen to do just that (Oregon Flora Project 1996).

Participating Institutions
Updates
  • 09/18/2020
  • Propagation Research

Germination trials at The Berry Botanic Garden yielded only 17% germination when seeds were subjected to 8 weeks of chilling and then placed in a 68F (20C) chamber. No other treatments yielded any germination (BBG file). More research must be done to determine optimum germination requirements (BBG File).

  • 09/18/2020
  • Genetic Research

Investigation of genetic relationships between Ivesia rhypara var. rhypara and I. rhypara var. shellyi and other related species utilizing isozyme (protein) analysis. Var. rhypara and var. shellyi were found to be very similar genetically, although var. shellyi was found to be slightly more closely related to Ivesia paniculata. This discovery may eventually lead to combination of these three taxa (Kaye et al. 1991).

  • 09/18/2020
  • Demographic Research

Chemical and mineral tests of soil revealed that physical soil characteristics (particle size, water holding capacity, etc) rather than chemical composition account for this rare plant's limited distribution (Grimes 1984). Long term monitoring at one site began in 1990 to determine population trends. Observed mortality attributed to drought and trampling by cattle. (Kaye et al. 1991, Housley 1994)

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

There are about 15 occurrences known with an estimated total of at least 200,000 plants. No sites are fully protected from its two major threats, mining and trampling (cattle and human) even though 3 are found within an Area of Critical Environmental Concern and Research Natural Area.

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Mining claims in southeastern Oregon and northwestern Nevada (Kaye et al. 1991). During the mining process, the thin ash layer would most likely be removed from the underlying bedrock. Trampling by cattle (Housley 1994). Off Road Vehicle (ORV) use

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

There are two main geographical areas in Oregon where Ivesia. rhypara var. rhypara grows, with a total of 4 occurrences (unknown numbers of individuals). Three occurrences are near Leslie Gulch in eastern Oregon, one is in the southern portion of the state, closer to the Nevada border (ONHDB 2000). In Nevada, there are 5 occurrences (the last survey occurred in 1996) distributed between two main geographical areas. The total population is estimated at 194,000 individuals over a total area of 45.7 acres. The entire range in Nevada spans only 28 miles (45 km) (NNHP 2001a)

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Chemical and mineral tests of soil revealed that physical soil characteristics (particle size, water holding capacity, etc) rather than chemical composition account for this rare plant's limited distribution (Grimes 1984). Long term monitoring at one site began in 1990 to determine population trends. Observed mortality attributed to drought and trampling by cattle. (Kaye et al. 1991, Housley 1994) Investigation of genetic relationships between Ivesia rhypara var. rhypara and I. rhypara var. shellyi and other related species utilizing isozyme (protein) analysis. Var. rhypara and var. shellyi were found to be very similar genetically, although var. shellyi was found to be slightly more closely related to Ivesia paniculata. This discovery may eventually lead to combination of these three taxa (Kaye et al. 1991). Germination trials at The Berry Botanic Garden yielded only 17% germination when seeds were subjected to 8 weeks of chilling and then placed in a 68F (20C) chamber. No other treatments yielded any germination (BBG file). More research must be done to determine optimum germination requirements (BBG File).

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

3 sites in NV are protected as part on an ACEC (Area of Critical Environmental Concern) (NNHP 2001a). A conservation agreement between the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) protects the plants on Oregon BLM lands (Holland 1994). One population in Nevada occurs on both private and federal land. The plants are located near a fence and gate, which is within a cattle traffic way. However, due to the barren substrate, the cattle spend little time foraging, loafing, or dusting where Ivesia rhypara var. rhypara grows (Holland 1994).

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Study affects of low precipitation on reproduction and survival (Kaye et al. 1991). Search suitable habitat for additional populations in Oregon and Nevada (Housley 1994). Limit insecticide spraying while plants are in bloom (Kaye et al. 1991). Continue monitoring populations to assess population trends (Kaye et al. 1991). Determine successful transplantation techniques (Kaye et al. 1991). Study pollination biology and breeding system. Fence areas to reduce cattle trampling (Holland 1994).

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Collect and store seeds from across the range. Determine germination requirements. If low germination rates and low seed viability make it difficult to grow plants for reintroduction, it may be necessary to develop tissue culture or embryo culture techniques. Determine effective propagation and re-introduction protocols.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Ivesia rhypara var. rhypara
Authority Ertter & Reveal
Family Rosaceae
CPC Number 9680
ITIS 195888
USDA IVRHR
Common Names grimy ivesia | grimy mousetail
Associated Scientific Names Ivesia rhypara var. rhypara
Distribution OR, NVOR: Basin & Range, Owyhee UplandsNV: Elko County, Washoe Co.
State Rank
State State Rank
Nevada S2
Oregon S1
Habitat

Dry, relatively barren areas of light-colored ash-tuff and areas with volcanic ash deposited with riverbed gravel. Soils are shallow (often only a few inches), overlaying bedrock, with little or no organic matter accumulation. Few other plants grow in association with it, and there is no plant canopy to provide shade. Elevations range from 4500 to 6200 feet (1370-1890 m).

Ecological Relationships

Ivesia rhypara var. rhypara is a long-lived perennial. It re-grows each year from a highly branched caudex. Its spreading root system extends into the shallow surface soil and down into cracks in the underlying bedrock. These shallow but wide spreading roots allow the plant to extract small amounts of moisture from the soil after light rains (Kaye et al. 1991). The plant appears to send out long rhizomes, so plants more than one meter apart may be connected under ground. This vegetative reproduction may help offset low seed production and low seedling recruitment during dry years (Kaye et al. 1991).Little is known of the pollination ecology or breeding system. There is little genetic evidence of inbreeding or of obligate outcrossing. However, flower morphology suggests that plants may be partially outcrossing and that insects may be required for adequate seed set (Kaye et al. 1991). The pollinators of this species are native insects such as bees, wasps, flies, and butterflies. No domestic honeybees have been observed visiting this species (Kaye et al. 1991). Plants bloom from May to June and disperse their seeds in July and August (NNHP 2001a).Little is known of the germination requirements of this species. In a 1991 survey, only one site was observed to have any seedlings (Kaye et al. 1991). Populations are small and isolated and reproductive success appears limited (USFWS 1992).

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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