plant species in undocumented places, 2006-2009

February 27, 2010

Proving the existence of a terrestrial plant species in an area is usually easier than proving the existence of a terrestrial animal species.  The mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian will sometimes flee if approached, or might spend 95% of its lifetime (or 99.9% of its lifetime during daytime) down a hole in the ground.  The plants are out there sitting in plain view and do not hide–although some annuals essentially disappear part of the year, and even some perennials cannot be assigned with certainty to a particular species unless their flower or seed can be examined.

There are still plenty of cases in which the occurrence of a plant species in a particular mountain range or valley area has simply not yet been documented “according to science.”  When I compare the current Utah State University digital database of Utah’s plants with my own observations, I can come up with a list plant species’ occurrences that that online database does not include.  I’m posting this list here partly to demonstrate how our current, formal assessment of the ranges of Utah’s native plant species is somewhat incomplete.

Here is my current list of 25 undocumented plant localities I have noticed:

Antelope Range, Iron Co: Salvia dorrii (dorr’s sage)


mid April 06, narrowleaf (Populus angustifolia) and fremont (P. fremontii) cottonwood (adjacent, along spring’s wash), Beaver Dam Mtns, Washington Co, UT

Beaver Dam Mtns, Washington Co: Populus angustifolia (narrowleaf cottonwood)

Black Mtns, Iron Co: Acer grandidentatum (bigtooth maple)

Black Mtns, Iron Co: Quercus gambelii (gambel oak)

Black Mtns, Iron Co: Purshia tridentata (antelope bitterbrush)

Boulder Mtn area, Wayne Co: Abronia nana (dwarf sand verbena) *

Canyon Mtns, Millard Co: Apocynum cannabinum (indian hemp) *

Canyon Mtns, Millard Co: Hydrophyllun capitatum (ballhead waterleaf)

Canyon Mtns, Millard Co: Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa pine)

Deep Creek Mtns, Tooele Co: Argemone munita (flatbud pricklypoppy) *

East Tintic Mtns, Juab Co: Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

House Range, Millard Co: Cercocarpus ledifolius (currleaf mtn mahogany)

House Range, Millard Co: Orobanche fasciculata (clustered broomrape) *

House Range, Millard Co: Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co: Enceliopsis nudicaulis (nakedstem sunray) *

Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co: Glossopetalon spinescens (spiny greasebush)

Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co: Populus angustifolia (narrowleaf cottonwood)


late July 09, spineless/gray horsebrush (Tetradymia canescens), Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co: Tetradymia canescens (spineless/gray horsebrush)

Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co: Yucca harrimanae (harriman yucca) *

Oquirrh Mtns, Utah Co: Zigadenus paniculatus (foothill deathcamus)

Paradise/White Rock Mtns, Iron Co: Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa pine)


early July 06, fernbush (Chamaebatieria millefolium), Sheeprock Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

Sheeprock Mtns, Tooele Co: Chamaebatieria millifolium (fernbush)

Sheeprock Mtns, Tooele Co: Echinocereus triglochidiatus (claret/king cup cactus)

Sheeprock Mtns, Tooele Co: Epilobium canum ssp. garrettii (garretts firechalice)

Sheeprock Mtns, Tooele Co: Populus angustifolia (narrowleaf cottonwood)


Asterisks next to names denote a photo in one of my previous posts here.


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