Lesquerella calcicola Rollins


Family: Brassicaceae

Distribution: Southeastern Colorado (El Paso, Fremont, Huerfano, Las Animas and Pueblo counties) and adjacent New Mexico (Union County, Emery Gap to Branson, CO, presumably along CO-389) (Rollins & Shaw 1973).

Habitat: Shale bluffs, limy hillsides, gypseous knolls and ravines, and various calcareous substrates at 5,000-7,500 feet (Rollins 1993).

Plants Seen or Cited: No records in the New Mexico Natural Heritage Program Database and no specimens at UNM.

Discussion: All the locations listed above, for both Colorado and New Mexico, are located in the headwaters of the Arkansas River on the eastern slope of the Southern Rocky Mountains from the Colorado Springs area to Emery Gap, the pass between the Arkansas and Cimarron River drainages situated right at the border between Colorado and New Mexico. The "home range" of the plant I estimate to be about 125 miles long, north to south, and 50 miles wide. L. calcicola, then, is almost entirely a Colorado endemic, with perhaps a few plants straggling into the northernmost part of Union County, NM, near Emery Gap.

This plant is not considered rare by Rollins & Shaw (1973), Rollins (1993), or Spackman et al. (1997). However, it does seem to be rare in New Mexico, if it grows in the state at all; it may be present only in northern edge of the state in Union County.

Recommendation: Move from L3 to L4 (Rare in New Mexico, but apparently common within its range in Colorado).

Important Literature:

Rollins, R.C. 1993. The Cruciferae of continental North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA. (page 610)

Rollins, R.C. and E.A. Shaw. 1973. The genus Lesquerella (Cruciferae) in North America. Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA. (pages 200-202 and distribution map on page 129)

Spackman, S., B. Jennings, J. Coles, C. Dawson, M. Minton, A. Kratz, and C. Spurrier. 1997. Colorado Rare Plant Field Guide. Prepared for the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.

Information Compiled By: David L. Bleakly, 1998