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Lorandersonia microcephala
(Small-headed goldenweed)

[taxon report][distribution map][all photos][line drawing]

Family: Asteraceae

Scientific Name: Lorandersonia microcephala (Cronquist) Urbatsch, R.P. Roberts & Neubig

Synonyms: Haplopappus microcephalus Cronquist; Tonestus microcephalus (Cronquist) Nesom & Morgan; Ericameria microcephala (Cronquist) Kartesz & Gandhi

Vernacular Name: Small-headed goldenweed

R-E-D Code: 3-1-3

Description: Perennial; stems several, to about 5 cm tall, suffrutescent and mat forming; leaves numerous, 2-4 cm long, to 3.5 mm wide, oblanceolate, tips acute, tapering to the base, 3-nerved, entire or with an occasional minute tooth, stem leaves somewhat smaller than the basal ones; heads several to many in a condensed corymb; phyllaries chartaceous, in several series, the outer one caudate-attenuate, the inner ones acute or acuminate; disk flowers yellow, fertile, rays inconspicuous; pappus of numerous white capillary bristles. Flowers June to July.

Similar Species: Petradoria pumila (syn. Solidago petradoria) bears a strong habital resemblance to Lorandersonia microcephala. The Petradoria is distinguished by its obviously punctate leaves, vertically aligned phyllaries, and sterile disk flowers.

Distribution: New Mexico, eastern Rio Arriba and western Taos counties.

Habitat: Granitic rock crevices in open ponderosa pine forests; 2,440-2,600 m (8,000-8,500 ft).

Remarks: This species is locally abundant within its limited range between Tres Piedres and Petaca, New Mexico.

Conservation Considerations: The bare, rock face habitats of this species offer a great deal of protection from human and forest fire impacts.

Important Literature (*Illustration):

*New Mexico Native Plants Protection Advisory Committee. 1984. A handbook of rare and endemic plants of New Mexico. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

Cronquist, A. 1951. A new Haplopappus from New Mexico. Madroño 11:186-187.

Lightfoot, K. and R. Sivinski. 1992. Status report on Tonestus microcephalus. For: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office, Albuquerque.

Urbatsch, L.E., R.P. Roberts and K.M. Neubig. 2005. Cuniculotinus and Lorandersonia, two new genera of Asteraceae: Astereae and new combinations in Chrysothamnus. Sida 21(3):1615-1632.

Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Second edition. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.

Nesom, G.L. and D.R. Morgan. 1990. Reinstatement of Tonestus (Asteraceae: Astereae). Phytologia 68:174-180.

Information Compiled By: Ken Heil, Joey Herring, 1999, last updated 2008

Agency Status:
Taxon USFWS State of NM USFS BLM Navajo Nation Natural Heritage NM Global Rank
Lorandersonia microcephalaHaplopappus microcephalus..SenS2

Photo credits in header Peniocereus greggii var. greggii © T. Todsen,
Lepidospartum burgessii © M. Howard, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta © R. Sivinski
©2005 New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council