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Erigeron scopulinus
(Rock fleabane)

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

Family: Asteraceae

Scientific Name: Erigeron scopulinus Nesom & Roth

Synonyms: None

Vernacular Name: Rock fleabane

R-E-D Code: 1-1-2

Description: Perennial, mat-forming herb with fibrous root system and slender rhizomes up to 15 cm long; leaves clustered at tips of rhizomes, 5-12 mm long, 1.0-3.5 mm wide, spatulate or obovate, broadest above the middle, tapering toward the petiole, margins entire, glabrous or sparsely pubescent; flower heads solitary on bare stems, 6-33 mm tall; involucral bracts overlapping in 3-4 series, lance-shaped, narrowly pointed at the tip, 4-5 mm long, glabrous or sparsely pubescent; ray flowers 12-20, white, drying white to light violet, 5.5-9.0 mm long; achenes sparsely appressed-pubescent; pappus of barbellate bristles. Flowers May and June.

Similar Species: The rhizomatous mat-forming habit, low stature, and cliff habitats distinguish this species from other Erigeron species in southwestern New Mexico.

Distribution: New Mexico, southern Catron, northwestern Sierra, western Socorro counties, Black Range, Mogollon and San Mateo mountains; adjacent Arizona, Chiricahua Mountains.

Habitat: Crevices in cliff faces of rhyolitic rock in lower montane coniferous forest; 1,800-2,800 m (6,000-9,000 ft).

Remarks: Populations of this species are sporadic and disjunct, but can be locally very abundant.

Conservation Considerations: The cliff face habitats in often remote areas effectively remove this rare plant from potential impacts of most land uses. Minerals exploration and development could impact some populations.

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.

*Nesom, G.L. and V.D. Roth. 1982. Erigeron scopulinus (Compositae), an endemic from the southwestern United States. Journal of Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 16:39-42.

Information Compiled By: Robert Sivinski, 1999

Agency Status:
Taxon USFWS State of NM USFS BLM Navajo Nation Natural Heritage NM Global Rank
Erigeron scopulinusErigeron scopulinus...S3?

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