CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Erigeron kachinensis

Carol Dawson

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Erigeron kachinensis

Common Names: 
Kachina daisy, Kachina fleabane
Welsh & Moore
Growth Habit: 
CPC Number: 


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Erigeron kachinensisenlarge
Photographer: Carol Dawson
Image Owner: Denver Botanic Gardens

Erigeron kachinensis is Fully Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Thomas Grant contributed to this Plant Profile.

Erigeron kachinensis

Erigeron kachinensis was first found in the seeps in the Cedar Mesa sandstone near Kachina Natural Bridge in Natural Bridges Monument, Utah. It was first discovered in Colorado in 1977 within the Dolores River Canyon. Only two populations are currently known in the state. It will grow only where there is an adequate amount of moisture and sunlight (Allphin and Harper 1994). When direct moisture is lacking, the plant will send out long roots to gather moisture from deep within the rock wall cracks. Since this species is found high on sheer rock faces, it poses many problems for study (Allphin 1991).

Kachina Daisy forms what appears to be hanging gardens. When the plant takes hold in a crack on a rock face, soil begins to collect as water flows through the rock. Matter that erodes from the back of the seep forms a small cave and the soil mass begins to slip forward causing some of the plants to hang over the edge. Eventually the whole mass falls into the canyon and the process begins again. (Colorado Native Plant Society 1997)

This sprawling plant will send up stems up to 2 dm in length, each with a single flower head. The ray flowers are white or pink with yellow cone flowers and the inner and some outer bracts are purplish at the tips. Glabrous leaves separate this species from the most closely related species, E. subglaber. This plant is unusual for plants in the temperate zone, as it often flowers twice each year--one in the spring and then again in the late summer. (Atwood et al. 1991 and VonBargen 1997)

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
State Range of  Erigeron kachinensis
  Kachina Daisy is found in wet, seasonally flooded sites and in shallow caves of red sandstone cliffs. One population grows in hanging gardens in crevices of west and north facing cliffs. The second population is found on exposed, saline soil at a higher elevation. The elevation range is 4800-8400 ft. (Spackman 1997).

Found among: Aquilegia micrantha (Mancos columbine, Ranuculaceae), Calamagrostis scopulorum (Poaceae), Zigadenus vaginatus (death camus, Liliaceae) , and Cirsium calcareum (Cainville Thistle, Asteraceae). (Allphin 1991, 1997).

  San Juan County in Utah and Montrose County in Colorado. (Allphin 1991, 1997).

Number Left
  Two populations found in hanging garden communities in the Colorado Plateau region of southeastern Utah and two more populations in hanging gardens along the Dolores River in Colorado (Allphin 1991).


Global Rank:  
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Colorado S1 5/1/1999  
  Utah S2 6/1/1998  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  None known.

  Threats include disturbance from climbers on ledges where plants occur, grazing, construction and road maintenance through habitat (Allphin 1991).

Current Research Summary
  General botanic surveys and attempts at habitat delineation have been undertaken.
Loreen Allphin Woolstenhulme, from Brigham Young University, is currently working on the demography and population genetics of this species using microsatellites (Allphin 1991, Allphin and Harper 1994, 1996, 1997, Woolstenhulme 1996).

Current Management Summary
  There is no formal management plan.

Research Management Needs
  More thorough and complete surveying of populations, as well as potential habitat.

Ex Situ Needs
  Seed collection and banking


Books (Single Authors)

Albee, B.J.; Shultz, L.M.; Goodrich, S. 1988. Atlas of the vascular plants of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Museum Natural History.

Kartesz, J.T. 1993. Species distribution data for vascular plants of 70 geographical areas, from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

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

Von Bargen, E.; Coles, J.; Denham, M.; Jennings, W.; Martin, S.C.; Richards, V.; Steinkamp, M. 1997. Rare Plants of Colorado. Helena, Montana: Falcon Press. Prepared by the Colorado Native Plant Society.

Welsh, S.L. 1979. Illustrated manual of proposed endangered and threatened plants of Utah. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 318p.

Welsh, S.L.; Atwood, N.D.; Goodrich, S.; Higgins, L.C. 1993. A Utah flora. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young Univ. 986p.

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Conference Proceedings

Allphin, L.; Windham, M.D. Genetic variability and genetic drift in the rare Kachina daisy (Erigeron kachinensis) from southeastern Utah. 1998 Annual Meeting of the Botanical Society of America; 2-6 August, 1998; Baltimore, MD. 1998.

Allphin, L.; Windham, M.D.; Harper, K.T. A Genetic Evaluation of Three Potential Races of the Rare Kachina Daisy. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-283. Proceedings of the Southwestern Rare and Endangered Plant Conference; September 11-14; Flagstaff, AZ. In: Maschinski, J.; Hammond, H.D.; Holter, L., editors. 1996. USDA and US Forest Service. p 68-76.

Heil, K.D.; Porter, M.; Flemming, R.; Rome, W. Rare Plant Diversity Between Capital Reef National Park and Canyonlands, Arches National Parks and Bridges National Monument of Southeastern Utah. Proceedings of the Southwestern Rare and Endangered Plant Conference; 30 March - 2 April; Santa Fe, NM. In: Sivinski, R.; Lightfoot, K., editors. 1992. New Mexico Forestry and Resources Conservation Division. p 78-102.

Electronic Sources

TNC. (2002). Kachina Daisy. The Nature Conservancy. http://nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/utah/misc/art4404.html. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Allphin, L.; Harper, K. T. 1997. Demography and life history characteristics of the rare Kachina daisy (Erigeron kachinensis, Asteraceae). American Midland Naturalist. 138, 1: 109-120.

Allphin, L.; Harper, K.T. 1994. Habitat Requirements for Erigeron kachinensis, a Rare Endemic of the Colorado Plateau. Great Basin Naturalist. 54, 3: 193-203.

Allphin, L.; Wiens, D.; Harper, K.T. 2002. The relative effects of resources and genetics on reproductive success in the rare Kachina daisy, Erigeron kachinensis (Asteraceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences. 163, 4: 599-612.

Allphin, L.; Windham, M.D. 2002. Morphological and genetic variation among populations of the rare Kachina daisy (Erigeron kachinensis) from southeastern Utah. Western North American Naturalist. 62: 423-436.

Nesom, G.L.; Roth, V.D. 1981. Erigeron-scopulinus new species compositae an endemic from the southwestern USA. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science. 16, 2: 39-42.

O'Kane, S.L. 1988. Colorado's rare flora. Great Basin Naturalist. 48, 4: 434-484.

USFWS. 1976. Proposed Endangered Status for 1700 U.S. Plants. Federal Register. 41: 24523-24572.


Allphin, Loreen. 1991. Survey of Grand Gulch Primitive Area for Erigeron kachinensis. Bureau of Land Management. p.3.

Atwood, D.N.; Holland, J; Bolander, R; Franklin, B.; House, D.E.; Armstrong, L.A.; Thorne, K; England, L. 1991. Utah Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Plant Guide. U.S. Forest Service Intermountain Region, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Utah Natural Heritage Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Navajo Nation and Skull Valley Goshute Tribe.

Franklin, M.A. 1991. Report for 1990 Challenge Cost Share Project Wasatch-Cache National Forest; Target Species: Cymopterus beckii and Erigeron kachinensis. Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah Natural Heritage Program, Utah Department of Natural Resources.

Franklin, M.A. 1992. Survey report on Cymopterus beckii Welsh & Goodrich and Erigeron kachinensis Welsh & Moore. Salt Lake City, UT: 1992 Challenge Cost Share Project, Utah Natural Heritage Program and Manti-La Sal National Forest, U.S. Forest Service. p.10 + appendices.


Woolstenhulme, Loreen Allphin. 1996. Fecundity, genetic variability, and fitness in rare plants. [Ph.D. Thesis]: University of Utah. 105p.

  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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