CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Cirsium vinaceum

Photographer:
Kathy Rice

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Cirsium vinaceum


Family: 
Asteraceae  
Common Name: 
Sacramento Mountains thistle
Author: 
Woot. & Standl.
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
966

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Cirsium vinaceumenlarge
Photographer: Kathy Rice

Cirsium vinaceumenlarge
Photographer: Kathy Rice


Cirsium vinaceum is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Kathleen C. Rice contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Cirsium vinaceum


Cirsium vinaceum is a perennial thistle, 1-2 m tall, with a scapose rosette of spathulate, sessile, spiny-edged leaves (30-40 cm long) from which tall, branched inflorescences arise. The purple flowers are clustered in heads borne on nodding pedicels at ends of branches. The heads are relatively small for a thistle (to 3 cm in diameter). Flowering occurs intermittently from July to September. Seeds are achenes to ca 3 mm long, brownish-black, and many, many black beetles of about the same size can be found among the achenes in a head, presumably consuming the fruits.





Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  New Mexico
State Range of  Cirsium vinaceum
Habitat
  The plants are solely restricted to moist seeps on a travertine substrate. These intermittent seeps occur at approximately 8,000 ft next to meadows between Douglas fir forests. The Cirsium plants are found growing directly in the cracks in travertine rock, with the roots saturated constantly. (New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council 1999)

Associated plants include Robinia neomexicana, Quercus gambellii, and Pseudotsuga taxifolia.

Distribution
  C. vinaceum is endemic to the Sacramento Mountains in Otero County, New Mexico. (New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council 1999)

Number Left
  The twenty known populations contain a total of approximately 10,000 plants. (New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council 1999)

Protection

Global Rank:  
G2
 
1/1/1996
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LT
 
10/24/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
11/27/1993

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  New Mexico S2 3/18/1988  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Unknown.

Threats
  Cattle do not appear to graze plants preferentially, but DBG staff did see evidence of animal predation on one or two plants, but the primary concern is trampling on level sites. Few sites are level. The most pressing, imminent threat to these plants is water development (drilling of water-pumping wells). The area has the same threat of aquifer depletion that all riparian areas in southwestern deserts have.
Additional threats include logging, road construction, and competition with Dipsacus fullonum ('teasel' used by florists in dried arrangements). Dipsacus is a very real threat to C. vinaceum, as it is proliferating in and among Cirsium plants.

Current Research Summary
  Desert Botanical Garden has collected seeds from four of the populations on the Lincoln National Forest in 1996, resulting in a total of approximately 6000 seeds. Seeds were immediately germinated after cleaning, yielding percentages ranging from 10-30%. Tests will be repeated during 2001 to determine if a significant percentage emerges from dormancy during the storage time. Plants were short-lived at the Garden and did not flower in cultivation.

Current Management Summary
  Management is administered by the US Forest Service. Grazing is permitted on Cirsium habitat.

Research Management Needs
  Further work needs to be done to ascertain if the seed-eating beetles are having a significant impact on reproduction of Cirsium vinaceum. More work should be done towards investigation of the direct impact of grazing on Cirsium habitat. It may be that grazing actually benefits this species of Cirsium as much as it does the more xeric species of thistle, an 'increaser'. The habitat itself is exceptionally vulnerable to the effects of grazing of cattle, deer and elk; numbers of these animals should be limited or restricted from this area.

Ex Situ Needs
  Try to find a more suitable place for C. vinaceum plants grown in a greenhouse at Desert Botanical Garden to mature.

References

Books (Sections)

Tepedino, V.J. 2002. Section III. Environmental Monitoring. III.5 The Reproductive Biology of Rare Rangeland Plants and Their Vulnerability to Insecticides. Grasshoppers: Their biology, identification and management, User Handbook.

Conference Proceedings

Huenneke, L.F.; Thomson, J.D. Evaluating the Potential for Interference Between and Invasive Non-Native Plant and a Rare Native Species: A Case Study. 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 188-194.

Sivinski, R.; Knight, P. Narrow Endemism in the New Mexico Flora. 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 286-296.

Electronic Sources

(1999). New Mexico Rare Plants Information. New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council: Albuquerque, NM. Version 15. http://nmrareplants.unm.edu/nmrptc/rarelist.htm. Accessed: 2002.

(2000). Center for Plant Conservation's National Living Collection--Profiles. Desert Botanical Garden. http://www.dbg.org/Collections/cpc.html. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Craddock, C.L..; Huenneke, L.F. 1997. Aquatic seed dispersal and its implications in Cirsium vinaceum, a threatened endemic thistle of New Mexico. American Midland Naturalist. 138, 1: 215-219.

Huenneke, L.F.; Thomson, J.K. 1995. Potential interference between a threatened endemic thistle and an invasive nonnative plant. Conservation Biology. 9, 2: 416-425.

USFWS. 1984. Proposal to Determine Cirsium vinaceum to be a Threatened Species & to Determine Critical Habitat. Federal Register. 49: 20735-20739.

USFWS. 1987. Final Rule to Determine Cirsium vinaceum (Sacramento Mountain Thistle) to be a Threatened Species. Federal Register. 52: 22933-22936.

Reports

USFWS. 1993. Sacramento Mountains Thistle (Circium vinaceum) Recovery Plan. Albuquerque, New Mexico: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p.23.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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