16. Sidalcea hirtipes C. L. Hitchcock, Perenn. Sp. Sidalcea. 42. 1957.
Bristly-stemmed checkerbloom Bristly-stemmed checkerbloom
Herbs, perennial, usually in colonies, 0.7–1.3(–1.8) m, not glaucous, with thick, rather woody taproot and coarse, elongate (cordlike) rhizomes 20–100 × 5 mm. Stems several, scattered, erect, arising from rhizome apices, usually slightly hollow, densely, harshly bristly-hirsute, hairs stiff, pustular, simple, forked, or stellate, often 2–2.5 mm. Leaves basal and cauline; stipules linear-subulate, 6–8 × 1–1.5 mm; petioles of proximal leaves 20–30 cm, 3 times as long as blades, reduced distally to 1/2 times as long as blades; blades: basal and proximalmost orbiculate to reniform, shallowly 5–9-lobed, 10–15 × 10–15 cm, thick, base narrowly cordate, lobe margins coarsely crenate-dentate, apex rounded, surfaces coarsely hirsute, hairs stiff; distal orbiculate, deeply palmately 5–7-lobed, incised ± to base, lobes sometimes lobed again, base cuneate, apex acute, deeply 2–3-toothed, surfaces long-hirsute or with 2–4-rayed, stellate hairs abaxially. Inflorescences erect, spiciform to subcapitate, dense, calyces usually conspicuously overlapping in flower and sometimes in fruit, proximals usually long-pedunculate, unbranched or branched, 20+-flowered, 10+ flowers usually open on spike at same time, not interrupted, not 1-sided, usually to 8 cm, usually not elongate but sometimes slightly elongated in some populations and to 20 cm in fruit; bracts paired or single, linear, distal undivided, proximal distinct to base, 6 mm, mostly slightly longer than pedicels. Pedicels 1–3(–5) mm; involucellar bractlets absent. Flowers bisexual or unisexual and pistillate, plants gynodioecious; calyx often purple tinted, 9–11 mm, to 11–16 mm in fruit, margins ciliate, hairs 1–2 mm, surfaces finely stellate-hairy at base and with coarser, longer, simple and stellate hairs apically; petals usually pale pink to rose-lavender, rarely white, slightly or not pale-veined, (9–)10–21 mm, pistillate often 9–14 mm; staminal column 5–7(–10) mm, hairy; anthers white; stigmas 5–10. Schizocarps 7–8 mm diam.; mericarps 5–10, 3.5–4 mm, glabrous or sparsely stellate-puberulent, roughened, prominently reticulate-veined, sides rugose and pitted, back less so, mucro 0.6–0.8 mm. Seeds 2.5–3.5 mm. 2n = 60.
Flowering (Apr–)May–Jul(–Aug). Prairie remnants, coastal bluffs, open shrublands, fencerows, meadows, usually mesic, basaltic soil; of conservation concern; 0–200(–1200) m; Oreg., Wash.
Sidalcea hirtipes is uncommon and known from Clatsop, Lincoln, and Tillamook counties in Oregon and Clark, Lewis, and Wahkiakum counties in Washington. Its elevation and habitat vary, and it seems as much at home on steep coastal cliffs as in more inland, historic prairies and mountain meadows. Populations can appear to be large because of the long-rhizomatous and clonal nature of the plants; they are few and local. It is threatened by grazing, loss of habitat, fire suppression, road construction and maintenance, and changes in hydrology. It is a candidate for listing in Oregon and has been listed as endangered in Washington. Sidalcea hirtipes is characterized by its coarse indument of bristle hairs, its generally compact spikelike inflorescences, its relatively few, large, erect, hirsute leaves, and, especially, its extensive, coarse rhizomes. The inflorescences in some populations are elongated in fruit; its range, hirsute indument, and thick leaves along with coarse rhizomes help to distinguish it from other species. Stem internode length varies depending on habitat, as in many other Sidalcea. Molecular data suggest a relationship among S. hirtipes and S. asprella, S. celata, and S. gigantea (K. Andreasen and B. G. Baldwin 2003).