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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 10 | Onagraceae | Oenothera

50. Oenothera coloradensis (Rydberg) W. L. Wagner & Hoch, Syst. Bot. Monogr. 83: 211. 2007.
[C E]

Gaura coloradensis Rydberg, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 31: 572. 1904; G. neomexicana Wooton subsp. coloradensis (Rydberg) P. H. Raven & D. P. Gregory; G. neomexicana var. coloradensis (Rydberg) Munz

Herbs monocarpic perennial, strigillose proximally, short-hirtellous and strigillose distally, leaves sometimes glabrate; from stout, fleshy taproot. Stems 1–few-branched from base, 50–80(–100) cm. Leaves in a basal rosette and cauline, basal 4–18 × 1.5–4 cm, blade very narrowly elliptic, lanceolate, or oblanceolate; cauline 5–13 × 1–4 cm, blade narrowly elliptic, narrowly lanceolate, or narrowly oblanceolate, margins subentire or repand-denticulate. Flowers 4-merous, zygomorphic, opening at sunset; floral tube 8–12 mm; sepals 9.5–13 mm; petals white, fading pink, rhombic-obovate, 7–12 mm; filaments 6.5–9 mm, anthers 2.5–4 mm, pollen 90–100% fertile; style 19–25 mm, stigma exserted beyond anthers at anthesis. Capsules ellipsoid or ovoid, sharply 4-angled, with fairly deep furrows alternating with angles, 6–8.5 × 2–3 mm; sessile. Seeds 1–4, yellowish to light brown, 2–3 × 1 mm. 2n = 14.

Flowering Jul–Sep. In wet meadow vegetation of North and South Platte River watersheds on high plains, sloping floodplains, drainage basins in heavy soil; of conservation concern; 1500–2000 m; Colo., Nebr., Wyo.

Oenothera coloradensis is currently known from fewer than two dozen populations from southern Laramie and Platte counties in Wyoming, northern Weld County, Colorado, formerly near Fort Collins, Larimer County, Colorado, and in western Kimball County, Nebraska. It is federally listed as a threatened species in the United States. The primary threats are agricultural use of habitat, herbicide spraying to control weed species, and livestock trampling and grazing (see W. L. Wagner et al. 2013). Recent study by K. N. Krakos (unpubl.) has determined this species to be self-compatible. P. H. Raven and D. P. Gregory (1972[1973]) described this species as glandular puberulent in inflorescence, which was repeated in the recent revised taxonomy (Wagner et al.); however, examination of specimens show that P. A. Munz (1965) was correct in describing the pubescence of the inflorescence as non-glandular.


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