Front Range, Eastern Slope, Rocky Mountains Checklist Flora of Native and Naturalized Vascular Plants of Golden and Vicinity, Jefferson County, Colorado  

Tom Schweich  

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Topics in this Article:
Introduction
Geography
History of Botanic Exploration
Useful Publications
Methods
Results
Discussion
Conclusion
Acknowledgements
Literature Cited
Appendices
 Golden, Colorado sits in a valley formed by erosion along the Golden fault, the geotectonic boundary between the North American Cordillera and the Great Plains. Somewhat like Mono Lake, for which I have also prepared a checklist flora, it sits at a boundary, or perhaps ecotone. Things are always more interesting at the boundaries. I started this project when I realized no such list had been prepared for my newly adopted city. I hope you find this checklist flora helpful. Please write to me if you have questions or comments.

 

 

   

Introduction

 
  Do you just want to see the checklist? Click: Plant Check List for Golden, Jefferson County, United States.
  It is probably fair to ask why one would prepare a local flora.

There are many sources of information about plant names, their descriptions, and how to identify them. There are numerous published floras for the whole state of Colorado, Colorado east slope and west slope, and the Intermountain Region, not to mention the less-scholarly wildflower books. The various data bases will permit preparation of plant lists for a location, or a range of geographic coordinates, will also giving link to further web sites such as Flora of North America (FNANM) an Encyclopedia of Life. These are all excellent resources. I used them all myself in the preparation of this flora. Data base lists selected by geographic coordinates, and those selected by named localities, were used to provide an initial list of collections. The published floras of larger regions were used to check on names, descriptions, and distribution.

However, the editing process of reviewing collections, and reviewing the absence of collections, provides the benefits that come from preparing a local flora:

  1. Apply local knowledge of geography to collections, their name determinations, and georeferencing. Living in a location can give a better understanding of local geography, and the location of historic reference points. This makes it easier to compare georeferencing to described collecting location.

  2. Identify questionable collections or determinations. Some examples might be:

    1. A collection dated 1822 from Golden, although Golden was not named until 1859. This turned out to be an E. L. Greene collection from 1872.
    2. A collection to which two different names have been applied. For example, E. H. Brunquist's PM-123 is determined as Cirsium undulatum (Nutt.) Spreng at KHD, and C. ochrocentrum A. Gray at CS. The thing to do is to look at both vouchers and determine which name should be applied, or whether the collection was really a mixed collection.
    3. A little more subtle case occurs when there are many single collections a related taxa. For example, among Oenothera and Gaura (which is sometimes placed in Oenothera), there are nine taxa for which there is only one collection in Golden and vicinity, and the remaining four taxa collected here have only two collections each. It seems unusual that there would be so many single collections of a taxon, and perhaps some of them are misidentified.

  3. Identify gaps in collections. Why hasn't an expected common species found in a certain area?

    For example, I found what I thought was Brickellia californica on North Table Mountain. Yet my data base searches yielded no records of collections. Searching again for all collections of B. californica in Jefferson and surrounding counties showed a single collection of the taxon by Loraine Yeatts on South Table Mountain. However, the collection had been georeferenced incorrectly and would not have appeared in a simple data base query. I have added that collection (and taxon name) to the local flora, and sent a comment to the herbarium about the incorrect coordinates.

  4. Fill in gaps in collections, collect in under-collected areas, or of under-collected plants.

    For example, mapping the locations of collections that can be georeferenced showed that there are few collections from the lower slopes of Lookout Mountain and no collections from the small northern portion of Dakota Ridge near the Rooney Road Sports Complex. These areas may now be targeted for collecting.

  5. Identify plants that may have been extirpated, or may be new arrivals.

    An example might be my collection 1109 of Balsamorhiza sagittata on Tin Cup Ridge. Usually this plant is described as being on the west slope only. How did it get here to the east slope? Generally, it is suggested that it was planted. But, was it intentionally planted in an out of the way place? Or planted by a bird? Or other animal?

  6. Understand the history of botanic or floristic work in a local area. Who collected? Why?

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Baldwin, Bruce G., Douglas H. Goldman, David J. Keil, Robert Patterson, and Thomas J. Rosatti, 2012.
- Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds., 1993+.
- Harrington, H. D., 1954.
- The Plant List, 2013.
- USDA, NRCS, 2014.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.  

Generally, I try to follow nomenclature of the Flora of North America (1993+). When a plant name is found in a published volume of FNANM, I will use it.

In the case of unpublished volumes of FNANM, I generally review multiple sources, starting with Ackerfield (2015), the Plant List (http://www.theplantlist.org/), USDA Plants, the Jepson Manual, Weber and Wittmann (2012), and Harrington (1954), and then pick a modern name in common usage. As additional volumes of FNANM are published, some of the names may have to change.

Once a name is selected, different names given in Ackerfield (2015), Weber and Wittmann (2012), or Harrington (1954), are listed as synonyms.

 

 

   

Geography

 

 

   

Golden City Limits

 

Other articles:
• Illinois Street:   at Golf Club;
• Kinney Run Trail:  w. of 6th;
• Salvia Street:  Tony Grampsas Memorial Sports Complex;

Locations: Eagle Ridge. Fossil Trace Golf Club. Golden. Tony Grampsas Memorial Sports Complex.
Full Size ImageCity Limits of Golden, Jefferson County, Colorado  

The boundaries of incorporated Golden are quite irregular. They stretch from I-70 on the south to north of Golden Gate Canyon on the north. The western boundary includes significant portions of the slopes of Lookout Mountain, but do not extend to a ridge line or natural boundary for the purposes of this flora. On the east side, the Coors Technology Center comprises a large isolated incorporated area north of 44th and west of MacIntyre. This results in incorporated Golden on the east and west sides of North Table Mountain, but the mountain itself is not part of the City of Golden. Only a small part of South Table Mountain is within the City of Golden. Pleasant Valley is unincorporated Jeferson County, but there are irregular sections, including a business park south of 6th and east of Indiana.

Within the City of Golden, there are a few parcels that are city-owned, and large enough to be collected. The Fossil Trace Golf Course occupies 216 ac. (87 ha.). It is not really a hotbed of biodiversity, but the elk like to hang out there in the winter. City-owned open space on the west and south slopes of North Table Mountain comprises 135 ac. (54 ha.). Eagle Ridge is the third largest parcel at 79 ac. (32 ha.) and the Grampsas Sport Complex contains 58 ac. (24 ha.). There is a small hilly parcel near the top of Washington Avenue of 4 ac. (1.6 ha.). This last parcel is perhaps the most interesting as it contains a relatively intact small (1.5 ac.) remnant mixed-grass prairie on the top of the hill.

 

   

Golden sensu latu (s.l.)

 
   

Locations: Golden.
Full Size ImageWorking definition of “Golden,” Colorado, and Vicinity  

In describing “Golden” in the broad sense, I have attempted to smooth the boundaries of the incorporated City of Golden, look for natural boundaries, and avoid development encroaching on open space, e.g., north slope of North Table Mountain.

Other articles:
• Pine Ridge Road:   at city limit;  

From the northwest corner of Golden on Pine Ridge Road, the boundary curves across the undeveloped slopes of North Table Mountain to the business park at 44th and McIntyre.

Other articles:
• McIntyre Street:   at Table Mtn Pkwy;  

The eastern boundary is along McIntyre Street, jogging west to avoid the Rolling Hills Country Club and former Camp George West. There is an easward extension to include the little piece of Golden at 6th and Indiana.

Other articles:
• Interstate 70:  Golden;

Locations: Apex Park. Tin Cup Ridge.  

The south boundary is the lower northwest slopes of Green Mountain, i.e., Green Mountain is excluded, I then follow Interstate 70, and a ridge line separating the incorporated area of Golden from Mount Vernon Canyon. Both Tin Cup Ridge and Apex Open Space Park are therefore included within Golden s.l.

Locations: Lookout Mountain. Mount Zion.  

The western boundary begins where the ridge line intersects the western edge of the Morrison quadrangle, and the boundary of Golden s.l. is the easternmost of either the quadrangle boundary or the ridge line of Lookout Mountain and Mount Zion. From Mount Zion back to Pine Ridge Road, I basically draw a straight line along the various western extents of the irregular Golden city limits.
  The definition of Golden s. l. includes much of the southwest corner of the Golden quadrangle and the northwest corner of the Morrison quadrangle. The Evergreen and Ralston Buttes quadrangles do not include any portion of Golden s. l. as I have defined it.
   

 

   

North Table Mountain

 

Literature Cited:
- Drewes, Harald, 2008.

Other articles:
• County Road 284:   near Poppy;

Locations: North Table Mountain. Ralston Dike.  

Full Size Image
North Table Mountain to the southwest.
North and South Table Mountain separate Golden from the metropolitan Denver area to the east. They would be a single mountain except for the canyon that Clear Creek has cut between them. Both mesas are formed of Denver Formation capped by two or three basalt flows. The basalt erupted from what we now call the Ralston dike. This dike can be seen in a quarry west of Colorado Highway 93, about 3 miles north of North Table Mountain. The Denver Formation is composed of sedimentary rocks with clasts of volcanic rocks. The Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary is thought to be in the lower part of the Denver Formation.
  Nearly all North Table Mountain is in public ownership. The largest part, about 1,873 acres, is owned by Jefferson County, and managed by Jefferson County Open Space as North Table Mountain Park. This park is very popular and heavily used all year around. A smaller portion, about 135 acres on the southwest slopes, is owned by the City of Golden. The radio tower is on a 1-acre privately-owned parcel.
  There are six developed trailheads permitting access to North Table Mountain, and several undeveloped, or social, trailheads.

Other articles:
• Golden Cliffs Trail:   at trailhead;
• North Table Loop:   at N Table Mtn Trlhd;
• CO Hwy 93:   at N Table Mtn TH;
• Field Notes:   8 Oct 2014;

Locations: North Table Mountain.
Full Size ImageNorth Table Mountain Trailhead  

Full Size Image
Golden Cliffs Trailhead
Two of the trailheads are equipped with restrooms. The most popular trailhead is on the west side, just off Colorado Highway 93. It has restrooms, water, and a large parking lot. The other developed trailhead is primarily used by climbers. Accessed from Peery Parkway in Golden, it also has restrooms.

Other articles:
• County Road 284:   at Mesa Spur TH;
• Easley Road:   near sports complex;
• Field Notes:   8 Nov 2015;  Friday, 22 July 2016;

Locations: North Table Mountain Park.
Full Size ImageTrail access on Ridge Road.  

Full Size Image
Trailhead of Mesa Spur Trail.
Three other trailheads developed by Jefferson County Open Space are on W. 58th Avenue, Easley Road, and Ridge Road.

Other articles:
• 53rd Drive:   at bicycle trail;
• Field Notes:   13 Aug 2014;

Locations: North Table Mountain Park.
Full Size ImageNorth Table Mountain trail at W. 53rd Drive  

There is an access point on W. 53rd Drive, but no parking nearby.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   20 Jul 2015;  

There may be a trailhead from the Table Rock subdivision. In fact, maps of North Table Mountain Park, show this as an Access Point. The problem is: getting back into the subdivision from the park requires passing a "No Trespassing" sign.

Other articles:
• Peery Drive:   at trail;
• North Table Mountain Trail:   at Peery;
• Field Notes:   18 Feb 2016;
Full Size ImagePeery Drive trailhead of North Table Mountain Trail.  

The City of Golden has a trailhead into their lands on North Table Mountain on Peery Drive. This trailhead gives access to the City of Golden North Table Mountain trail.

Other articles:
• Easley Road:   at social trail;
• Social Trail:   at N Table Loop;
Full Size ImageSocial trail from Tablerock subdivision into North Table Mountain Park.  

There are two commonly used social trails leading to North Table Mountain One is off Dunraven Circle in Table Rock. The other is at Easley Road and Colorado Highway 58.

The Dunraven Circle social trail is quite handy. Short, only 160 meters in length, it gives easy access to the North Table Loop, and then there is only another 245 meters to the Mesa Top Trail. It is, of course, signed “No Trespassing.” In theory, there is an access point to the Tablerock Trail from Tablerock Subdivision about 430 m. to the northeast. This access point can accessed from either Dunraven Circle or Devil's Head Circle by way of a concrete multiuse trail. Unfortunately, that trail is also signed “No Trespassing.”

Other articles:
• Social Trail:   at Easley;
Full Size ImageStart of social trail at Easley Road.  

The Easley Road social trail begins near the Easley Road on-ramp to Colorado Highway 58 West. It is a little obscure to find. The trail climbs steeply to the fourth terrace in the road cut above Highway 58. The trail follows the terrace to its end, and then begins to climb a small canyon of North Table Mountain, following the route of an old road. This road is shown on the 1939 edition of the USGS Golden, Colo. 7.5" quadrangle map. The distance to the North Table Loop is about a half mile.

Literature Cited:
- White, Sally, and Loraine Yeatts, 1994.  

There have been several Colorado Native Plant Society (CoNPS) field trips on North Table Mountain. Two that are listed on the society's web site are: May 14, 1994, led by Sally White and Loraine Yeatts, and May 23, 1998, led by Paul Kilburn and Jerry Duncan. There is a plant list available from the White and Yeatts field trip.

The author led Colorado Native Plant Society field trips to North Table Mountain in 2016, 2017, and 2019. The plant lists from those field trips are kept constantly up to date by this web site. See Plant Check List for North Table Mountain, Jefferson County, United States.

 

   

South Table Mountain

 

Locations: South Table Mountain.  

Seen from a distance, it is clear the upper surface South Table Mountain is a continuation of the upper surface of North Table Mountain.
  Ownership of South Table Mountain is more mixed than North Table Mountain. The three largest owners are Jefferson County (738 Ac.), State of Colorado (500 ac.), and Bear Creek Development (312 ac.). The City of Golden owns a small 31-acre parcel where the Lubahn Trail is found.

Other articles:
• Ridge Road:   near N Easley Wy;
Full Size ImageMap of South Table Mountain  

There are three developed trailheads with parking, two access points without parking, and three more informal, or social, access points.

Other articles:
• Lubahn Trail (north loop):   at trailhead;
• Golden Hills Road:   at trl hd;
• Kilmer Street:  10000;

Locations: South Table Mountain.
Full Size ImageGolden Hills Trailhead  

Full Size Image
Castle Rock from Lubahn Trail trailhead
Trailheads with parking, often just street parking are at:
  • Lubahn Trail, Belvedere at 18th, Belvedere at 19th.
  • Fossil Trail, on Golden Hills Road.
  • Camp George West Park.
  Neighborhood access without parking is at:
  • West Denver West Parkway.
  • Old Quarry Road.

Other articles:
• Lookout View Court:  32460;
• Rimrock Drive:   on Rimrock Dr;  

  • Lookout View Drive.
  • Rimrock Drive.
  • Quaker Street.

 

 

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Wednesday, October 15th;  

Lookout Mountain

 

Other articles:
• Lubahn Trail (South Loop):   above rim;
• Field Notes:  4 May 2020;

Locations: Apex Park. Lookout Mountain. Matthews/Winters Park. Windy Saddle Park.
Full Size ImageLookout Mountain  

Lookout Mountain is the very eastern edge of the Rocky Mountain Front Range. The Front Range runs north-south between Casper, Wyoming and Pueblo, Colorado and rises nearly 10,000 feet above the Great Plains. Longs Peak, Mount Evans, and Pikes Peak are its most prominent peaks, visible from the Interstate 25 corridor. The highest mountain peak in the Front Range is Grays Peak. Other notable mountains include Torreys Peak and Mount Bierstadt.

Only the eastern-facing slopes of Lookout Mountain are covered by this checklist flora.

Land ownership (1,221 ac.) is primarily Jefferson County Open Space for Windy Saddle Park, Apex Open Space Park, Lookout Mountain Nature Center, and small portion of Matthews/Winters Park. Denver Parks owns a large parcel (69 ac.) on top of Lookout Mountain. Martin Marietta is the largest private landowner for their quarry, followed by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart (Mother Cabrini Shrine).

 

 

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Wednesday, July 6th;

Locations: Colorado School of Mines Survey Field.
Full Size ImageSouth end of Survey Field, south Golden, and South Table Mountain.  

Colorado School of Mines Survey Field

The next largest single parcel is the Colorado School of Mines Survey Field. It consists of 2 parcels totaling about 226 acres. At the upper, west side, it abuts Lookout Mountain.

Though owned by a public agency, the Survey Field is not really open to the public, in the sense of a public park or open space. The school needs to know who in on their property, and to cover themselves for liability issues.

The Survey Field has been disturbed by roads, mining, and utilities. It is also quite weedy in places. Regardless, it is a unique piece of open space in Golden, given its size, and its place between Golden and Lookout Mountain.

 

 

Other articles:
• Kinney Run Trail:   at rock knob;
• Field Notes:   16 May 2018;
Full Size ImageView generally north of Kinney Run.  

Kinney Run / Deadman Gulch

The City of Golden-owned parcels in the vicinity of Eagle Ridge (a small hogback), Deadman Gulch, Kinney Run, and Heritage Dells comprise about 90 acres. There are also some city-owned watercourses near the south-west end of those shown on this map.

Literature Cited:
- U.S. Board on Geographic Names, n.d..

Other articles:
• Kinney Run Trail:   at Deadman Gl;

Locations: Deadman Gulch. Eagle Ridge. Heritage Dells. Kinney Run.  

Of the four names applied to this area, only two: Deadman Gulch and Heritage Dells, are recognized by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN, n.d.). The source for “Kinney Run” is unknown, but is probably a euphemism used by developers for Deadman Gulch. The original source may be “Kenneys Creek” found on the 1938 Morrison quadrangle applied to a creek flowing north along present-day Johnson Avenue, then northwest along South Golden Road. Similarly, the source for “Eagle Ridge” is also unknown, but was probably chosen by real estate developers in the area.
Full Size Image
City of Golden-owned Parcels in the vicinity of Kinney Run

Locations: Deadman Gulch. Eagle Ridge.  

The largest parcels are in the north between Tripp Ranch and US Highway 6. The northernmost parcel sits between the Survey Field and US Highway 6, spanning Deadman Gulch, and including a small hogback that may be the source of the name “Eagle Ridge.” Collecting in this area has been an extension of collecting in the Survey Field. There are no collections from the ridge itself, although the southern end of the ridge is getting close to the Handsford T. Shacklette collections. These were made near the intersection of US Highway 6 and Heritage Road (June 27, 1959. 25 vouchers, COLO, and 1 voucher, MICH).

Other articles:
• Kinney Run Trail:   at sm. hill;   at coll locn;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1780, 12 Apr 2018;   Coll. No. 1783, 12 Apr 2018;

Locations: Cambria Lime Kiln. Kinney Run.
Full Size ImageCambria Lime Kiln  

South and west of Eagle Ridge is the heart of Deadman Gulch/Kinney Run. A little over 31 acres, this parcel is oriented north-south, and fairly narrow from east to west.

Full Size Image
Kinney Run in early Spring.
Full Size Image
View of Kinney Run in early Spring.
The northernmost portion has been revegetated. The Cambria Lime Kiln is found in this parcel. There is road frontage in two places on Eagle Ridge Drive, and one place on Crawford Street. The Kinney Run Trail, a concrete multi-use trail bisects the parcel from north to south.
  The vegetation of Kinney Run is a mosaic of Foothills Shrubland and Riparian, with some remnant Mixed-Grass Prairie. Despite the extensive disturbance and planting of non-natives, many native grasses and forbs (non-woody perennials) can still be found in Kinney Run. Roundtip Twinpod (Physaria vitulifera) and Front Range Beardtongue (Penstemon virens) bloom in the spring on the rock outcrops of the Lyons Sandstone along with Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus). Green Needlegrass (Nassella viridula) and Needle and Thread (Hesperostipa comata) are found around the edges of the Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana) thickets below the cliffs. The wetter areas near the creek support both Golden Currant (Ribes aureum) and Wax Currant (R. cereum), along with Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) and the Cloaked Bulrush (Scirpus pallidus). The drier slopes opposite Eagle Ridge support many examples of remnant Prairie vegetation, such as Prairie Groundsel (Packera plattensis), Cowboy Delight (Sphaeralcea coccinea), and Blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata).

Literature Cited:
- Steadman, Christy, 2019.

Locations: Kinney Run.

Letters: Thursday, August 9, 2018.  

Golden GiddyUp (2017-2018) proposed to build a system of dirt bicycle trails in the Kinney Run/Heritage Dells area, including one through this parcel. The trail was proposed to be some distance away from the existing Kinney Run trail. It would therefore further fragment this small area into three pieces from its current two pieces. This proposal was strongly opposed by the Friends of Kinney Run, and by the author. This proposal has been withdrawn, for now, in favor of a bicycle trail linking Beverly Heights to Kinney Run, by way of the Survey Field.
  Between Tripp Ranch and Heritage Dells Park lies a small parcel of 7.8 acres. This parcel goes from the riparian zone of Kinney Run east to the back fences of the houses that face Somerset Street.

Other articles:
• Kinney Run Trail:   near intersection;
• Field Notes:  Sunday, August 8th;
Full Size ImageThe southern part of proposed mountain bike trail, Segment 4.  

At the south end of this parcel, there was formerly a social trail from the end of W. 4th Avenue down to the Kinney Run Trail. Presumably this trail was used by children enroute to Shelton School. The trail is faintly visible on GoogleEarth imagery from 1999, before the concrete trail was constructed to the south. The social trail has since been revegetated (2015 to 2017).
  Heritage Dells Park is accessible from Crawford Street. In 1987, this foothills park was built to serve the Heritage Dells Subdivision. Currently, it is located at the midpoint of the Kinney Run Trail, and makes for a great resting place along this regional trail that begins at Heritage Square. The terrain is hilly and it’s a “good push” to get a loaded baby stroller back to the car from the A.D.A. accessible playground. A basketball court is also available at the park, perfect for neighborhood pick-up games and practice. Includes a cherry stem southward to Kimball Avenue.

Locations: Heritage Dells.  

The location of GNIS Heritage Dells. Roughly at the corner of Kimball Avenue and Crawford Circle.
  The Kinney Run trail continues south through a narrow corridor to Apex Park (Jefferson County Open Space) and its many trails. It passes by the Magic Mountain archeological site.

Literature Cited:
- Brunquist, E. H., 1966.

Locations: Magic Mountain.  

Magic Mountain archeological site: Named for a nearby amusement park now known as Heritage Square, the Magic Mountain Archaeological Site south of Golden was excavated in 1959–60 by Cynthia and Henry Irwin. Because it was one of the first foothills sites to be professionally excavated, the Irwins’ report on Magic Mountain has provided the foundation for all later archaeological research in the region. In the 1990s new excavations discovered thousands of artifacts and bone fragments as well as several architectural features, which have helped provide more precise dates and cultural affiliations for the site. Vegetation in the vicinity of the Magic Mountain archeological site was surveyed by Ernest H. Brunquist (1966).

 

 

Other articles:
• Cty Rd 93:   at US 40;
• Rooney Road Sports Complex Road:   at end;
• Field Notes:  30 April 2020;
• US Hwy 40:   at Zeta;
• Interstate 70:   at cut;

Locations: Tin Cup Ridge.  

Tin Cup Ridge

Tin Cup Ridge is the northward extension of Dinosaur Ridge into Golden. Interstate 70 cuts through Dinosaur Ridge and separates the two parts of the ridge.

The easiest way to access Tin Cup Ridge is from the Rooney Road Sports Complex.

At the south end, Tin Cup Ridge can also be accessed from the T-Rex Park and Ride Lot. And, for the truly intrepid, it is possible to access Tin Cup Ridge from the north, through the Wrigley's Chicago Bar & Grill parking lot from the intersection of Colfax Avenue and Zeta Street.

 

 

Locations: Matthews/Winters Park.  

Matthews/Winters Park

There is a small portion of Matthews/Winters Park that is north of Interstate 70, and just south of the Golden city limits. This area is not open to the public.

 

 

Other articles:
• Poco Calle:   at trailhead;
• Cty Rd 93:   at Apex Park;
• Field Notes:  25 April 2020;  6 May 2020;

Locations: Apex Park. Apex Park - Northern Parcel. Deadman Gulch.
Full Size ImageDeadman Gulch in Apex Park.  

Apex Park

Apex Park is about 700 acres. Of those, about 500 acres are within the City of Golden. The larger southern portion of the park is heavily used and a popular destination for hiking and mountain biking. There is a smaller northern portion of the park that is closed for resource protection.

There is one trailhead and two other access points to Apex Park. The trailhead is on Heritage Road near Colfax Avenue. The access points are on Lookout Mountain Road and Poco Calle Road. They have minimal parking and no facilities.

Some clever map-reading will disclose other ways to enter Apex Park. However, doing so is difficult without crossing private property or inadvertently entering the restricted area.

 

 

Other articles:
• Salvia Street:  Tony Grampsas Memorial Sports Complex;

Locations: Tony Grampsas Memorial Sports Complex.  

Tony Grampsas Memorial Sports Complex

The Tony Grampsas Memorial Sports Complex comprises 58 acres, almost entirely developed.

 

 

Other articles:
• Chimney Gulch Trail:   at pkg;
• U. S. Highway 6:   at pkg;

Locations: Landing Zone.  

CSM Paraglider Landing Area

The hang glider landing field is 45 acres, property owned by Colorado School of Mines, a lot of it disturbed by use. To the south of the landing field is a small City of Golden parcel of about 14 acres.

 

 

Literature Cited:
- U.S. Board on Geographic Names, n.d..
- Van Horn, Richard, 1957.

Locations: Cressmans Gulch (lower).  

Dakota Ridge and Cressman Gulch

The south end of Dakota Ridge and the adjacent Cressman Gulch is in the very northern part of Golden. I have applied the name Dakota Ridge to this hogback because that is the only name I have seen applied to it. The name was applied by Van Horn (1957) in Bedrock Geology of the Golden Quadrangle. “Dakota Ridge” is also sometimes applied to the corresponding hogback south of Golden. However the GNIS (BGN, 2019) applies the name “Dinosaur Ridge.”

Regardless of the naming question, Cressman Gulch and the Dakota Ridge hogback above it measure to be 39 acres. The eastern portion, about 13 acres by my estimate and therefore quite unofficial, is likely to be used for the relocation of Colorado Highway 93 sometime in the future. The remaining 26 acres is primarily contributed by the south end of the hogback. There are open mines on the hogback, which are fenced, and not open to access by the public.

Literature Cited:
- Fernandez-Mazuecos, Mario, Jose Luis Blanco-Pastor, and Pablo Vargas, 2013.
- Sutton, D. A., 1988.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Linaria canadensis texana;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2077, 14 Jun 2019;  9 May 2020;

Locations: Dakota Ridge. Rocky Flats. White Ranch Park.  

There is no historic botanic data for Dakota Ridge. The author made about 54 collections in 2020, and combined with additional observations, there are 86 plant species known from the ridge and adjacent gulch.

One collection is of particular interest. It is Linaria canadensis (L.) Dum.-Cours. Var. texana (Scheele) Pennell, with a common name of “Blue Toadflax.” A commonly used synonym for this plant is Nuttallanthus texanus (Scheele) D. A. Sutton. This name was proposed by Sutton (1988) to separate the new world Linaria from the old world Linaria. However, recent phylogenetic work (Fernandez-Mazuecos, et al., 2013) shows that the new world plants need to be retained in the old world genus Linaria. There is historic collection made along the railroad tracks in Golden from more than a century ago. More recently, it was collected at Rocky Flats and White Ranch.

Full Size Image
Coll. No. 2077, Linaria canadensis var. texana

 

 

Locations: Tucker Gulch (lower).  

Tucker Gulch

Tucker Gulch and the lower part of Cressman Gulch, i.e., south and east of Colorado Highway 93, form a kind of linear open space, if the term “open space” can be applied to a long narrow shape. While much of the lower part of Tucker Gulch is still railroad right of way, the portion owned by the City of Golden is 34 acres. Tucker Gulch between the highway and Clear Creek is about 3.2 km. in length, and Cressman Gulch from the highway to the mouth at Tucker Gulch is about 1.5 km. in length. When combined with the railroad land, the width varies from a minimum of 17 m. to a maximum of 109 m., although generally the width is about 30 to 50 m.

Other articles:
• Tucker Gulch Trail:   above First;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1334, 11 May 2016;  

The vegetation in Tucker Gulch is quite weedy. There are only a few collections made in Tucker Gulch and of them only one is native: Heterotheca villosa “Hairy False Goldenaster.” Among the non-native plants, one, Alopecurus arundinaceus “Creeping Meadow Foxtail” is an uncommon grass in Jefferson County, and therefore at least mildly interesting.

 

 

Other articles:
• Social Trail (N. Wash. OS):   at top;
• Nightbird Gulch Trail:   at point;
• North Table Mountain Trail:   at social trail;
• Field Notes:   25 Mar 2017;

Locations: North Washington Open Space.
Full Size ImageView west to North Table Mountain.  

North Washington Open Space

The little piece of City of Golden open space at the north end of Washington Avenue, near Cannonball Creek Brewery, measures 4 acres. Tract A of the parcel was accepted by the City of Golden by Resolution No. 516, adopted December 23, 1993. It is unclear how Tract B became city-owned. However, it is possibly by Resolution 599.
Full Size Image
North Washington Open Space as seen from North Table Mountain
Full Size Image
View of North Washington Open Space from Mount Galbraith

Other articles:
• Social Trail (N. Wash. OS):  west of top;
Full Size ImageField Trip group, May 13, 2018.  

Three field trips sponsored by Colorado Native Plant Society visited the open space parcel on May 13, 2018, June 15, 2018, and July 21, 2018. Approximately 25 people participated in the field trips.

Other articles:
• Social Trail (N. Wash. OS):   near top;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1614, 15 May 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1614, Castilleja integra, along the top of the North Washington Open Space.  

There are 122 taxa (species of plants) in 42 plant families, mostly grasses and forbs (non-woody perennials). None of the plants collected or observed are Colorado-ranked rare plants (Colorado Natural Heritage Program, 1997+). There are 14 species of Colorado-listed Noxious Weeds (Colorado Department of Agriculture, 2014-2019). There is one species on List A, Euphorbia myrsinites L. “Myrtle Spurge,” and seven List B species.
  A small portion covering the top of the hill, about 1.5 acres in size, could be identified as Western Great Plains Foothill and Piedmont Grassland with mixed tall and short grass species. Significantly sized other portions, would be identified as Smooth Brome (Bromus inermis Leyss) Ruderal Vegetation.
  There is substantial disturbance around the edges of the parcel. Disturbance includes grading, water lines or other utilities, construction, landscaping or revegetation, yard debris disposal and mowing by neighbors, and social trails and amenities. It is unclear when the water line was placed across the parcel, but the current vault appears in 7/4/2005 imagery. The center of the open space is less-disturbed, where the primary disturbances are social trails and amenities.
  There are four easily identifiable social trails crossing all or part of the parcels. The primary social trail crosses the parcels east to west across the top of the hill. This trail bisects the area of remnant native vegetation on the top of the hill and is frequently used by hikers, dog walkers, and by a few mountain bikes. The opportunities for rerouting this trail away from the native vegetation, while still permitting access to the top of the hill, seem quite limited. The trail is eroding on the stepest slope at the eastern slope of the hill. There is one social amenity, i.e., a bench near the top of the hill. The bench and associated access trail first appear in 10/7/2012 imagery. The access trail to this bench passes perilously close to several individual plants of Missouri Foxtail Cactus.

Full Size ImageTrampled area beside social trail.  
The top of the hill is occasionally used for picnics or similar activities as evidenced from a rather large trampled area. I have even encountered a wedding photography party on top to the hill. Unfortunately, the trampled area is at the center of the best native vegetation. This causes damage to the small area of native prairie and indicates why the trail needs to be signed with a plea for users to remain on the trail.
   
  I keep a separate report about this open space, which can be on my home page with a title of “Botanical Resources of the North Washington Open Space, Golden, Colorado.”

 

   

Nearby Areas Excluded

 
  Any developed areas on the north slope of North Table Mountain are excluded, e.g., the Table Rock subdivision.
  The boundary was drawn to swing west of the Rolling Hills Country Club.
  The former Camp George West is excluded in its entirety.

Literature Cited:
- Yeatts, Dick, and Loraine Yeatts, 2009.

Locations: Green Mountain.  

Nearly all of Green Mountain is excluded, except for the lowest northwest slopes.

There are a few lists available for Green Mountain. The most recent is Yeatts & Yeatts (2009).

 

   

Geology

My broad definition of Golden is included on two USGS 7.5" topographic maps: Golden and Morrison.

Literature Cited:
- Van Horn, Richard, 1957.
- Van Horn, Richard, 1972.
- Van Horn, Richard, 1976.

Locations: Golden.  

Geology of the Golden quadrangle is by Van Horn (1972, 1976).

Literature Cited:
- Scott, G. R., 1972.

Locations: Golden.  

Geology of the Morrison quadrangle is by Scott (1972).

Literature Cited:
- Chapin, Charles E., Shari A. Kelley, and Steven M. Cather, 2014.
- Hedgem Carl E., Robert S. Houston, Ogden L. Tweto, Zell E. Peterman, Jack E. Harrison, and Rolland R. Reid, 1986.

Locations: Dakota Ridge. Tin Cup Ridge.  

Golden sits roughly in the center of the Rocky Mountain Front. This long, straight, persistent structural boundary originated between 1.4 and 1.1 billion years ago in the Mesoproterozoic Era. It was intruded by the Pikes Peak granite (1.09 billion years) in central Colorado. The Rocky Mountain Front began as a boundary between thick cratonic lithosphere to the east (modern coordinates) and an orogenic plateau to the west and remains so today. The structural boundary was reactivated during the breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia (1.1 to 0.6 billion years ago) and again during deformation associated with formation of both the Ancestral (≈300 Ma) and Laramide (80-40 Ma) Rocky Mountains. The landscape we now see was enhanced during the late Miocene to Holocene (ca. 6–0 Ma) by tectonic uplift. Increased monsoonal precipitation caused differential erosion along the mountain front, exhuming an imposing 0.5– 1.2 km escarpment that is bordered by hogbacks of Mesozoic strata and incised by major river canyons. The hogbacks do not occur in central Golden as they are cut off by the Golden fault. However, there are hogbacks in both north and south Golden s.l., i.e, Dakota Ridge in the north, and Tin Cup Ridge in the south.

Literature Cited:
- Weimer, Bob, 2001.

Locations: Golden.
Full Size ImageSimplified geologic cross section through Golden and vicinity  

Simplified geologic cross section of Golden and vicinity.
ls landslide
Pf Fountain Formation Pink to reddish-orange arkosic sandstone and comglomerate, and dark-reddish-brown mudstone.
Tv3
Tv2
Tv1
Lava flows. Latite, dark gray, weathers light brown to light gray. Contains plagioclase, potassium feldspar, augite, olivene, and some biotite, magnetitem and apatite.
Tdv, Kdv Denver Formation. Light-gray to brown, lenticular, loosely cemented, tuffaceous sandstone, silty claystone, and andesitic conglomerate. System boundary based on paleontologic evidence.
Ka Arapahoe Formation. Light-gray to brown, quartzose sandstone and silty claystone; thick conglomerate locally at base.
Kl Laramie Formation. Light- to medium-gray quartzose sandstone and claystone, and several lenticular sub-bituminous coal beds in the lower 200 feet.
Kp Pierre Shale. Predominantly medium-gray clayey shale and some calcareous concretions, interbedded with some siltstone and silty sandstone.
peg Granitic pegmatite Dikelike, lenticular, and irregularly shaped bodies composed principally of quartz and microcline.
pC Precambrian gneiss and schist. Gray medium-grained gneiss consisting of quartz, plagioclase, and biotite.

 

   

Soils

 

Literature Cited:
- Price, Alan B., and Alan E. Amen, 2008 rev..  

Soils in the Golden area were enumerated in Price and Amen (2001, 2008 rev.). Seventy-nine different soil types are recognized in Golden sensu latu

 

 

Literature Cited:
- United States National Vegetation Classification, 2019.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  19 Oct 2019;

Locations: Golden.  

Vegetation of Golden

There are three basic types of vegetation in Golden s.l.:

  • Mixed-grass prairie.
  • Foothill shrubland.
  • Riparian or wetland vegetation.

I haven’t used formal names, such as those found in the National Vegetation Classification System (USNVC, 2019), because none of the areas in Golden s.l. have received the formal attention and documentation required for a more formal definition.

Full Size Image
View similar to the historic view of Golden.
Full Size Image
View of north Golden 1870-1880. Countesy of Denver Public Library.
Historical photographs show the original vegetation of Golden to be prairie. Prairie is a French word meaning meadow. In North America, prairie has come to mean an ecosystem with moderate rainfall, and a composition of grasses, forbs (perennial herbs), and small shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type. In the parts of Golden that could be built upon or where used for agriculture, almost nothing of Golden’s original prairie vegetation remains. However, a small remnant is at North Washington Open Space. It is a mixed grass pairie because it has short grasses and tall grasses. The short grasses are Buchloe dactyloides (Buffalo grass) and Bouteloua gracilis (Blue grama). The tall grasses are represented by Andropogon gerardii (Big Bluestem), although on the gravelly ridge of North Washington Open Space, the Big Bluestem is quite short. Hesperostipa comata (Needle and Thread) and Nassella viridula (Green Needlegrass) are also present. Many forbs typical of plains grasslands are also present, such as:
  • Heterotheca villosa (Hairy False Goldenaster),
  • Oxytropis lambertii (Purple Locoweed),
  • Penstemon secundiflorus (Sidebells Beardtongue), and
  • Viola nuttallii (Nuttall’s Violet).

Shrubs are represented on the prairie by Ribes cereum (Wax Currant) and Prunus virginiana (Chokecherry).

In the watercourses, such as Tucker Gulch and Arapahoe Gulch, is a riparian vegetation consisting of willows and cottonwoods (Salix spp.), with sedges (Carex sp.) and rushes (Juncus sp.), and sometimes cat tails (Typha sp.).

Away from the valley bottoms, on the slopes of North and South Table Mountains and Mount Galbraith is a foothill shrubland. These can be very dry and exposed favoring Cercocarpus montanus (Alder-Leaf Mountain Mahogany). A little more mesic habitat favors shrubs such as Rhus trilobata (Squawbush) and Prunus americana (American Plum). The small watercourses may support Acer glabrum (Rocky Mountain Maple) and Physocarpus monogynus (Mountain Ninebark).

Of course, the boundaries between these vegetation types are rarely sharp, and representatives of one vegetation type will often be found growing with representatives of another type.

 

 

   

History of Botanic Exploration

 

   

The Long Expedition to the Rocky Mountains 1819-1820

 

Literature Cited:
- Goodman, George J., and Cheryl A. Lawson, 1995.  

Major Stephen H. Long, an army engineer, promoted scientific exploration in the west to President James Monroe and Secretary of War John Calhoun. In 1818, he received authorization to form a scientific group and undertake an expedition. His scientific staff included Edwin James, M.D., a twenty-three year old Vermonter, as botanist. The expedition set out on June 6, 1820, from Engineer Cantonment on the Missouri River, about 5 miles below Council Bluffs.

Literature Cited:
- James, Edwin, ed., 1823.

Other articles:
• Account of the Expedition, Volume 2:   5 Jul 2017;

Locations: Inspiration Point.  

The expedition arrived in the Denver area on July 5th, camping on the South Platte River opposite Cannon Ball Creek (now Clear Creek). In the afternoon, James and three others set out for the base of the Rocky Mountains, thinking they were just a few miles away. Eight miles later, they reached the location of present day Inspiration Point and, discouraged that the mountains looked no closer, they turned back to camp. Along the way the party noted a few plants, but did not collect.

Other articles:
• Sheridan Blvd:   at Inspiration Pt Pk;  

At some location on the 5th, James made two collections. One collection was identified by Torrey as Sium latifolium L. Roem. And Schult. Vi. P. 331. Tor. Fl. i. p. 311. Base of the Rocky Mountains. Is listed in Goodman and Lawson (1995) as Sium suave Walter Water Parsnip. Ackerfield (2015) says this taxon does not occur in Jefferson County, and SEINet supports this contention, save for one 1977 collection at a Main Reservoir near Mississipi and Kipling in Lakewood.

Torrey lists Stipa barbata Michx. fl. i. p. 53. as being found on the sources of the Platte and Canadian. He then goes on to observe "… grows with Cenchrus echinatus, and like that plant is very troublesome ; the bearded awns adhering to and penetrating the dress." Goodman and Lawson (1995, p. 210) state that both Stipa barbata and S. juncea, as used by James, are synonyms for Hesperostipa comata (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth.

Locations: Platte Canyon. Roxborough Park. Sheep Mountain.  

On July 6th, they moved to the mouth of Platte Canyon, and explored in the Roxborough Park area. The next day James and several others struggled up the north bank of the South Platte, reaching the southeast slopes of Sheep Mountain.

The southeast slopes of Sheep Mountain are most likely locations for many of James' new species. In particular: Eriogonum umbellatum Torr. “Sulphur Flower,” Physocarpus monogynus (Torrey) Coulter “Mountain Ninebark,” and Acer glabrum Torrey “Rocky Mountain Maple” were most likely collected on Sheep Mountain. James' collection of Cercocarpus montanus Raf. “Alder Leaf Mountain Mahogany” was probably made at the mouth of Platte Canyon. There are several other collections that may have been made in this area, but the time or location may be unclear, or in the case of Rubus deliciousus the material actually collected is unclear.

Literature Cited:
- James, Edwin, ed., 1823.

Other articles:
• Account of the Expedition, Volume 2:  preface;  

In 1823, the “Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains performed in the years 1819, 1820, by order of the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, under the command of Major Stephen H. Long,” in two volumes, and edited by Edwin James was published. The botany of the expedition is not covered in detail in these volumes. There are only a few references or notes to plants collected or seen along the way.

Literature Cited:
- Torrey, John, 1824a.  

John Torrey (1824a) “Description of some new or rare plants from the Rocky Mountains, collected in July, 1820, by Dr. E. James” describes some new plants from Pikes Peak slopes and summit. None of the plants were collected in Jefferson County, Colorado.

Literature Cited:
- Torrey, John, 1824b.  

John Torrey (1824b) “Description of some new grasses, collected by Dr. E. James, during the expedition of Major Long to the Rocky Mountains, in 1819-1820” contains no new grasses from Jefferson County, Colorado.

Literature Cited:
- James, Edwin, 1825.  

In 1825, James published a “Catalogue of Plants Collected During a Journey to and from the Rocky Mountains, During the Summer of 1820.” However, this account does not include any previously undescribed plants.

Literature Cited:
- Torrey, John G., 1828.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Torrey, 1828, publication details;  

Finally, in 1828, Torrey's “Some account of a Collection of Plants made during a journey to and from the Rocky Mountains in the summer of 1820, by Edwin P. James, M. D. Assistant Surgeon U. S. Army.” some of the new taxa from Jefferson County. These collections were made on the southeast slopes of Sheep Mountain, above Waterton Canyon. Some of the new taxa were Acer glabrum Torr. “Rocky Mountain Maple,” Spiraea monogyna Torr. (=Physocarpus monogynus (Torr.) J. M. Coult.) “Mountain Nine-bark,” and Eriogonum umbellatum Torr. “Sulphur-flower Buckwheat” Torrey's caution got the best of him with his acceptance of Cercocarpus fothergilloides Kunth for what later became C. montanus Raf. While none of these plants were collected in Golden by the Long Expedition, there are all quite common here.

Literature Cited:
- Rafinesque, C. S., 1832.

Other articles:
• Atlantic Journal:  107120;  

Rafinesque was pretty unhappy with Torrey being " ...so very cautious that he will not admit any improvement except after long delays and previous precedents …" which left him feeling "… compelled to rectify this omission by forming many new genera and species out of [Torrey's] plants, for my florula Oregonensis." Justifying his action by stating " …hesitation in science is often as injurous as haste. It is even better to have two names for an object than no name at all," Rafinesque published Cercocarpus montanus Raf. in “Twenty new genera of plants from the Oregon Mountains, &c.”

Literature Cited:
- Beaman, John H., 1957.
- Graustein, Jeannette E., 1967.

Locations: Mount Vernon Canyon.  

Two Townsendias are commonly collected in the Golden area: T. grandiflora and T. hookeri. Both were first collected in 1834 by Thomas Nuttall during his journey with the Wyeth expedition from St. Louis, Missouri, to Fort Vancouver, Oregon. Nuttall kept no journal during this trip, so his localities are always a bit of a mystery. Some location data can be derived from his published account and the label data on his specimens. “Plains of the Platte” is probably the most accurate location description for T. grandiflora, whereas "an alpine chain toward the sources of the Platte" is the most descriptive location for T. hookeri. Nuttall's determination of his collection was T. sericea Hook. T. sericea is an illegitimate name and a synonym of T. exscapa (Richardson) Porter.

Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1247, Townsendia grandiflora
Beaman (1957) proposed T. hookeri Beaman as a segregate from T. exscapa, using a collection by Clokey in Mt. Vernon Canyon as his type. Besides its generally smaller size, a distinguishing character of T. hookeri Beaman is its little tuft of twisted cilia at the apex of the phyllaries (Beaman, 1957, Graustein, 1967).

 

Literature Cited:
- Jercinovic, Eugene, n.d..
- Pursh, Frederick, 1814.

Other articles:
• Spur Social Trail:   top of mesa;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1385, 1 Jun 2016;  

The First Collection Made in Golden

The oldest collection from Golden with reliable data is E. L. Greene's collection of Oxytropis lambertii Pursh on May 1, 1870. Greene moved to Colorado in 1870. The location is given simply as “Golden.” This collection is at the Brown University Herbarium, on a voucher with a Hall & Harbour collection made in 1862. While O. lambertii was described by Pursh (1814), it is not a Lewis and Clark collection. Pursh described it from a collection by John Bradbury (1768-1823) on the Missouri River.
Full Size Image
Purple Locoweed (Oxytropis lambertii) on top of North Table Mountain.
Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1385, Oxytropis lambertii

Literature Cited:
- Britton, Nathaniel Lord, 1900.
Full Size ImageE. L. Greene collection of Crataegus succulenta  

There is another plant collection giving Golden as the location that carries an earlier date. It is a anonymous collection of Crataegus occidentalis Britton that gives "By streams near Golden" as the location. The collection date is reported as 1822 by NY, the holder of this voucher.

There is a problem with the collection date, though. Golden was not founded until 1859, when it was named for Thomas L. Golden, who arrived in then-Kansas Territory in 1858. The only collectors in the area near the 1822 date were the Major Stephen Long expedition of 1820. A collection from that expedition would have ended up in the Torrey Herbarium as this specimen did. There is a pencilled notation above "Rev. E. L. Greene" and perhaps that note would shed some light. It is also possible that the label was written and affixed many years after the collection was made. Examining the date hand-written on the label, it appears that it could 1872 rather than 1822. If the date were 1872 then the collector could have been C. C. Parry, E. L. Greene, or possibly someone else.

Britton's (1900) description of C. occidentalis states that the types were “… collected by Prof. E. L. Greene, near Golden, Colo., 1873, along streams, in flower; on river-bank near the Forks of Dismal River, Hooke Co., Nebr., collected by Dr. P. A. Rydberg, July 11, 1893, in fruit.” This seems pretty conclusive, that the collection in question, was likely collected in 1872(3) and that the collector was probably E. L. Greene.

Ackerfield (2015) treats Crataegus occidentalis Britton as a synonym of C. succulenta Schrad., whereas FNANM treats it as a synonym of C. macracantha Loddiges ex Loudon.

   

The Last 50 Years

 

Literature Cited:
- Brunquist, E. H., 1966.  

Ernest H. Brunquist (1888-1978) was curator of botany at the Denver Museim of Nature and Science from the late 1950s to the late 1970s.

Brunquist (1966) prepared a local checklist flora of the Heritage Square area as part of the report on Excavations at Magic Mountain (Irwin-Williams and Irwin, 1966).

Literature Cited:
- Varnell, Jeanne, 1972.

Locations: South Table Mountain.  

The Jefferson Sentinel in July, 1972 ran a long article about South Table Mountain describing its history and the need to save it as park land.

Literature Cited:
- Brown, Georgina, 1976.

Locations: South Table Mountain.  

Georgina Brown's Book, The Shining Mountains, describes a grisly murder that took place on South Table Mountain.

Literature Cited:
- Zeise, Larry Steven, 1976.

Locations: North Table Mountain.  

The Colorado Chapter of the Nature Conservancy funded an ecological survey of North Table Mountain by Larry S. Zeise (1976) under the supervision of John W. Marr of the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.

Literature Cited:
- Kilburn, Paul D., and Sally L. White, 1992.

Other articles:
• North Table Mountain:  Title Page;

Locations: North Table Mountain.  

Paul Kilburn and Sally White (1992) published a short volume on the history and natural features of North Table Mountain. With permission of the authors, I have republished their volume on this website.

Literature Cited:
- Pague, Christopher A., Renee Rondeau, and Mark Duff, 1993.

Locations: North Table Mountain.  

North Table Mountain was described in a report by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program as posessing a Biodiversity rank of B4 (Pague, et al., 1993).

Locations: North Table Mountain. South Table Mountain.
Full Size ImagePoster advertising presentation about South Table Mountain  

In 2001, a presentation by Dr. Robert Raynolds, Loraine Yeatts, and Dr. Kirk Johnson, was made at the American Mountaineering Center describing why the Table Mountains were important to preserve.

Literature Cited:
- Plantae Consulting Services, 2002.

Locations: South Table Mountain.  

Maureen O'Shea-Stone published a vegetation survey report of the portion of South Table Mountain owned by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Plantae Consulting Services, 2002).

Literature Cited:
- Sovell, John, Pam Smith, Denise Culver, Susan Panjabi and Joe Stevens, 2012.

Locations: North Table Mountain.  

The Colorado Natural Heritage Program prepared a survey of critical biological resources for Jefferson County (Sovell, et al., 2012), in which North Table Mountain was upgraded to Biodiversity Rank B3.
  Understanding urban flora …

Literature Cited:
- Clemants, Steven E., and Gerry Moore, 2003.  

 

 

 

   

Useful Publications

 

Literature Cited:
- Harrington, H. D., 1954.  

Harrington's Manual of the Plants of Colorado (1954) is occasionally helpful because it has more extensive descriptions of the taxa. Also, Harrington wrote a natural key rather than the artificial key in Weber & Wittmann (2012) and Ackerfield (2015). One problem is, though, that the progress of science has made some of Harrington's groups obsolete or moved some taxa from one group to another.

Literature Cited:
- Baldwin, Bruce G., Douglas H. Goldman, David J. Keil, Robert Patterson, and Thomas J. Rosatti, 2012.
- Shaw, Robert B., 2008.
- Wingate, Janet L., 1994.  

Shaw's (2008) Grasses of Colorado is typically where I start with grasses. I will then use Ackerfield (2015) or Weber & Wittmann (2012) to confirm a grass determination. Although, for a few collections, most recently one of Elymus lanceolatus, the most straight forward key was found in Wingate (1994) Illustrated Keys to Grasses of Colorado. And, finally, just to insert an element of heresy into the discussion, keying out a brome used in a revegetation project proved to be impossible until I turned to Baldwin, et al. (2012) Jepson Manual of the California Flora.

Literature Cited:
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.  

Weber and Wittmann's Colorado Flora: Eastern Slope (2012, 4th edition) is a highly developed diagnostic manual. It suffers somewhat from an unconventional use of names, though often the authors were simply ahead of their time. However, with a little use, the synonomy with other floras becomes fairly clear. I typically use Weber & Wittmann (2012) to confirm a determination. Sometimes, though, a plant will key out easily in this manual when it has failed in another.

There are several taxa that are not recognized by this flora, but are in Ackerfield (2015). Chief among them are Oenothera biennis and Eriogonum arcuatum. Specimens of those taxa will key out to O. villosa and E. flavum, respectively. This has caused small problems for the author for plants collected on North Table Mountain and in the Deadman Gulch area. For example a specimen collected on North Table Mountain would be keyed out as E. flavum in 2014, when I first began collecting, but as E. arcuatum in 2016. I suspect that a similar dissonance will be found among herbarium vouchers.

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.  

Ackerfield's (2015) Flora of Colorado is, of course, the current best manual for Colorado. Its publication was a great step forward. Like when I used to write computer code, the first version was always serviceable, but each succeeding version was an enormous improvement, and we eagerly await the next edition of Flora of Colorado.

Literature Cited:
- Wingate, Janet L., 2017.  

I have successfully used Wingate's (2017) Sedges of Colorado, and I am still learning my way around the book and sedges. The book is really well-illustrated, in the keys, in the species descriptions, and in the supplemental information.
  Two general books that do not specifically address Colorado flora, but that I find really helpful are:

Literature Cited:
- Harrington, H. D. and L. W. Durrell, 1957.  

Harrington and Durrell (1957) is good introduction to identifying plants, and how to collect them. While the references to floras have become really dated, in the center of the book is a list of 25 questions to be answered when identifying plants. I found this idea, i.e., to examine the plant carefully before opening a flora key was very helpful.

Literature Cited:
- Harris, James G., and Melinda Woolf Harris, 2001.  

Harris and Harris (2nd ed., 2001) is a veritable treasure, providing the basis for consistency in describing plants in a very well illustrated and accessible form.

 

 

   

Methods

Data was collected in two ways: online herbarium record search and collecting plants in the field.

 

   

Herbarium Search

Online herbarium search was performed using SEINet (SEINet Portal Network, 2014-2019). Searches were made two ways, one using the locality name “Golden” and the other using geographic coordinates that include the boundary of Golden s.l.. The collection data was entered a Microsoft Access data base. 1125 collections were found in this way.

 

   

Collecting

 
  Data was also collected by making plant collections and observations in the field. Scientific collecting permits were obtained from the City of Golden, Colorado School of Mines, and Jefferson County Open Space.
  Collections were made when the plants were in a condition that permitted making a good quality collection, such as one containing stem, leaves, flowers, and perhaps seed, and when in sufficient quality that never more than one-tenth of the extant plant material was collected. My data set contains 591 collections that I personally made. The author does not make a practice of seeking out or collecting rare plants.
  Observations were made when the amount of plant material was insufficient, or an easily recognizable plant was not in a condition to make a good quality collection, or if there were already collections of the taxon but at other parts of the parcels. My data set contains 563 observations.
  Observations and collections were recorded in a field notebook at the time made. Geographic location was obtained from a Garmin 76CSx GPS receiver, and downloaded using Minnesota Department of Natural Resources DNRGPS. Notebook and GPS data were stored in a Microsoft Access data base and exported to ArcGIS. Collections were transferred to standard botanical presses from a field press. When dry the collections identified, labelled, and distributed to herbaria.
  I plan to continue collecting around Golden s.l. for the foreseeable future. Therefore, this document will continue to change as time passes.

 

 

   

Results

 

 

   

Collections Found

 

Full Size ImageLocations of georeferenced collections in Golden, before I started collecting.
Full Size ImageLocations of georeferenced collections in Golden, after 2016 collecting season
Full Size ImageLocations of georeferenced collections in Golden, after 2018 collecting season  
A map of known georeferenced plant collections made in or near Golden s.l.is shown at left.
Full Size Image
Locations of georeferenced collections in Golden, after 2019 collecting season

Full Size ImageNumber of Collections per Year in Golden s.l.  
There are about 1,600 collections that have been made in Golden and vicinity. Collecting events have been sporadic at best. This oldest known collection is of Crataegus succulenta made by an unknown collector in 1822. Marcus E. Jones is credited with a number of collections in 1878. A little caution is required for Jones' collections, though, as his localities were often loosely interpreted. Mrs. Ella Bailar made a blip in 1905. Then the collections by Ernest H. Brunquist in support of the Magic Mountain archleogical dig standout. Loraine Yeatts entry into the world of botany is a standout in 1983. Finally, my own work had increased the number of collections by more than 50% at the end of 2018.

   

Major Collectors in Golden and Vicinity

 
 

Loraine Yeatts

  Collections found by collector, as of December 31, 2020:
CollectorNumber of Collections
Tom Schweich835
Loraine Yeatts334
E. H. Brunquist124
Janet L. Wingate104
Anonymous or Unknown58
Hansford T. Schacklette53
J. H. Ehlers49
Stanley Smookler43
Mrs. Ella Bailar33
Marcus E. Jones24
Berta Anderson198
Ira W. Clokey19
William Huestis17
Jim Ratzloff16
Ellsworth Bethel16
Nathaniel Lord Britton15
Peter G. Root14
Will C. Ferril13
R. J. Rondeau11
Earl L. Johnston10
H. D. Harrington10
Others178
Total2034
 

Janet L. Wingate

 

E. H. Brunquist

Ernest Herman Brunquist (1888 - 1978)
m. Esther Mercer, March 22, 1923
1972, botanist for Denver Museum of Natural History.

Literature Cited:
- University of Colorado, College of Liberal Arts, Junior Class, 1909.
Full Size ImageWilliam S. Huestis in 1910.  

William S. Huestis

Sometimes spelled “Heustis,” William S. Huestis collected primarily in 1904-1906, and then again in 1916. There are a total of 766 collections attributed to Huestis. All of his collections are from Colorado and are deposited at University of Colorado, Boulder (herbarium code COLO). He collected mostly around Denver at such places described as “Cherry Creek near Alameda Street” or Berkeley. He must have ridden the street car like Alice Eastwood because there are a number of collections in Jefferson County along Clear Creek, including Wheat Ridge. There are only five collections that specifically say “Golden” and a few more from Lookout Mountain, mountains around Golden. William S. Huestis graduated from the University of Colorado, College of Liberal Arts, in 1910 (The Coloradoan, 1910).

Literature Cited:
- Jones, Marcus E., n.d..  

Marcus E. Jones only visits to the Golden area were in 1878. He writes in his notes
… On the 17th. Got 255 and others in the foothills near Golden and at Golden. On the 20th, got 268, 273 and others at Golden, and 226-238, 246, 256-267, 270-272, 274-275 in Clear Creek Canyon going toward Idaho Springs. … August 1st. Got 528-532 at Idaho Springs, 522-523 at Golden. On the 2nd. 524-527 on the road to Denver. …

 

   

Collections Made

 

 

 

   

Discussion

 

   

Taxa represented by single collections.

 

   

Taxa without infra-specific determinations.

 

 

   

Rare Plants

 
  There are two plants found in Golden s.l. that are ranked as “rare” by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Physaria vitulifera, additional information;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1345, 12 May 2016;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1345, Physaria vitulifera

Area List: Golden.  

Physaria vitulifera Rydb. “Fiddleleaf Twinpod”

Global Rank: G3, State Rank: S3: Vulnerable, found locally in a restricted range.

Reported as an endemic of central Colorado in the Flora of North America (FNA Vol. 7). Known from Boulder, Clear Creek, Douglas, El Paso, Gilpin, Jefferson, Park and Teller counties.

There is also a hybrid, currently designated Physaria ×1, and some current collections determined P. vitulifera may be of that hybrid.

   

Spiranthes diluvialis Sheviak. “Ute Ladies' Tresses”

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Spiranthes diluvialis, additional information;
Full Size ImageSpiranthes diluvialis

Area List: Golden.  

Global Rank: G2G3, State Rank: S2: Widely distributed, but severely threatened where it occurs.

Populations of Ute ladies'-tresses orchids are known from three broad general areas of the interior western United States -- near the base of the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains in southeastern Wyoming and adjacent Nebraska and north-central and central Colorado; in the upper Colorado River basin, particularly in the Uinta Basin; and in the Bonneville Basin along the Wasatch Front and westward in the eastern Great Basin, in north-central and western Utah, extreme eastern Nevada, and southeastern Idaho.

The species is threatened throughout its range by many forms of water developments, intense domestic livestock grazing, haying, exotic species invasion, fragmentation and urbanization in particular.

In Golden s.l., we do not identify locations where this plant has been found.

 

   

Notable Native Plants

Every native plant is notable to a native plant enthusiast. It is hard to pick out just a few for special mention.

 

Literature Cited:
- Zeise, Larry Steven, 1976.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Equisetum laevigatum;

Area List: Golden.  

Equisetum laevigatum A. Braun “Smooth Horsetail”

There is only one collection of a “Horsetail” in Golden s.l., that of “Smooth Horsetail” — Equisetum laevigatum A. Braun — made by the author in the Colorado School of Mines Survey Field.

There is additionally a published report of Equisetum hyemale L. by Ziese (1976) that is supported by a second informal report (Cindy Trujillo, personal communication). Reports or collection of other Horsetails include E. arvense, E. variegatum, and several hybrids. These reports or collections are scattered widely in Jefferson County. Equisetum is found throughout Colorado, though less dense on the eastern plains and in Moffatt County.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Argyrochosma fendleri;

Area List: Golden.  

Argyrochosma fendleri (Kunze) Windham “Fendler's False Cloak Fern”

 

 

Literature Cited:
- Fee, A. L. A., 1852.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Cheilanthes feei;

Area List: Golden.  

Cheilanthes feei T. Moore “Slender Lipfern”

Only one collection of “Slender Lipfern” — Cheilanthes feei T. Moore — in Golden s.l., that from South Table Mountain. There is only one other collection from Jefferson County, made along Clear Creek about four miles above Golden. There are many other collections scattered around Colorado.

First described as Myriopteris gracilis by Fee (1852) citing habitat on rocks around Hillsboro, in North America.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Selaginella underwoodii;

Area List: Golden.  

Selaginella underwoodii Hieron “Underwood's Spikemoss”

One collection on South Table Mountain in a stream gulley.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Cystopteris fragilis;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1447.1, Fern, perhaps Cystopteris fragilis

Area List: Golden.  

Cystopteris fragilis (L.) Bernh. “Brittle Bladderfern”

There are collections of “Brittle Bladderfern” — Cystopteris fragilis (L.) Bernh. — from North and South Table Mountains. This fern is more common in the foothills of Jefferson County than out on the high plains. Common fern in the mountains of Colorado, with a few collections out on the southeast plains.

The fern was first described by Linnaeus (1753) as Polypodium fragile from habitats described as the cooler hills of Europe. Cystopteris was proposed by Bernhardi in 1805, who placed C. fragilis therein. This was done in German which, I confess, I have not tried to translate. The fern is widely distributed in both the northern and southern hemisphere.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Woodsia oregana ssp. cathcartiana`;
Full Size ImageWoodsia in a crevice on west side of North Table Mountain.
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1343, Woodsia oregana subsp. cathcartiana

Area List: Golden.  

Woodsia oregana D.C. Eaton ssp. cathcartiana (B.L. Rob.) Windham “Rocky Mountain Woodsia”

Woodsia oregana D.C. Eaton ssp. cathcartiana (B.L. Rob.) Windham — “Rocky Mountain Woodsia” — is found on North and South Table Mountains. It is probably also in Apex Park and on Lookout Mountain but, so far, has not been collected there. There are a few collections scattered around Jefferson County. Most collections in Colorado are from the Front Range and higher southern mountains, with a few collections out on the eastern plains, mostly in canyons or crevices.

 

Literature Cited:
- Presl, Karl B., 1845.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Azolla mexicana;

Area List: Golden.  

Azolla mexicana C. Presl “Mexican Mosquito Fern”

There is only one collection near Golden s.l. along CO Highway 58 just west of McIntyre Street. This is also the only collection in Jefferson County. There are only a few collections along waterways east of the Rocky Mountain Front Range.

Described by Presl (1845) from plants known from Mexico.

It is not clear to me that A. mexicana C. Presl is in question. Some authors apply A. mexicana Schltdl. & Cham., which is further placed in synonomy with A. microphylla Kaulf.

 

Literature Cited:
- Linne´, Carl von, 1753.
- Pursh, Frederick, 1816.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Juniperus communis var. depressa;

Locations: Colorado School of Mines Survey Field. Eagle Ridge. Tin Cup Ridge.

Area List: Golden.  

Juniperus communis L. var. depressa Pursh “Common Juniper”

The Common Juniper — Juniperus communis var. depressa — is found around hilly edges of Golden s.l. such as Tin Cup Ridge or the Survey Field at the base of the Rocky Mountain Front Range scarp. It is likely additionally found at higher elevations in the Front Range, but this very common juniper is clearly undercollected, perhaps because it is so common. For example, the author has seen it at Buffalo Creek, but did not collect it.

The species and all the varieties are called the “Common Juniper.” The species name is a Linnean name published 1753 in his Species Plantarum noting that the plant occurs in the northern woods of Europe. Frederick Pursh (1814) proposed the variety name depressa from plant he had seen live in New York and Maine. The varietal name depressa refers to the overall shape of the plant, giving the appearance of being flattened from above.

 

Literature Cited:
- Sargent, Charles Sprague., 1897.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Juniperus scopulorum;
Full Size ImageJuniperus scopulorum Sarg. (Rocky Mountain Juniper) in Chimney Gulch

Area List: Golden.  

Juniperus scopulorum Sarg. “Rocky Mountain Juniper”

The Rocky Mountain Juniper — Juniperus scopulorum Sargent — is found in all the hilly areas around Golden s.l., from Tin Cup Ridge on the south to Dakota Ridge on the north. The highly visible ‘Lollipop Tree’ on the west rim of North Table Mountain is a Rocky Mountain Juniper.

The taxon was originally treated as J. virginiana L. or the Red Cedar. C. S. Sargent (1897) recognized J. scopulorum as a separate species. The Rocky Mountain Juniper is found as far east of South Dakota and Nebraska, where it is known to hybridize with its eastern relative J. virginiana in zones of contact in the Missouri River basin. To the west, J. scopulorum is known to occur in Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona, though not California. Hybrids of J. scopulorum and J. osteosperma are known from from Walnut Canyon [Arizona?] north into Utah and east to Mesa Verde.

 

Literature Cited:
- Brewer, W. H., Sereno Watson, and Asa Gray, 1880.
- Gernandt, David S., Gretel Geada Lopez, Sol Ortiz Garcia, and Aaron Liston, 2005.
- Lawson, Peter & Son, 1836.
- Willyard, Ann, et al., 2017.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Pinus ponderosa;
• Tilting Mesa Trail:   along trail;

Area List: Golden.  

Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson & C. Lawson. “Ponderosa Pine”

Like the Rocky Mountain Juniper, the Ponderosa Pine — Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson & C. Lawson — is found on all the hilly areas around Golden s.l., except perhaps South Table Mountain. There is one tree on top of North Table Mountain near the radio tower. These single trees are usually treated as somewhat suspicious as having been planted. At other places such as Dakota Ridge, Windy Saddle Park, Tin Cup Ridge, and Apex Park, there are small natural groves.

The Ponderosa Pine was one of several trees that David Douglas (1799-1834) introduced into cultivation in England following his second expedition to the Pacific Northwest. Another of Douglas' introductions was the Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco). The pine species was described from specimens grown in England and grown in botanic or agricultural gardens. The published description was by Peter Lawson and his son (1836) from plants still in pots at his Agricultural Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland. This was supplemented by a larger specimen growing in the Caledonian Horticultural Society's Gardens, Inverleith Row, now part of the Royal Botanic Garden, also in Edinburgh, Scotland. The specific epithet ponderosa refers to the density of the “… timber said to be so ponderous as almost to sink in water …”

Several varieties of P. ponderosa have been described, and those in Colorado are generally known as variety scopulorum Engelmann in S. Watson (Brewer, Watson, and A. Gray, 1880, vol. 2, pg. 126) though the taxonomy of this complex is far from resolved. Some recent evidence suggests that our variety scopulorum might be better treated at the rank of species (Willyard, et al., 2017). At the generic level, a phylogeny of Pinus was published by Gernandt, et al. (2005).

Full Size Image
Ponderosa pine on top of North Table Mountain.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca;
• Mesa Top Trail:   along trail;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1502, 12 Jul 2016;

Locations: North Table Mountain Park.
Full Size ImageDouglas Fir above the Mesa Top Trail

Area List: Golden.  

Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco var. glauca (Beissn.) Franco. “Douglas Fir”

There is one tree on North Table Mountain and then, of course, many more on Lookout Mountain.
Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1502, Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1840-1841.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1842-1849.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1848b.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Salix exigua;

Area List: Golden.  

Salix exigua Nutt. “Coyote Willow”

The Coyote Willow — Salix exigua — can be found along practically every watercourse in Golden s.l. Of course, it is rarely collected because it is so common. There are reports of it on North Table Mountain, and the writer's collection at Ramstetter Reservoir on the northwest side of the mesa. But, otherwise, no one bothers to collect it except, maybe, in the heavily-collected places, such as Rocky Flats.

It is the only willow that is found in every county of Colorado.

The species was descibed by Nuttall (1842) in his extension of Michaux's North American Sylva as being found in the Territory of Oregon without any additional information about collector, location, date, &c. It it also a little curious that Nuttall mentions no willows in either his report of his residency in Oregon (Nuttall, 1840) or in his descriptions of plants collected by William Gambel (Nuttall, 1848).

Full Size Image
Pistillate catkin of Coll. No. 1880, Salix exigua
Full Size Image
Staminate catkin of Coll. No. 1880, Salix exigua

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1848b.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Quercus gambelii, additional information;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2288, 20 May 2020;  Coll. No. 2391, 17 Jul 2020;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2391, Quercus gambelii

Area List: Golden.  

Quercus gambelii Nutt. “Gambel Oak”

Gambel Oak — Quercus gambelii — is found mostly in southern Jefferson County and, until recently, not in Golden. However, the writer found it recently in a canyon in Apex Park. It is also found on Dinosaur Ridge just south of Interstate 70 and therefore just south of the Golden city limits. The Gambel oaks on Eagle Ridge Drive near Kinney Run were planted.

The oak is broadly distributed throughout the American Southwest. For example, the writer has also collected it in the Spring Mountains, Clark County, Nevada, about 45 km. northwest of Las Vegas.

The oak was named by Thomas Nuttall (1848) for its first collector William Gambel who at the age of eighteen set off on his own for California and to collect plants and other specimens for Nuttall. The collection was made on the banks of the Rio del Norte, which we now call the Rio Grande River, presumably somewhere near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Rio Grande does not actually pass through Santa Fe, but passes some 40 km. to the west.

Full Size Image
Coll. No. 2288, Quercus gambelii

 

Literature Cited:
- DeCandolle, Augustus Pyramus, 1857.
- Der, Joshua P., and Daniel L. Nickrent, 2008.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.
- Piehl, Martin A., 1965.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Comandra umbellata pallida, additional information;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1373, 29 May 2016;

Area List: Golden.  

Comandra umbellata (L.) Nutt. ssp. pallida (A. DC.) Piehl. “Pale Bastard Toadflax”

Pale Bastard Toadflax — Comandra umbellata (L.) Nutt. Ssp. pallida — is common in Golden s.l. and frequently collected. The species is found all across the United States and into Canada, while the subspecies found in Colorado, subspecies pallida, is found between Kansas/Nebraska west to Nevada.

In Jefferson County, it has been collected at Rocky Flats, Ranson/Edwards and North and South Table Mountains, though not at Chatfield, which seems a little odd.

Nuttall (1818) first published the name Comandra umbellata, using a Linnaeus name of Thesium umbellatum as a basionym. C. pallida was proposed by DeCandolle (1857) from a collection made in present-day Nez Perce County, Idaho, by missionary Reverend Henry H. Spalding. Piehl (1965) reduced C. pallida to a subspecies of C. umbellata noting that the various subspecies intergrade. There is thus one species of Comandra in North America with three subspecies, and one subspecies in the Balkan region of Europe. Recent phylogenetic work (Der and Nickrent, 2008) supports a Comandra clade within the Santalaceae.

Comandra umbellata has a couple of interesting characters. First, it is parasitic as apparently is much of the Santalaceae, parasitizing other plants from rhizomes. Second, hairs growing from the petals to the back side of the stamens is somewhat unique. They also play a role in forest pathology as alternate hosts of the comandra-pine blister rust. Finally our subspecies, pallida dies back to the ground each year, resprouting each spring from subterranean buds.

Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1373, Comandra umbellata subsp. pallida
Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1373, Comandra umbellata subsp. pallida

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Reveal, J. L., 2005.
- Sitgreaves, L., 1853.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Eriogonum alatum, additional information;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2390, 17 Jul 2020;

Area List: Golden.  

Eriogonum alatum Torr. “Winged Buckwheat”

Very distinctive and common around Golden s.l. is the Winged Buckwheat — Eriogonum alatum Torr. — that has a unique appearance among the wild buckwheats. It has a rosette of leaves, and a single tall flower stalk with flowers dispersed in a much branched inflorescence. The plant is monocarpic, meaning that it grows for several seasons, then flowers once, dying in the process.

Winged buckwheat is found sparingly in Jefferson County, primarily in drier sites along the Rocky Mountain foothills. More broadly, the winged buckwheat is found throughout the Colorado Plateau and nearby places.

The taxon name was published by John Torrey in 1857, from a collection made along the Zuni River, in Arizona or New Mexico. Torrey notes that the unique plant was seen in the field as early as 1842 by John Frémont and by other early plant explorers, though he makes no explanation for the delay in publishing a name for the plant.

Winged buckwheat is sometimes treated as Pterogonum alatum (Torr.) Gross, e.g., for Colorado in Weber & Wittmann (2012). However, other authors, e.g., Ackerfield (2015) and Reveal in Flora of North America (Reveal, 2005), place the taxon in Eriogonum reducing Pterogonum to the rank of subgroup.

Full Size Image
Eriogonum alatum
Full Size Image
Voucher of Coll. No. 2390, Eriogonum alatum

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds., 1993+.
- Greene, Edward L., 1901.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Toxicoscordion paniculatum;  Eriogonum arcuatum, additional information;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1401.1, 8 Jun 2016;  Coll. No. 1695, 29 Jun 2017;

Area List: Golden.  

Eriogonum arcuatum Greene “Baker's Buckwheat”

Baker's Buckwheat — Eriogonum arcuatum Greene — is one of two similar-appearing caespitose wild buckwheats found in Golden s.l. The other is the Sulphur-Flower Buckwheat — Eriogonum umbellatum — that is discussed below. The two wild buckwheats can be confused for each other if they are not examined carefully. In E. arcuatum the perianth is hairy externally whereas E. umbellatum is glabrous externally, in addition to other differences.

E. arcuatum has been widely collected in Golden s.l., from Mt. Vernon Canyon in the south, on North and South Table Mountains, to North Washington Open Space. It probably can also be found in the other open spaces as well.

There are also observations of E. flavum on North Table Mountain, and a collection there by the writer. Yet today we might identify those plants as E. arcuatum. Users of Weber & Wittmann (2012) would have applied E. flavum to them, because those authors treat E. arcuatum as a local race rather than a separate species. Ackerfield's (2015) Flora of Colorado and Reveal's (2005) treatment of Eriogonum in Flora of North America treat E. arcuatum and E. flavum as a distinct species. This leaves the vouchers E. flavum and the SEINet data base prepared from those vouchers in a confused state, in that some of those carrying the name E. flavum could very well be E. arcuatum.

Full Size Image
Inflorescence of Coll. No. 1401.1, Eriogonum arcuatum
Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1695, Eriogonum arcuatum

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Eriogonum effusum, additional information;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2431.1, 19 Aug 2020;
Full Size ImageEriogonum effusum along trail at Red Rocks
Full Size ImageEriogonum effusum along trail at Red Rocks

Area List: Golden.  

Eriogonum effusum Nutt. “Spreading Buckwheat”

Eriogonum effusum Nutt. — “Spreading Buckwheat” — is quite different than the other wild buckwheats found in Golden s.l. As a member of subgroup Eucycla, this one is a subshrub rather than low or spreading.

Nuttall (1848) described Eriogonum effusum in his description of plants collected by William Gambel. It is, however, a Nuttall collection made on the “… Platte plains …” and therefore on his 1834 journey across the Rocky Mountains.

E. effusum is the only representative of Eriogonum subgroup Eucycla that is found in Golden s.l.

Full Size Image
Voucher of Coll. No. 2431.1, Eriogonum effusum

 

Literature Cited:
- Reveal, James L., 2004.
- Torrey, John G., 1828.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Torrey, 1828, publication details;  Eriogonum umbellatum, additional information;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1445, 22 Jun 2016;   Coll. No. 1445.2, 22 Jun 2016;  

Eriogonum umbellatum Torr. “Sulphur-Flower Buckwheat”

Quntessential Jefferson County plant because the type was collected in Jefferson County by Edwin James, M.D. in 1820. The species is native to western North America from California to Colorado to central Canada, where it is abundant and found in many habitats. This is an extremely variable plant and hard to identify because individuals can look very different from one another. Also, there are a great many varieties. Nearly all of the sulphur-flower buckwheats in Golden s.l. will be var. umbellatum.

There is another variety, var. ramulosum, that Jim Reveal (2004) described from Mount Vernon Canyon on the southern edge of Golden. The inflorescence is branched and there is an additional whorl of bracts below the branches of the inflorescence. The writer has also found this variety in the north part of Apex Park, about 3˝ km. north of Mount Vernon Canyon.

Full Size Image
Habitat of Coll. No. 1445, Eriogonum umbellatum
Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1445, Eriogonum umbellatum var. umbellatum

 

Literature Cited:
- Moulton, Gary E., 1999.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.
- Pursh, Frederick, 1816.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Atriplex canescens, additional information;

Locations: Big Bend of the Missouri.  

Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt. “Four-wing Saltbush”

One collection on South Table Mountain (Peter Root, 83-12) made just below the cliff forming the edge of the mesa top. The author has also seen it along Alameda Parkway on the west side of Dinosaur Ridge.

Otherwise, around Jefferson County, it has been collected in the heavly collected places, such as Chatfield and Rocky Flats.

In North American, this taxon is found from the 95th Meridian (east-central Oklahoma and Texas), west to the southern Coast Ranges of California, and from the north near Calgary, Alberta, south to central Mexico.

The name, as Calligonum canescens, was published by Pursh (1814-1816, v. 2., p. 370) from a collection in the Lewis & Clark herbarium that was made at the Big Bend of the Missouri River on September 21, 1804 (Moulton, 1999). Nuttall (1818, p. 197) moved the plant to Atriplex.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Amaranthus arenicola;

Area List: Golden.  

Amaranthus arenicola I. M. Johnst. “Sandhill Pigweed”

There is one collection of “Sandhill Pigweed” — Amaranthus arenicola I. M. Johnst. — from the Table Mountain Ranch at the northwest corner of North Table Mountain. That is the only collection of the species in Jefferson County, while the species is found on the eastern plains up to the foothills.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Amaranthus blitoides;

Area List: Golden.  

Amaranthus blitoides S. Watson “Mat Amaranth”

I have never seen “Mat Amaranth” — Amaranthus blitoides S. Watson — in my travels around Golden s.l. Or … have I … and overlooked a non-descript weed in the dirt. There are only a few collections around Jefferson County of this species that is scattered around Colorado, except for northwest Colorado.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Amaranthus powellii;

Area List: Golden.  

Amaranthus powellii S. Watson “Powell's Pigweed”

There are just two collections of “Powell's Pigweed” — Amaranthus powellii S. Watson — from Golden s.l., and just two more from all of Jefferson County. Colorado collections are concentrated around Denver and Fort Collins (weedy areas?) and otherwise scattered around Colorado except, again, the northwest.

The pigweed was named for Col. John Wesley Powell, who brought seeds from Arizona.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Froelichia gracilis;

Area List: Golden.  

Froelichia gracilis (Hook.) Moq. “Slender Snakecotton”

“Slender Snakecotton” — there is a name for you! The scientific name — Froelichia gracilis (Hook.) Moq. — is not quite so distinctive. Regardless, there are a few collections in Golden s.l., one from the Peabody Museum archeological dig at Heritage Dells, and one from the intersection of Highways 6 and 58. That area, of course, was recently reconstructed with the development of the Basecamp Apartments, and the Gateway to Clear Creek Canyon parking lot. There are a few other collections scattered around the county, and most of the state collections are on the eastern plains and the base of the Front Range.

The type is a Drummond collection from Texas.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Abronia fragrans, additional information;
• Colorado State Highway 69:   near Gardner;

Area List: Golden.  

Abronia fragrans Nutt. ex Hook. “Snowball Sand Verbena”

One collection (Ehlers, 8393, 1942) from waste places in Golden. Not seen since. The distribution of Abronia fragrans in the metro Denver area supports the presence of this taxon in Golden s.l. and suggests it may be extirpated here.

Widely distributed in Colorado, primarily on the plains, though also found in the valleys of the Colorado, Gunnison, and Dolores Rivers, and the headwaters of the Huerfano River.

The name was published by Hooker (1853) from a description by Nuttall. Nuttall collected the plant on the sand hills of the Lower Platte, though he does not identify the expedition or the year. It is assumed (by me and others) that the collection was made on his trip to Oregon Territory in 1834. Otherwise, the earliest known collection would be on Fremont's expedition to the Rocky Mountains, 1842. A voucher from Fremont's expedition (NY3370444) was in Torrey's Herbarium, so it would seem that Torrey knew the plant and the name but deferred to Nuttall to publish it.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Phemeranthus parviflorus, additional information;

Locations: North Table Mountain.
Full Size ImagePhemeranthus parviflorus on top of North Table Mountain.

Area List: Golden.  

Phemeranthus parviflorus (Nutt.) Kiger “Sunbright”

Sunbright — Phemeranthis parviflorus — is a tiny little perennial that I probably walked over many times before noticing it. The highest density I have seen is in basalt gravel on the southwest quadrant of the top of North Table Mountain, in the same place that Eriogonum arcuatum and E. umbellatum grow together in abundance. It has also been collected on top of South Table Mountain.

It was first collected by Thomas Nuttall on the Arkansas River on his 1818-1820 trip there, and published by Torrey and Gray (1838-1843) as Talinum parviflorum. However, recent molecular and morphological evidence show that the New World genus Phemeranthus in phylogenetically distinct from the generally Old World genus Talinum.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Clematis columbiana, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Clematis columbiana (Nutt.) Torr. & A. Gray “Rock Clematis”

There are three collections on Lookout Mountain that may be within Golden s.l.. I have not seen this; C. ligusticifolia is more common around Golden.

The plant was originally named Atragene columbiana Nutt. from a Nathaniel Wyeth collection on his return from Oregon Territory in 1833. Atragene is a Linnean name that DeCandolle reduced to a section of Clematis in 1818. Weber & Witmann (2012) continue to treat it at the rank of genus. Ackerfield (2015) accepts Clematis columbiana (Nutt.) Torr. & A. Gray, placing Atragene columbiana Nutt. in synonomy.

 

Literature Cited:
- Torrey, John, and Asa Gray, 1838-1843.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Clematis orientalis;  Clematis ligusticifolia, additional information;
• Kinney Run Trail:   near Eagle Ridge Drive;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1970, Clematis ligustifolia

Area List: Golden.  

Clematis ligusticifolia Nutt. “Western White Clematis”

Fairly common around Golden s.l. Typically I associate this species with more mesic sites perhaps along the edges of riparian zones. However, I have also collected it in a partially-filled in mining pit on Eagle Ridge.

The name was published by Torrey & A. Gray (1838, v. 1, p. 9) in their Flora of North America from a manuscript by Thomas Nuttall. Nuttall was describing a plant he collected on the Snake River in 1834 on his trip to Oregon Territory.

The third Clematis found in Golden is C. orientalis, a List B noxious weed.

 

Literature Cited:
- Jabbour, Florian, and Susanne S. Renner, 2012.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Delphinium carolinianum, additional information;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1440, 15 Jun 2016;  Coll. No. 2359, 12 Jun 2020;

Area List: Golden.  

Delphinium carolinianum ssp. virescens (Nutt.) R.E. Brooks “Plains Larkspur”

The Plains Larkspur — Delphinium carolinianum subsp. virescens — is found occasionally throughout Golden s.l. I think it is a little later than Nuttall's Larkspur and, just when it seems there will not be any, the Plains Larkspurs begin to bloom. It has been collected or observed in all the open spaces of Golden. Generally, the Plains Larkspur is found on the plains and just barely into the foothills. There are a few collections west of the Continental Divide. However, these may be outliers or misidentifications.

Of the three larkspurs known from Golden s.l., this is the only one that is usually white. The other two D. geyeri and D. nuttallianum are typically blue.

The Plains Larkspur was first described by Thomas Nuttall (1818), as being on the plains of the Missouri. Presumably, Nuttall also collected it. However, so far I have not found a collection or reference to a type.

Delphinium is very much a global genus and phylogenetic data (Jabbour and Renner, 2012) suggests that it originated in early Oligocene, possibly in the Mediterranean region, and crossed into North America from Asia in the Pliocene.

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Coll. No. 2359, Delphinium carolinianum subsp. virescens
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Coll. No. 1440, Delphinium carolinianum subsp. virescens

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Myosurus minimus, additional information.;
• North Table Loop:   near Golden Cliffs;
• Field Notes:  Thursday, June 2nd;
Full Size ImageTiny Mousetails (Myosurus minimus) on top of North Table Mountain.

Area List: Golden.  

Myosurus minimus L. “Tiny Mousetail”

Around Golden s.l., this tiny little plant has been found only on top of North Table Mountain, in drying ponds and muddy places. A little more broadly, in Jefferson County, it has been collected numerous times at Rocky Flats. Otherwise widely scattered throughout Colorado except the eastern plains. Native to Colorado, and much of the United States and Europe.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ownbey, Gerald B., 1958.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Argemone polyanthemos;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1484, 6 Jul 2016;
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1484, Argemone polyanthemos

Area List: Golden.  

Argemone polyanthemos (Fedde) G.B. Ownbey “Crested Prickly Poppy”

Very pretty and very stickery, “Crested Prickly Poppy” — Argemone polyanthemos (Fedde) G.B. Ownbey — is found in all the open spaces of Golden s.l. This vegetative parts of this very pretty flower are so prickly that it is sometimes mistaken for a cactus. Be a little careful of the orange latex-bearing sap as it can be very sticky.

The first collection of A. polyanthemos was very likely made by Edwin James, MD, on June 20, 1820, just west of Gothenburg, Nebraska. Unfortunately, James gave it the name of A. alba, a name that was not available because it was previously used by Rafinesque (1817). Torrey & Gray (1838) do not mention James' prickly poppy in their Flora of North America and the plant was treated as A. mexicana var. albiflora until Fedde (1909).

I have placed those collections determined A. intermedia Sweet and A. intermedia auct. non Sweet into A. polyanthemos. A. intermedia is a confused name that cannot be resolved to any species of Argemone with assurance (Ownbey, 1958).

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Flower of Coll. No. 1484, Argemone polyanthemos
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Leaf-cutting bee cutting semi-circular segments from petals of Argemone polyanthemos.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Corydalis aurea, additional information;
• North Table Loop:   along trail;
• Field Notes:   along trail;
Full Size ImageCorydalis aurea along the North Table Loop.

Area List: Golden.  

Corydalis aurea Willd. “Scrambled Eggs”

An annual or possibly biennial found occasionally on North and South Table Mountains. Bright yellow flowers.

The plant was first collected in Canada, and taken to the Berlin garden, grown there, and described by Willdenow (1809).

Scattered around Jefferson County, and widely distributed in Colorado in mountains and foothills, with a few found out in the plains, in places such as blow-out sand, or along streams.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Boechera fendleri, additional information;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1812, 10 May 2018;   Coll. No. 1839, 17 May 2018;
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1839, Boechera fendleri
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1812, Boechera fendleri

Area List: Golden.  

Boechera fendleri (S.Watson) W.A.Weber “Fendler's Rockcress”

“Fendler's Rockcress” — Boechera fendleri (S.Watson) W.A.Weber (Syn: Arabis fendleri (S. Watson) Greene ) — has been collected on North and South Table Mountains. It is probably more probably more common than the number of collections would suggest, but is easily overlooked. See the photo at left; there are six plants in bloom between the field press and field notebook.

The author has also seen it at Ranson/Edwards and there are several collections from Rocky Flats. Found in Colorado from the Front Range to the west, and also in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.

The type was collected by Augustus Fendler (no. 27, 1847) in New Mexico. The holotype is at GH, isotypes at K, MO, UC. Gray did not publish the name in Plantae Fendlerianae Novi-Mexicanae (Gray, 1849), nor did he refer to Fendler coll. no. 27. It was not published until Watson's (1878) revision of Gray's Syntopical Flora of North America.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Erysimum asperum, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Erysimum asperum (Nutt.) DC. “Prairie Wallflower”

Collected on Lookout Mountain and below Lookout Mountain (probably the Survey Field), with several older collections giving a location of “Golden” Also reported on North Table Mountain.

Collected thoughout Colorado, though more commonly along the northern Front Range and in southeast Colorado. Tends to occur more on prairies, sand dunes, roadsides, bluffs, sandhills along stream banks, knolls, and open plains. through west-central North America.

Less common in Golden s.l. than E. capitatum from which it differs by details of the fruit, or the position in which the fruit is held, but is more commonly found on hillsides, sry slopes, and meadows.

 

Literature Cited:
- Hitchcock, A. S., 1894.
- Torrey, John, and Asa Gray, 1838-1843.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Rorippa sinuata, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Rorippa sinuata (Nutt.) Hitchc. “Spreading Yellowcress”

First published as Nasturtium sinuatum Nutt. ex. Torr. & A. Gray (1838). Collections by Nuttall are from his Arkansas and overland trail trips. Moved to Rorippa by Hitchcock (1894) Spring Flora of Manhattan without comment or explanation. The Manhattan referred to is the one in Kansas.

It seems a little suspicious to me that there is one collection each of three different Rorippa in Golden s.l. Of course, mine is correctly identified.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Jamesia americana;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2236, Jamesia americana.

Area List: Golden.  

Jamesia americana Torr. & A. Gray “Fivepetal Cliffbush”

“Fivepetal Cliffbush” — Jamesia americana Torr. & A. Gray — has been collected on South Table Mountain and in the mouth of Clear Creek Canyon. It should also be found in Apex Park. There are collections throughout the foothills region of Jefferson County. Generally found along in the Front Range of Colorado.

The plant was collected by Edwin James MD in 1820, but the location of the collection was not recorded. It could have been anywhere from Adams County south along the Front Range to Fremont County.

 

Literature Cited:
- Torrey, John, and Asa Gray, 1838-1843.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Heuchera parvifolia, additional information;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1655, Heuchera parvifolia

Area List: Golden.  

Heuchera parvifolia Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray “Littleleaf Alumroot”

Found on or below cliffs of North and South Table Mountains, usually in damp places. Also known from Rocky Flats and Chatfield.

Published by Torrey & A. Gray (1838) from a manuscript by Thomas Nuttall. Collections noted by Nuttall in the Blue Mountains of Oregon and by Dr. Edwin James in the Rocky Mountains.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Micranthes rhomboidea, additional information;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2262, 6 May 2020;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2262, Micranthes rhomboidea
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2262, Micranthes rhomboidea

Area List: Golden.  

Micranthes rhomboidea (Greene) Small “Diamondleaf Saxifrage”

 

 

Literature Cited:
- Pursh, Frederick, 1814.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Ribes aureum;

Area List: Golden.  

Ribes aureum Pursh “Golden Currant”

Ribes aureum Pursh — “Golden Currant” — is common on slopes of Golden s.l. I have collected it on North Table Mountain, in Kinney Run, and Apex Park. It has also been seen or collected on South Table Mountain and Windy Saddle Park. It is generally found alond the foothills of the Front Range in Jefferson County, and scattered through most areas of Colorado, except the highest mountains.

Described by Pursh (1814) from Lewis & Clark collections and garden-grown specimens that he had seen.

 

Literature Cited:
- Douglas, David, 1830.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Ribes cereum;

Area List: Golden.  

Ribes cereum Douglas “Wax Currant”

Very common small shrub in Golden s.l., “Wax Currant” — Ribes cereum Douglas — has been collected in all identified localities within the city. Known from nearly all places in Jefferson County, and nearly every county of Colorado.

Described by David Douglas (1830) from plants grown from seed he took to England in October 1827. He described the plant as occurring along the Columbia River from the Great Falls to the sources in the Rocky Mountains.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1834a.
- Roemer, M. J., 1847.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Roemer, 1847, publication details;  Notes on Amelanchier alnifolia;
• North Table Loop:   at Coll. No. 1800;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1800, 7 May 2018;  Coll. No. 2253, 30 Apr 2020;  Coll. No. 2267, 9 May 2020;

Locations: Chimney Gulch. Dakota Ridge. North Table Mountain Park. South Table Mountain Park. Tin Cup Ridge.

Area List: Golden.  

Amelanchier alnifolia (Nutt.) Nutt. ex M. Roem. “Saskatoon Serviceberry”

Amelanchier alnifolia (Nutt.) Nutt. ex M. Roem. “Saskatoon Serviceberry” and the related Amelanchier utahensis Koehne are found occasionally around Golden.

Around Golden, the author has collected A. alnifolia at North Table Mountain, Tin Cup Ridge, and Dakota Ridge. Loraine Yeatts made several collections at South Table Mountain, and there is one collection in Chimney Gulch by Hazel Schmoll. The specimens seen by the author are all quite small, usually on the order of one meter tall and the same in diameter.

There are also two collections of A. utahensis, one from Lookout Mountain, and one from “hog back near Golden.” This could be Dakota Ridge (North Hogback) or Tin Cup Ridge, the northward extension of Dinosaur Ridge into Golden. The author has not seen this serviceberry in Golden, but is familiar with it from collections made in eastern California.

Saskatoon Serviceberry has been collected sparingly around Jefferson County. In Colorado, it is found from the Rocky Mountain Front Range and in montainous areas to the west. On a national basis, be serviceberry is found in western North America.

Some authors, such as Ackerfield (2015), treat A. utahensis as a variety of A. alnifolia, explaining that the two taxa overlap in morphology and distribution, and that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to assign one name or the other to some specimens.

The author citation “(Nutt.) Nutt. Ex M. Roem.” is curious. It seems that Nuttall (1818) first published Aronia alnifolia Nutt. from plant he saw in 1811 near Fort Mandan. Then Nuttall (1834a) used the name Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt. from plants collected for him by Nathaniel Wyeth in 1833. It would seem that he accepted that the taxon should be in Amelanchier, but his simple listing of the name without specifying the basionym (a first name for the taxon) was an invalid naming, or nom. inval. It was not until Roemer (1847) that Amelanchier alnifolia was validly published from a description by Nuttall.

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Coll. No. 2253, Amelanchier alnifolia
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Habitat of Coll. No. 1800, Amelanchier alnifolia

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Cercocarpus montanus, additional information;
Full Size ImageMountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) on South Table Mountain.
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2184, Cercocarpus montanus in fruit.

Area List: Golden.  

Cercocarpus montanus Raf. “Alder-Leaf Mountain Mahogany”

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Coll. No. 2270.1, Cercocarpus montanus in bloom.
 

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Lis, Richard, 2015.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Holodiscus dumosus, additional information;

Locations: Welch Ditch.

Area List: Golden.  

Holodiscus dumosus (Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray) A. Heller “Rock Spiraea”

Rock Spiraea — Holodiscus dumosus (Nutt. ex Torr. & A. Gray) A. Heller — is found occasionally on rocky slopes. Expected mainly on canyon slopes, such as such as those along Welch Ditch in the mouth of Clear Creek Canyon, it is also found on the west-facing slope of North Table Mountain, and the east-facing slope of Eagle Ridge.

Most of the Jefferson County collections are near Golden, though there are two collections in southwest Jefferson County. More broadly in Colorado, it is found throughout the southern Rocky Mountains

To borrow from Kermit and Cookie Monster of Sesame Street, the hoped-for rectangle of nomenclature and taxonomy in Holodiscus is a wreck and a tangle. Weber & Wittmann (2012) accept only H. discolor, whereas Ackerfield (2015) accepts only H. dumosus. Meanwhile, Lis (2015) in his recently published treatment of Holodiscus in Flora of North America reduces H. dumosus to a variety of H. discolor. To be sure, the history of these names is a kind of mess, in part, for example, because Nuttall's manuscript describing H. dumosus was mentioned Torrey & Gray's (1838) Flora of North America but not published until 1847 in Hooker's London Journal of Botany.

I think similarly the common name of “Rock Spiraea” is unfortunate because it conflicts with the more-descriptive use of the same common name for Petrophytum caespitosum (Nutt.) Rydb.

 

Literature Cited:
- Coulter, John M., 1891.
- Torrey, John G., 1828.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Physocarpus monogynus;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1397, 8 Jun 2016;   Coll. No. 1658, 5 Jun 2017;  8 Jun 2018;

Area List: Golden.  

Physocarpus monogynus (Torr.) J.M. Coult. “Mountain Ninebark”

Found in the foothills and on slopes of the mesas generally in a slightly more moist or protected location.

Described by John Torrey (1828) as Spiraea monogyna from an Edwin James, MD, collection July 7, 1820, in ravines of the foothills of Sheep Canyon on the north side of South Platte Canyon. Placed in the genus Physocarpus by Coulter (1891)

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Habitat of Physocarpus monogynus on North Table Mountain.
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Coll. No. 1658, Physocarpus monogynus
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Coll. No. 1397, Physocarpus monogynus

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Potentilla fissa, additional information;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1099, Potentilla
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1099, Potentilla fissa

Area List: Golden.  

Potentilla fissa Nutt. ex Torr. & A.Gray “Bigflower Cinquefoil”

Collected on most mesas, mountains, and ridges around Golden s.l.. Found throughout Jefferson County and probably more common that the number of collections (48) would indicate.

Published in Torrey & A. Gray's (1838) Flora of North America from an manuscript written by Thomas Nuttall. Recent phylogenetic work suggests that this is one of several Potentilla that should be treated as a Drymocallis.

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Coll. No. 1911, Potentilla fissa

 

Literature Cited:
- Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds., 1993+.
- Greene, Edward L., 1906c.
- Torrey, John, and Asa Gray, 1838-1843.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Potentilla rivalis, additional information;

Locations: Ranson/Edwards Homestead Open Space Park. Vaca Lake.

Area List: Golden.  

Potentilla rivalis Nutt. “Brook Cinquefoil”

One collection by the author at Vaca Lake on top of North Table Mountain. There are seven collections in Jefferson County, most at Rocky Flats, but also one by the author at Ranson/Edwards Homestead Open Space.

Described in Torrey & A. Gray (1838) Flora of North America from a Thomas Nuttall manuscript. Nuttall gives the location as along the Lewis River. Both the present-day Snake River and the Salmon River have been called the Lewis River.

Ertter and Reveal (FNANM, 1993+) write in their discussion of Potentilla section Rivales that Potentilla rivalis is one of several similar-appearing Potentilla the others being P. norvegica, and P. supina. So similar that they have at times been placed in a single group, such as Tridophyllum (E. L. Greene, 1906). As it happens, I have collected all three species in northern Jefferson County, P. norvegica and P. rivalis on North Table Mountain, and P. rivalis and P. supina (ssp. paradoxa) at Ranson/Edwards Homestead Open Space Park. However, the physical similarity is not supported by molecular data, which instead scatters Potentilla norvegica, P. rivalis, and P. supina among the core Potentilla. Ertter and Reveal further state that existing herbarium annotations of P. biennis, P. rivales, and P. norvegica are not reliable, although the three species can be readily be readily distinduighed by the vestiture of proximal petioles and stems.

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Coll. No. 1682.1, Potentilla rivalis
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Ternate leaf of Coll. No. 1682.1, Potentilla rivalis

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Prunus americana, additional information;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2443, 4 Sep 2020;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2443, Prunus americana
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2443, Prunus americana

Area List: Golden.  

Prunus americana Marshall “American Plum”

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Coll. No. 2443, Prunus americana
 

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1813.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Astragalus crassicarpus, additional information;

Locations: North Washington Open Space.

Area List: Golden.  

Astragalus crassicarpus Nutt. “Groundplum Milkvetch”

This interesting milkvetch has an inflated fruit that look like large grapes or small plums. It is widespread around Golden, but not often seen. The best time to see this milkvetch in the field is mid- to late-May. When dry the fruits are still recognizable, just brown and hard.

First collected by Thomas Nuttall “ … above the River Platte … ” probably in 1811, it was published in a list of plants for sale from the garden of John Fraser in London (Nuttall, 1813).

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Astragalus crassicarpus “Groundplum Milkvetch”
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Habitat of Astragalus crassicarpus on North Table Mountain.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1813.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.
- Pursh, Frederick, 1814.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Glycyrrhiza lepidota;

Area List: Golden.  

Glycyrrhiza lepidota Pursh “American Licorice”

Collected or observed on North and South Table Mountains and at Tin Cup Ridge. Likely in all Golden s.l. open spaces. Collections of the plant have been made throughout Colorado though most commonly along the Front Range foothills from Colorado Springs north, where it is usually found along natural or artificial watercourses and on floodplains.

Nuttall (1818) credits John Bradbury as first detecting this plant around Saint Louis. Though a name for the plant was first published by Nuttall (1813) this name is treated as invalid, and we use Pursh's (1814) name.

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Coll. No. 1222, Glycyrrhiza lepidota

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Lupinus argenteus;

Area List: Golden.  

Lupinus argenteus Pursh “Loosely Flowered Silver Lupine”

 

 

Literature Cited:
- Colorado State University, 2019.

Other articles:
• Spur Social Trail:   top of mesa;
• Field Notes:  Thursday, June 2nd;
Full Size ImagePurple Locoweed (Oxytropis lambertii) on top of North Table Mountain.

Area List: Golden.  

Oxytropis lambertii Pursh “Purple Locoweed”

Quite common, collected in most open spaces around Golden. The first plant collected in Golden s.l. (Edward L. Geeene, May 1, 1870). Toxic to cattle, sheep, horses, and elk. All plant parts contain Swainsonine, an indolizide alkaloid that inhibits an enzyme essential for normal sugar metabolism in cells.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Nelson A., 1898.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Thermopsis rhombifolia, additional information;
• Glossary:  divaricate;

Area List: Golden.  

Thermopsis rhombifolia var. divaricarpa (A. Nelson) Isely “Spreadfruit Goldenbanner”

Found mostly meadows or somewhat mesic sites among the ridges and mesas around Golden s.l., such as North and South Table Mountains, and Tin Cup Ridge. Widely distributed throughout Jefferson County, sometimes in small colonies.

There are three different forms of this plant in Colorado, distinguished by the shape of the fruit. Sometimes the three forms are treated as varieties of a single species, sometimes as species in their own right. In Golden s.l., the fruit sticks straight out from the stem, or is maybe curved upwards slightly. This would be the form divaricarpa, originally proposed by Aven Nelson (1898). Our current Flora of Colorado (Ackerfield, 2015) treats divaricarpa as a variety of Thermopsis rhombifolia.

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Thermopsis rhombifolia var. divaricarpa, in flower, no fruit yet.
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Patch of Thermopsis rhombifolia var. divaricarpa, Coll. No. 1347.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ewan, Joseph A., 2005.
- Torrey, John, and Asa Gray, 1838-1843.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Vicia ludoviciana;

Area List: Golden.  

Vicia ludoviciana Nutt. “Louisiana Vetch”

Only one collection under Castle Rock on South Table Mountain, and another in Jefferson County at Chatfield. In Colorado uncommon in meadows and dry hillsides.

The plant was first described by Torrey & A. Gray (1838) from a manuscript by Thomas Nuttall. Nuttall collected the plant on the Red River, but also refers to Mr. Tainturier, a resident of New Orleans who corresponded with Hooker (Ewan, 2005). A Dr. Leavenworth also sent some material from Texas to Torrey & A. Gray

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Andres-Hernandez, Agustina Rosa, Teresa Terrazas, Gerardo Salazar, and Helga Ochoterena, 2014.
- Baldwin, Bruce G., Douglas H. Goldman, David J. Keil, Robert Patterson, and Thomas J. Rosatti, 2012.
- Barkley, Fred Alexander, 1937.
- Torrey, John, and Asa Gray, 1838-1843.
- Watson, Sereno, 1871.
- Weber, William A., 1989.
- Yi, Tingshuang, Allison J. Miller, and Jun Wen, 2007.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:   Rhus trilobata, additional data;
• Field Notes:  20 Jun 2020;

Area List: Golden.  

Rhus trilobata Nutt. “Skunkbush”

Rhus trilobata Nutt. Ex Torr. & Gray “Skunkbush” is a common shrub from West Texas to southern California, and throughout the Rocky Mountain to the upper Missouri River. In the Rocky Mountain foothills near Golden, it is found everywhere, but rarely dominates the landscape. Common names are Skunkbush, Skunk Bush, Skunkbush Sumac, and Lemonade-bush. It has also been called Squawbush in the past, but that is now recognized as a perjorative name. “Lemonade”-names are probably better reserved for R. integrifolia.

First collected in the Rocky Mountains by Thomas Nuttall in 1834, it was described by Nuttall, then published by Torrey and Gray (1838) in their Flora of North America.

R. trilobata is sometimes reduced to the rank of variety or, once, subspecies under R. aromatica Aiton. See for example Watson (1871), Weber (1989), and Baldwin et al. (2012). Other authors retain R. trilobata at the rank of species, such as Barkley (1937) and our current Flora of Colorado (Ackerfield, 2015). Recent papers (Yi, et al., 2007 and Andres-Hernandez, et al., 2014) about the phylogeny of Rhus determined from molecular and structural data analyze both R. aromatica and R. trilobata as distinct species. While the studies show the two species to be closely related, the studies also show they are no more closely related than others, such as R. integrifolia and R. ovata.

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Rhus trilobata at the southern end of the Survey Field.
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Rhus trilobata at Ranson/Edwards.

 

Literature Cited:
- Rydberg, Per Axel, 1900.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Toxicodendron rydbergii;

Area List: Golden.  

Toxicodendron rydbergii (Small ex Rydb.) Greene “Western Poison Ivy”

Found in many places in Golden s.l., there are no collections of “Western Poison Ivy” — Toxicodendron rydbergii (Small ex Rydb.) Greene. I have never collected it, but I suppose it's time to screw up my courage, glove up, and collect. The very few collections around Jefferson County show that it is widely distributed. Similarly, the plant is widely distributed in Colorado, except the northwest corner.

First described as Rhus Rydbergii Small and published by Per Axel Rydberg (1900) in his Catalogue of the Flora of Montana and Yellowstone National Park. Greene (1905) resurrected Miller's (1754) genus of Toxicodendron and moved many Rhus American plants there.

 

Literature Cited:
- Torrey, John G., 1828.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Torrey, 1828, publication details;  Notes on Acer glabrum;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1738, 15 Aug 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1738, Acer glabrum

Area List: Golden.  

Acer glabrum Torr. “Rocky Mountain Maple”

Quntessential Jefferson County plant because the type was collected in Jefferson County by Edwin James MD in 1820. In Golden s.l. it has been found on North and South Table Mountains, and Apex Gulch.

 

Literature Cited:
- Fraser, John, 1813.
- Moulton, Gary E., 1999.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Sphaeralcea coccinea, additional information;
• Field Notes:  24 May 2018;

Area List: Golden.  

Sphaeralcea coccinea (Nutt.) Rydb. “Scarlet Globemallow”

Often called “Cowboy’s Delight,” found throughout Golden s.l. open spaces, sometimes as a single small delicate plant, sometimes as a larger plant with an extensive root system.

Collected first by Lewis & Clark in 1806 along the Marias River, Montana on their return from the Pacific Coast (Moulton, 1999). Collected again by Nuttall in 1811 along the Missouri River north to Fort Mandan. It was Nuttall's collection published first in Fraser's (1813) Catalogue as Malva coccinea.

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Sphaeralcea on the lowest slopes of North Table Mountain.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Gray, Asa, 1849.
- Hufford, Larry, John J. Schenk, and Joshua M. Brokaw, 2017.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1848b.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Mentzelia multiflora, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Mentzelia multiflora (Nutt.) A. Gray “Adonis Blazing Star”

One of five different Mentzelia collected in Golden s.l. Three collections in foothill sites, such as Clear Creek Canyon, Apex Gulch, and on Lookout Mountain.

Farther afield in Jefferson County it has been found in Genesee Park and Centennial Cone Open Space.

First published by Nuttall (1848b) from plants collected by William Gambel along the Rio Grande near Santa Fé, New Mexico. Nuttall (1848) placed this taxon in Bartonia, which is probably the Bartonia of Muhl. ex Willd. (1801) and not the Bartonia of Pursh (1812). Bartonia is still used as one of five section names of Mentzelia (Hufford, et al., 2017).

Gray (1849) in Plantć Fendleriana, a partial catalogue of plants collected by Augustus Fendler in 1847, placed this taxon in Mentzelia multiflora (Nutt.) A. Gray.

Most authors retain all the Mentzelia s.l. in a single name (Ackerfield, 2015, and Hufford, et al., 2017). An exception is Weber & Wittmann (2012) who segregate most of the Colorado “Mentzelia” into the genus Nuttallia Raf., some into Acrolasia and only one into Mentzelia

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Coryphantha missouriensis;
• Field Notes:   18 May 2018;

Locations: North Washington Open Space.
Full Size ImageCoryphantha missouriensis

Area List: Golden.  

Coryphantha missouriensis (Sweet) Britton & Rose “Missouri Foxtail Cactus”

A very low-growing cactus that is also easily overlooked or stepped upon. Unique in that the red fruits develop in the spring a year after flowering.

The “Missouri” name refers to the Missouri River that was a thoroughfare of transportation during the early 19th century, long before the State of Missouri was admitted to the Union in 1821.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Britton, N. L., and J. N. Rose, 1919-1923.
- Fraser, John, 1813.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Coryphantha vivipara, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Coryphantha vivipara (Nutt.) Britton & Rose “Beehive Cactus”

Seen in multiple places around Golden s.l., usually on ridges or rocky places, but generally not in low or grassy places. In Jefferson County, also collected at Chatfield. Probably more common than the number of collections would indicate. However, many collectors including the author are reluctant to collect cactus because of their rariety.

First collected by Nuttall near the Mandan villages and published in Fraser's (1813) Catalogue. Subject to some confusion about recognition of species because it's form varies widely over a broad distribution, from southern Canada to northern Mexico, it was placed in Coryphantha vivipara by Britton & Rose (1913). Since then, it has bounced back and forth between Coryphantha and Escobaria several times, but for now Colorado authors (Ackerfield, 2015; Weber & Wittmann, 2012) accept Coryphantha vivipara.

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Small Corypantha vivipara in bloom beside Utah Highway 21
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Obs. No. 1553, Coryphantha vivipara

 

Literature Cited:
- Engelmann, George, 1848.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Echinocereus viridiflorus;
• Field Notes:   Obs. No. 1471, 29 May 2016;
• US Interstate 25:   at Wolf Ck;

Locations: Wolf Creek.

Area List: Golden.  

Echinocereus viridiflorus Engelm. “Nylon Hedgehog Cactus”

A very small beehive-shaped cactus, sometimes growing in very dense clusters. Seen on North and South Table Mountains, and North Washington Open Space.

Found in the intensely-collected places of Jefferson County, such as Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms. Common on the plains and mountain valleys of eastern Colorado.

Recognized as a new genus and species and published by George Engelmann (1848) from collections made at Santa Fe and on the Santa Fe Trail at Wolf Creek by Agustus Fendler in 1847.

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Obs. No. 1471, Echinocereus viridiflorus

 

Literature Cited:
- Engelmann, George, 1850.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Opuntia macrorhiza;

Locations: Guadalupe River.

Area List: Golden.  

Opuntia macrorhiza Engelm. “Western Pricklypear”

There are two Opuntias or Pricklypears that are common in Golden s.l. Both are scattered in all the open spaces, and sometimes are found growing together.

“Western Pricklypear” — Opuntia macrorhiza Engelm. — has been found on North and South Table Mountains, Dakota Ridge, North Washington Open Space, and the Survey Field. The pricklypear has been found in all the intensely-collected localities in Jefferson County. It is probably more common that the number of collections (n=17) would indicate; collecting these cacti is a difficult and prickly activity. Most of the collections are along the Front Range and foothills with a few collections in the Colorado mountain valleys.

This cactus was first described by George Engelmann (1850) from a collection by F. Lindheimer on the Guadalupe River of west Texas. Some manuals apply a common name of “Twistspine Pricklypear.” I do not perceive the spines to be twisted, at least not in the sense that the awns of some grasses are twisted, and think that Ackerfield's (2015) use of “Western Pricklypear” would be preferred. Observations of O. compressa are assumed to be O. macrorhiza.

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Coll. No. 2371, Opuntia macrorhiza
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Obs. No. 1540, Opuntia macrorhiza
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Coll. No. 1948, Opuntia macrorhiza

 

Literature Cited:
- Haworth, Adrian Hardy, 1819.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Opuntia polyacantha;

Area List: Golden.  

Opuntia polyacantha Haw. “Plains Pricklypear”

Like the preceeding, the “Plains Pricklypear” — Opuntia polyacantha Haw. — is found in most localities in Golden s.l. with collections specifically from North and South Table Mountain, Dakota Ridge, North Washington Open Space, and Deadman Gulch (Kinney Run). The distribution of Plains Pricklypear in Jefferson County is roughly the same as Western Pricklypear. In Colorado there are many collections from the plains, foothills, and mountain valleys.

First recognized as a species by Thomas Nuttall (1818) in his Genera of North American Plants as Cactus ferox, although that name was not available because it had been previously used by Willdenow (1814). Haworth (1819) provided a valid name, citing both Nuttall's name and a specimen grown in the Physic Garden of Chelsea along the Thames River in London.

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Obs. No. 1427, Opuntia polyacantha
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Coll. No. 2445, Opuntia polyacantha

 

Literature Cited:
- Engelmann, George, 1863.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Pediocactus simpsonii;
• Cty Rd 93:  Matthews / Winters Park;
• Field Notes:   Obs. No. 1086, 25 Apr 2015;

Locations: Mount Vernon.

Area List: Golden.  

Pediocactus simpsonii (Engelm.) Britton & Rose “Mountain Ball Cactus”

Known from North and South Table Mountains, and Dakota Ridge. An iconic, easily recognized cactus found in open, dry places throughout much of Colorado.

The cactus was named for Captain J. H. Simpson who led an expedition to Utah Territory in 1859. Collections were made in Butte Valley and Kobeh Valley of today's Nevada by Henry Engelmann, and named by his brother, George Engelmann (1863). A variety was collected at Mount Vernon, Jefferson County, by Parry, Hall and Harbour, though the variety is not currently accepted because the cactus is highly variable throughout its range.

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Pediocactus simpsonii (Nutt.) Haw.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Oenothera cespitosa, additional information;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1407, Oenothera cespitosa var. macroglottis

Area List: Golden.  

Oenothera cespitosa Nutt. “Tufted Evening Primrose”

“Tufted Evening Primrose.” — Oenothera cespitosa Nutt. — and two of its varieties have been collected on North and South Table Mountains, and on Lookout Mountain. There are only a few (25) collections of O. cespitosa in Jefferson County, and none at the intensely-collected sites of Rocky Flats or Chatfield.

The caespitose Oenothera at Rocky Flats have been O. howardii and O. flava. At Chatfield O. albicaulis, O. brachycarpa, and O. howardii have been collected. The species seems to be found primarily in the American Cordillera and western Great Plains.

First collected and described by Nuttall in Fraser's (1813) Catalogue who does not identify the location of his collections, though it was likely on the upper Missouri River. This is one of Nuttall's names that have stood the test of time.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Aralia nudicaulis;

Area List: Golden.  

Aralia nudicaulis L. “Wild Sarsaparilla”

Two collections in Golden s.l., one in Vidler's Gulch, the other in a generic Lookout Mountain location. Found in lower elevations of the Front Range of Jefferson County, and the most of Colorado, and not out on the plains.

 

Literature Cited:
- Coulter, John M., and Joseph N. Rose, 1888.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Aletes acaulis;
Full Size ImageApiaceae Aletes acaulis

Area List: Golden.  

Aletes acaulis (Torr.) J.M. Coult. & Rose “Stemless Indian Parsley”

Found along the cliffs of North and South Table Mountains, and steep rocky slopes above Welch Ditch. In Jefferson County, from Bear Creek North, as are most collections in Colorado, except a scattered few on cliffs south and west of Denver.

Finding a appropriate name for this plant was quite a challenge and, at one time, it was known simultaneously by names in three different genera, all published by A. Gray. For this reason Coulter & Rose (1888) published a new genus just for this species.

Unfortunately, recent phylogenetic work (Sun & Downie, 2010) suggests that Aletes and associated taxa of Lomatium, Cymopteris, and Musineon are in quite a muddle, and we may soon see a reorganization.

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Coll. No. 1321, Aletes acaulis

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Harbouria trachypleura;

Area List: Golden.  

Harbouria trachypleura (A. Gray) J.M. Coult. & Rose “Whiskbroom Parsley”

Common in Golden s.l. having been collected on North Table Mountain, through Kinney Run, to Apex Park and Tin Cup Ridge. Curiously, it has not been collected in South Table Mountain. There are currently collections from most areas of Jefferson County. The plant is found along the Front Range from Colorado Springs north with a few scattered collections to the south.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Ligusticum porteri;

Area List: Golden.  

Ligusticum porteri J.M. Coult. & Rose “Porter's Licorice-Root”

There are records of two collections of “Porter's Licorice-Root” — Ligusticum porteri J.M. Coult. & Rose — in the Golden area. Presumably these were from Lookout Mountain, although all location information about this species is redacted. While reasonably widely distributed, the species is threatened by wild-collecting. It is the roots, known as “osha,” that are used for medicinal purposes and so commercial harvests are very likely to be harmful to local populations. Only Ligusticum porteri is deemed “true” osha. The root is considered an immune booster and aid for coughs, pneumonia, colds, bronchitis, and the flu. It’s also used to relieve indigestion, lung diseases, body aches, and sore throats.

Not rated for rariety by CNHP. Rated as S2 – Imperiled, by NatureServe. Global status G3 – Vulnerable.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Lomatium orientale;

Area List: Golden.  

Lomatium orientale J.M. Coult. & Rose “Salt-and-Pepper”

The common name I started with for Lomatium orientale J.M. Coult. & Rose was “Northern Idaho Biscuitroot.” Turns out, though, that the plant doesn’t grow in Northern Idaho, and by its scientific name might be called “Western Biscuitroot” However, out current manual of Colorado flora (Ackerfield, 2015) gives a common name of “Salt-and-Pepper,” an allusion to the dappled appearance of the inflorescence.

This is a very common early perennial in Golden s.l. that has been collected pretty much everywhere from Dakota Ridge in the north to Tin Cup Ridge in the south.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Musineon divaricatum;

Area List: Golden.  

Musineon divaricatum (Pursh) Raf. “Leafy Wildparsley”

Much less common than some of the preceeding Carrot family representatives, “Leafy Wildparsley” — Musineon divaricatum (Pursh) Raf. — has been collected at only two sites in Golden s.l.: Deadman Gulch and South Table Mountain. In Jefferson County it is found only at the base of the Front Range and out on what used to be the plains. The state distribution is similar, though the distribution on the plains is spotty.

First recognized by Pursh (1814) from a collection by Bradbury “… in upper Louisiana.”

 

Other articles:
• Tin Cup Ridge (social trail):   along trail;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1355, 21 May 2016;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1355, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Area List: Golden.  

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Sprengel “Bearberry”

Collected on Lookout Mountain and Tin Cup Ridge. Golden s.l. is a little lower than its usual range.

 

Literature Cited:
- Linne´, Carl von, 1753.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Apocynum cannabinum;

Area List: Golden.  

Apocynum cannabinum L. “Indian Hemp”

One collection from South Table Mountain, and a report from North Table Mountain. The name is a Linnaean (1753) name, who cited habitat in Canada and Virginia.

 

Literature Cited:
- Greene, Edward L., 1893.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Apocynum ×floribundum;

Area List: Golden.  

Apocynum ×floribundum Greene “Dogbane”

Every “Dogbane” that I have collected in Golden s.l. and along the Front Range has turned out to be the hybrid — Apocynum ×floribundum Greene. I'm not sure whether that says more about the plants or my identification skills. Regardless, my collection in Golden s.l. was on North Table Mountain, whereas the next, A. cannabinum has been reported for North Table Mountain, and collected on South Table Mountain.

The plant was first recognized by Greene (1893) from specimens in the southern Sierra Nevada of Kern County, California. It has been described as a variety of A. cannabinum by Jepson (1939). and as a variety of A. medium by Munz (1965). The Jepson Manual of California (Baldwin, 2012) treats it as a synonym of A. androsaemifolium.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Asclepias incarnata;

Area List: Golden.  

Asclepias incarnata L. “Swamp Milkweed”

 

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Asclepias pumila;
Full Size ImageAsclepias pumila growing in my parkway.
Full Size ImageAsclepias pumila growing in my parkway.

Area List: Golden.  

Asclepias pumila (A. Gray) Vail “Plains Milkweed”

Collected on North and South Table Mountains, the “Plains Milkweed” — Asclepias pumila (A. Gray) Vail — is very small and unassuming, leading me to suggest it is often overlooked. For example, I know of some rescue collecting done at the corner of US Highway 6 and Heritage Road that resulted in a large clump being moved to a private garden.

First described as a depauperate or dwarf form of A. verticillata L. by Gray (1876). This makes a lot of sense because the leaves are whorled, a fairly uncommon character of milkweeds. Britton & Brown (1898) elevated variety pumila to the rank of species without comment.

 

Literature Cited:
- Goodman, George J., and Cheryl A. Lawson, 1995.
- Torrey, John G., 1828.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Asclepias speciosa;

Area List: Golden.  

Asclepias speciosa Torr. “Showy Milkweed”

Tall, large-flowered, and with a distinctive seed pod covered with tubercules, the “Showy Milkweed” — Asclepias speciosa Torr. — is very widely distributed in Golden s.l., Jefferson County and Colorado.

First described by John Torrey (1828) from a collection by Edwin James, MD. The type was collected on June 14, 1820, as the Stephen H. Long expedition traveled south from the Loup River to the Platte through Merrick County, Nebraska (Goodman and Lawson, 1995, p. 130-131).

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Seed pod of Asclepias speciosa
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Seed of Asclepias speciosa

 

Literature Cited:
- Rafinesque, C. S., 1808.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Asclepias viridiflora;
Full Size ImageObs. No. 1933, Asclepias viridiflora

Area List: Golden.  

Asclepias viridiflora Raf. “Green Comet Milkweed”

Less common than the preceding, the “Green Comet Milkweed” — Asclepias viridiflora Raf. — has been found on North and South Table Mountains, and in Apex Park.

There are two similarly named milkweeds, e.g., A. viridis and A. viridula, but those two species are not known from Colorado.

A. viridiflora has been seen in flower in Apex about the 10th of June, and in fruit on North Table Mountain near the end of July.

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Fruit of Asclepias definitely, maybe A. viridiflora

 

Literature Cited:
- Brown, Robert, 1810.
- Pursh, Frederick, 1814.
- Ro¨mer, Johann Jacob, Joseph August Schultes, Julius Hermann Schultes, Jurt Polycarp Joachim Sprengel, and J. G. Cotta, 1820.
- SEINet, 2019+.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Convolvulus arvensis;  Evolvulus nuttallianus Roem. & Schult., additional data;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2319, 6 Jun 2020;

Area List: Golden.  

Evolvulus nuttallianus Roem. & Schult. “Shaggy Dwarf Morning Glory”

In the Morning-Glory family (Convolvulaceae) most everyone recognizes Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) a ubiquitous noxious weed, and a plague on every well-tended garden.

It may come as a surprise, then, that there is also a small native perennial morning-glory that is common in sandy places on the plains and found occasionally in the lower foothills. It is the “Shaggy Dwarf Morning Glory” (Evolvulus nuttallianus). Found first by Thomas Nuttall in 1811 on the banks of the Missouri River, it was first named E. argenteus by Frederick Pursh (1814) in his North American Flora. However, the name was previously published by Robert Brown (1810) in his natural history of Australia and Tasmania, then called New Holland and Van Dieman's Land, respectively. Therefore, Pursh's name was illegitimate. Roemer & Schultes (1820) rectified this when they published volume 6 of the 16th edition of Linneaus' Systema Vegetabilium, by applying a new name of E. nuttalianus after, of course, the name of the original collector, Thomas Nuttall.

The first collection in Colorado was made by George Vasey of Powells Colorado Exploring Expedition of 1868. There are vouchers at PRBU, NY, and SJNM (SEINet, 2020). It is not known where in Colorado the collection was made.

In Jefferson County, there are seven collections, one of which is mine from the North Washington Open Space. Loraine Yeatts collected the plant on South Table Mountain in 1983. Four collections were made at Rocky Flats, probably the best studied piece of ground in Jefferson County, and there is one collection from Chatfield.

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Flower of Coll. No. 2319, Evolvulus nuttallianus
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Coll. No. 2319, Evolvulus nuttallianus

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Aliciella pinnatifida, additional information;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1741, Aliciella pinnatifida

Area List: Golden.  

Aliciella pinnatifida (Nutt. ex A.Gray) J.M.Porter “Sticky Gilia”

Collections from North Table Mountain and Heritage Square. The lack of collections, especially from South Table Mountain, is surprising. Tends to be found more in the foothills of Jefferson County than out on the Great Plains, although it is found on the plains in counties north and south of Jefferson County.

First described as Gilia pinnatifida by Asa Gray (1870) in his Revision of the Polemoniaceae (Phlox family) from a Nuttall collection in Gray's herbarium. There must have been some description written by Nuttall for Gray to give credit to Nuttall. The oldest known extant collection was by Frémont 1842 from the Torrey Herbarium (NY3261962). The oldest collection in the Gray Herbarium is by Fendler 16 June 1847 (GH1154924). This collection was designated as a lectotype by Porter 15 January 2002. Moved to a recircumscribed Aliciella by Porter (1998) because molecular data showed the group was more closely allied to Loeselia and Ipomopsis than to Gilia. Aliciella, by the way, is named for Colorado's Alice Eastwood.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Collomia linearis, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Collomia linearis Nutt. “Tiny Trumpet”

Two collections in Golden s.l., both from approximately the same area: Apex Gulch, west southwest of the Magic Mountain archeological dig. Also found at Rocky Flats, Chatfield, and various places in the Jefferson County foothills. Throughout the Colorado Rocky Mountains, but only out on the Great Plains on the Palmer Divide.

Nuttall (1818) proposed both the genus and specific name, and they have withstood the test of time.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Ipomopsis spicata, additional information;

Locations: Scotts Bluff.

Area List: Golden.  

Ipomopsis spicata (Nutt.) V.E. Grant “Spiked Ipomopsis”

Not often collected around Golden s.l., those collections that have location data are from South Table Mountain and above Deadman Gulch at the edge of the survey field. There are two historic collections that imply they were made at the base of Lookout Mountain, which probably means the Survey Field or Beverly Heights.

A little more broadly, there are collections in Jefferson County from the extensively-collected localities of Rocky Flats and Chatfield.

First described as Gilia spicata by Nuttall (1848b) from a collection on the Platte River at Scott's Bluff, Nebraska.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Phlox longifolia;  

Phlox longifolia Nutt. “Longleaf Phlox”

There were two PhloxPhloxes ? — that were reported for Golden s.l. They are Phlox longifolia Nutt. “Longleaf Phlox” and P. multiflora A. Nelson “Mountain Phlox.” As it happened, both were found only on the north slopes of North Table Mountain. And with two doubtful exceptions, these are the only Phlox collected in Jefferson County.

It is always a little suspicious when two uncommon, similar-appearing species are found in close proximity, and nowhere else. It is possible that one or more of the collections are misidentified and that only one species is found at this location. In this case, I think the single voucher determined P. longifolia is actually P. multiflora and I have changed my records. However, the voucher needs to be reviewed in the herbarium and a determination made whether to retain the determination P. longifolia or annotate it as P. multiflora.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Nelson, Aven, 1898a.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Phlox multiflora;

Area List: Golden.  

Phlox multiflora A. Nelson “Mountain Phlox”

Mountain Phlox — Phlox multiflora — is the other Phlox that has been reported for Golden s.l. on the north side of North Table Mountain. I think that it is the only Phlox found there and reports of P. longifolia are misidentifications. Comparing the various floras (Weber & Wittman, 2012, and Ackerfield, 2015), it is easy to confuse the two taxa. The two taxa are very similar, and in fact P. multiflora was a segregate of P. longifolia (Nelson, 1898). Regardless, there are three collections of P. multiflora from the north side of North Table Mountain, the only place the taxon has been found in Jefferson County.
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Coll. No. 1814, Phlox, tentatively determined as P. multiflora.
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Coll. No. 1653, Phlox multiflora

 

Other articles:
• Tilting Mesa Trail:   at pond;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1959, 21 Jun 2018;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1959, Heliotropium curassavicum

Area List: Golden.  

Heliotropium curassavicum L. “Seaside Heliotrope”

Not seen in the Metro Denver since 1916 when Wm. Huestis collected it in the Berkeley suburb of Denver. Rediscovered on North Table Mountain in 2018 by Bob Legier. There are just a few small plants.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Dracocephalum, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Dracocephalum parviflorum Nutt. “American Dragonhead”

For Golden s.l., known only from a Marcus E. Jones collection from “… foot hills near Golden …” Also found at Rocky Flats and Chatfield, which have been intensely collected.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1848b.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Monarda pectinata, additional information;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2349, Monarda pectinata

Area List: Golden.  

Monarda pectinata Nutt. “Plains Beebalm”

Collected on North and South Table Mountains and mid-slope in Apex Park. Fairly broadly distrubuted in Jefferson County and into the foothills. Around Colorado found mostly in the foothills and valleys, with some on the eastern plains.

Described by Nuttall (1848b) from plants collected by William Gambel.

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Coll. No. 2349, Monarda pectinata
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Coll. No. 1236, Monarda pectinata

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1834b.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Physalis longifolia, additional information.;

Area List: Golden.  

Physalis longifolia Nutt. “Longleaf Groundcherry”

So far, there is only one collection of P. longifolia from Golden s.l. That would be the author's collection in 2020 made on a waste pile near Dakota Ridge (northernmost Golden). There is also a collection of P. virginiana, the next taxon, from South Table Mountain and an observation of same from North Table Mountain. Ackerfield (2015) notes that many collections determined P. virginiana are actually P. longifolia, so perhaps all these collections need to be revisited.

Nuttall (1834) described P. longifolia from a collection made on the banks of the Arkansas, near Belle Point.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Physalis virginiana, additional information.;  

Physalis virginiana Mill. “Virginia Groundcherry”

There is one collection of a Physalis for which one voucher is determined P. virginiana. It happens to be from South Table Mountain. The other voucher is filed without annotation under P. longifolia. There are no other collections from Jefferson County.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Solanum triflorum, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Solanum triflorum Nutt. “Cutleaf Nightshade”

Described by Nuttall (1818) as a weed in the gardens of the Mandans and Minitarees near Fort Mandan. In Golden s.l. it is considered native but with weedy tendencies. It has been collected at 9th and Ford Streets and at the Magic Mountain archeological dig.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.
- Schneider, Adam C., 2016.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Orobanche fasciculata, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Orobanche fasciculata Nutt. “Clustered Broomrape”

This parasitic plant called “Clustered Broomrape.” — Orobanche fasciculata Nutt. — is rarely seen in many places around Golden s.l. from Dakota Ridge in the north to Eagle Ridge and Kinney Run in the south. The plant itself is not rare, but two things make it unusual to see: 1) its unassuming appearance, and 2) individual plants are widely spaced in the field. Nevertheless there are eight collections in Golden, and three more observations.

Other collections in Jefferson County include Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms, two of the best-collected places in Colorado, and a few other collections up into the foothills. Collected pretty much throughout Colorado, except for the southeastern plains.

Named by Nuttall (1818) for plants he collected around Fort Mandan on the Missouri River. Nuttall (1818) also proposed O. ludoviciana that he collected at Fort Mandan. This species is not known from Jefferson County, though there are collections from Boulder and Denver Counties.

Orobanche is a Linnean (1753) genus name applied originally to three species in Europe, and two from Virginia when it was an English colony. Recent phylogenetic work (Schneider, 2016) suggests that the North American Orobanche form a monophyletic clade. Aphyllon Mitch. has been proposed as the generic name for the clade.

Among Colorado authors, Weber & Wittmann (2012) split the Colorado Orobanche s.l. between Aphyllon and Orobanche, whereas Ackerfield (2015) keeps them together.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Orthocarpus luteus, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Orthocarpus luteus Nutt. “Yellow Owls Clover”

There are two collections of Yellow Owls Clover — Orthocarpus luteus Nutt. — one that is definitely from Golden s.l. and one that may be from Golden. The questionable one is an F. W. Pennell (#6380, 11 Aug 1915) collection made at “knolls along streamlet … southwest of Golden. The definite collection was by E. H. Brunquist (#135, 4 Aug 1960) near Apex Gulch in connections with the Peabody Museum excavation at Magic Mountain.

There are a few other collections scattered around Jefferson County, in places such as Genessee, Flying J Ranch Park, and Meyer Ranch Park. The author has also collected it at Buffalo Creek Recreation Area. Yellow Owls Clover is found occasionally throughout central and western Colorado, and more broadly the western states.

The genus Orthocarpus and O. luteus was published by Nuttall (1818) who carefully distinguished it from Melampyrum a genus that Nuttall had experience with, but does not occur in Colorado. The common name of Melampyrum is “cow wheat.”

 

Literature Cited:
- Fernandez-Mazuecos, Mario, Jose Luis Blanco-Pastor, and Pablo Vargas, 2013.
- Sutton, D. A., 1988.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Dakota Ridge;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2077, 14 Jun 2019;

Locations: Dakota Ridge.

Area List: Golden.  

Linaria canadensis (L.) Dum.-Cours. var. texana (Scheele) Pennell “Blue Toadflax, Texas Toadflax”

A commonly used synonym for this plant is Nuttallanthus texanus (Scheele) D. A. Sutton. This name was proposed by Sutton (1988) to separate the new world Linaria from the old world Linaria. However, recent phylogenetic work (Fernandez-Mazuecos, et al., 2013) shows that the new world plants need to be retained in the new world genus Linaria.
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Coll. No. 2077, Linaria canadensis var. texana
  One collection in 1915 alongside the railroad at the west edge of Golden, and then not seen again until 2019 when it was found on Dakota Ridge. Also collected by Loraine & Dick Yeatts at White Ranch. Generally thought to be an annual.

 

Literature Cited:
- Linne´, Carl von, 1753.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.
- Pursh, Frederick, 1814.
- Torrey, John, and Asa Gray, 1838-1843.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Achillea millefolium;

Area List: Golden.  

Achillea millefolium L. “Common Yarrow”

Nearly ubiquitous, “Common Yarrow” — Achillea millefolium L. — has been collected on North and South Table Mountains, Lookout Mountain, and other places, but not on Dakota Ridge or North Washington Open Space. These are more likely oversight than absence.

Common Yarrow is found throughout Jefferson County, e.g., the author has collected it in the Buffalo Creek Recreation Area. Similarly, it is common throughout Colorado, except the eastern Plains, and the higher, drier valleys, such as the San Luis Valley.

Globally, the plant is native to the northern hemisphere. The name was published by Linnaeus (1753) who noted the plant was present in European meadows and pastures. Early explorers of North American, e.g., Pursh (1814) and Nuttall (1818) thought it was introduced from Europe. Torrey and Gray (1843) recognized that Common Yarrow was widely distributed in North America, though thought it may have been introduced into pastures.

 

Literature Cited:
- Moulton, Gary E., 1999.
- Pursh, Frederick, 1816.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Agoseris glauca, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Agoseris glauca (Pursh) Raf. “Pale Goat-Chicory”

There are two Agoseris found in Golden, one being A. glauca and the other A. parviflora. They are often confused for each other. Indeed, a synonym for A. parviflora is A. glauca var. laciniata (Eaton) Smiley and some herbaria continue to file their specimens under that name.

There is only one collection and one literature reference to A. glauca in Golden s.l. The one collection is in a Texas herbarium (UTEP) and not available for examination. There is a possibility that it is mis-identified. Compared to A. parviflora, below, the evidence for presence of A. glauca is a little thin.

Pale Goat-Chicory was first described as Troximon glaucum by Pursh (1816) in his North American Flora. Pursh states that he saw the plant as a dried specimen and live in a garden. However, Pursh does not tell us whose dried collection he saw or the source of the live garden specimen. Since Pursh does tell us the plant grows on the banks of the Missouri River, it could have been a Lewis & Clark or Bradley collection. However, Moulton (1999) does not list Agoseris glauca in the Lewis & Clark herbarium. Thus we are left with probalility that our plant was originally a Bradley collection.

 

Literature Cited:
- Dietrich, David Nathaniel Friedrich, 1847.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1840-1841.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Nothocalais cuspidata;  Agoseris parviflora, additional information;

Locations: Colorado School of Mines Survey Field.

Area List: Golden.  

Agoseris parviflora (Nutt.) D. Dietr. “Steppe Goat-Chicory”

There are seven collections in Golden s.l. ranging from Apex Park and South Table Mountain to Mount Galbraith. Around Golden, it is typically found flowering in May and early June. The author's collections are in Apex and Mount Galbraith Parks. Several historic collections were made at the “ … base of Lookout Mountain … ” or “ … on slope[s] leading to Lookout Mountain.” Those locations are probably in what we now call the Survey Field.

The Agoseris are often confused with Prairie False Dandelion – Nothocalais cuspidata – to which they are very closely related and with the true dandelions – Taraxacum species.

Steppe Goat-Chicory was first described as Troximon parviflora by Thomas Nuttall (1841) from a collection he made “… on the plains of the Platte to the Rocky Mountains …” It was Dietrich (1847) who placed this plant and the predecessor into Rafinesque's Agoseris.

Not everyone agrees that A. parviflora is a species distinct from A. glauca. As recently as 2012, some Colorado authors were placing A. parviflora as a variety of A. glauca, e.g., A. glauca var. laciniata (D. C. Eaton) Smiley in Weber & Wittman (2012).

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Habitat of Coll. No. 1101, Agoseris parviflora
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Coll. No. 1101, Agoseris parviflora

 

Literature Cited:
- Linne´, Carl von, 1753.
- Zeise, Larry Steven, 1976.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Ambrosia artemisiifolia;

Area List: Golden.  

Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. “Annual Ragweed”

There is a sole collection of “Annual Ragweed” — Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. — from South Table Mountain, and a report from North Table Mountain (Zeise, 1976). More commonly collected in the intensely collected sites of Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms, it looks enough like other weedy Ambrosias and Artemisias that it could be easily overlooked. In Colorado, found generally along the Front Range and out on the eastern plains.

First described by Linnaeus (1753, v. 2, p. 988) who described the habitat as Virginia and Pennsylvania. Weber & Wittmann (2012) state that it is an alien, whereas other sources such as Ackerfield (2015), Flora of North America, etc., accept it as native to Colorado.

 

Literature Cited:
- DeCandolle, Augustus Pyramus, 1836.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Ambrosia psilostachya;

Area List: Golden.  

Ambrosia psilostachya DC. “Western Ragweed”

A very common perennial herb, “Western Ragweed” — Ambrosia psilostachya DC. — has been found in nearly every corner of open space in Golden s.l. Also found along the Front Range and out on the eastern plains, with a few collections in the valleys of southern Colorado.

Described by DeCandolle (1836) from collections made in Mexico.

 

Literature Cited:
- Zeise, Larry Steven, 1976.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Ambrosia tomentosa, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Ambrosia tomentosa Nutt. “Ragweed”

This plant is known only from a published report on North Table Mountain (Zeise, 1976). There are eight collections of the plant scattered around Golden s.l., so it is possible it can be found here.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Ambrosia trifida;

Area List: Golden.  

Ambrosia trifida L. “Giant Ragweed”

There are two collections of “Giant Ragweed” — Ambrosia trifida L. — in Golden s.l., one from Heritage Square, and the other from South Table Mountain. There is also a report from North Table Mountain. Giant Ragweed is common along the Front Range and in the interior valleys of Colorado.

The name was applied by Linnaeus (1753, v. 2, p. 987) to specimens from Virginia and Canada.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds., 1993+.
- POWO, 2021.
- USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2021.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Anaphalis margaritacea;

Locations: Apex Park - Northern Parcel. North Table Mountain.

Area List: Golden.  

Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Bentham & Hooker “Western Pearly Everlasting”

There are two collections of “Western Pearly Everlasting” — Anaphalis margaritacea (L.) Bentham & Hooker — in Golden s.l., one from North Table Mountain, and one from Apex Park. Other collections in Jefferson County were made a little higher in the foothills, e.g., Conifer and Evergreen, and there are only four such collections. Collections in Colorado are distributed from the Front Range west into the mountain ranges from the Park Range in the north to the San Juans in the south.

There is a certain dissonance in the literature regarding the nativity of A. margaritacea. Neither of our current Colorado floras (Ackerfield, 2015, and Weber & Wittmann, 2012) make a statement, which implies the taxon is native to Colorado. Flora of North America and USDA Plants accept nativity to North America, including Colorado. Plants of the World (Kew), on the other hand, states that the native range is Indian Subcontinent to Russian Far East and Japan, and that taxon is introduced to North America and northern Europe.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Antennaria parvifolia, additional information;
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1128, Antennaria parvifolia
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1909, Antennaria parvifolia

Area List: Golden.  

Antennaria parvifolia Nutt. “Small-Leaf Pussytoes”

Small-Leaf Pussytoes — Antennaria parvifolia — is common in rocky meadows and rocky slopes. Generally found in more mesic habitats, such as around trees or shrubs or north-facing slopes, in Golden s.l. it has been collected in Apex Park, the Survey Field, and North and South Table Mountains. A. parvifolia was first collected by Thomas Nuttall on his 1834 trip across the continent by way of the Oregon Trail.

Antennaria parvifolia is widespread throughout the western United States and Canad. It is polyploid complex with both sexual (dioecious) and asexual (gynoecious) populations. It is probably descended from hybridization of multiple Antennaria. The epithet parvifolia has been rendered as "parviflora" in some floras.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Antennaria rosea;

Area List: Golden.  

Antennaria rosea Greene “Rosy Pussytoes”

One collection from Lookout Mountain, and one report from North Table Mountain. More common at slightly higher elevations in the Front Range. Found mostly in the mountains of Colorado.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Arnica cordifolia;

Area List: Golden.  

Arnica cordifolia Hook. “Heart-Leaf Leopardbane”

Two collections from Lookout Mountain. Interior of the Front Range of Jefferson County. More generally in the mountains of Colorado.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Arnica fulgens;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1371, Arnica fulgens
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1119, Arnica fulgens

Area List: Golden.  

Arnica fulgens Pursh “Shining Leopardbane”

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Woolly hairs in axils of basal leaves of Coll. No. 2038, Arnica fulgens
 

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Artemisia campestris;

Locations: Apex Gulch. Ranson/Edwards Homestead Open Space Park.

Area List: Golden.  

Artemisia campestris L. “Field Sagewort”

There are two Artemisias that are similar appearing, and closely-related by evolution. They are A. campestris or “Field Sagewort” and A. dracunculus with common names of “Tarragon,” and “Dragon Wort” Close inspection will show that A. campestris leaves are divided and usually villous on the abaxial side, whereas the leaves of A. dracunculus are entire and usually glabrous.

There are two collections and one report of “Field Sagewort” — Artemisia campestris L. — in Golden s.l., the collections from Apex Gulch and a generic location of Golden, while the report is from North Table Mountain. Jefferson County collections are scattered along the Front Range, including the intensely collected locations of Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms. The author has also collected it at Ranson/Edwards Homestead Open Space Park. For Colorado, the taxon is distributed along the Front Range and interior mountains, with a few collections on the eastern plains.

At the simplest level, A. campestris L. was published describing plants found in sunny, dry fields of Europe. When we get to infraspecific taxa, and plants native to Colorado, things get complicated in a hurry. While there is a lot variation within the species, and multiple ways the species has been divided, the infraspecific taxa that may be found in Golden s.l. are variety caudata and variety pacifica.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Artemisia dracunculus L.;

Area List: Golden.  

Artemisia dracunculus L. “Tarragon, Dragon Wort”

“Tarragon,” or “Dragon Wort” — Artemisia dracunculus L. — is more common than Field Sagewort, in the sense that there are more collections in Golden s.l. Collections have been made on North and South Table Mountains, at North Washington Open Space, and in Apex Park. Collections in Jefferson County are mostly along the Front Range. There are collections throughout Colorado.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Artemisia filifolia;

Area List: Golden.  

Artemisia filifolia Torrey “Sand Sage, Old-Man Sagebrush”

There is but one report (Zeise, 1976) and no collections of Artemisia filifolia Torrey in Golden s.l.. Indeed, there are no collections in Jefferson County. Consequently, we would have to conclude that the presence of the taxon here is doubtful.

 

Literature Cited:
- Moulton, Gary E., 1999.
- Pursh, Frederick, 1814.
- Willdenow, Carl L., 1803.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Artemisia frigida;

Area List: Golden.  

Artemisia frigida Willd. “Prairie Sagewort”

Very common throughout Golden s.l., “Prairie Sagewort” — Artemisia frigida Willd. — has been collected in every Golden open space. Similarly, the sagewort has been collected throughout Colorado, though not as commonly on the eastern plains as one might think given the common name of “Prairie Sagewort.”

Artemisia frigida was described by Carl Willdenow (1803) in the 4th edition of Linnaeus Species Plantarum. The location given was a region in southeast Siberia. Perhaps the first collection in North America was that of Lewis & Clark, made along the Missouri River in September and October, 1804 (Pursh, 1814, v. 2, p. 521; Moulton, 1999)

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Coll. No. 1067, Artemisia frigida
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Coll. No. 1067, Artemisia frigida

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds., 1993+.
- Schulz, Leila M., 2006.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Artemisia ludoviciana, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Artemisia ludoviciana Nutt. “Silver Wormwood”

Silver Wormwood — Artemisia ludoviciana — is found throughout Golden s.l.. It is adventive in gardens as well. The specific epithet “ludoviciana” is a Latinization of “Louisiana.” It was first collected on the Missouri River and named by Thomas Nuttall in his report of his 1811 trip up to Fort Mandan.

Six varieties are treated in FNANM (Shulz, 2006), four of which are recognized to occur in Colorado by Ackerfield (2015), whereas Weber & Wittmann (2012) recognize just two subspecies while noting, “ … the microraces are legion and impossible to place into pigeonholes …”

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Coll. No. 1281, Artemisia ludoviciana

 

Literature Cited:
- Baldwin, Bruce G., and Kenneth R. Wood, 2016.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Bahia dissecta;

Area List: Golden.  

Bahia dissecta (A. Gray) Britton “Ragleaf Bahia”

There is only one collection of “Ragleaf Bahia” — Bahia dissecta (A. Gray) Britton — in Golden s.l., although the number of collections in Jefferson County suggest the plant might be more common than the single collection would suggest. There are numerous collections in Colorado, primarily along the Front Range and in the southern mountains.

Known variously as Bahia dissecta (A. Gray) Britton and Amauriopsis dissecta (A. Gray) Rydberg in current floras and data bases, recent phylogenetic work by Baldwin & Wood (2016) suggest that Hymenothrix dissecta (A. Gray) B. G. Baldwin would be a better name in the future.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1834a.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1840-1841.
- Pursh, Frederick, 1816.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Balsamorhiza sagittata, additional information;
• Tin Cup Ridge (social trail):   at Coll. 1109;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2252, 30 Apr 2020;
• Glossary:  disjunct;

Area List: Golden.  

Balsamorhiza sagittata (Pursh) Nutt. “Arrow-Leaf Balsam Root”

Balsamorhiza sagittata (Pursh) Nutt. — “Arrow-Leaf Balsam Root” — is a Colorado native, but probably not to Golden s.l.. It has been found in several small colonies on Tin Cup Ridge, above the Rooney Road sports complex. Common in the mountains of the western slope of Colorado, such as Grand Mesa, it is found throughout the western United States to the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada in California. The most common explanation of its presence in Golden is that seeds were planted on Tin Cup Ridge. However, there is no evidence except that it is a disjunct population.

The plant was first collected by the Lewis & Clark expedition on the Columbia River, April 14, 1806, and near Lewis & Clark Pass, Montana, on July 7, 1806. Only the April 14, 1806 collection remains. Pursh (1814) described it as Buphthalmum sagittatum from the Lewis & Clark collection. Nuttall (1834a) saw it in the collections returned by Nathaniel Wyeth, and again when he crossed the country with the next Wyeth expedition (Nuttall, 1840). From this last expedition, Nuttall applied Hooker's Balsamorhiza to the plant, giving us our modern name.

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Coll. No. 2252, Balsamorhiza sagittata
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Coll. No. 1109, Balsamorhiza sagittata
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Voucher of Coll. No. 2252, Balsanorhiza sagittata

 

Literature Cited:
- Gray, Asa, 1849.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Brickellia californica, additional information;
• Climbing Access Trail:   near s. end;
• State Road 518:   at Mora River;
• US Interstate 25:   xing Mora River.;
Full Size ImageBrickellia califorica as seen below the cliffs of North Table Mountain.

Area List: Golden.  

Brickellia californica (Torrey & A. Gray) A. Gray “California Brickelbush”

California Brickellbush — Brickellia californica — is found on cliffs or in rocky areas of North and South Table Mountains. It is also known to be adventive in Golden gardens. It is also typically collected in Clear Creek Canyon, and there is an Alice Eastwood collection from Morrison. More broadly, California Brickellbush is distributed throughout the Southwest. The author has collected it in Mojave National Preserve, San Bernardino County, California.

The species was described from a collection made by Agustus Fendler in August 1847 and described by Gray (1849) in his Plantae Fendleriana. The location of the collection was “… Rocky hill-side on the Mora River, and eight miles eastward, in bottom land … ” The location was likely on the Santa Fe trail, where it crosses the Mora River, and near present-day Watrous on US Interstate 25.

 

Literature Cited:
- Anonymous, 1971.
- Linne, Carl von, and Lars Salvius, 1763.
- Schilling, Edward, Randall W. Scott, and Jose L. Panero, 2015.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Brickellia eupatorioides, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Brickellia eupatorioides (L.) Shinners “False Boneset”

Fairly common in Golden s.l. and nearby places, especially the well-studied Rocky Flats and Chatfield. I have found it in open fields, and as a warm season Compositae. It has a much different appearance when compared to the two other Brickellia found in Golden s.l.: B. californica and B. grandiflora.

This taxon was formerly Kuhnia eupatorioides L., named by Linneaus (1763) from a collection made in Pensylvania by Adam Kuhn. Placement of this plant in Brickellia is attributed to Shinners (Anonymous, 1971). Although the actual text is in unsigned “Notes” in the issue of SIDA containing a tribute to Shinners on his death. More recently, phylogenetic work supports the existence of Kuhnia as an infrageneric group within Brickellia (Schilling, et al., 2015).

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Coll. No. 1553, Brickellia eupatorioides

 

Literature Cited:
- Brunquist, E. H., 1966.
- Hooker, Sir William Jackson, 1840.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1840-1841.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Brickellia grandiflora, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Brickellia grandiflora (Hook.) Nutt. “Tasselflower Brickellbush”

There is one collection of Brickellia grandiflora — Tasselflower Brickellbush — in Golden s.l., made by E. H. Brunquist on the south bank of Apex Creek. Otherwise, collections in Jefferson County are more in the foothills to the southwest, such as Foxton and Buffalo Creek.

The taxon was first described Eupatorium? grandiflorum by Hooker (1840) from a collection by Douglas between branches of Lewis and Clarke's River. It is not clear the river referred to by Hooker. I doubt that it is the current Lewis & Clark River in Oregon. Nuttall (1841), however, recognized that the plant should be placed in the Brickellia in his report about his trip across the continent on the Oregon Trail.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Cirsium ochrocentrum;

Area List: Golden.  

Cirsium ochrocentrum A. Gray “Yellowspine Thistle”

There is one old collection of “Yellowspine Thistle” — Cirsium ochrocentrum A. Gray — made along the railroad tracks more than 100 years ago. There is one other collection by E. H. Brunquist made in 1960 at the Magic Mountain archeological dig. One voucher is determined C. ochrocentrum and the other C. undulatum. Generally, I think there are more C. undulatum than C. ochrocentrum.

They can be distinguished by examining how the middle and upper leaves attach to the stem. Those of C. ochrocentrum are decurrent on the stem for more than 1 cm., whereas those of C. undulatum are sessile and clasping, or decurrent for less than 1 cm.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.
- Sprengel, Curt Polycarp Joachim, 1826.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Cirsium arvense;  Cirsium undulatum, additional information;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2377, 23 Jun 2020;

Area List: Golden.  

Cirsium undulatum (Nutt.) Spreng. “Wavy Leaved Thistle”

There are three true thistles, i.e., Cirsium spp., that are reported for Golden.

C. undulatum (Nutt.) Spreng. the “Wavy Leaved Thistle” is the native thistle most-often seen around Golden. It is short, 1-2 feet, as thistles go, and usually has only one or two flower heads at the top of a single stem.

The plant was first seen by Thomas Nuttall on Lake Huron in 1810. He would find it again later in the Upper Louisiana Territory, presumably somewhere along the Missouri River. Nuttall published his findings in his Genera of North America Plants in 1818 as Carduus undulatus Nutt. placing it in section Cnicus. Sprengel (1826) would revise the genus to Cirsium in Systema vegetabilium, the 16th edition of Linneaus' Species Plantarum.

In Golden, C. undulatum has been collected by me in the Colorado School of Mines Survey Field. Loraine Yeatts collected it on South Table Mountain, and Ernest H. Brunquist at Heritage Square. Additionally, it has been observed on Dakota Ridge, North Table Mountain, and at the North Washington Open Space.

The other native true thistle that may be found in Golden is C. ochrocentrum A. Gray “Yellowspine Thistle.” There is one collection determined C. ochrocentrum, that of Edmund Cross made 20 Jul 1913 (RM313305) along the railroad tracks. However, an apparent duplicate of that collection (RM313306) is determined C. undulatum.

At the opposite end of the native/non-native spectrum, is the noxious weed Cirsium arvense, “Canada thistle” that is discussed at length below.

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Coll. No. 2377, Cirsium undulatum with bumblebee.
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Big bumblebee on Cirsium undulatum
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Coll. No. 2377, Cirsium undulatum in progress.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1821.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Coreopsis tinctoria, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt. “Golden Tickseed”

Golden Tickseed — Coreopsis tinctoria — has been collected in several places on South Table Mountain, but is not reported from other places in Golden s.l..

The plant was collected by Thomas Nuttall in 1819 who found it in the “… Arkansa territory to the banks of the Red River …” in a list of new species of plants recently introduced into the gardens of Philadelphia. Nuttall (1821) notes,

As an ornamental plant, of easy culture and uncommon brilliance, it promises to become the favorite of every garden where it is introduced.
Ackerfield (2015) notes that western slope plants are escaped from cultivation. Since this plant is only found in a restricted area of Golden s.l., it may also be garden escapee here rather than a native.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Enke, Neela, 2009.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1834a.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Crepis occidentalis, additional information;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1894, 28 May 2018;

Area List: Golden.  

Crepis occidentalis Nutt. “Largeflower Hawksbeard”

Around Golden s.l., “Largeflower Hawksbeard” has been collected on North and South Table Mountains, and in the Survey Field, as well as "dry hills" as described by a collection by Ellsworth Bethel and Ira Clokey. I think it is one of those species that are found scattered over a wide area, but rarely more than one or two at a time.

In Jefferson County, the taxon has been found mostly at the intensely studied areas, such as Rocky Flats and Chatfield. More broadly, it is found from the Front Range west through Colorado, a distribution that is continued throughout the western states.

Crepis occidentalis was described by Nuttall (1834a) from plants brought to him by Nathaniel Wyeth in 1833. This whetted Nuttall's appetite for exploring Oregon Territory and Nuttall accompanied Wyeth back to the territory in 1834.

Some authors (Ackerfield, 2015) recognize three varieties of C. occidentalis while noting that the varieties intergrade, whereas others (Weber & Wittmann, 2012) do not recognize infraspecific varieties. My collection from the Survey Field would likely be determined variety costata if an infraspecific name were to be applied.

Weber & Wittman (2012) separate the indigenous North American Crepis s.l. into Psilochenia (Psilochaenia orth. Var.), a position for which there is some phylogenetic support (Enke, 2009).

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Coll. No. 1894, Crepis occidentalis
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Flower head of Coll. No. 1894, Crepis occidentalis
There are other Crepis found in Jefferson County, such as C. atribarba, C. capillaris, and C. runcinata. However, none of those have been found in Golden, and C. occidentalis is the most common in Jefferson County.

 

Literature Cited:
- Moulton, Gary E., 1999.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Cyclachaena xanthifolia, additional information;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2423, 17 Aug 2020;

Area List: Golden.  

Cyclachaena xanthifolia (Nutt.) Fresen. “Carelessweed” or “Giant Sumpweed”

Collected at Heritage Square by H. D. Harrington and on South Table Mountain by Loraine Yeatts. Also by the author in Deadman Gulch/Kinney Run.

Collected and described by Thomas Nuttall (1818, v. 2, p. 185) from plants he found at Fort Mandan, South Dakota. There are no specimens of this plant in the Lewis & Clark herbarium (Moulton, 1999).

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Coll. No. 2423, Cyclachaena xanthiifolia

 

Literature Cited:
- Torrey, John, 1857.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Dieteria bigelovii;

Locations: Sandia Mountains.

Area List: Golden.  

Dieteria bigelovii (A. Gray) D. R. Morgan & R. L. Hartman “Bigelow's Tansy Aster”

I find Bigelow's Tansy Aster to be a bit of a garden thug in Golden, CO. It came in uninvited and spreads rapidly.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1840-1841.
- Pursh, Frederick, 1814.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Dieteria canescens;

Area List: Golden.  

Dieteria canescens (Pursh) Nutt. “Hoary Tansyaster”

Known from Golden s.l. from three collections over a long period of time, and at locations known only as “Golden,” without a more precise georeference.

Published by Pursh (1814) as Aster canescens having seen a dried specimen of unknown provenance. The genus name Dieteria was published by Nuttall (1840). Nuttall refers to a Missouri River location which would implies he saw it in 1811. It is also possible that Pursh saw a Bradbury specimen.

Some Colorado authors (Weber & Wittmann, 2012) place this in Machaeranthera.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ventenat, Etienne P., Jacques M. Cels, and Henri J. Redoute, 1801.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Dyssodia papposa;

Area List: Golden.  

Dyssodia papposa (Vent.) Hitchc. “Fetid Marigold”

Collected in disturbed places on North and South Table Mountains. Found along the Front Range in Jefferson County, plus one collection from Buffalo Creek. Scattered along the Front Range of Colorado, out on the eastern plains, and along the southern border.

Grown in the private botanical garden of Jacques Cels in France from seeds collected in Illinois by A. Michaux, and described by Etienne Ventenat (1801) as Tagetes papposa in an illustrated book of new plants grown in the garden.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.

Locations: North Washington Open Space.
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2229, Ericameria nauseosa var. graveolens

Area List: Golden.  

Ericameria nauseosa (Pall. ex Pursh) G.L.Nesom & G.I.Baird var. graveolens (Nutt.) Reveal & Schuyler

There are two varieties of “rabbitbrush” — Ericameria nauseosa (Pall. ex Pursh) G.L.Nesom & G.I.Baird — found in Golden. The most common is variety graveolens, a four-to-five foot tall shrub covered with bright yellow flowers in late summer and early fall. One of the most common shrubs in Golden s.l. and frequently adventive in neighborhood gardens, it is found in all the open spaces.

Its name, in itself, is a history lesson. Typically, we apply the common name “Rubber Rabbitbrush” or “Pungent Rabbitbrush” to this shrub. However, a better common name might be “Goldy Locks” because the first name applied to it was Chrysocoma which literally translates to Goldy Locks, or more precisely Golden Tuft-of-Hair. I have a very long page about “How did rubber rabbitbrush get that long scientific name?”

The plant was first collected by Lewis & Clark in 1804 at the Big Bend of the Missouri. However, Pursh (1814) applied a name to it that was illegitimate, i.e., it had been applied earlier to a different plant. Thomas Nuttall also collected the plant in 1811 on the banks of the Missouri River in Montana. His (1818) application of Chrysocoma graveolens was valid, and became the basionyn for the plant.

 

Literature Cited:
- DeCandolle, Augustus Pyramus, 1836.
- Nesom, Guy L., and Gary I. Baird, 1993.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Ericameria nauseosa nauseosa;

Area List: Golden.  

Ericameria nauseosa (Pall. ex Pursh) G. I. Nesom & G. I. Baird var. nauseosa. “Rubber Rabbitbush”

The other “Rabbitbrush” found in Golden is variety nauseosa, a much smaller shrub that variety graveolens, about a foot high, and scattered on dry slopes of South Table Mountain, Eagle Ridge, and Kinney Run.

In Jefferson County, this variety has also been collected at two other intensely-collected locations: Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms, and at the Butterfly Pavilion.

The online herbaria (SEINet) records are a bit of a mess because the reorganization of Chrysothamnus and Ericameria has not been universally accepted. It is necessary to look for the plants under both names to complete a search. I think the case of Nesom & Baird (1993) to move the nauseosi to Ericameria is strong, and has been known for a long time; see DeCandolle (1836).

Because of the data problem, an accurate map of Colorado locations is near impossible. Regardless, the variety appears to be scattered throughout Colorado and adjacent states.

The plant was first collected by Lewis & Clark in 1804 on the Missouri River, though no more specific place was recorded. The name was applied by Pursh (1814) from a manuscript by Peter Simon Pallas. However, we don’t know how or where Pallas might have seen a specimen.

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Habitat of Coll. No. 2440, Ericameria nauseosa var. nauseosa
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Coll. No. 2440, Ericameria nauseosa var. nauseosa

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Erigeron compositus;

Area List: Golden.  

Erigeron compositus Pursh “Cutleaf Daisy”

 

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Erigeron pumilis, Nuttall, 1818;

Area List: Golden.  

Erigeron pumilus Nutt. “Shaggy Fleabane”

Found in the southern part of Golden s.l., on South Table Mountain, and in Eagle Ridge / Heritage Road area. First described by Thomas Nuttall (1818) from his collection on the plains of the Missouri, although previously invalidly published by Pursh (1814, 2, suppl. 742) as E hirsutum from Bradbury's herbarium. Also collected at Rocky Flats and Red Rocks Park, although found throughout Colorado except at higher elevations.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1848b.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Nuttall, 1848, publication details;  Heliomeris multiflora, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Heliomeris multiflora Nutt. “Showy Golden Eye”

Very few collections, two of the three from more than 100 years ago. Most recently at Apex Gulch by E. H. Brunquist (#131, 4 Aug 1960) as part of Peabody Museum archeological dig.

Collected at Rocky Flats and Chatfield. Scattered throughout central and western Colorado. Primarily a Rocky Mountain species, and across southern Nevada to eastern California, e.g., the author has collected it at Magruder Mountain, Esmeralda County, Nevada.

Described by Nuttall (1848) from a collection by William Gambel in the mountains of Upper California.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1840-1841.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Helianthus pumilus, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Helianthus pumilus Nutt. “Little Sunflower”

Common around Golden s.l. and along the Front Range in Jefferson County and Colorado generally On a broader scale it is known from the Front Range of Colorado and Wyoming, to about 43° North, and then very sparingly into Montana and Saskatchewan.

Described by Nuttall (1840) from plant he collected on his trip across the continent by the Oregon Trail.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1840-1841.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Heterotheca foliosa, additional information;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1258, Heterotheca foliosa

Area List: Golden.  

Heterotheca foliosa (Nutt.) Shinners “Hairy False Goldenaster”

Collected on South Table Mountain by Loraine Yeatts. and at Magic Mountain by E. H. Brunquist. Otherwise scattered around Jefferson County and up into the foothills. Central Cordillera from the Mexico border to Canada.

Described by Nuttall (1841) from plants seen on the Rocky Mountain plains, near the banks of the Platte. Often treated as a variety of H. villosa.

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Inflorescence of Coll. No. 2177, Heterotheca foliosa

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Agoseris parviflora;  Notes on Nothocalais cuspidata;
Full Size ImageNothocalais cuspidata on the Nightbird Gulch Trail
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1791, Nothocalais cuspidata

Area List: Golden.  

Nothocalais cuspidata (Pursh) Greene “Prairie False Dandelion”

Often mistaken for the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), the “Prairie False Dandelion” — Nothocalais cuspidata (Pursh) Greene — has been collected on North and South Table Mountains, the Survey Field, and other nearby places. That it has not been collected in some areas, like Dakota Ridge and North Washington Open Space, probably reflects its distribution pattern, widely distributed but rarely more that one or two plants in a given area. Found along the base of the foothills in Jefferson County, most dense along the base of the foothills of the Front Range, with a few collections on the eastern plains, rarely in the interior valleys.

First described by Pursh (1814) as Troximon marginatum from a collection by John Bradbury in upper Louisiana. Described again by Nuttall (1818) as Troximon marginatum from his collections on the grassy plains of upper Louisiana. Since Nuttall and Bradbury traveled together for a lengthy time, they may have collected the plant together. Placed by Gray (1884) in Microseris § Nothocalais, with a Greek name meaning notho-, false, and Calaďs, a synonym of Microseris. Greene (1886) elevated Nothocalais to the rank of genus.

 

Literature Cited:
- Gray, Asa, 1849.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Packera fendleri, additional information;
Full Size ImageA small Packera plattensis fendleri in a rocky habitat.

Area List: Golden.  

Packera fendleri (A. Gray) W.A. Weber & Á. Löve “Fendler's Ragwort”

Packera fendleri (A. Gray) W.A. Weber & Á. Löve — Fendler's Ragwort — is widespread and fairly common in dry meadows and slopes of Golden s.l.. It is frequently confused with P. plattensis which is more a plant of the great plains.

P. fendleri was described by A. Gray (1849) in his Plantae Fendlerianae Novi-Mexicanae, an account of some of the plants collected in Santa Fe and surrounding New Mexico by Augustus Fendler, October 1846 to August 1847.

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Coll. No. 1902, Packera plattensis fendleri

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Packera plattensis, additional information;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1914, Packera plattensis

Area List: Golden.  

Packera plattensis (Nuttall) W. A. Weber & Á. Löve “Prairie Groundsel”

Prairie Groundsel — Packera plattensis (Nuttall) W. A. Weber & Á. Löve — is known in Golden s.l. only from a report on North Table Mountain (Zeise, 1976). It is easily confused with P. fendleri something which, indeed, the author has done many times. Until P. plattensis can be collected on North Table Mountain and confirmed in the herbarium, its presence there must be considered questionable.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Picradeniopsis oppositifolia, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Picradeniopsis oppositifolia (Nutt.) Rydb. ex Britton “Opposite Leaf Bahia”

In Golden s.l. collected on South Table Mountain and known from “… gravelly hillsides …” There are also collections from intensely-collected areas of Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms. There are about 400 collections from Colorado, mostly on the plains and just barely into the foothills.

First described by Nuttall (1818) as Trichophyllum oppositifolium, which he found “… on denudated sterile hills, near Fort Mandan; abundant …”

 

Literature Cited:
- Fraser, John, 1813.
- Reveal, James L., 1968.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Ratibida columnifera, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Ratibida columnifera (Nutt.) Woot. & Standl. “Upright Prairie Coneflower”

Prairie Coneflower (Ratibida columnifera) is predominantly a Great Plains forb, though widespread throughout the west. It is very common on the plains, in fields, along roads, and in open places in the foothills.

Around Golden, it is found in very open field, and in many private gardens. It is easy to grow from seed, yet not particularly invasive.

First collected and described by Thomas Nuttall, the name itself has been controversial because it was published in an unusual way (Fraser, 1813, Catalogue) without clearly identifying the author. This was discussed by many later botanists, as summarized by Reveal (1968).

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Coll. No. 1198, Ratibida columnifera

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Senecio integerrimus, additional information;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1108, Senecio integerrimus on Tin Cup Ridge.
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1897, Senecio integerrimus in Colorado School of Mines Survey Field.

Area List: Golden.  

Senecio integerrimus Nutt. “Columbia Ragwort”

“Columbia ragwort” — Senecio integerrimus — is very common throughout the central and western United States. It is often found in moist areas from the foothills to the subalpine. Colorado authors do not accept varieties of S. integerrimus.

 

Literature Cited:
- Fremont, John C., 1845.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Senecio spartioides, additional information;
• Field Notes:  6 Sep 2020;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2231, Senecio spartioides with a praying mantis and a beetle.

Area List: Golden.  

Senecio spartioides Torr. & A. Gray “Broomlike Ragwort”

“Broomlike Ragwort” — Senecio spartioides Torr. & A. Gray — is a late-blooming, bright yellow composite. It has been collected in Apex Park and Tin Cup Ridge, North and South Table Mountains, and North Washington Open Space. I have even seen it along the trail across CO Highway 93 from Mitchell School, and it is frequently adventive in gardens.

Senecio spartioides was described by Torrey and A. Gray (1843) from a Lt. John Fremont collection. There is a voucher at New York Botanic Garden (NY233440) that is labeled as the holotype and gives the location as “Sand bank, Cache Broad Camp, Sweet Water R., Aug. 21” Fremont's (1845) Report makes no mention of Cache Broad nor does it contain an entry for August 21, 1842. Welsh (1998, p. 161) lists the location as “vicinity of Jeffrey City” where the Senecio was collected along with Populus angustifolia and Cleome integrifolia.

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Senecio spartioides adventive in my garden.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Solidago missouriensis, additional information;
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1256, Solidago missouriensis at Ranson/Edwards.
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1732, Solidago missouriensis at North Table Mountain.

Area List: Golden.  

Solidago missouriensis Nutt. “Missouri Goldenrod”

Fairly common around Golden s.l., Missouri Goldenrod — Solidago missouriensis — has been collected on North and South Table Mountains, North Washington Open Space, Kinney Run, and Apex Park. It is widely found in Jefferson County, especially at the intensely collected locations, such as Rocky Flats, Ranson/Edwards, and Chatfield Farms. At the state level, most collections are along the Front Range from Colorado Springs northward. Generally found west of the Mississippi River, west to the Mogollon of Arizona and to Washington and Oregon in the northwest.

First described by Thomas Nuttall (1834) from collections made on the upper Missouri River, the name has stood the test of time.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1840-1841.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Solidago nana, additional information;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2439, Solidago nana.

Area List: Golden.  

Solidago nana Nutt. “Baby Goldenrod”

Similarly, the Baby Goldenrod — Solidago nana — is found in most places around Golden s.l.. Surprisingly, it has not been collected at Rocky Flats or Chatfield Farms, although it has been found at Golden Gate Canyon, and the author has collected it at Ranson/ Edwards. Colorado Plateau and Rocky Mountains from the Front Range west to the Wasatch Front, north into the mountains of Idaho and Montana.

This is another Nuttall-described taxon, from his tour across the continent 1834-1836.

 

Literature Cited:
- Zeise, Larry Steven, 1976.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Solidago speciosa, additional information.;
Full Size ImageImage of KHD65160, Schweich Coll. No. 1768, Solidago speciosa.

Area List: Golden.  

Solidago speciosa Nutt. “Showy Goldenrod”

There is one report (Zeise, 1976) of S. speciosa on North Table Mountain. This has not been confirmed by a collection, or by another collection from Golden s.l.

It is certainly possible that the species is present, as there are two other collections from Jefferson County; one of them by the author at Ranson/Edwards Homestead Open Space. A little further afield, there are 88 collections from Colorado concentrated in the foothills north of Colorado Springs.

 
Full Size ImageTea made from Thelesperma megapotamicum
Full Size ImageHead of Thelesperma megapotamicum

Area List: Golden.  

Thelesperma megapotamicum (Spreng.) Kuntze “Hopi Tea Greenthread”

Greenthread has ethnographic interest from its use in making dyes and medicinal teas. It is common around Golden, found North Washington Open Space, on North and South Table Mountains, and in the CSM Survey Field. There are twenty collections from Jefferson County.

The involucre has two rows of phyllaries, the lowest spreading, and the upper appressed. Pinnately divided leaves with linear to filiform lobes and a unique involucre make this plant easy to identify in the field.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1840-1841.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Townsendia grandiflora, Nuttall, 1840;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1247, 24 Jul 2015;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1247, Townsendia grandiflora

Area List: Golden.  

Townsendia grandiflora Nutt. “Largeflower Townsend Daisy”

Largeflower Townsend Daisy — Townsendia grandiflora Nutt. — is found on North and South Table Mountains, in Chimney Gulch, and in Kinney Run. Jefferson County collections are mostly at the base of the Rocky Mountain Front Range or in the adjacent hogbacks.

Collected by Nuttall (1840) on his expedition to the Oregon Territory. He gives the location as on the Black Hills near the banks of the [North] Platte. I think at that time the Black Hills has a more broad definition than at present.

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Coll. No. 1247, Townsendia grandiflora

 

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1071, 12 Mar 2015.;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1071, Townsendia hookeri

Area List: Golden.  

Townsendia hookeri Beaman “Hooker's Townsend Daisy”

This white daisy (see Figure 7, above) is often overlooked because of its small size and very early blooming date. It typically blooms from mid-March to mid-April. Common, but only collected from CSM Mines Survey Field and South Table Mountain. The type was collected by Ira W. Clokey in Mount Vernon Canyon just south of Golden s.l.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Alopecurus aequalis;

Area List: Golden.  

Alopecurus aequalis Sobol. “Shortawn Foxtail.”

Several observations and one collection from North Table Mountain. Although one voucher of the collection has been annotated as A. x haussknechtianus Asch. & Graebn. [aequalis × geniculatus]. Other vouchers made the same day have been determined A. geniculatus L., a non-native, as has a collection by the author at a nearby location. A historic collection from Tucker Gulch in 1922 has been recently (1990) annotated A. aequalis. There are a few other collections in Jefferson County, in particular several from the Chatfield Farms and Deer Creek areas. Generally known from Colorado from the Front Range west onto the Western Slope. It generally grows in wet meadows, forest openings, shores, springs, and along streams, as well as in ditches, along roadsides, and in other disturbed sites, from sea level to subalpine elevations.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Andropogon gerardii;

Area List: Golden.  

Andropogon gerardii Vitman. “Big Bluestem”

There are six collections of “Big Bluestem” — Andropogon gerardii Vitman — in Golden s.l., from Dakota Ridge in the north, North and South Table Mountains, to Heritage Square in the south.

Jefferson County collections cluster around Rocky Flats and Ranson/Edwards in the very north, and Golden s.l., with one collection at Chatfield Farms.

Found along the Front Range and somewhat out on the eastern plains, with an additional few collections along the southern border of Colorado.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Aristida purpurea, additional information;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1140, Aristida purpurea
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1140, Aristida purpurea var. longiseta

Area List: Golden.  

Aristida purpurea Nutt. “Purple Threeawn ”

Small perennial grass that is widespread around Golden s.l., common throughout Colorado, native to southwestern North America. A variable species with five varieties recognized by Shaw (2008) and Ackerfield (2015), four (sort of) recognized by Weber & Wittmann (2012), and none by Wingate (1994). Nine of 23 vouchers of A. purpurea from Jefferson County are determined to variety. Those that are determined to variety are variety longiseta (Steud.) Vasey.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Bouteloua curtipendula, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr. in Marcy “Side-Oats Grama”

Bouteloua curtipendula, commonly known as sideoats grama, is a perennial, short prairie grass that is native throughout the temperate and tropical Western Hemisphere, from Canada south to Argentina. The species epithet comes from Latin curtus "shortened" and pendulus "hanging."

Side-oats grama has been collected in several places throughout Golden s. l., from Heritage Square, to North and South Table Mountain, to Windy Saddle Park.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Bouteloua gracilis, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Bouteloua gracilis (Kunth) Lag. ex Griffiths “Blue Grama Grass”

Blue Grama Grass – Bouteloua gracilis (Kunth) Lag. Ex Griffiths – is a very common short-grass prairie grass. It has been widely collected around Golden, from Heritage Square in the south to North Table Mountain.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Bromus lanatipes;

Area List: Golden.  

Bromus lanatipes (Shear) Rydb. “Wooly Brome”

There are two collections of “Wooly Brome” — Bromus lanatipes (Shear) Rydb. — that may or not be from Golden s.l.. One is a Marcus E. Jones collection, June 17, 1878, with the location described as “Foot Hills near Golden.” The other is a George W. Letterman collection, July 13, 1885, with the location simply “Golden.” The author has collected this grass in northernmost Jefferson County, so it is possible that it occurs in Golden. However, the habitat was deep forest duff in ponderosa pine woodland. Another collection with habitat data also mentions “needle duff in clearings between trees.” We really have very little of that habitat in Golden s.l. Perhaps there is a some at Apex Park and on Lookout Mountain and those places should be examined for the grass.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Bromus polyanthus;

Area List: Golden.  

Bromus polyanthus Scribn. ex Shear. “Great Basin Brome”

Scattered around Colorado, with one collection near Golden s.l. at the Table Mountain Ranch.

 

Literature Cited:
- Columbus, J. Travis, 1999.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Buffalo Grass, additional information;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1673, 16 Jun 2017;
• Glossary:  dioecious;

Locations: North Table Mountain. North Washington Open Space. South Table Mountain.

Area List: Golden.  

Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm. “Buffalo Grass”

Buffalo Grass is a widespread common short-grass prairie grass. Around Golden it has been found on North and South Table Mountains, and at the North Washington Open Space. It should also be in Kinney Run and on Tin Cup Ridge. However, there are no collections or other reports.

Buffalo Grass was first collected by Thomas Nuttall on his 1811 trip to the Upper Missouri. He collected the male or staminate plant, not recognizing that there should have been an female or pistillate plant. Published in Nuttall's (1818) Genera as Sesleria dactyloides, it is clear that Nuttall had his doubts, but that was the best fit among the genera of grasses that Nuttall knew. Rafinesque (1819) jumped on Nuttall's uncertainty, in much the same way he jumped Torrey's uncertainty about our local Cercocapus, and proposed Bulbilis from Nuttall's note that the root resembled a bulb after flowering.

George Engelmann (1859) recognized that Buffalo Grass has male and female flowers on separate plants, and thus is termed dioecious, and that a new genus name was needed for it. Using Greek words for Buffalo (Bubalo) and Grass (chloë), and contracting them together he formed the name Buchloë. For years I pronounced it Buk-loe, but in using the root words correctly it should probably be pronounced Boo-chloe.

There have been continuing debates whether Buffalo Grass is truly dioecious, or whether it may be monoecious. I think generally this controversy has faded with the realization that occasionally monoecious plants may be found, whereas the plant is nearly always dioecious.

More recently phylogenetic studies have repeatedly shown that separating Buchloë from Bouteloua – the grama grasses – renders Bouteloua paraphyletic. Since we would really prefer to arrange plant species into monophyletic groups, we probably should be calling Buffalo Grass Bouteloua dactyloides (Nutt.) Columbus.

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Pistllate inflorescence of Buchloe dactyloides
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Coll. No. 1673, Buchloe dactyloides

 

Literature Cited:
- Gray, Asa, 1856.
- Hackel, Eduard, 1890.
- Hooker, Sir William Jackson, 1840.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Calamovilfa longifolia, additional information;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2397, 29 Jul 2020;

Area List: Golden.  

Calamovilfa longifolia (Hook.) Scribn. “Prairie Sandreed”

Prairie Sandreed — Calamovilfa longifolia (Hook.) Scribn. — is a recent addition to the known flora of Golden s.l. having been collected for the first time at Dakota Ridge (North Hogback) in 2020. Previously, it was known from only three locations in all of Jefferson County: Chatfield Recreation Area, Bear Creek Golf Course, and Rocky Flats. As the name implies, this grass is more common out on the prairie in eastern Colorado. Reading through the location descriptions, though, it seems like this grass might be facilitated by disturbance.

First described by Hooker from a collection made by Drummond in Saskatchewan (Hooker, 1840). Scribner placed it in Calamovilfa as an edit to his 1890 translation of Hackel's Die Naturlichen Pflanzenfamilien. Calamovilfa was a name used by Gray (1856, p. 548) for a subgenera of Calamagrostis. Calamo- probably means reed-like, and vilfa is a name used by Adanson (1763) that is now treated as a synonym of Calamagrostis.

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Coll. No. 2397, Calamovilfa longifolia
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Florets of Coll. No. 2397, Calamovilfa longifolia
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Spikelets of Coll. No. 2397, Calamovilfa longifolia

 

Literature Cited:
- Roemer, Johann Jacob, and Josef August Schultes, 1817-1830.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Danthonia spicata;

Area List: Golden.  

Danthonia spicata (L.) P. Beauv. ex Roem. & Schult. “Poverty Oatgrass”

First described as Avena spicata L. with a habitat in Pennsylvania, the grass was placed in Danthonia DC. by Roemer & Schultes (1817). There is one collection that is more than 40 years old from Heritage Square. This collection was made by Ron Wittmann and Judy Wittmann and is at COLO. In northern Jefferson County, the author has collected it at both Ranson/Edwards and Lippincott Ranch, and there are several collections from Rocky Flats. There a couple of collections from Deer Creek in southern Jefferson County. So it still may persist around the edges of Golden s.l.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Elymus albicans;

Area List: Golden.  

Elymus albicans (Scribn. & J.G.Sm.) Á.Löve. “Montana Wild Rye”

There no collections of this grass in Golden s.l., only a report from North Table Mountain. In theory it could found in Golden s.l. perhaps in some of the higher parts, as there are collections from the nearby Mt. Vernon Country Club. A little farther afield there are collections from the north, Rocky Flats and south, Deer Creek. Most of the Colorado collections are from the Front Range with a few scattered on the west slope and in the San Juan Mountains.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Elymus canadensis;

Area List: Golden.  

Elymus canadensis L. “Canadian Wildrye”

There are four collections of “Canadian Wildrye” — Elymus canadensis L. — from North and South Table Mountains, Eagle Ridge, and the Survey Field.

The name Elymus canadensis L. is one of the few remaining Linnaean names of native grasses. Linnaeus described the grass from a Petr Kalm collection in Canada.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.
- Swezey, Goodwin D., 1891.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Elymus elymoides;

Area List: Golden.  

Elymus elymoides (Raf.) Swezey “Squirreltail”

Squirreltail — Elymus elymoides (Raf.) Swezey — is common in Golden s.l. It has been collected on North and South Table Mountains, North Washington Open Space, the Survey Field and Eagle Ridge.

Common in Jefferson County, especially noted in intensely collected locations, such as Rocky Flats. Generally, common throughout Colorado except for the plains in the easternmost part of the state.

First collected on the arid plains of the Missouri River by Thomas Nuttall and described by him in his Genera of North American Plants (1818) as Ćgilops hystrix Nutt. If that genus sounds familiar, it is because the name of the List B noxious weed “Jointed Goat Grass” is Ćgilops cylindrica Host. It would be interesting to compare the lemmas (called valves of the corolla) of E. elymoides and Ć. cylindrica side by side. The other name commonly applied to this grass is Sitanion hystrix (Nutt.) J. G. Sm. well into the 1960s and 1970s. Indeed that is the name I learned it by. Recent phylogenetic work suggests the grass should be placed in Elymus, and the valid name for it there, Elymus elymoides (Raf.) Swezey, was published by Swezey (1891).

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Coll. No. 1717, Elymus elymoides

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Elymus glaucus;

Area List: Golden.  

Elymus glaucus Buckley. “Blue Wild Rye”

There are no collections of Elymus glaucus Buckley. “Blue Wild Rye” in Golden s.l., nor are there any collections from Jefferson County. There is only a report from North Table Mountain. There are quite a few collections from the mountains of Colorado where it is found in moist or dry mountain meadows, open forests, etc.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Elymus trachycaulus;

Area List: Golden.  

Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners. “Slender Wheatgrass”

Four collections in Golden s.l., from North and South Table Mountains and Heritage Square.

In Jefferson County, there are collections scattered around the county, including one made by the author at the Buffalo Creek Recreation Area.

Found throughout Colorado, though with fewer collections on the eastern plains.

The first name applied to this grass was Triticum trachycaulus Link, apparently grown at the Berlin Botanic Garden from seed sent there by a Dr. Richardson.

 

Literature Cited:
- Linne´, Carl von, 1753.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Elymus virginicus L.;

Area List: Golden.  

Elymus virginicus L. “Virginia Wildrye”

I have never seen this in the wild near Golden s.l.. Instead, my familiarity is from a few plants that appeared in my native plant garden. My best guess is that the seed was a contaminant in seed of Sorghastrum nutans or “Yellow Indian Grass.” There are a few collections (actually: 4) made in Jefferson County. They are from Chatfield Farms, and Roxborough State Park, with one odd collection along the south edge of Golden Gate Canyon State Park.

The grass is native to the United States and Canada from the eastern seaboard west to Colorado and Arizona. As the name might imply, Linnaeus (1753, v. 1, p. 84) described the plant habitat as Virginia.

 

Literature Cited:
- Michaux, Andre, 1803.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Eragrostis pectinacea;

Area List: Golden.  

Eragrostis pectinacea (Michx.) Nees ex Steud. “Tufted Lovegrass”

There s only ony collection, from a dried pond (vernal pool?) on South Table Mountain. There are only three other collections in Jefferson County, from Golden Gate State Park and Chatfield Farms. Found mostly on the eastern plains up to the foothills, and on the southern slopes of the San Juan Mountains. Known from all lower 48 states and several Canadian provinces.

Originally described as Poa pectinacea by Michaux (1803) from fields in Illinois. Nees (1841) may have validly published it as Eragrostis pectinacea but it really looks to me like it took Steudel (1855) to finish the job.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1818.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Achnatherum hymenoides;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 477, Stipa hymenoides

Area List: Golden.  

Achnatherum hymenoides (Roem. & Schult.) Barkworth. “Indian Rice Grass”

This striking grass is not common in Golden s.l.. There is one collection on South Table Mountain, another at an unidentified location along US Highway 6, and several observations on North Table Mountain. Other collections in Jefferson County are along the Front Range foothills, especially in the intensively-collected locations of Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms. More broadly, in Colorado, Indian Rice Grass is found throughout the state, and throughout the western United States west of 101°W, i.e., occurring just barely in western Kansas and Nebraska.

I first encountered this grass in the Mono Lake basin, Mono County, California. There it was common on the volcanic sands and former beach strands of Pleistocene Lake Mono, and in granitic sands on the edges of the basin.

The first valid name for this grass was Stipa hymenoides Roem. & Schult., a name that is still in use in California today. In other floras, the grass was placed in Oryzopsis, and then in Achnatherum. W may start using Eriocoma Nutt. as the generic name, because some of the more recent phylogenetic work shows that Achnatherum is best applied to Eurasian grasses, while the similar New World grasses form a unique clade and should thus have their own name. The oldest generic name applied to this grass is Eriocoma Nuttall (1818), a name that Nuttall proposed to this very same grass though he called it E. cuspidata Nutt. Since the specific epithet hymenoides Roem. & Schult. (1817) has priority over Nuttall's 1818 name, Eriocoma hymenoides (Roem. & Schult.) Rydb. was proposed by Peterson, et al. (2019).

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Achnatherum robustum;
• “Tilting Mesa Cut-Off”:   near pond;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1740, 15 Aug 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1493, Achnatherum robustum
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1740, Achnatherum robustum

Area List: Golden.  

Achnatherum robustum (Vasey) Barkworth. “Sleepygrass”

“Sleepygrass” — Achnatherum robustum (Vasey) Barkworth — has been collected on North and South Table Mountains, and at Heritage Square by E. H. Brunquist collecting for the Peabody Museum dig at Magic Mountain. It has been collected at scattered locations around Jefferson County, including well into the foothills.

Very commonly found along the Front Range in Colorado, with scattered location west of the Continental Divide.

It seems likely that the proposed name of Eriocoma robusta (Vasey) Romasch. will accepted in the future.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Achnatherum scribneri;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2418, 11 Aug 2020;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2418, Achnatherum scribneri

Area List: Golden.  

Achnatherum scribneri (Vasey) Barkworth “Scribner Needle Grass”

There is only one collection in the vicinity of Kinney Run. Other collections in Jefferson County have been at Pine Valley Ranch Park and Waterton Canyon, with an additional report in northernmost Jefferson County. Generally distributed in the foothills and lower parts of the Front Range and Sangre de Cristo Range.

It seems likely that the proposed name of Eriocoma scribneri (Vasey) Romasch. will accepted in the future.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Glyceria striata;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1446, Glyceria striata

Area List: Golden.  

Glyceria striata (Lam.) Hitchc. “Striate Manna Grass”

There are two collections of “Striate Manna Grass” — Glyceria striata (Lam.) Hitchc. — from North Table Mountain in Golden s.l. There are a few other Jefferson County collections, in wet places scattered around the county.

Generally found from the Front Range foothills west in Colorado, though it it known from all states in the continental United States and almost all Canadian provinces.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Hesperostipa comata;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 992, Stipa comata var. comata
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1929, Hesperostipa comata

Area List: Golden.  

Hesperostipa comata (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth. “Needle and Thread”

“Needle and Thread” — Hesperostipa comata (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth ‐ is a very attractive and common grass in Golden s.l. and indeed throughout the northern and western United States and Canadian provinces. For example, the author has also collected it at Mono Lake, California, though California botanists retain the species in Stipa comata Trin & Rupr.

Credit probably goes to Andre Michaux (1803) for first recognizing H. comata who noted the grass lives “ … in the rocky mountains from the Hudson to Canada.” Unfortunately, Michaux applied Stipa juncea to this grass, a name that Linnaeus had already applied to a grass occurring in Switzerland and France. Pursh (1814) also applied S. juncea to a Lewis & Clark collection made July 8, 1806, made “ … Valleys of the Missouri in the Rocky Mountains.” Nuttall (1818) also applied S. juncea to his collections on the grassy plains of the Missouri. It was not until Trinius & Ruprect (1842) that the grass was recognized as its own species. Barkworth (1993) described Hesperostipa as a North American endemic that is distinct from the Eurasian Stipa s. s. and more closely allied to the South American genera of Piptochaetium and Nassella.

There is another Hesperostipa, H. spartea (Trin.) Barkworth, that has been found in northernmost Jefferson County, at Rocky Flats and Ranson/Edwards Homestead Open Space Park. Both of those locations are a thousand feet higher than Golden s.l. and the grass has been found in open grasslands, a vegetation type that is not common locally. This grass is not as common, and has a slightly more restricted natural range, not found in the far west.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Hordeum brachyantherum;

Area List: Golden.  

Hordeum brachyantherum Nevski. “Meadow Barley”

It seems like Hordeum brachyantherum Nevski — “Meadow Barley” — should be fairly common around Golden s.l. though there are only three collections and one of them on Lookout Mountain may not have been made in Golden. The author has collected it at Ranson/Edwards and there are several collections from Rocky Flats. In Colorado, Meadow Barley is found from the Front Range and to the west, although it is known from most of the United States and Canada, except for the central plains states, and from the coastal area os easternmost Russia.

The name was published in 1936 in Sergei Nevski, a Russian botanist who worked at the Main Botanical Garden in Leningrad. Most collections before that time were originally determined Hordeum nodosum L.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Hordeum jubatum;

Area List: Golden.  

Hordeum jubatum L. “Foxtail Barley”

Somewhat more common that Meadow Barley is Foxtail Barley — Hordeum jubatum L. — with collections on North and South Table Mountains, with an odd Marcus E. Jones collection simply stating “Golden.”

Linnaeus (1753) described this grass from a collection made in Canada by Pehr Kalm.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Hordeum pusillum, additional information;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1453, Hordeum pusillum

Area List: Golden.  

Hordeum pusillum Nutt. “Little Barley”

Hordeum pusillum Nutt. — the Little Barley — is not often collected around Golden. In fact, there are only ten collections from Jefferson County. The majority of those were made by Dr. Janet Wingate, our regional grass expert. Around Golden there are collections from North and South Table Mountains. The grass is probably more common than the number of collections would indicate, but it is overlooked because of its size and similarity to other common grasses.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ledebour, Carl (Karl) Friedrich von, 1812.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Koeleria macrantha;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1131, Koeleria macrantha

Area List: Golden.  

Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) Schult. “Prairie Junegrass”

I would have thought that a grass with a name like “Prairie Junegrass” — Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) Schult. — would be endemic to our prairies. However, in addition to being native to nearly the entire continental United States and Canada, it is also native to Eurasia, including Siberia. In fact, the grass was described by a German botanist from Russian southeastern Siberia, near the border with Mongolia (Ledebour, 1812).

It is, of course, a well-known, easy-to-recognize, common grass around Golden s.l.. There are eight collections, from North and South Table Mountains, and many of the smaller open spaces.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Leymus triticoides;

Area List: Golden.  

Leymus triticoides (Buckley) Pilger. “Beardless Wildrye”

There is only one collection of “Beardless Wildrye” — Leymus triticoides (Buckley) Pilger — made in Golden s.l. and only two others in Jefferson County. The collection in Golden was made by the author on very steep lower slopes of Lookout Mountain, whereas the two other collections were made in Golden Gate Canyon State Park, and in Guy Gulch near Clear Creek. This is not a very common grass in Colorado and is found between about 6,000 ft and 9,500 ft. It is generally known from Texas and Colorado west and north to British Columbia.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1848b.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Muhlenbergia andina, additional information;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2392, 24 Jul 2020;

Locations: Tsegi Canyon.

Area List: Golden.  

Muhlenbergia andina (Nutt.) Hitchc. “Foxtail Muhly”

One collection of this grass was made in 2020 on the north bank of Clear Creek just west of the US Hwy 6 bridge. This collection will be deposited at Denver Botanic Garden, where its tentative determination can be confirmed. Other collections in the Clear Creek basin are limited to the Georgetown area, some distance away and at a higher elevation.

In Colorado in general, collections in Colorado tend to be at mid-elevations, and concentrated in the San Juan Mountains. Around the North America, the plant is found in the southwest United States, south of 45° and west of 104.5°.

The plant was first described as Calamagrostis andina Nutt. from a collection in 1841 by William Gambel. Nuttall (1848b) describes the location as “… on the Colorado of the West ...” Gambel's proximity to the Colorado (River) would have been on this travels along the Old Spanish Trail with the Rowland-Workman party. The most likely locality of that collection, based upon proximity to the Colorado (River), the Old Spanish Trail, and existing georeferenced collections of Muhlenbergia andina would be Tsegi Canyon, Navajo County, Arizona.

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Coll. No. 2392, Muhlenbergia andina.
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Rhizome of Coll. No. 2392, Muhlenbergia andina.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Muhlenbergia asperifolia;
Full Size ImageDried collection of Alkali Muhley, my collection no. 490.

Area List: Golden.  

Muhlenbergia asperifolia (Nees & Meyen ex Trin.) Parodi. “Alkali Muhley”

One collection in Golden s.l. made on South Table Mountain. Known from Jefferson County on the high plains along the foothills, including the intensely-collected places of Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms. Collections are scattered around the state of Colorado, except for the high mountains. The global range is most of the United States and Canadian provinces, and South American from Bolivia south.

The author has collected it on the western shores of Mono Lake.

 

Literature Cited:
- Hitchcock, A. S., 1920.
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1848b.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Muhlenbergia montana, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Muhlenbergia montana (Nutt.) Hitchc. “Mountain Muhly”

Mountain Muhly ‐ Muhlenbergia montana — has been found in scattered locations round Golden s.l., mostly on ridges, mountain tops, and other edges of the landscape. It is fairly easy to recognize with a hand lens because the upper glume is 3-toothed.

First collected by William Gambel near Santa Fe, New Mexico in August, 1841, Nuttall (1848) described Gambel's plants and published the name in a new genus Calycodon. In selecting a new genus for the grass, Nuttall (1848) noted the similarity to Muhlenbergia, but the distinct glumes led him to propose a new genus. Hitchcock (1920) placed C. montanum in Muhlenbergia.

The grass is sparingly distributed around Jefferson County, primarily at the higher-elevation, well-studied locations such as Rocky Flats and Ranson/Edwards. It is not reported for Chatfield, another well-studied site, but at a lower elevation.

Muhlenbergia montana grows on rocky slopes and ridge tops and in dry meadows and open grasslands, at elevations of 1400-3500 m. Its range extends from the western United States to Guatemala, but seems to be chiefly limited to central portion of the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Plateau.

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Coll. No. 1282, Muhlenbergia montana
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Inflorescence of Coll. No. 1282, Muhlenbergia montana

 

Literature Cited:
- Britton, Nathaniel Lord, Emerson Ellick Sterns, and Justus Ferdinand Poggenburg, 1888.
- Michaux, Andre, 1803.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Muhlenbergia racemosa;

Area List: Golden.  

Muhlenbergia racemosa (Michx.) Britton, Stern & Poggenb. “Marsh Muhly”

There ia a single collection of Muhlenbergia racemosa in Golden s.l. for 1895. There are a few other collections in Jefferson County, from Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms, and Coal Creek. There are collections scattered around most regions of Colorado, with maybe a slight concentration along the base of the Front Range. Known from the continental United States and Canadian provinces except for the far west and far east.

Originally named Agrostis racemosa by Andre Michaux (1803) with the location described as “… on the gravelly inundated bank along the whole of the Mississipi river.” Britton et al. (1888) published Muhlenbergia racemosa without discussion or comment.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Muhlenbergia wrightii;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1276, Muhlenbergia wrightii
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1553, Muhlenbergia wrightii

Area List: Golden.  

Muhlenbergia wrightii Vasey ex J.M. Coult. “Spike Muhly”

There are collections of “Spike Muhly” — Muhlenbergia wrightii Vasey ex J.M. Coult. — from both North and South Table Mountains. The two collections on North Table Mountain were made close to each other in a small watercourse near North Table Loop. The South Table Mountain collection made in 1983 is georeferenced to a location now covered by a house built in 1979, so the location given is a georeferencing error. There is open space a very short distance to the north.

Collections of M. wrightii in Jefferson County are in high plains below the Front Range, including Rocky Flats and Ranson/Edwards, but not Chatfield Farms. Beyond Jefferson County, there are a few scattered collections throughout Colorado. The grass is native to Arizona, Colorado, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

 

Literature Cited:
- Torrey, John, and Asa Gray, 1855.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Munroa squarrosa, additional information;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1551, 1 Sep 2016;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1551, Munroa squarrosa

Area List: Golden.  

Munroa squarrosa (Nutt.) Torr. “False Buffalograss”

Sometimes spelled Monroa, this odd little grass has been found on both North and South Table Mountains. The author has only seen it in one small place on North Table Mountain. There are also two 19th century collections with a location of “Golden” and a Marcus E. Jones on the Platte River in Denver, Jefferson County (sic). Scattered around dry places at lower elevations in Colorado, especially out on the plains.

First described by Nuttall (1818) from a collection of his on “ ... arid plains near the ‘Grand Detour’ of the Missouri, almost exclusively covering thousands of acres …” Named Monroa squarrosa Torrey (1859), which is treated an a orthographic variant.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Nassella viridula;
Full Size ImageInflorescence of Coll. No. 1146, Nassella viridula

Area List: Golden.  

Nassella viridula (Trin.) Barkworth “Green Needlegrass”

“Green Needlegrass” — Nassella viridula (Trin.) Barkworth — is very common in Golden s.l. having been collected from Dakota Ridge in the north, on North and South Table Mountains, to Apex Park in the south. Jefferson County collections are mostly on the plains at the base of the foothills, with a few collections in the foothills, such as at Mayhem Gulch and Conifer. Found throughout Colorado on shortgrass prairie, rocky slopes, and dry forests.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Panicum capillare;

Area List: Golden.  

Panicum capillare L. “Witchgrass”

There is one collection on a disturbed roadside of South Table Mountain. Found along the base of the foothills in Jefferson County, mostly in the intensely-collected places of Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms. Scattered around Colorado. Native to the continental United States the southern provinces of Canada, and the Caribbean.

The name was applied by Linnaeus (1753) from known locations of Virginia and Jamaica.

 

Literature Cited:
- Löve, Áskell, 1980a.
- Rydberg, Per Axel, 1900.
- Smith, James P., 2012.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Pascopyrum smithii;

Area List: Golden.  

Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) Á. Löve. “Western Wheatgrass”

“Western Wheatgrass” — Pascopyrum smithii (Rydb.) Á. Löve — has been found in several places, including North and South Table Mountains, Heritage Square, and Tin Cup Ridge. Not surprisingly, it has been found at Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms, but also on some of the hogbacks in the southern part of Jefferson County. Found in all areas of Colorado except the highest mountains.

First published as Agropyron smithii Rydb. as a segregate from A. spicatum, which by Rydberg's comments may have been somewhat muddled. Love (1980a and 1980b) proposed a new monotypic genus Pascopyrum and placed P. smithii there, presumably because of the unusually large chromosome number (2n=56) that he also published.

The Jepson Manual of California treats this grass as Elymus smithii (Rydb.) Gould noting that it is likely a polyploid hybrid of E. lanceolatus and E. triticoides (Smith, 2012).

Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1691, Pascopyrum smithii

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Poa arida;

Area List: Golden.  

Poa arida Vasey “Plains Bluegrass”

I have not seen “Plains Bluegrass” — Poa arida Vasey — or I have seen it and did not recognized it as a unique Poa. Apparently, it is quite similar to Poa fendleriana. The one collection in Golden s.l. was made at the intersection of US Highway 6 and 19th Street, an intersection that has been completely reconstructed since the collection was made. There is one other collection in Jefferson County made northwest of Ken Caryl and Kipling. That area has since been pretty well built over, but there are fragments of open space, e.g., Sledding Hill Park (Jefferson County), and a parcel owned by Foothills Park & Recreation District. Otherwise, the species is scattered around the valleys and dry plains, sometimes in alkaline areas.

George Vasey (1893) described P. arida from type specimen he collected at Socorro, New Mexico, in 1881.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Poa fendleriana;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1126, Poa fendleriana
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1815, Poa fendleriana

Area List: Golden.  

Poa fendleriana (Steud.) Vasey “Muttongrass”

There are several collections of “Muttongrass” — Poa fendleriana (Steud.) Vasey — in Golden s.l., from North Table Mountain and Apex Park. Collections are scattered around Jefferson County from Rocky Flats to the Buffalo Creek Recreation Area. Known from all areas of Colorado though sparingly on the eastern plains.

First recognized by Steudel (1855) who cited a collection by Fendler as Eragrostis fendleri. Placed in Poa by Vasey (1893a).

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Poa palustris;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1529, Poa palustris
Full Size ImageSpikelets of Coll. No. 1529, Poa palustris

Area List: Golden.  

Poa palustris L. “Fowl Bluegrass”

Found in only one place in Golden s.l., on the southwest slope of North Table Mountain, where running water from a spring creates a small wetland. Scattered around Jefferson County usually in riparian areas or otherwise damp soil. The grass is distributed circum-boreally.

It was named by Linnaeus (1759) with no locality given.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Poa secunda;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1855, Poa secunda ssp. secunda

Area List: Golden.  

Poa secunda J. Presl. “Sandberg Bluegrass”

There are three collections of “Sandberg Bluegrass” — Poa secunda J. Presl. — made in Golden s.l., one from Heritage Square by E. H. Brunquist, one from South Table Mountain, and one from the North Washington Open Space. The grass is fairly common on the high plains and foothills of Jefferson County, and found throughout Colorado except on the eastern plains.

The name Poa secunda was applied by Jan Presl who cited the mountains of Chile as the locality.

Sandberg Bluegrass is a New World species, native to northwestern North America (including Colorado) and from southern South America, i.e., Chile and Argentina.

 

Literature Cited:
- Vasey, George R., 1888.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Poa tracyi;

Locations: Mount Carbon.

Area List: Golden.  

Poa tracyi Vasey “Tracy's Bluegrass”

One collection by Marcus E. Jones in 1878 at foothills near Golden. One other collection from 1910 from Mount Carbon, Jefferson County. Otherwise found occasionally in Colorado in conifer and aspen forests, meadows, and in moist areas.

Named by George Vasey (1888) from a collection by Prof. S. M. Tracy near Raton, New Mexico.

 

Literature Cited:
- Britton, Nathaniel Lord, 1882.
- Merrill, E. D., 1938.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Pseudoroegneria spicata;

Area List: Golden.  

Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) A. Löve. “Bluebunch Wheat Grass”

There is one old collection of Pseudoroegneria spicata (Pursh) A. Löve. “Bluebunch Wheat Grass” from Golden s.l. It was made by Nathaniel Lord Britton on 8 October 1882 along with 15 other specimens of mostly common plants. There is another collection made in the foothills northwest of Golden in 1963.

Other collections in Jefferson County are at Chatfield Farms and the lower Beaver Brook watershed. About 400 collections of this grass in Colorado, from the foothills of the Front Range to the west, with many collections along the Colorado River from Granby down to Dotsero.

 

Literature Cited:
- Peterson, Paul M., Konstatin Romaschenko, and Gabriel Johnson, 2010.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Schedonnardus paniculatus, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Schedonnardus paniculatus (Nutt.) Trel. “Tumblegrass”

A relatively small perennial grass that should be common, but it is not often collected. It's distinguishing characteristic is a panicle breaks off when mature and is blown across the landscape thereby spreading the seeds.

Reports that the grass is often a conspicuous feature of deserted towns in films of the American West are overblown (pun fully intended!). That plant is usually the tumbleweed (Salsola tragus L.).

Recent phylogenetic work shows that S. paniculatus is deeply embedded within Muhlenbergia and we should probably be calling it Muhlenbergia paniculata (Nutt.) R.M. Peterson.

 

Literature Cited:
- Michaux, Andre, 1803.
- Small, John Kunkel, and Per Axel Rydberg, 1913.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Schizachyrium scoparium;

Area List: Golden.  

Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash “Little Bluestem”

For a grass that one would think would be very common, “Little Bluestem” — Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash — there are really only two collections in Golden s.l., a 1948 collection by Alan Beetle, and my own recent collection on North Table Mountain. There are, of course, other reports such as mine from Dakota Ridge, but why are there no collections from South Table Mountain or Heritage Square? There are some other collections from Jefferson County, e.g., Rocky Flats, but not many. Collections in Colorado are mainly along the Front Range, a few out in the eastern plains, with a scattering in the southern mountain areas. The grass is native to continental United States, except Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona, and the southern provinces of Canada.

First described as Andropogon scoparium by Michaux (1803) from plants in dry Carolina forests. George V. Nash, writing in Small and Rydberg (1913) moved it to Schizachyrium, applying a common name of “Broom Grass.”

Full Size Image
Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Blue Stem) in the Mines Survey Field.
Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1735, Schizachyrium scoparium

 

Literature Cited:
- Linne´, Carl von, 1753.
- Small, John Kunkel, and Per Axel Rydberg, 1913.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Sorghastrum nutans;

Area List: Golden.  

Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash “Yellow Indian Grass”

“Yellow Indian Grass” — Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash &mdash has not been collected in the wild in Golden s.l. Instead, I grow it in my garden where, with a little water, it thrives. Known mostly from Rocky Flats and Ranson/Edwards in northern Jefferson County, it is found on the eastern plains and Front Range foothills, with a few localities in the southern mountains. Native to the United States and southern provinces of Canada from about the 111th meridian (central Arizona) and to the east.

First named Andropogon nutans by Linnaeus (1753) from descriptions of plants with habitat in Virginia and Jamaica, who applied the specific epithet of nutans because of the drooping habit of the panicle, it was moved to Sorghastrum nutans by Nash, writing in Small and Rydberg (1913).

Full Size Image
Inflorescence of Coll. No. 1249, Sorghastrum nutans
Full Size Image
Sorghastrum nutans “Yellow Indian Grass”

 

Literature Cited:
- Torrey, John, 1824b.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Sporobolus airoides;

Area List: Golden.  

Sporobolus airoides (Torr.) Torr. “Alkali Sacaton”

Only seen in Golden s.l. as a garden weed. First collected by Dr. Edwin James MD on the branches of the Arkansas River, near the Rocky Mountains, and described by Torrey (1824b). Collected several times in Jefferson County in waste places, found in many places on the eastern plains up to the foothills, and in mountain valleys in southwest Colorado. Native to the western United States and British Columbia.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Sporobolus compositus;

Area List: Golden.  

Sporobolus compositus (Poir.) Merr. “Composite Dropseed”

Two collections, one on South Table Mountain, and the other at the former intersection of 19th Street and US Highway 6. High plains and foothills in Jefferson County. Not many collections in Colorado, but mainly out on the plains and against the foothills between Denver and Boulder. Known from most of the continental United States, except the far southwest.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Sporobolus cryptandrus;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1757, 31 Aug 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1757, Sporobolus cryptandrus
Full Size ImageLeaf collar of Coll. No. 1757, Sporobolus cryptandrus

Area List: Golden.  

Sporobolus cryptandrus (Torr.) A. Gray. “Sand Drop-seed”

Several collections from North Washington Open Space, Heritage Square, and South Table Mountain, with a couple of observations from North Table Mountain.

First collected by Edwin James, M.D., on the Canadian River, and described by John Torrey (1824) as Agrostis cryptandra Torr.

 

Literature Cited:
- Gray, ASA, 1835.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Sporobolus heterolepis;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1714, Sporobolus heterolepis

Area List: Golden.  

Sporobolus heterolepis (A. Gray) A. Gray. “Prairie Drop-seed”

I have thought of “Prairie Drop-seed” — Sporobolus heterolepis (A. Gray) A. Gray — as an exclusively prairie grass. It turns out though that the first specimens described were from New York state (Gray, 1835). It was not until 1880 that it was known as far as the Black Hills. Britton and Brown (1896) note its distribution as far west as Arkansas, but it was really not until 1937 that Hitchcock wrote the grass was found as far west as Wyoming.

The grass has not been collected in Golden s.l., though it has been collected numerous times at Rocky Flats and Ranson/Edwards in northernmost Jefferson County, Colorado. It has also been found in clusters around Colorado Springs, and Soapstone Prairie Natural Prairie at the Wyoming Border. Collections in Wyoming have been on the edges of the Black Hills at the South Dakota border.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Vulpia octoflora;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1852, Vulpia octoflora

Area List: Golden.  

Vulpia octoflora (Walt.) Rydb. “Six Weeks Fescue”

Five collections from Magic Mountain Archeological Site, North Washington Open Space, and South Table Mountain, plus two observations from North Table Mountain. Probably more common but easily overlooked because of its small size. There are 21 collections from Jefferson County, including the intensely-collected locations of Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms. In Colorado, from the Front Rage east to Kansas and at lower elevations on the west slope. Generally thought to be native to all lower 48 states and the southern provinces of Canada.

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Carex inops var. heliophila;
• Social Trail:   at corner;
• Field Notes:   14 Mar 2018;
Full Size ImageCarex inops var. heliophila along the trail.

Area List: Golden.  

Carex inops L.H. Bailey ssp. heliophila (Mack.) Crins “Sun Sedge”

This small, early blooming sedge has feen found throughout Golden s.l. open spaces, typically in open places where it can get a good start before taller plants. It is often found in full sun and can tolerate some dryness. It spreads slowly by rhizomes.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ornduff, Robert, and Marion S. Cave, 1975.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Leucocrinum montanum, additional information;
• Survey Field Road:   at draw;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1303, 9 Apr 2016;
Full Size ImageLeucocrinum montanum on an old alluvial ridge in the Survey Field.

Area List: Golden.  

Leucocrinum montanum Nutt. ex A. Gray “Star Lily”

Leucocrinum montanum Nutt. ex A. Gray “Star Lily,” is very common in Golden s.l.. It is very likely present in those few areas where it has not been collected. Common along the Front Range from northernmost New Mexico, through Colorado and Wyoming, it has a similar south to north distribution in Nevada and California, with a kind of donut hole in some western parts of Colorado, Utah and eastern Nevada. As it happens, the eastern and western populations have somewhat different genetics, in that plants from the Rocky Mountains have n=14, whereas those from Nevada and California have n=13 (Ornduff & Cave, 1975)

Leucocrinum montanum is sometimes called “Sand Lily.” This is a misnomer. L. montanum really is not a plant of sandy sites. Instead, it grows in rocks, gravel, and rocky soil. Additionally, there are other “lilies” that definitely are found only in sand, and the common name “sand lily” should be reserved for them.

Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1303, Leucocrinum montanum in the Survey Field.

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1813.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Yucca glauca;
Full Size ImageYucca glauca “Soapweed Yucca” on Dakota Ridge.

Area List: Golden.  

Yucca glauca Nutt. “Soapweed Yucca”

There is only one collection of Soapweed Yucca — Yucca glauca Nutt. — in Golden s.l. but observations in many places of this difficult to collect yucca.

First collected by Thomas Nuttall (1813) on his 1811 expedition up the Missouri River.

 

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Kim, Sang-Chul, Jung Sung Kim, Mark W. Chase, Michael F. Fay, and Joo-Hwan Kim, 2016.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.
- Zomlefer, Wendy B., and Walter S. Judd, 2002.
- Zomlefer, Wendy B., Walter S. Judd, W. Mark Whitten, Norris H. Williams, 2006.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Eriogonum arcuatum;  Toxicoscordion paniculatum, additional information;

Area List: Golden.  

Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Nutt.) Rydb. “Foothill Death Camas”

There is a Death Camas “Lily” that is quite common around Golden s.l. Found on North and South Table Mountains, Kinney Run, Tin Cup Ridge, and Lookout Mountain, it is probably also in the Survey Field and on Dakota Ridge. It has not been seen at North Washington Open Space, and perhaps has never been there, or perhaps is extirpated. The difficulty comes in applying a valid name.

Death Camas — Zigadenus or Toxicoscordion — in Colorado is a bit of a mess.

First there is the question of applying the correct genus. Our most recent Colorado author (Ackerfield, 2015) and FNANM (Vol. 26, 2003) apply Zigadenus Michx. On the other hand, the penultimate Colorado authors (Weber & Wittman, 2012) apply Toxicoscordion and the most recent molecular investigations supported by morphological characters support separation of the western Toxicoscordion from the southeastern Zigadenus glaberrimus (Kim, et al., 2016 and Zomlefer, et al., 2006). In particular Zigadenus glaberrimus has a rhizome, whereas all the Toxicoscordion have a bulb.

Within the western Toxicoscordion, three taxa relevant to Golden s.l.: T. paniculatum, and T. venenosum, and T. gramineum that is usually treated as a variety of one of the other two.

Ackerfield (2015) accepts paniculatus as Zigadenus paniculatus and places venenosus and gramineus as varieties. then Z. paniculatus var venenosus is not treated in Flora of Colorado because it only occurs west of Colorado.

Meanwhile Weber & Wittmann (2012) accept Toxiscordion venenosum and treat T. paniculatum and T. gramineum as synonyms thereof.

Therefore any Death Camas under Zigadenus collected in Colorado and identified with Ackerfield (2015) would be treated as Z. paniculatus, variety paniculatus or gramineus.

On the other hand, Death Camas collected in Colorado and identified with Weber & Wittman (2012) will be Toxiscordion venenosum. T. gramineum and T paniculatum are treated as synonyms.

This is somewhat similar to Eriogonum arcuatum and E. flavum in which the name applied can be determined by the date of collection. Like the Wild Buckwheat, I suspect the name confusion in Death Camas names is carried over into herbarium specimens and their data bases, as seen on SEINet.

So, I think in the short run the best name to apply is Toxicoscordion because of current phylogenetic thought, and the specific epithet of paniculatum because venenosum only occurs west of Colorado. As much as I would like to apply the varietal name gramineum, I don't think that is a good idea, because so many of the Golden s.l. collections were never determined to variety.

The remaining three Zigadenus cited in Ackerfield (2015) would be placed in Anticlea Kunth, i.e., Anticlea elegans (Pursh) Rydberg, A. vaginata Rydberg, and A. virescens (Kunth) Rydberg (Zomlefer and Judd, 2002).

 

Literature Cited:
- Nuttall, Thomas, 1834a.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Maianthemum racemosum amplexicaule;

Area List: Golden.  

Maianthemum racemosum (L.) Link ssp. amplexicaule (Nutt.)LaFrankie “Feathery False Lily of the Valley”

There are three collections of “Feathery False Lily of the Valley” — Maianthemum racemosum (L.) Link subsp. amplexicaule (Nutt.) LaFrankie — that give Lookout Mountain as the collection locality and may be from Golden s.l. Since a good part of Apex Park is inside the city limits of Golden, it is likely that this plant occurs there.

The plant was first described by Thomas Nuttall (1834a) from a collection made by Nathaniel Wyeth on his return from Oregon Territory.

 

 

Literature Cited:
- Colorado Department of Agriculture, 2014-2019.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Golden s.l. noxious grasses;  

Notable Non-Native Plants

 
  In terms of the number of non-native taxa from each family, the greatest number are from the grass family (Poaceae). The top ten are listed in the Table below.

FamilyNativeNon-NativeTotal
Poaceae513082
Asteraceae9317111
Brassicaceae181735
Fabaceae23933
Polygonaceae12721
Chenopodiaceae4610
Caryophyllaceae9515
Boraginaceae10414
Lamiaceae8413
Solanaceae6410
  About 158 taxa of plants found in Golden s.l. are non-native. This is roughly 30% of all taxa found here.
  Three families, Poaceae, the “Grass family,” Brassicaceae, “the Mustard family,” and Asteraceae, the “Sunflower family,” account for about 40% of all non-native taxa in Golden s.l. This seems to be typical of the urban environment
 
“… just a few families contain a considerable portion of the species … Asteraceae, Poaceae, and Brassicaceae comprise 38.8% of species … this is typical of other non-native floras …” (Mosyakin and Yavorska, 2002)
  Some global studies have placed Fabaceae, the Pea family, in this group. Indeed, the Pea family is ranked fourth among families contributing non-native taxa to Golden s.l.
  The following discussion will first discuss the noxious weeds known from Golden s.l., then non-native grasses, mustards, and sunflowers, in that order.

 

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:   non-native grasses;  

Noxious Weeds

Thirty-five of the 158 non-native taxa are listed Colorado Noxious Weeds. The aim of the Noxious Weed program is to control noxious weeds, the non-native aggressive invaders that replace native vegetation, reduce agricultural productivity, cause wind and water erosion and pose an increased threat to communities from wildfire (Colorado Department of Agriculture, 2019).

   

List A

List A Species in Colorado that are designated by the [Colorado Department of Agriculture] Commissioner for eradication. The most common List A species in the Golden area is Euphorbia myrsinites L. (Syn: Tithymalus myrsinites (L.) Hill) Myrtle Spurge.

Other articles:
• Cheyenne Street:   near 5th;
• Gregory Drive:  30290;
• Kinney Run Trail:   at slope;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1779, 12 Apr 2018;   10 Mar 2019;
Full Size ImageInfestation of Myrtle Spurge between Gregory Drive and Goldco Circle.
Full Size ImageMyrtle Spurge as a treasured landscaping element.

Area List: Golden.  

Euphorbia myrsinites L. “Myrtle Spurge”

Euphorbia myrsinites L. Myrtle Spurge is ubiquitous in Golden s.l. Sprayed by either the City of Golden or Jefferson County Open Space where it is known to occur, it is often found in obscure or hidden places. It is also a common residential landscape plant. In the North Washington Open Space, previous mowing by the neighbors kept the plants small, but the species also spreads by small underground stems called rhizomes, thus allowing the plants to spread even if kept mowed.

Full Size Image
Habitat of Coll. No. 1779, Euphorbia myrsinites in Kinney Run.
On North Table Mountain, the plant is found at the tops and bottoms of the cliffs of the southwest side. I have found it hidden in off-trail locations in Kinney Run, and on Tin Cup Ridge. It is also found in Chimney Gulch and the Survey Field.

Full Size ImagePaul Rothrock photo of Lythrum salicaria

Area List: Golden.  

Lythrum salicaria L. “Purple Loosetrife”

Lythrum salicaria L. Purple Loosetrife. There was one collection along Clear Creek on Miller-Coors property. Current status, such as persistent presence, is unknown.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2380, 12 Jul 2020;  23 Aug 2020;

Locations: Deadman Gulch. Ranson/Edwards Homestead Open Space Park.
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2380, Epilobium hirsutum

Area List: Golden.  

Epilobium hirsutum L. “Hairy Willowherb”

Hairy willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) is a perennial, semi-aquatic plant also known by the names “codlins and cream” and “European fireweed.” The plant grows up to 6 feet tall and can reproduce via seeds or rhizomes. Flowers are pink and 0.75 inches across with 4 notched petals, 4 sepals, and 8 stamens. They are arranged in racemes in the upper leaf axils. The seeds have tufts of long white hairs that are dispersed by the wind. The entire plant is covered with fine, soft hairs. There are more than 10 populations known in Colorado, including one at Ranson/Edwards Homestead Open Space.

Hairy willowherb was first collected in Colorado 2003 by Stan Smookler and Linda Senser at the Ward Road Ponds between 48th Avenue and the junction of I-70 and Ward Road, and at the nearby Mount Olivet Cemetery.

In Golden s.l., hairy willowherb has been collected in Kinney Run south of US Highway 6 to Deadman Gulch, then up Deadman Gulch to Eagle Ridge Drive. It has also been found in several places in Tucker Gulch between CO Highway 58 down to Clear Creek. Hairy willowherb is often found with the smaller native fringed willowherb (Epilobium ciliatum).

Full Size Image
Hairy Willow Herb (Epilobium hirsutum) in Deadman Gulch.
Full Size Image
Hairy Willow Herb (Epilobium hirsutum) in Deadman Gulch.

Full Size ImageMax Lichter photograph of Arundo donax

Area List: Golden.  

Arundo donax L. “Giant Reed”

Arundo donax L. Giant Reed. In Colorado, this noxious grass is known from only one collection made near the Jefferson County Government Center. There is a report of the giant reed at Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area. It is possible that it is undercollected, but if that were true, then one would expect at least a few other collections. In adjacent states, there are many collections from Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, with a fewcollections from Utah and Kansas.

   

List B

List B Species are species for which the Commissioner, in consultation with the state noxious weed advisory committee, local governments, and other interested parties, develops and implements state noxious weed management plans designed to stop the continued spread of these species. The following List B plants are found in Golden s.l.:

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1983, 20 Jul 2018;
Full Size ImageSaponaria officinalis

Area List: Golden.  

Saponaria officinalis L. “Bouncingbet”

There is one collection from North Table Mountain along the former quarry road now forming part of North Table Loop. Several plants were found and removed along the social trail on the east side of the hill in the North Washington Open Space. Probably more widespread and undercollected, also seen as landscaping plant.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Clematis ligusticifolia;
• Field Notes:  29 August 2020;
Full Size ImageClematis orientalis, a List B noxious weed on the fence beside the Clear Creek Trail.
Full Size ImageClematis orientalis in a tree beside Clear Creek.

Area List: Golden.  

Clematis orientalis L. “Oriental Virginsbower”

There are several collections around Golden, generally in waste places. There are several collections and observations around the Clear Creek Whitewater Park and the Golden Water Treatment Plant. In addition, there is a collection from South Table Mountain and the author has collected it in a partially filled-in open pit mine on Eagle Ridge. There, Clematis orientalis is found with the native C. ligustifolia, and wild hops, Humulus lupulus. The phenology of C. orientalis seems to be 3 to 4 weeks behind C. ligustifolia. It is distinguished from native Clematis by virtue of its yellow sepals.
Full Size Image
Loraine Yeatts Coll. No. 1073, Clematis orientalis
  “Although Clematis orientalis has been naturalized in the Rocky Mountains since the late nineteenth century, it has spread especially rapidly since ca. 1975, becoming weedy and, in some localities, constituting a threat to young trees and native shrubby and herbaceous species.” – James S. Pringle in FNANM.

Other articles:
• Kinney Run Trail:   at Coll. No. 1441;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1441, 15 Jun 2016;

Locations: Welch Ditch.
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1441, Hesperis matronalis

Area List: Golden.  

Hesperis matronalis L. “Dame’s Rocket”

Seen in several places; one collection, at the pond on Deadman Gulch just west of US Hwy 6, was wiped out when dam was reconstructed. Was also collected along the former Welch Ditch at the mouth of Clear Creek Canyon.

Other articles:
• North Table Loop:   half-way;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1366, 24 May 2016;  Coll. No. 1874, 23 May 2018;
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1366, Lepidium draba
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1874, Lepidium draba

Area List: Golden.  

Lepidium draba L. “White Top”

Widespread, often found on slopes overrun by smooth brome. Collected in 1940 in Golden (“fallow fields and roadsides”) more recently on Eagle Ridge, North Table Mountain, and Tin Cup Ridge.

Full Size ImageWeber & Randolph Coll. No. 17349, Lepidium latifolium

Area List: Golden.  

Lepidium latifolium L. “Broad-Leaved Pepper-Grass”

There is only one collection of Broad-Leaved Pepper-Grass — Lepidium latifolium L. — at a location described as “just west of Hwy 6 S of junction with Golden Road.” It is unfortunately quite unclear which road is “Golden Road.” and therefore where this plant might have been found in Golden. Otherwise it has been found primarily at Chatfield Farms, and scattered in valleys around Colorado. The author is familiar with the plant from the San Francisco Bay Area of California where the plant is quite problematic.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1680, 28 Jun 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1680, Potentilla recta

Area List: Golden.  

Potentilla recta L. “Sulphur Cinquefoil”

Sulfur cinquefoil is a perennial forb that is native to the eastern Mediterranean region of Eurasia. The first collection of sulfur cinquefoil in North America was made sometime before 1900 in Ontario. How and where it was introduced to North America is unknown. The first collection in Colorado was made June 15, 1948 by William A. Weber, 1 mile west of Valmont, Boulder County. In Golden, sulfur cinquefoil has been collected on South Table Mountain and in Apex Gulch. It was not collected by E. H. Brunquist in 1959-1960 so its introduction to Apex Gulch is recent. It is probably under collected, e.g., very common at Ranson/Edwards.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Notes on Euphorbia esula;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1657, 5 Jun 2017;  Coll. No. 1795, 27 Apr 2018;
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1795, Euphorbia esula
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1657, Euphorbia esula

Area List: Golden.  

Euphorbia esula L. “Leafy Spurge”

Euphorbia esula L. or “Leafy Spurge” is common and widespread, though the number of collections might not show it. I think most collectors, myself included, just think, “Oh, leafy spurge” and move on looking for something interesting to collect. Around Golden s.l., the plant has been collected on North and South Table Mountains, on Dakota Ridge, and in Tucker Gulch.

Other Jefferson County collections are mostly around Bergen Park and at Chatfield Farms. Most Colorado collections are around the Rocky Mountain Front Range from Colorado Springs north, a few on the plains along the South Platte River, and scattered around the San Juan Mountains.

The sap contains diterpine esters in a milky latex that are toxic to humans. I wear disposable gloves when handling the plant.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1437, 15 Jun 2016;   Coll. No. 1645, 30 May 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1645, Elaeagnus angustifolia
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1437, Elaeagnus angustifolia

Area List: Golden.  

Elaeagnus angustifolia L. “Russian Olive”

The Russian Olive tree, native to Europe and Asia, was originally promoted by the federal government in the 1930s to control erosion in the Dust Bowls. It was also promoted as an ornamental. Unfortunately, it turned out that the trees take over river corridors and can completely cut off native species. Research has shown that they do not provide a habitat for cavity-dwelling birds, such as woodpeckers, bluebirds, tree swallows, and house wrens. In Golden there are many young and mature trees, in the North Washington Open Space, and the Foss property across North Ford Street. They have also been used as a landscape element in numerous locations, such as Altitude Apartments, and along Heritage Road.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Obs. No. 1552, 8 May 2017;   Coll. No. 1827.1, 16 May 2018;
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1827.1, Cynoglossum officinale.
Full Size ImageObs. No. 1552, Cynoglossum officinale

Area List: Golden.  

Cynoglossum officinale L. “Gypsyflower” or “Houndstongue”

Cynoglossum officinale L. Gypsyflower. Well established, often off the beaten path.
Full Size Image
Obs. No. 1552, Cynoglossum officinale

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1206, 12 Jul 2015;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1206, Verbascum blattaria
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1206, Verbascum blattaria

Area List: Golden.  

Verbascum blattaria L. “Moth Mullein”

In Golden s.l., Verbascum blattaria L. or “Moth Mullein” has been collected only once, and that in the Colorado School of Mines Survey Field. There it was found growing with Common Mullein, or Verbascum thapsus L. Most of the collections in Colorado were made along the Front Range from Golden north to the vicinity of Loveland.

Other articles:
• North Table Mountain Trail:  Near water tank;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1393, 8 Jun 2016;   Coll. No. 1641, 30 May 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1393, Linaria dalmatica
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1641, Linaria dalmatica

Area List: Golden.  

Linaria dalmatica (L.) Mill. “Dalmatian ToadFlax”

Linaria dalmatica (L.) Mill. (Syn: Linaria dalmatica (L.) Mill. ssp. dalmatica, Linaria genistifolia (L.) Mill. ssp. dalmatica (L.) Maire & Petitm.) Dalmatian ToadFlax. Ubiquitous, under collected.

Full Size ImageStan Smookler collection of Dipsacus fullonum

Area List: Golden.  

Dipsacus fullonum L. “Fuller's Teasel”

I have never seen Dipsacus fullonum L. “Fuller's Teasel” in Golden s.l., though there are two collections that are georeferenced within the broad sense of Golden.

Full Size ImageKarin McShea collection of Dipsacus laciniatus

Area List: Golden.  

Dipsacus laciniatus L. “Cutleaf Teasel”

I think the more common teasel around Golden s.l. is Dipsacus laciniatus L. or “Cutleaf Teasel.” At a distance it is likely to be confused with the former, Dipsacus fullonum L. “Fuller's Teasel.” However, a quick examination of the leaves easily distinguishes between the two species.

Full Size ImageMax Lichter photograph of Acroptilon repens

Area List: Golden.  

Acroptilon repens (L.) DC. “Russian Knapweed”

Acroptilon repens (L.) DC. Russian Knapweed. Open field between ranches on north side of Table Mountain and Table Rock subdivision, status unknown.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1711, 14 Jul 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1711, Carduus nutans

Area List: Golden.  

Carduus nutans L. “Nodding Plumeless Thistle”

Carduus nutans L. (Syn: Carduus nutans L. ssp. macrolepis (Peterman) Kazmi) Nodding Plumeless Thistle. Widespread and common.

C. nutans has been collected in Kinney Run, at North Washington Open Space, and South Table Mountain. There are observations of the thistle from North Table Mountain and Tin Cup Ridge.

Other articles:
• “Tilting Mesa Cut-Off”:   near saddle;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1233, 20 Jul 2015;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1233, Centaurea diffusa
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1233, Centaurea diffusa

Area List: Golden.  

Centaurea diffusa Lam. “White Knapweed”

Centaurea diffusa Lam. (Syn: Acosta diffusa (Lam.) Soja' k) White Knapweed, is widespread and common along the Front Range from Fort Collins south to Colorado Springs with a few collections in various locations around the state. It is possible that this distribution reflects collecting activity as much as actual distribution. In Golden, it has been collected on North Table Mountain and South Table Mountain, and observed on Dakota Ridge, Magic Mountain, and North Washington Open Space.

 

Area List: Golden.  

Centaurea stoebe L. “Spotted Knapweed”

There is one collection of Centaurea stoebe L. “Spotted Knapweed” along US Interstate 70 just outside the limits of Golden s.l. And there is just one other collection in Jefferson County. I suspect, though, that it may be more common than the number of collections might indicate.

Collections in Jefferson County have been annotated to C. maculosa Lam., though both Flora of North America and Plants of the World treat it as C. stoebe.

Literature Cited:
- Duncan, Celestine and Melissa Brown Munson, 2018.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Cirsium undulatum;
• Survey Field Road:  11000;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1200, Cirsium arvense

Area List: Golden.  

Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. “Canada Thistle”

Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. (Syn: Breea arvensis (L.) Lessing) Canada Thistle. Deep-rooted perennial weed that infests natural areas, pastures, rights-of-ways, seasonal wetlands, and cropland. Widespread and common. Probably native to southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. First introduced into North America in the early 1600s, probably as a contaminant in hay, crop seeds, and ship ballast. Best adpated to open sunny sites on well-drained, deep fine-textured soils. Clumps or patches from an extensive creeping root system. About four feet in height. Small flower heads that are either male or female (dioecious), with patches of a single sex often occurring. Once dispersed, each single-seeded fruitlet is able to establish either a male or female clone through vegetative propagation of its root system. Canada thistle root system may extend as much as 18 feet in one season, but individual roots live only for about 2 years. Typically sprayed when found. Some biological controls are available, though not particularly effective. Others are not imported to the United States due to possible non-target effects on native thistles.

Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1512, Cirsium arvense
Within Golden s.l., there are collections of Canada thistle from Colorado School of Mines Survey Field, South Table Mountain, and North Washington Open Space. It is expected to be found nearly everywhere within the city.

Area List: Golden.  

Onopordum acanthium L. “Scotch Cottonthistle”

This is a very large, very spiny thistle. In my own yard, one of these giant thistles grew in the middle of a patch of Yucca glauca at the corner of 5th Street and Arapahoe Street. I hacked it down without collecting it, so confirmation by collection is needed. I have also seen it at at Dakota Ridge and the corner of US Highway 6 and Heritage Road.

There are several collections from the intensively-collected localities in Jefferson County, such as Rocky Flats and Chatfield Farms. Most of the Colorado collections are centered around Denver, and along highway corridors.


Full Size ImageInflorescence of Coll. No. 1139, Aegilops cylindrica
Full Size ImageInflorescence of Coll. No. 1139, Aegilops cylindrica

Area List: Golden.  

Aegilops cylindrica Host. “Jointed Goat Grass”

Aegilops cylindrica Host. (Syn: Cylindropyrum cylindricum (Host) Á. Löve) Jointed Goat Grass is found mostly on the east slope and west slope in Colorado. In Golden, it has been collected in Mines Park (and observed in the Survey Field), North Table Mountain, North Washington Open Space, South Table Mountain, and Tin Cup Ridge.

   

List C

List C Species are species for which the Commissioner, in consultation with the state noxious weed advisory committee, local governments, and other interested parties, will develop and implement state noxious weed management plans designed to support the efforts of local governing bodies to facilitate more effective integrated weed management on private and public lands. The goal of such plans will not be to stop the continued spread of these species but to provide additional education, research, and biological control resources to jurisdictions that choose to require management of List C species. The following List C plants are found in Golden s.l.:

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1790, 23 Apr 2018;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1790, Erodium cicutarium

Area List: Golden.  

Erodium cicutarium (L.) L'Her. ex Aiton “Redstem Stork's Bill”

Erodium cicutarium (L.) L'Her. Ex Aiton, Redstem Stork's Bill, is also a very common, ubiquitous weed, collected mostly on the east and west slopes of Colorado, though usually not on the eastern plains. Around Golden, it has been collected downtown, in the Survey Field, Dakota Ridge, Heritage Square, North Table mountain, North Washington Open Space, and South Table Mountain.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 994;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 994, Tribulus terrestris

Area List: Golden.  

Tribulus terrestris L. “Puncture Vine”

Tribulus terrestris L. Puncture Vine. Is common and adventive. Most of the Colorado collections are in the metro Denver area and out on the plains. Within Golden, it has been seen in several places in town and in the surrounding open space. In particular, it has been collected at Heritage Square, and on North Table Mountain and South Table Mountain. The North Table Mountain collection (Schweich, #1547) was made beside the Golden Cliffs Trail, and the South Table Mountain collection (Yeatts, #804) was made in the middle of the road to Castle Rock. Both of these would seem to be recent introductions brought on hiker's boots or bicycle tires.

Other articles:
• “Tilting Mesa Cut-Off”:   at saddle;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1229, 20 Jul 2015;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1228, Hypericum perforatum
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1229, Hypericum perforatum

Area List: Golden.  

Hypericum perforatum L. “Common St. John's Wort”

Hypericum perforatum L. Common St. John's Wort. There are about 30 collections from Jefferson County. Most of the Colorado collections are from along the Front Range, including Ranson/Edwards and the Lipincott property. The only collection in Golden s.l. is from the top of North Table Mountain, and an observation made on Dakota Ridge. It is probably more common and widespread.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1436, 15 Jun 2016;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1436, Conium maculatum

Area List: Golden.  

Conium maculatum L. “Common Poison Hemlock”

Conium maculatum L. Common Poison Hemlock. Common and widespread in wet areas; adventive in gardens. Collected along Clear Creek, in the Survey Field, Heritage Square, and North and South Table Mountains.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Evolvulus nuttallianus;
• Plainview Road:   near coll loc west;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1220, 16 Jul 2015;
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1220, Convolvulus arvensis
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1220, Convolvulus arvensis

Area List: Golden.  

Convolvulus arvensis L. “Field Bindweed”

Convolvulus arvensis L. Field Bindweed. Very common, ubiquitous weed, although not often collected.

In my garden I have a protocol to remove bindweed. It is pretty labor intensive, but it seems to work. When I find bindweed, I pull and dig it out as much as possible. Then I water and watch the spot. If any bindweed comes up again, I drench it with glyphosate. I may have to do this four or five times. This works for a small area. I don't know what could be done with a large field.

I will say this, though, field bindweed really makes a good looking voucher.

Other articles:
• North Table Loop:   at Neighborhood Access Trl;
• Field Notes:   2-Aug-07;
Full Size ImageDense colonies of Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) in Cottonwood Canyon
Full Size ImageCollection No. 512, Verbascum thapsus

Area List: Golden.  

Verbascum thapsus L. “Common Mullein”

Verbascum thapsus L. Common Mullein. Ubitquitous, forms large dense colonies, frequently adventive in city gardens. Collected in Golden at Apex Gulch and South Table Mountain. Observed on Dakota Ridge, Magic Mountain, North Table Mountain, and North Washington Open Space. Like many noxious weeds, often overlooked and under-collected.

Full Size ImageColl. No. 2425, Arctium minus.

Area List: Golden.  

Arctium minus Bernh. “Lesser Burdock”

Arctium minus Bernh. Lesser Burdock. Known mostly from the Front Range, but also scattered across the western portion of the state. Collected at Heritage Square and in Deadman Gulch/Kinney Run. Observed in Deadman Gulch on Stonebridge HOA property.

Other articles:
• Plainview Road:   near coll loc west;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1223, 16 Jul 2015;
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1223, Cichorium intybus

Area List: Golden.  

Cichorium intybus L. “Chicory”

Cichorium intybus L. Chicory. In Colorado, occurs mostly at lower elevations on east and west slopes. Appears only on a list of observations for North Table Mountain, probably undercollected, as there are several collections from Rocky Flats and from Chatfield, two places that have been extensively collected.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Bromus japonicus;
• Rubey Drive:   at turn;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1112, 26 May 2015;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1112, Bromus tectorum

Area List: Golden.  

Bromus tectorum L. “Cheat Grass”

Bromus tectorum L. (Syn: B. tectorum L. var. glabratus Spenn.) Cheat Grass. Ubiquitous, adventive in urban gardens.

Full Size ImageJanet Wingate collection of Elymus repens

Area List: Golden.  

Elymus repens (L.) Gould. “Quack Grass”

Elymus repens (L.) Gould. (Syn: Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. ex B. D. Jacks. ) Quack Grass. One collection, Golden location doubtful.

Full Size ImageDorothy Borland collection of Panicum miliaceum

Area List: Golden.  

Panicum miliaceum L. “Proso Millet”

Panicum miliaceum L. Proso Millet. The noxious weed sheets distinguish between wild proso millet and domestic proso millet. The only way to distinguish between wild proso millet and domestic proso millet is seed color. Typically, domestic proso millet has white, yellow, light brown, or red seeds. Wild proso millet apparently has black seeds, although some sources mention black seeds on domestic proso millet. I think the real difference between wild and domestic proso millet is the location at which it is found. If it's in a farmer's field, it is domestic proso millet, but if it is in another place we don't want it, then it is wild proso millet. This is a grain crop with many different common names, such as proso millet, broomcorn millet, common millet, hog millet, Kashfi millet, red millet, and white millet. About 250,000 acres are planted with proso millet in Colorado, nostly on the northeast plains. It is an annual grsss that is native to Asia or middle Europe. Known only from Lookout Mountain.

Other articles:
• Tucker Gulch Trail:   above 1st St;   near 1st;
• Field Notes:   10 Aug 2014;  Coll. No. 1114, 26 May 2015;   Coll. No. 1651, 1 Jun 2017;

Locations: Colorado School of Mines Survey Field. Tucker Gulch (lower).
Full Size ImageTucker Gulch, north from First Street

Area List: Golden.  

Poa bulbosa L. “Bulbous Bluegrass”

Widespread. Collected and seen in multiple places along the North Table Loop, especially on the lower slopes of North Table Mountain. It is quite dense in Tucker Gulch near the First Street bridge (Schweich #1114). Collected by Janet L. Wingate at the former intersection of US Highway 6 and Tripp Road. This is likely near the undercrossing of US Highway 6 by the Kinney Run Trail. Also seen along an elk trail in the southern end of the Survey Field.
Full Size Image
Florets of Coll. No. 1114, Poa bulbosa.
Full Size Image
Inflorescence of Coll. No. 1114, Poa bulbosa.

   

Watch List

Watch List Species that have been determined to pose a potential threat to the agricultural productivity and environmental values of the lands of the state. The Watch List is intended to serve advisory and educational purposes only. Its purpose is to encourage the identification and reporting of these species to the Commissioner in order to facilitate the collection of information to assist the Commissioner in determining which species should be designated as noxious weeds. There are two plants in Golden s.l. that are on the Watch List:

Full Size ImageStanley Smookler collection of Carthamus lanatus

Area List: Golden.  

Carthamus lanatus L. “Wooly Distaff Thistle”

Known from one collection along Lubahn Trail, base of South Table Mountain.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1710, 14 Jul 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1710, Gypsophila paniculata

Area List: Golden.  

Gypsophila paniculata L. “Baby's Breath”

North Washington Open Space. Baby's breath is an ornamental species that has escaped cultivation. Once established, it can form dense stands and is difficult to control. In pastures and rangeland, it competes with forage species and decreases hay forage quality. There is only one other collection from Jefferson County, Colorado.

Literature Cited:
- Mosyakin, Sergei L., and Oksana G. Yavorska, 2002.  

... just a few families contain a considerable portion of the species ... Asteraceae, Poaceae, and Brassicaceae comprise 38.8% of species ... this is typical of other non-native floras … (Mosyakin and Yavorska, 2002)

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Noxious Weeds;  

Non-Native Grasses in the Golden Landscape.

There are 29 species of alien grasses that have been collected in Golden s.l.. Six of those grasses are listed Colorado noxious weeds. Noxious weeds are discussed under “Noxious Weeds,” above.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:   non-native;  

Colorado Noxious Weed List A:

Colorado Noxious Weed List B:

Colorado Noxious Weed List C:

  The other 24 non-native grasses in Golden are not listed noxious weeds. Unlisted non-native grasses:

That does not mean the grasses have no impact on native vegetation. What are these grasses? How did these grasses get to Golden?

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  smooth brome;  

Some of these grasses came to Colorado as weeds, perhaps in the hooves of animals. Others, though, were planted intentionally, as part of an attempt to improve rangelands. Here are two ways that non-native grasses are currently being introduced to the Golden landscape.

First, The City of Golden publishes revegetation requirements (Golden,2019) these guidelines list several mixes from seed companies, such as Arkansas Valley Seeds, Pawnee Buttes Seed Company, and Western Native Seed. The names of the grasses are all common names, so identifying the actual seed to be used can be unclear. Some of the grasses in these mixes are native, or cultivars of grasses that may be native. Some are native to Colorado, but clearly not native to Golden. For example, the Rocky Mountain Native Mix from Arkansas Valley Seeds contains Mountain Brome “Bromar.” This is clearly not native to Golden. Rocky Mountain Fescue “Native” is also suspect. Galleta Grass “Viva” is very unlikely to be native to Golden.

Second, Echters' “Dryland Pasture Mix” is described as being great for meadows and for erosion control. It can be used to reseed meadows and wildlife areas. The grasses are heat and cold tolerant, palatable and provide good nutrition for livestock and wildlife. It is said to be drought tolerant. The mix has changed through in the last few years since I first noticed it. The current (2019) mix contains six alien grasses, as follows:

20%Tall Fescue
20%Annual Rye
20%Wheatgrass
20%Festulolium
10%Smooth Brome
10%Orchard Grass

Since common names are used on the grass mix label, it can be difficult to tell what grasses are really being planted. “Tall Fescue” is most likely Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort. (Syn: Festuca arundinacea Schreb., Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) S. J. Darbyshire) is a cool-season perennial C3 species of bunchgrass native to Europe. It is an important forage grass throughout Europe, and many cultivars have been used in agriculture. It is also an ornamental grass in gardens, and a phytoremediation plant (Wikipedia, 2019). As discussed below, the SEINet taxon tree treats Schedonorus a. as a distinct taxon from Festuca a. and Lolium a..

Annual Rye grass appears to be Lolium multiflorum Lam. There are no collections of L. multiflorum in Golden s.l. or nearby and it will not be discussed further.

“Wheatgrass” could be Pascopyrum or Thinopyrum, or possibly Elymus. The most common of those grasses around Golden is Intermediate Wheatgrass Thinopyrum intermedium (Host) Barkworth & D. R. Dewey and this is probably what is in the mix. T. intermedium is discussed further below as an alien grass that is common in the Golden s. l. area.

Festulolium, c.f., F. braunii K.A. is a hybrid cross between the Festuca and Lolium species. The agronomic benefits of festulolium started to gain acceptance in the late 1950’s with demand steadily increasing over the years. Festulolium is mainly utilized in pastures for grazing and stockpiling, either in mixes or pure stands. Silage and green chop are other major uses. Benefits include higher forage yields than perennial ryegrass, forage quality similar to perennial ryegrass, increased mid summer growth compared to other cool season grasses, high disease resistance, winterhardiness and persistence. There are a few older collections of grasses determined some species of Festulolium online in SEINet, but it is unclear whether those are the F. braunii hybrid or an older use of Festulolium as a genus name.

“Smooth Brome” is most likely Bromus inermis Leyss. This alien grass is ubiquitous in Golden s. l. and discussed in more detail below.

“Orchard Grass” is Dactylis glomerata L. The alien Orchard Grass is also very common in Golden s. l. and also discussed in more detail below.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 821;  Coll. No. 1856, 18 May 2018;

Locations: North Washington Open Space.
Full Size ImageMy collection of Agropyroncristatum at Denver Botanic Gardens

Area List: Golden.  

Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn. “Crested Wheat Grass”

There are collections of Crested Wheat Grass from North and South Table Mountains and from the North Washington Open Space. The grass is commonly collected throughout Colorado, except at the higher altitudes. Crested Wheat Grass is often used in “range improvement” projects and is found throughout the Cordilleran West. It is likely undercollected because it is so common.
Full Size Image
Coll. No. 821, Agropyron cristatum, "Crested Wheat Grass"
  City of Golden categorizes Crested Wheat Grass as an invasive, non-native grass to avoid for revegetation (Golden, 2019).

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1225, 16 Jul 2015;
Full Size ImageE. H. Brunquist collection of Agrostis gigantea
Full Size ImageMy collection of Agrostis gigantea from Ranson/Edwards.

Area List: Golden.  

Agrostis gigantea Roth. “Redtop”

There are two collections of Redtop, one from from the top of North Table Mountain, and the other likely from the Magic Mountain Archeological Site. Outside of Golden s.l. there are several collections of the grass ranging from Rocky Flats in the north to Chatfield in the south of Jefferson County. The author has collected it at Ranson/Edwards.

Other articles:
• Tucker Gulch Trail:   above First;   near 1st;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2274.1, 12 May 2020;
Full Size ImageSchweich collection of Alopecurus arundinaceus
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2274.1, Alopecurus arundinaceus.

Area List: Golden.  

Alopecurus arundinaceus Poir. “Creeping Reed Foxtail”

The genus Alopecurus consists of about 50 species distributed throughout the Temperate and Arctic Zones of the Northern Hemisphere The name, Alopecurus, is derived form the Greek words Alopex meaning fox, and oura meaning tail, referring to the characteristic cylindrical panicle.

There is considerable variation in application of common names to Alopecurus arundinaceus; a typical problem with common names. Shaw (2008) and Ackerfield (2015) apply Creeping Meadow Foxtail. Welsh, et al. (1993) use Creeping Foxtail. Monsen, et al. (2004) apply Creeping Foxtail and Reed Foxtail as common names. The creeping adjective is germane because A. arundinaceus is is rhizomatous, whereas the very similar A. pratensis is non-rhizomatous. Meadow Foxtail is a literal translation of Alopecurus pratensis and is the common name typically applied to that taxon. So dropping Meadow from the common name of A. arundinaceus would be a good idea would reduce confusion of the two grasses. The specific arundinaceus is from Latin and means "like a reed," from arundo, arundinis, "reed." Therefore, Reed Foxtail would seem like the best common name, with perhaps the adjective Creeping added to acknowledge the rhizomatous nature of the grass.

Regardless of the common name, A. arundinaceus is widespread in Europe and temperate Asia. It was introduced in the United States in 1935, and is now naturalized in the Great Plains, Pacific Northwest, and Intermountain regions. It is commonly seeded as pasture and a hay crop in wet meadows and has spread along waterways and moist drainages.

The sole collection of this grass in Golden s. l. was made in Tucker Gulch, just north of the First Street bridge. There are six other collections (SEINet, 20 Oct 2019) made in Jefferson County, mostly from the Chatfield area and the Majestic View Nature Center.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1930.2, 8 Jun 2018;
Full Size ImageSchweich collection of Alopecurus geniculatus

Area List: Golden.  

Alopecurus geniculatus L. “Water Foxtail”

These are several collections from North Table Mountain in the area of an ephemeral pond that has been enhanced with a small rock dam. Water foxtail is a small annual grass collected occasionally in wetlands or drying wetands in central Colorado.

There is a similar foxtail grass A. carolinianus that is an annual and distinguished from A. geniculatus by its smaller anthers. I have collected A. carolinianus at Ranson/Edwards and Lippincott Ranch, north of and higher than Golden.

Literature Cited:
- Ackerfield, Jennifer, 2015.
- Shaw, Robert B., 2008.
- Weber, William A., and Ronald C. Wittmann, 2012.  

Bromus carinatus Hook. & Arn. “California Brome”

Bromus carinatus Hook. & Arn. (Syn: Ceratochloa carinata (Hook. & Arn.) Tutin) has a common name of “California brome,” or occasionally “Mountain brome.” It is considered to be native to Colorado by Ackerfield (2015) and Shaw (2008), but alien by Weber & Wittmann (2012), who also write, “A species consisting of a number of infertile races, introduced for range revegetation.”

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   28 Apr 2018;

Locations: North Washington Open Space.
Full Size ImageConstruction damage and debris.

Area List: Golden.  

The construction of the condominiums at 410-416 North Ford Street bled over into the North Washington Open Space. The soil was disturbed, construction debris was dumped, and construction equipment was stored on the city-owned parcel. At completion of construction the construction debris and equipment was removed. The disturbed area was covered with a jute mat, and the area seeded. By my collection (Schweich, #2090), the primary species seeded was Bromus carinatus Hook. & Arn. “California brome.” The seed mix also contained Triticum aestivum L. “Wheat” as several specimens of that taxon were collected (Schweich, #2089) with the California brome.
Full Size Image
Coll. No. 2089, Triticum aestivum
Full Size Image
Coll. No. 2090, Bromus carinatus

Literature Cited:
- Arkansas Valley Seeds, 2019.
- Golden, City of, 2019.  

The City of Golden Revegetation Requirements (Golden, 2019) permit use of Mountain Brome “Bromar,” i.e., California brome, in a mix of permanent revegetaion seed. “Bromar” is a selection made in 1933 at the Washington State University Agricultural Experiment Station, in Pullman, Washington. It was released in 1946. The specific mix called out is “Rocky Mountain Native Mix from Arkansas Valley Seeds.” The mix contains 20% California Brome in addition to 8 other grasses (Arkansas Valley Seeds, 2019). The technical specification sheet does not specify the cultivar names of any of the grasses used.

If the preferred mix was applied, then other grasses such as Slender Wheatgrass, Blue Grama, Idaho Fescue, Buffalograss, Green Needlegrass, and Indian Ricegrass should have also been present. However, none of these were seen. Therefore, it would appear that primarily California Brome was applied.

  California Brome is not known from Golden s.l. The closest recent collection is by Janet L. Wingate (#2407, 19 Jun 1983, KHD21846) in a disturbed area at edge of dressage arena, Table Mountain Ranch, 19000 W 58th Ave., Golden. This location is just outside the present definition of Golden s.l. Otherwise, there are no historic or recent collections of this grass made in Golden s.l. (SEINet, 2019). Especially, there were no collections of B. carinatus when the Magic Mountain area was extensively collected by E. H. Brunquist in 1959-1960, nor were there any collections from South Table Mountain when that mesa was collected by Loraine Yeatts in 1983-1984. The closest old collection is an early 20th century collection from Mount Morrison (Bethel & Clokey #3998, 3 Jun 1921: CM234168, IND27631, RM88139 & UTC22795).
  Therefore, I think it is fair to say that the planting of California brome as construction remediation represents introduction of an alien grass to Golden s.l., if not to Colorado. It was not necessary to introduce the alien grass as there are numerous native grasses already growing in the North Washington Open Space that are easy to obtain and grow from seed. These would include Little Bluestem, Blue Grama, Buffalo Grass, Sand Dropseed, Needle and Thread, and Green Needlegrass.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  dryland pasture mix;  

Bromus inermis Leyss. “Smooth Brome”

 
  If I were a dryland cattle rancher, I would plant smooth brome. It greens up early, but can survive periods of drought and extremes in temperature. It is highly palatable and is high in protein content and relatively low in crude-fiber content. It is deep-rooted and spreads by rhizomes in addition to seed. It is compatible with alfalfa or other adapted legumes.
  On the other hand, if I were a prairie restoration ecologist, I would go around shooting dryland cattle ranchers who planted smooth brome.

Literature Cited:
- Global Invasive Species Database, 2019.

Other articles:
• Plainview Road:   near coll loc west;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1660, 16 Jun 2017;
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1219, Bromus inermis

Area List: Golden.  

Bromus inermis is a highly competitive C3 grass that forms a dense sod, resulting in smothering and exclusion of other (native) species and decreasing natural biodiversity (ANHP, 2002; Oftinowski et al., 2007). ANHP (2002) writes that \"Smooth brome may inhibit natural succession processes…and [serves as an] alternate host for viral diseases of crops.\" Anemone patens, a long lived native perennial in North American grasslands, is negatively affected by the presence of B. inermis. The thatch left by previous B. inermis growth creates an issue for survival and germination of A. patens seeds (Williams & Crone, 2006). B. inermis has also shown to alter the population dynamics of the dominant native perennial prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata). When B. inermis grows in conjunction with native S. pectinata is known to reduce patch growth, decrease colonization rates and increase extinction rates of the native species (Dillemuth et al., 2009). B. inermis is also known to significantly impact the population dynamics and movement behaviour of several native arthropod species in North American prairies (Baum et al., 2004; Cronin 2003a, b, 2007; Cronin & Haynes 2004; Cronin et al., 2004; Haynes & Cronin 2003).
Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1660, Bromus inermis

Literature Cited:
- Bahm, Matt A., Thomas G. Barnes, and Kent C. Jensen, 2011.  

 

Literature Cited:
- Sovell, John, Pam Smith, Denise Culver, Susan Panjabi and Joe Stevens, 2012.  

Smooth brome is considered to be an invasive species in at least ten other states (MN, OH, IN, IL, KY, TN, NB, WI, ND and MS), by Invasives.org and The Nature Conservancy. In Colorado, smooth brome is available for use in seed mixes used by ranchers, homeowners, and highway departments which is why it is not listed as an invasive species.

The City of Golden designates smooth brome an invasive, non-native grass to avoid for revegetation (Golden, 2019).

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Bromus tectorum;
• Plainview Road:   near coll loc;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1461, 27 Jun 2016;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1461, Bromus japonicus

Area List: Golden.  

Bromus japonicus Thumb. “Japanese Brome”

While B. japonicus and B. tectorum are superficially similar and often found growing together, they are probably not that closely related, as B. japonicus is placed in section Bromus, and B. tectorum in section Genea.

B. japonicus is not a noxious weed in Colorado, whereas B. tectorum is, and is discussed with the noxious weeds above.

Area List: Golden.  

Bromus racemosus L. “Bald Brome”

The collection of B. racemosus, collected at Heritage Square, has been annotated B, japonicus by Janet Wingate (2019).

Other articles:
• Rubey Drive:   at turn;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1111, 26 May 2015;  Coll. No. 1389, 1 Jun 2016;
Full Size ImageSchweich collection of Dactylis glomerata

Area List: Golden.  

Dactylis glomerata L. “Orchard Grass”

Orchardgrass was introduced to the eastern United States from Europe in 1760. It is widely planted in the United States and Canada, and is found from Nova Scotia south to the Carolinas, west to central California, and north to coastal British Columbia. It was one of the first grasses I collected in Alameda, California.

There are two collections of Orchard Grass from Golden s. l., both made by the author. In addition, three observations from different locations, show Orchard Grass to be widespread in Golden s. l. Despite its ubiquity, Orchard Grass is not considered a particularly invasive species when compared to other exotic perennial grasses, e.g., Holcus lanatus, Festuca arundinacea, or Phalaris aquatica (or Bromus inermis, I might add).

Often planted for range improvement or revegetation, but considered an invasive, non-native grass to avoid for revegetation (Golden, 2019).

Area List: Golden.  

Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv. “Barnyard Grass”

Seen at Heritage Square and North and South Table Mountains. Until recently, most collections of Echinochloa were determined E. crus-galli. Then Ackerfield (2015) introduced a new character to examine in her key, i.e., were the setae on sterile lemmas pustular at the base or not? If true, then the grass was more likely E. muricata. Examination of this character led several collections determined E. crus-galli to be annotated to E. muricata.

The basionym for E. crus-galli is Panicum crus-galli L. and occasionally “millet” is included in the common nane for Barnyard Grass.

Other articles:
• Canyon Point Circle:   at t. h.;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1296, 9 Sep 2015;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1296, Echinochloa muricata var. microstachya

Area List: Golden.  

Echinochloa muricata (P. Beauv.) Fernald var. microstachya Wiegand. “Rough Barnyard Grass”

Collected in Golden in 1895, more recently on South Table Mountain and at the Nightbird Gulch Trailhead.

Shaw (2008) and Ackerfield (2015) accept var. microstachya, whereas Weber&Wittman (2012) do not.

Other articles:
• Quaker Street:  49300;
Full Size ImageWingate collection of Eragrostis cilianensis

Area List: Golden.  

Eragrostis cilianensis (All.) Vignolo ex Janch. “Stinkgrass”

One collection on a disturbed roadside of South Table Mountain. Ten other collections in Jefferson County, often on disturbed ground. Also adventive in Golden gardens. Unfortunately, when I told my neighbor what it was, they pulled it out and threw it away before I could voucher it.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1947, 15 Jun 2018;
Full Size ImageMy collection of Festuca idahoensis
Full Size ImageMy collection of Festuca idahoensis

Area List: Golden.  

Festuca idahoensis Elmer “Idaho Fescue”

The only Golden collections of F. idahoensis, indeed the only collections from Jefferson County, were made in the North Washington Open Space, where it was planted as a revegetation project. Both F. idahoensis and the next F. saximontana are members of the Festuca ovina “complex, a grouping of the fine-leaved, non-rhizomatous Festucas. The City of Golden considers F. ovina to be an invasive non-native grass that is to be avoided for revegetation projects (Golden, 2019).

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1853, 18 May 2018;
Full Size ImageMy collection of Festuca saximontana

Area List: Golden.  

Festuca saximontana Rydb. “Rocky Mountain Fescue”

Collected in Golden only at the North Washington Open Space where it was planted as a revegetation grass. Has also been observed in Kinney Run, collection and verification needed.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2087, 17 Jun 2019;
Full Size ImageWingate collection of Hordeum murinum
Full Size ImageCiliate glumes of Coll. No. 2087, Hordeum murinum

Area List: Golden.  

Hordeum murinum L. “Mouse Barley”

Seen on North Table Mountain and collected on South Table Mountain; collected by the author at Lippincott Ranch.

Area List: Golden.  

Hordeum vulgare L. “Common Barley”

Known from only one collection north of Golden. Possibly planted or perhaps fell off the hay truck.

Area List: Golden.  

Lagurus ovatus L. “Hares Tail Grass”

Known from only one collection, on roadside of 32nd Avenue, near the Rolling Hills Golf Club, south of Golden.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1677, 28 Jun 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1677, Poa compressa

Area List: Golden.  

Poa compressa L. “Canada Bluegrass”

Collected on North Table Mountain and Tin Cup Ridge, but probably more common than the number of collections would indicate. Poa compressa is commonly planted to control erosion on disturbed sites such as roadsides, mine reclamation sites, heavy use recreation areas, and for low maintenance landscaping. City of Golden treats it as an invasive, non-native grass to avoid for revegetation (Golden, 2019).

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2057, 4 Jun 2019;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2057, Poa pratensis

Area List: Golden.  

Poa pratensis L. “Kentucky Bluegrass”

(Syn: P. agassizensis B. Boivin & D. Löve) Common around Golden; collected on North and South Table Mountains, the Survey Field, and North Washington Open Space. Often planted for range “improvement.” Invasive, non-native grass to avoid for revegetation (Golden, 2019).

Area List: Golden.  

Psathyrostachys juncea (Fisch.) Nevski “Russian wildrye”

Collected in 1983 in a vacant field north end of Golden. Now covered by a housing development.

Other articles:
• Tilting Mesa Trail:   at pond;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1959.2, 21 Jun 2018;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1959.2, Puccinellia distans

Area List: Golden.  

Puccinellia distans (L.) Parl. “European Alkali Grass”

Collected on northwest side of pond, sometimes called “Vaca Lake,” on North Table Mountain.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:  Secale cereale, additional information;
• Rubey Drive:   at turn;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2350, 12 Jun 2020;
• Glossary:  auricle;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1110, Secale cereale, auricles ±1 mm.
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1110, Secale cereale

Area List: Golden.  

Secale cereale L. “Cereal Rye”

Scattered aound Golden from Dakota Ridge to South Table Mountain. Probably planted as a revegetation grass beside Nightbird Gulch at CO Highway 93 and Iowa Drive. The collection at Dakota Ridge is more likely the weedy rye and not the cultivated rye because the rachis is quite brittle.
Full Size Image
Spikelets of Coll. No. 2350, Secale cereale

Area List: Golden.  

Setaria viridis (L.) P. Beauv. “Green Bristlegrass”

Common, and adventive in city gardens, but only collected on South Table Mountain.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1709, 14 Jul 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1709, Thinopyrum intermedium

Area List: Golden.  

Thinopyrum intermedium (Host) Barkworth & D. R. Dewey “Intermediate Wheatgrass”

(Syn: Elymus hispidus (Opiz) Melderis) Intermediate wheatgrass has been collected or observed in Golden at New Loveland Mine Park, North Table Mountain, North Washington Open Space, and South Table Mountain.

Often planted in a revegetation project. Generally, it is not an invasive plant and coexists well with native plant species. The sources of the various cultivars of Intermediate Wheatgrass are Russia, Turkey, and China.

Area List: Golden.  

Thinopyrum ponticum (Podp.) Z.-W. Liu & R.-C. Wang. “Rush Wheatgrass”

(Syn: Elymus elongatus (Host) Runemark) Observed, but not collected on North Table Mountain. Planted as a revegetation grass at Rocky Flats (Jody K. Nelson, #640, 7 May 1998, COLO543181).

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2089, 26 Jun 2019;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2089, Triticum aestivum

Area List: Golden.  

Triticum aestivum L. “Wheat”

Found in North Washington Open Space where it was planted, perhaps as a contaminant, as part of a revegetation project following construction on adjacent property.

   

Non-Native Mustards in the Golden Landscape

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:   Notes on Polygonum achoreum;

Area List: Golden.  

Polygonum achoreum S. F. Blake “Leathery Knotweed”

One collection from South Table Mountain.
  Seventeen taxa in the Brassicaceae are non-native to Golden s.l. Three of them: Hesperis matronalis L. Dame's Rocket, Lepidium draba L. White Top, and L. latifolium L. Broad-Leaved Pepper-Grass, are noxious weeds that are discussed above. The remaining fourteen taxa are discussed below.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 2063.2, 6 June 2019;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 2063.2, Alyssum alyssoides

Area List: Golden.  

Alyssum alyssoides (L.) L. “Pale Madwort”

This taxon and the next, A. simplex, are very similar. They are distinguished by whether the sepals are persistent and whether the filaments are winged.

There is only one collection in Golden s.l., from Eagle Ridge, and one observation from North Table Mountain. Presence of A. alyssoides needs confirmation. The author has personally collected it at Lippincott Ranch, northernmost Jefferson County, but nearly all collections around Golden s.l. turn out to be A. simplex.

Other articles:
• North Table Loop:   half-way;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1367, 24 May 2016;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1367, Alyssum simplex

Area List: Golden.  

Alyssum simplex Rudolphi “European Madwort”

(Syn: Alyssum minus Rothm., Alyssum parviflorum Fisch. ex M.Bieb. ) Ubiquitous little weed found everywhere.

Other articles:
• Kinney Run Trail:   at Deadman Gl;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1818, 16 May 2018;
Full Size ImageHabitat of Coll. No. 1818, Barbarea vulgaris

Area List: Golden.  

Barbarea vulgaris R. Br. “Garden Yellowrocket”

Common weed of wet places, or in streams, Kinney Run, North and South Table Mountains, and CSM Survey Field.

Other articles:
• Tucker Gulch Trail:   near shelter;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1056;

Locations: Tucker Gulch (lower).
Full Size ImageHabitat of Berteroa incana

Area List: Golden.  

Berteroa incana (L.) DC. “Hoary Alyssum”

Collected in Tucker Gulch and Apex Gulch in 2019. Not collected in Apex Gulch in 1959-1960 by Ernest H. Brunquist, so it may be a recent introduction there. Weber & Wittmann (2012) say, “abundant in meadows of the Front Range valleys and expected to spread throughout the middle altitudes.” Recently collected by the author in the Buffalo Creek Recreation Area, filling in the plant’s range in southern Jefferson County.
Full Size Image
Coll. No. 1056, Berteroa incana

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1876, 24 May 2018;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1876, Camelina microcarpa

Area List: Golden.  

Camelina microcarpa Andrz. Ex DC. “Little-Podded False Flax”

Common little weed world-wide, including all Golden s.l. open spaces.

Other articles:
• Tucker Gulch Trail:   at shelter;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1336, 11 May 2016;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1336, Capsella bursa-pastoris

Area List: Golden.  

Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik. “Shepherd's Purse”

Another common little weed world-wide, but for some reason has only been collected at Tucker Gulch in Golden s.l.

Other articles:
• Neighborhood Access Trail:   near trailhead;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1308;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1308, Chorispora tenella

Area List: Golden.  

Chorispora tenella (Pall.) DC. “Crossflower”

Common weedy plants of disturbed areas, found mostly everywhere, though often an early spring wildflower.

Other articles:
• Forest Road 01N106A:   s. of Bohler Ck.;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 935;

Locations: Bohler Canyon.
Full Size ImageColl. No. 935, Descurainia sophia

Area List: Golden.  

Descurainia sophia (L.) Webb. “Tansy Mustard”

Eagle Ridge and North Table Mountain, probably under collected.

Other articles:
• Kinney Run Trail:   at Deadman Gl;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1821, 12 May 2018;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1821, Draba nemorosa

Area List: Golden.  

Draba nemorosa L. “Woodland Whitlow Grass”

Colorado authors disagree whether this plant is native or non-native. Regardless, it is found in Kinney Run, Heritage Square, and South Table Mountain.

Area List: Golden.  

Erysimum cheiranthoides L. “Wormseed Wallflower”

I have not seen this and there is one collection from North Table Mountain.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1413, 10 Jun 2016;   Coll. No. 1607, 13 May 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1413, Lepidium campestre
Full Size ImageFruit of Coll. No. 1607, Lepidium campestre

Area List: Golden.  

Lepidium campestre (L.) W. T. Aiton “Field Pepperweed”

Two collections in the Survey Field, not quite as noxious as L. draba.

Other articles:
• Mesa Spur Trail:   along trail;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1808, 10 May 2018;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1808, Lepidium perfoliatum

Area List: Golden.  

Lepidium perfoliatum L. “Clasping Pepperweed”

One collection in the road north side of North Table Mountain between the horse ranches. My other collection is from central Nevada.

Area List: Golden.  

Sisymbrium altissimum L. “Tall Tumblemustard”

North and South Table Mountains, North Washington Open Space and Heritage Square.

Area List: Golden.  

Sisymbrium loeselii L. Loesel's “Tumble Mustard”

One observation from North Table Mountain, needs verification.

Other articles:
• North Table Loop:   half-way;
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1365, 24 May 2016;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1365, Thlaspi arvense

Area List: Golden.  

Thlaspi arvense L. “Field Penny Cress”

Common on North and South Table Mountain, Kinney Run, Survey Field, and North Washington Open Space, usually in wetter places.

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:   Notes on Veronica anagallis-aquatica;

Area List: Golden.  

Veronica anagallis-aquatica L. “Water Speedwell”

 

Other articles:
• Golden Checklist Flora:   Notes on Veronica catenata;

Area List: Golden.  

Veronica catenata Pennell “Speedwell”

There were two collections determined V. catenata. However, I believe these to be V. anagallis-aquatica. See the Notes for additional information.

   

Non-Native Sunflowers in the Golden Landscape

 
  There are 17 non-native plants in the Sunflower family (Asteraceae) that have been collected in Golden. Seven of those are Colorado listed noxious weeds. Noxious weeds are discussed as a group above. They are.

  • Noxious Weed List B
    • Acroptilon repens (L.) DC. Russian Knapweed.
    • Carduus nutans L. Nodding Plumeless Thistle.
    • Centaurea diffusa Lam. White Knapweed.
    • Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. Canada Thistle.
  • Noxious Weed List C
    • Arctium minus Bernh. Lesser Burdock.
    • Cichorium intybus L. Chicory.
  • Noxious Weed Watch List
    • Carthamus lanatus L. Wooly Distaff Thistle.
  There are ten non-native species of Asteraceae that are not listed noxious weeds.

Full Size ImageRatzloff collection of Conyza canadensis in Golden.

Area List: Golden.  

Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronquist “Canadian Horseweed”

(Syn: Erigeron canadensis L.) A common adventive garden weed, though often overlooked when collecting because of its ubiquity and unassuming appearance. In Jefferson County it is commonly found along the foothills and is scattered throughout Colorado except for the highest mountains.

Evidently originally native in the eastern states, but probably spreading as the West was developed (Weber & Wittmann, 2012). Recent phylogenetic work suggests that Conyza is nested within Erigeron and consequently some authors are again treating it as an Erigeron.

Area List: Golden.  

Galinsoga parviflora Cav. “Gallant Soldier”

Collected once in downtown Golden, which is the only collection in Jefferson County. Throughout Colorado it is found mostly in urban situations along the Front Range.

Area List: Golden.  

Gnaphalium uliginosum L. “Marsh Cudweed”

Collected once on South Table Mountain. and then at Chatfield Farms in Jefferson County. Scattered in the foothills and west in Colorado.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1749, 31 Aug 2017;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1749, Lactuca serriola

Area List: Golden.  

Lactuca serriola L. “Prickly Lettuce”

“Prickly Lettuce” — Lactuca serriola L. — is a ubiquitous adventive weed in open spaces and gardens. While it is the wild progenitor of cultivated lettuce (Lactuca sativa), the prickles on the leaves make it impossible to eat. Generally collected along the foothills in the intensively-collected locations in Jefferson County, and scattered all across Colorado.

Other articles:
• Field Notes:   Coll. No. 1399, 8 Jun 2016;
Full Size ImageSchweich collection of Scorzonera laciniata

Area List: Golden.  

Scorzonera laciniata L. “Cutleaf Vipergrass”

This common weed with a great name “Cutleaf Vipergrass” — Scorzonera laciniata L. — is found in open spaces, and is adventive in gardens. It is often confused with Tragopogon dubius.

Treated as Podospermum laciniatum (L.) De Candolle by Weber & Wittmann (2012) who note that is was first seen near Boulder in 1954.

There are about 180-190 species of Scorzonera world-wide but only S. laciniata has been reported in Colorado.

Area List: Golden.  

Sonchus asper (L.) Hill. “Spiny Sowthistle”

There was just one collection of “Spiny Sowthistle” — Sonchus asper (L.) Hill. — made many years ago in the downtown alley of 10th Street. Since then the author has collected it on a bank of Kinney Run, gracing both KHD and COLO with specimens.

This is one of several sowthistles found in Jefferson County, and the others, particularly S. oleraceus, may be found in Golden s.l. with more systematic collection.

Area List: Golden.  

Taraxacum officinale F. H. Wigg. “Common Dandelion”

I don't know, what can you say about “Common Dandelion” — Taraxacum officinale F. H. Wigg. — beside it is common everywhere, and therefore often overlooked for collection, e.g., not collected by Brunquist at Magic Mountain, but very likely it was there.

Our current Flora of Colorado (Ackerfield 2015) recognizes T. laevigatum (Willd.) DC., whereas our penultimate flora (Weber & Wittmann, 2012) treats it as a synonym of T. officinale. The deeper one digs into the question the more complicated it gets. However, suffice it to say that in Colorado mature seed is needed to distinguish one from the other.

Other articles:
• Plainview Road:   near coll loc;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1115, 28 May 2015;
• Glossary:  beak;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1115, Tragopogon dubius

Area List: Golden.  

Tragopogon dubius Scop. “Yellow Salsify”

Common in open spaces, adventive in gardens, ubiquitous. Found throughout Colorado, mostly in the foothills and lower elevations the mountains, but fewer out on the plains. The distribution of collections in Jefferson County closely parallels the locations that have been intensively botanized. On field trips this is a good plant to discuss the function of pappus and describe what is meant by a “beak.”

Other articles:
• North Table Loop:   near horse pasture;
• Field Notes:  Coll. No. 1539, 18 Aug 2016;
Full Size ImageColl. No. 1539, Verbesina encelioides

Area List: Golden.  

Verbesina encelioides (Cav.) Benth. & Hook. F. ex A. Gray “Cowpen Daisy”

In Golden s.l., “Cowpen Daisy” — Verbesina encelioides (Cav.) Benth. & Hook. F. ex A. Gray — has been collected on South Table Mountain, and on North Table Mountain at the fenceline of a horse pen. Known from only a few places in Jefferson County, and broadly scattered around Colorado except for the northwest corner. Waste places, unclear if uncommon, or under-collected. First described as Ximenesia encelioides Cavanilles with habitat in Mexico, both Colorado authors agree that it is introduced to the state, though the USDA Plants data base shows it as native.

Area List: Golden.  

Xanthium strumarium L. “Common Cocklebur”

There are thre collections of Common Cocklebur — Xanthium strumarium — in Golden s.l. generally from waste places. Collections in Jefferson County are along the base of the Front Range. Otherwise, sparingly distributed along the foothills and valleys throughout Colorado. It is possibly under-collected because it is such a weed, and better data is needed.

   

Other Families

 
  There are nine plant families that are represented only by non-native taxa, and many of them are listed noxious weeds. Fortunately, there are only one or two taxa from each of those families. The families are:

  • Adoxaceae, one species: Sambucus canadensis L. American Black Elderberry.
  • Dipsacaceae, two species: Dipsacus fullonum L. Fuller's Teasel and Dipsacus laciniatus L. Cutleaf Teasel, both List B noxious weeds.
  • Elaeagnaceae, one species: Elaeagnus angustifolia L. Russian Olive, a List B noxious weed.
  • Hypericaceae, one species: Hypericum perforatum L. Common St. John's Wort, a List C noxious weed.
  • Lythraceae, one taxon, Lythrum salicaria L. Purple Loosestrife, a listed noxious weed in some states, such as Washington, but not in Colorado.
  • Oleaceae, two species: Fraxinus americana L. White Ash, and Ligustrum vulgare L. Privet, neither of which as noxious weeds. The privet is likely a recent introduction to the Magic Mountain area.
  • Oxalidaceae, one species, Oxalis stricta L. Common Yellow Oxalis, listed as a noxious weed in some states but not Colorado.
  • Ulmaceae, two species, Ulmus parvifolia Jacq. Chinese Elm, not listed, and Ulmus pumila L. Siberian Elm, a watch list plant in Colorado.
  • Zygophyllaceae, one species: Tribulus terrestris L. Puncture Vine, List C noxious weed species.

 

 

   

Conclusion

 
  This paper describes the flora found in the City of Golden s.l. in a narrow slice of time, roughly 2014 through 2019. Some of the data can be projected backwards because nearly all collections are dated. From historic collections and old photographs, we can reasonably estimate the original vegetation and composition of the flora. The introduction of non-native taxa tells a story of human history as much as biological history.
  We can also make some projections into the future. Most of the available land in Golden is built upon, permanently destroying the flora. The city-owned small pieces that are left are miniscule relative to county-owned open spaces. They are attractive for recreational use and subject to being chopped up into finer and finer pieces.
  Obviously, the author has a bias toward more preservation and less usage. Ultimately, though, the citizens of Golden will make those decisions. Perhaps, by this document, such decisions can be well-informed about the plant life in our city.

 

 

   

Acknowledgements

 
  Many people have been helpful to me in preparing this checklist flora. My first contact in Golden was with Lisa and Sean Klusner at Jefferson County Open Space. They not only supported my request to collect on North Table Mountain, but also in most parks, especially Ranson/Edwards. Over the years, Alicia Doran has supported my work and been my primary contact at Jefferson County Open Space. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Irene Weber and Anthony Massaro in the field and comparing notes. I met Loraine and Dick Yeatts though Colorado Native Plant Society. One time they rode their bicycles all the way to north Golden to loan me a packet of materials Loraine had saved. I also met Melissa Islam then at Denver Botanic Garden through CoNPS. She paved the way at the garden and introduced me to Janet Wingate, who kindly looks through my grass collections each year. Rod Tarullo is my contact with the City of Golden and issues a collection permit with a fine “Howdy, Howdy.” Gary Bowersock issued the first collecting permit for the Colorado School of Mines Survey Field and has passed the baton to Sam Crispin.
  Finally, I acknowledge Cheryl Schweich, my wife, who watched me head out to the field in the morning and then spend all afternoon and evening hunched over a microscope and computer.
  To all these people, I am grateful for their assistance – sometimes tolerance – that made this work possible.

 

 

   

Literature Cited

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Date and time this article was prepared: 5/26/2021 8:46:01 PM