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Sego Lily May 2010 33 (3)

May 2010 (volume 33 number 3)

In this issue:
Beckwith‘s Violet Fever . . . . . . . 1, 5
Chapter News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Bulletin Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
UNPS State Board Meeting and
Kanab Creek Botanical Foray
Beckwith‘s Violet, Bonneville
Violet, and Emigration Market
(1942-2010) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
More Beckwith‘s Violet News . . . 7
The Cactus and the Beetle . . . . . . 8
Utah Botanica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Forest Service Updates
Sensitive Plant List

Cover: Beckwith’s violet (Viola

beckwithii) is the only native Utah
violet with ternately compound
leaves (with the main divisions fur-
ther divided into narrow segments)
and white and purple petals. The
species occurs widely across the
Great Basin but is rare and declin-
ing in northern Utah as its foothills
habitat is displaced by urban
growth. Photo by Steve Hegji.

Beckwith’s Violet Fever

By Steve Hegji had been discovered in 2004 by Only the small population in Red
Robert Fitts. Two members of the Butte Garden (discovered in 2008)
This year, Viola beck- Weber State University Botany is known for sure in Salt Lake
department, Blake Wellard and
withii fever hit the Wasatch Margaret Harris, following up on a
Beckwith‘s violet is primarily a
Great Basin plant, found in Califor-
Front. No doubt this was triggered Weber State College Herbarium nia, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and
by Tony Frates's excellent presenta- specimen label, rediscovered a Utah. Development along the Wa-
tion on V. beckwithii at a Salt Lake population in northern Weber satch Front in Utah has eliminated
Chapter meeting in early March. I county. A number of other UNPS most of the violet‘s natural habitat.
caught the fever and have concen- members have been trying to lo- The known Utah populations are
trated on visiting a Utah county cate other populations this Spring. vulnerable and could disappear at
population near Spanish Fork that any time. Blake [continued pg 5]
Copyright 2010 Utah Native Plant Society. All Rights Reserved.
Utah Native Plant Society

Education: Ty Harrison Sego Lily Editor: Walter Fertig

Horticulture: Maggie Wolf ( The deadline for
Invasive Weeds: Susan Fitts the July 2010 Sego Lily is 15 June
Rare Plants: Walter Fertig 2010.
Scholarship: Bill Gray
Copyright 2010 Utah Native Plant So-
Chapters and Chapter Presidents ciety. All Rights Reserved
Cache: Amy Croft and Michael Piep
Cedar City: Marguerite Smith The Sego Lily is a publication of the
Officers Escalante: Harriet Priska Utah Native Plant Society, a 501(c)(3)
President: Walter Fertig (Kane Co) Fremont: Lisa White not-for-profit organization dedicated
Vice President: Kipp Lee (Salt Lake Co) Manzanita: Walter Fertig to conserving and promoting steward-
Treasurer: Charlene Homan (Salt Lake Mountain: Mindy Wheeler ship of our native plants. Use of con-
Co) Salt Lake: Marni Ambrose tent material is encouraged but re-
Secretary: Mindy Wheeler (Summit Southwestern/Bearclaw poppy: Mar- quires permission (except where ex-
Co) garet Malm empted by statute) and must be cor-
Board Co-Chairs: Bill King (Salt Lake Utah Valley: Celeste Kennard rectly credited and cited. Articles,
Co) and Dave Wallace (Cache Co) photographs and illustrations submit-
Website: For late-breaking news, the ted to us remain the property of the
UNPS Board: Loreen Allphin (Utah UNPS store, the Sego Lily archives, submitting individuals or organiza-
Co), Robert Fitts (Utah Co), Susan Fitts Chapter events, links to other websites tions. Submit permission requests to
(Utah Co), Ty Harrison (Salt Lake Co), (including sources of native plants and We encourage read-
Celeste Kennard (Utah Co), Margaret the digital Utah Rare Plant Field ers to submit articles for potential
Malm (Washington Co), Larry Meyer Guide), and more, go to publication. By submitting an article,
(Salt Lake Co), Therese Meyer (Salt Many thanks to Xmission for an implicit license is granted to print
Lake Co), Leila Shultz (Cache Co), sponsoring our website. the article in the newsletter or other
Maggie Wolf (Salt Lake Co). For more information on UNPS: UNPS publications for reprint without
Contact Bill King (582-0432) or Susan permission (in print and electronic
Committees Fitts (801-756-6177), or write to media). When submitting an article,
Communications: Larry Meyer UNPS, PO Box 520041, Salt Lake City, please indicate whether it has been
Conservation: Bill King and Tony UT, 84152-0041 or email previously published or submitted for
Frates consideration to other publications.


May 15 at the Cedar City Visitors

Chapter News Center parking lot at 581 N. Main
Street. Four Utah nurseries special-
Cache: Maguire Primrose Walk
izing in native plants and landscap-
(date TBD, dependent on flower
bloom). Our annual walk to view ing will be participating.
the federally listed Maguire‘s prim- The Cedar Breaks Wildflower
Festival will be July 2nd thru 18th
rose will begin at the First Dam
this year. Two hikes per day are
parking lot at 6:30 PM, where we
will car pool to the turn off for an planned at 10 AM and 1 PM. Volun-
teers are needed to help with hikes.
easy walk to the plants. Contact Mi-
chael Piep to find out the exact date. To find out about volunteer oppor-
tunities, contact Peg Simons at 435-
Our yearly chapter business
677-3900 or peg.simons@
meeting is tentatively scheduled for
Thursday, May 13, at 7 PM at the—Alice Maas
Cache Learning Center. Our
Escalante (Garfield County): May
speaker will be announced at a later
11, Paleobotanist Dr. Ian Miller of
The Richard J. Shaw Memorial this under 12-centered activity. the Denver Museum of Nature and
Wildflower Walk will be on Tuesday, More activities and workshops Science will speak about his work on
May 18 at 6:30 PM. We will meet at will be taking place through the the fossil flora of the Kaiparowits
Intermountain Herbarium. Con- Formation on the Grand Staircase-
the parking lot in Green Canyon,
tact Michael Piep for more infor- Escalante NM near Henrieville and
wander up the trail, and have local
botanists discuss the plants found in mation ( - Escalante. The meeting will be a 7
bloom. Michael Piep PM at the Interagency Office visitor
The Bear River Celebration will center in Escalante.
Cedar City: The public is invited May 29, Janett Warner of Wild-
be on Saturday, June 5 on the west
to the chapter‘s Native Plant Sale land Nursery will be selling native
side of Willow Park. Bring your kids
from 9 AM to 12 noon on Saturday plants during the Heritage Festival
and visit our booth and others for

Sego Lily May 2010 33 (3)

in Escalante. conservation, is a small landscape Salt Lake: At our March 3rd meet-
June 26—Dr. Jim Bowns will lead tree, and has good genetic diver- ing, Tony Frates did a great job of
a field trip along the Mossy Cave sity for selecting superior clones. unveiling what we know of
Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park. To try and locate the best Bigtooth Beckwith‘s violet (Viola beckwithii)
– Adam Hutchins maple samples he used aerial digi- in Utah, starting with the historical
tal photography and found the explorations of Gunnison and
Fremont (Richfield area): Come location of desired trees with lati- Beckwith and the strange fact that
joint the Fremont Chapter for a tude and longitude found on Marcus Jones never collected it
night of camping and fun in the new Google EarthTM images. Larry is within a few miles of where he lived
Sam Stowe Group Site at Fremont also experimenting with the in Salt Lake City. Since the talk, we
Indian State Park on Friday, June propagation of Rubber rabbit- have had a flurry of activity, high-
11th. Potluck dinner starts at 6 PM brush (Ericameria nauseosa), lighted by new discoveries described
with hotdogs provided by the chap- Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis), elsewhere in this issue of Sego Lily.
ter; bring a side to share, drinks, Greenleaf manzanita (Arcto- On April 7th, Mitch Power, the
and roasting sticks. Take Exit 17 off staphylos patula), and Fremont‘s new director of the Garrett Herbar-
I-70 to reach the park. Saturday mahonia (Mahonia fremontii). ium at the Utah Museum of Natural
morning, June 12, we will caravan Larry is actively looking for any History, made a tour de force of un-
down the Three Creeks Road (FS interesting specimens of native earthing evidence for climate change
road #106) to see the flowers on the woody plants that might have po- buried in sediments, including pre-
Devil‘s Dance Floor on the Fishlake tential for propagation and land- historic records of plant distribu-
National Forest. The road is dirt but scaping. He would be happy to tions from pollen analysis. Some
usually in good condition for two visit with people (Larry.Rupp amazing computer animations
wheel drive. Meet at the Sam Stowe, 435-797-2099) who tracked the migrations of various
group site by 10:30 AM and bring a may know of such plants and is conifers as the ice ages fluctuated,
camera and lunch if desired. Camp- also able to help individuals pro- and also showed how coastlines
ing on June 11th is free to all Utah tect their ―ownership‖ rights to shrank as the ice sheets melted. We
Native Plant Society members, so if any plants they discover. - Lisa were left with a lot of food for
you have friends that are thinking White and Lydia Jakovac thought.
about becoming members please let The following field trips and
them know about the event. Contact Manzanita (Kane County): On meetings are open to the public.
Lisa White at Lisa_Ogden the evening of Thursday, May Please contact the listed person to
for more info. 20th we will be visiting the Coral get details of when and where to
Larry Rupp, professor and exten- Pink Sand Dunes north of Kanab meet, so they can keep you posted.
sion specialist from Utah State Uni- as part of the week-long ―Amazing For general inquiries, contact Bill
versity, spoke about ―selection and EarthFest‖. Meet at the Grand Gray (cyberflora
propagation of native plants for low- Staircase-Escalante NM visitor Sunday, May 2nd: Emigration
water landscaping‖ at our February center at 6:30 PM sharp to car- Canyon, Pinecrest, 10 AM. This is a
19 chapter meeting. Water conser- pool or caravan to the Dunes. very gentle walk along an old rail-
vation has long been of critical im- On May 29th, I will lead a hike road grade. It is notable for having
portance in Utah. The state contin- on the East Rim Trail of Zion NP a combination of plants that repre-
ues to emphasize water conservation starting from the east entrance sent habitats of both lower and
through smart controller technolo- trailhead. We will explore sand- higher elevations. Contact Ty Harri-
gies, pricing structure incentives, stone outcrops and Carmel lime- son (tyju@xmission. com, 801-255-
and public water conservation gar- stone caprock in search of several 3167).
dens. There is increasing interest in rare species and try to find Wednesday, May 5th: Salt Lake
native plants for water conservation, Cryptantha humilis (reported for Chapter meeting at REI (7 PM).
as shown by the establishment of the park, but not confirmed with a Kipp Lee will talk on Gardening with
groups such as the Intermountain photo). Plan to meet at the Native Penstemons. The talk will
Native Plant Growers Association GSENM visitor center parking include both the natural history and
which provides information on how area at 8 AM to carpool to the the horticulture of these colorful
to use the wonderful diversity of park. The trip will be limited to 12 native plants which are well adapted
intermountain native plants in the people and entrance fees may ap- to our climate. They are a beautiful
home landscape. ply unless sufficient numbers of and important addition to any na-
Larry stressed attractive color, drivers have entry passes. tive dry garden. Contact Marni
marketable form, ability to be grown See the Bulletin Board on page Ambrose (,
in nursery situations, and tolerance 4 for more activities.—Walter Fer- 801-512-3033).
of poor soils, pests, cold, and tig ( May 7-9, Horseshoe Canyon
drought in identifying the ideal wa- camping trip: Horseshoe Canyon is
ter conserving plant. One such spe- an outlier of Canyonlands National
cies being investigated is the Big- Park, famous for its wonderful pic-
tooth maple (Acer grandiden- tograph panels. There are also
tatum). It has potential for water many interesting native plants in the
Utah Native Plant Society

area, which lies between the San Southwestern: Wednesday, May Bulletin Board
Rafael Swell and the Green River. 5, 7 PM: ―Fire in the Pines: Restor-
We shall be dry camping, probably ing Ponderosa Pine Forests in Zion
12-13 June 2o1o: UNPS State
near Goblin Valley State Park—the and Across the Southwest‖. Joel
Board Meeting and Kanab
group campsite at the park is not Silverman, lead Fire Effects Moni-
Creek Botanical Foray— The
available. Contact Bill Gray tor from Zion National Park will
Manzanita (Kane County) Chapter
(, 801- discuss fire ecology and share his
of UNPS will be hosting the state
532-3486). interests in native plant communi-
board‘s annual southern Utah board
Tuesday evenings in May: ―Woad ties and the impacts of invasive
meeting on Saturday, June 12 at 4
Runner‖ weeding project. Join the exotic plants across the landscape.
PM at the Village cafeteria at Best
Salt Lake Watersheds Department The talk will be held at Spring-
Friends Animal Sanctuary, ca 7
for the 5th annual Dyer‘s Woad pull dale‘s Canyon Community Center.
miles north of Kanab. The board
in the City Creek watershed on —Barbara Farnsworth
meeting is open to society members
Tuesday evenings from 5:30-8 PM.
but does focus mostly on arcane
- May 11: meet at Morris Mead- Utah Valley: The Utah Valley
board business.
ows trailhead. University Herbarium is planning
All UNPS members are invited to
- May 18: meet at Ensign Peak a series of regular events in coordi-
come to the Best Friends Sanctuary
trailhead. nation with the Utah County Chap-
on the morning of June 12 and June
- May 25: meet at City Creek ter. First, Jason Alexander, the
13 (starting at 8 AM both days) to
Guard Station. Contact Vanessa herbarium curator, will be pre-
participate in a ―botanical foray‖ of
Welsh (, senting a talk on floristic projects
the Best Friends Sanctuary. A foray
801-483-6884). currently underway at UVU.
is analogous to a bio-blitz (see the
Saturday, May 15th, 4th Annual These projects include many op-
January 2010 Sego Lily for discus-
Purge Your Spurge event and Native portunities for members to volun-
sion of the Deer Creek effort near
Plant Sale (10 AM). Myrtle spurge, teer their time and contribute to
Boulder, UT) in that teams of bota-
frequently planted as a succulent the botanical knowledge of the
nists visit different habitats within a
ground cover, has been declared a state. The talk will be held at Utah
study area over a 24 hour period to
noxious weed because of the way it Valley University in PS110 on
record all of the species that they
has invaded our foothills. Pull it Tuesday, May 25th at 7 PM. Park-
can. While a bio-blitz typically in-
from your yard and exchange it for ing is available near the entrance
cludes all species (vertebrates, in-
horticulturally approved native to the new library (Lot N). Second,
sects, plants), a botanical foray is
plants at REI (33rd S and 33rd E) we will be discussing the possibil-
focused solely on plants. The Best
from 10 AM to 3 PM. Check out the ity of having a regular herbarium
Friends Sanctuary includes an un-
important information about the volunteer day starting in June.
dammed reach of Kanab Creek cov-
plant‘s nasty juice (www.weeds. Tentatively, this is scheduled for
ered by riparian woods and thickets Saturday, June 26th from noon
of Coyote willow, Yellow willow,
calendar.html). Contact Sage Fitch until 4 PM. For further informa-
and Fremont cottonwood, as well as
(, 801-440-7537). tion on either of these events, or if
Navajo sandstone slickrock, sage-
Wednesday, May 19th: City Creek you would like to volunteer in the
brush and saltbush grasslands, pin-
Canyon Weeds tour. (6 PM). Join herbarium on a regular basis,
yon-juniper woodlands, sand dunes,
SLC watershed specialist Vanessa please email Jason at alexanja@
and hanging gardens. The area has
Welsh for a special tour to see first
never been thoroughly inventoried
hand the serious weed problem and Utah Valley will be hosting a
and the results of the foray will be
what is being done towards control. trip to Price Recreation Area on
made available to Best Friends to
Meet at the City Creek Canyon gate Saturday, June 5th. Kim Despain
educate visitors on the biodiversity
and shuttle to the Pleasant Valley will lead the hike to a Bristlecone
of the sanctuary.
area (Area 12). Contact Vanessa pine forest. For info contact
Manzanita chapter vice president
Welsh (vanessa., 801 Celeste ( or Kim
Jana de Peyer, a founder of Best
-483-6884). Despain (801-375-8267).
Friends and local resident, will host
Saturday, May 22nd: Big Springs Plants and Preschoolers re-
a potluck gathering Saturday eve-
Park, Provo Canyon (9:30 AM). sumes on Thursday mornings
ning for board members and UNPS
Steve Hegji of the Utah Valley Chap- from April-October. We will be
members participating in the foray.
ter will lead a modest hike open to hiking many canyons in Utah
For more information on the event,
members of all UNPS chapters. Ex- County this year. These are all kid
or to rsvp, please contact me at
pect to see plenty of violets, wood- friendly hikes. If you want to get Hope to see many
land stars, and other moisture- on our hiking list, send an email to
of you in sunny southern Utah in
loving plants. Contact Steve Hegji —Jason Alexan-
early June—Walter Fertig
(steve_hegji@ yahoo. com, 801-473- der & Celeste Kennard
1337). —Bill Gray

Sego Lily May 2010 33 (3)

Beckwith’s Violet Fever (continued from page 1)

had this to say about the population
(ca 200 plants) in northern Weber
County: ―This population of Viola
beckwithii is at risk of disappear-
ance. The residential and economic
activity in the area have already
taken a toll on existing plants, and
there are plans for further residen-
tial development.‖ Similarly, the
small population (ca 100 plants)
that I‘ve been visiting in Utah
County could easily disappear. Al-
though there are no current indica-
tions of impending development,
the site is dotted with mysterious
and relatively fresh trenches and
I first visited the Utah County site
on March 20, 2010 with Robert and
Susan Fitts and Kim Despain. It
took a while for us to find the plants
because they were just emerging,
but eventually we found four small
groupings of plants. The leaves were
small and tightly bunched and only
west. Two-thirds of them occupy a Above: Beckwith’s violet is character-
two plants had flower buds. I have ized by bi-colored flowers and finely
returned to the site a half dozen quarter mile long, narrow band at
an elevation of 4840-4855 feet. lobed, ternately-divided leaves. Photo
times since then and plan to con- by Steve Hegji.
The other third are evenly split be-
tinue periodic visits this season until
the plants are no longer visible. At tween two groups about 30 meters
upslope from the narrow band.
this point I have located 14 sparse pollinate, and that seeds from
groups of plants at the site. I could not spot any morpho-
either type of flower can be fertile.
Dr. Stan Welsh accompanied me logical differences among the
There is some conflicting inform-
plants and the accompanying pho-
on one visit and we decided that the ation in this regard concerning Viola
population could support taking a tographs are typical examples. The
beckwithii. A better understanding
specimen, which has been added to leaves are ternately compound and
of propagation characteristics will
the BYU herbarium. It is only the folded along the midline - more so
be important to any conservation
when they are young. The upper
8th specimen in the herbarium‘s efforts.
collections, the first collected by Dr. two petals appear dark purple What's in store for the future?
Welsh, and the first since 1933. when in bud stage or just opening Blake Wellard will be checking out
The plants grow in the open up. They age to a deep maroon another Weber county site based on
spaces between clumps of oak. Poa color, and some had yellow streaks a second WSU Herbarium specimen
at the base. The lower three petals label. He also plans to check on
secunda and Gutierrezia sarothrae
are white, becoming yellow toward some possible locations in Davis
dominate in those spaces. The vio- county, where the violet has never
lets can be found growing adjacent the center of the corolla. The mid-
dle one has numerous maroon/ been collected. I will continue to
to, underneath, or intertwined with visit the Utah county site and make
other plants, but mostly occur in the purple guidelines and the two side
observations. Others are looking for
interstices. Also noticeably present petals are slightly bearded. it along the Wasatch Front. Tony
are Artemisia, Zigadenus, Calochor- Species of Viola typically have Frates has engaged several of us to
tus, Hedysarum, Crepis, and a vari- chasmogamous flowers that open try and find evidence of cleistoga-
ety of small forbs. fully and are available for cross- mous flowers as the season pro-
pollination. Many also have cleisto- gresses. Hopefully a follow-up Sego
The soil is thin, overlying a deep
gamous flowers that do not usually Lily article can report on our find-
layer of mixed sand and gravel, and ings.
is undoubtedly well-drained. The open, form at or below ground
level, and are self-pollinated. Stud- Next year, why don't you catch
plants are found near the inflection the fever and join us in searching
point between the steeper slope to ies of some other Viola species
for, and learning about, this beauti-
the east and the flatter terrain to the have shown that the chasmoga- ful plant.
mous flowers can also self-

Utah Native Plant Society

Beckwith’s Violet, Bonneville Violet, and Emigration Market

By Tony Frates

In Dr. Walter P. Cottam's 1939

paper "A New Violet from Utah", he
indicated that on April 17, 1937 he
noticed "a beautiful violet that was
strikingly different from any species
heretofore reported from Utah"
found on a vacant property at the
corner of 13th South and 17th East.
The elevation, while not noted in the
article, was at about 4500 feet. In a
footnote, he further indicated that,
"this property, as well as most of the
bench land which harbors Viola
beckwithii, is fast being utilized for
residences." In the main text he
then went on to say that this prop-
erty and "neighboring areas to the
east have been known to harbor one
of the few relict colonies of Viola
beckwithii T. & G. once so widely
distributed over the Bonneville
bench lands along the Wasatch
Front." And he noted that growing
in the same area was Viola pur-
Dr. Cottam noted that four essen-
tially similar plants were found
growing over about a one acre area. Above: Viola bonnevillensis, the hy- purea this new form really was (see
One of these became the type speci- brid between Viola beckwithii and V. illustration by Dr. Seville Flowers,
men (no. 7067 deposited at the Uni- purpurea described by Walter Cottam above, which was included in the
versity of Utah's Garrett Herbarium) in 1939 from specimens collected in a article showing intermediate charac-
and the others "were carefully re- vacant lot in Salt Lake City. Note the
broader, pinnately lobed leaves (true
ters; V. beckwithii normally has
moved to the garden for study." deeply dissected leaves) and there-
beckwithii has more finely subdivided,
Where those plants were taken is ternately compound leaves). Illustra- fore support the validity of Viola
unknown. They apparently contin- tion by Seville Flowers. bonnevillensis as a separate species.
ued to survive for some time since Later taxonomists never had the
Cottam indicated later in the article opportunity to see V. bonnevillensis.
that, "the hybrid nature of this plant sufficient population did not exist Doc Cottam was very familiar with
is further suggested by the fact that that could easily sustain the loss of the local flora and with V. beck-
for the past two years flowers have any plants taken. In this excep- withii. In 1937 his botanical field
appeared on the garden specimens tional case, it seems clear that the experience and knowledge was al-
without the production of fruits." plants were removed out of fear ready vast. Cottam, born in St.
It was suspected that at one point that the area was about to be com- George in 1894, was one of the first
these few plants could have been pletely lost by encroaching devel- two people to obtain a BYU master's
transplanted to Cottam's long-time opment and could result in the degree in 1919, established the first
Sugarhouse residence but some re- extinction of a species which herbarium at BYU and began teach-
cent urban field work conducted by would be lost to science forever. ing there. In 1931, he became affili-
Dr. Ty Harrison suggests that the And in fact that might have ated with the University of Utah
landscaping of the former Cottam been exactly what occurred. Had where as botany professor he would
residence has significantly changed plants been found even sooner and teach and pursue numerous scien-
over the years, and there appears to in greater abundance, perhaps a tific investigations for the rest of his
be little chance that the plants are better assessment could have been lengthy and fruitful career. The fact
still in existence there. made as to how stable of a cross
Normally a botanical collector between V. beckwithii and V. pur-
would not remove plants where a
Sego Lily May 2010 33 (3)

intersection at 13th So. and 17th

East. It likely was one of the devel-
opments that was ultimately situ-
ated on the vacant lot where the type
specimen for V. bonnevillensis was
Today V. beckwithii has almost
completely been lost from the Salt
Lake valley and V. purpurea is also
mostly missing from lower elevation
habitats that it too once frequented.
It is sad to think that the type habi-
tat of a species (or at the very least a
site that might have provided a text
book illustration of evolution in pro-
gress for future generations of stu-
dents) may have been lost as a result
of a vacant lot having been trans-
formed over a 73 year period into
little more than a vacant parking lot.
that this plant appeared strikingly Above: Emigration Market in Salt Selected References:
different to Cottam is significant, Lake City, probable type locality of Cottam, W.P. 1939. A new violet
and it can be inferred that his men- Viola bonnevillensis, closed its doors from Utah. Bull. Univ. Utah 29(13): 3-7
tor and friend Albert O. Garrett also in April 2010 after 68 years. What Martz, M. 1999. Why Hurry
started as a vacant lot supporting Through Heaven? Salt Lake City, UT:
saw these plants. Garrett also made hybrid plants in 1937 may be destined
a number of V. beckwithii collec- Red Butte Garden & Arboretum, Univer-
to become vacant again. But will the sity of Utah. 253 pp.
tions in the Salt Lake valley. Cottam violets return? Photo by Tony Frates.
in fact in his article references ob-
servations made by Professor
Garrett over many years that V.
beckwithii produces abundant seeds
from petaliferous flowers while V.
purpurea produces seeds only from
cleistogamous flowers (and that V.
beckwithii was not known to pro-
duce cleistogamous flowers).
So publication of the name Viola
bonnevillensis was delayed for two
years from the time of discovery
while plants in a garden setting were
observed. Cottam's 1939 article indi-
cated that future work to verify the
hybrid origin of the species was go-
ing to be required; as far as it is
known, that work did not occur.
Current treaments of the Violaceae
treat the name V. bonnevillensis as a
synonym of V. beckwithii.
The Emigration Market at 1706 More Beckwith’s Violet News
E. 1300 South in Salt Lake City
opened in 1942. The market re- On April 5, 2010, Margaret Harris and Blake Wellard of the Weber State
cently closed on April 3, 2010. The University Botany Department rediscovered a population of Viola
troubled economy coupled with beckwithii in Weber County from a 1966 herbarium specimen. The latest
competition and no doubt owner population estimate is over 400, with more likely to be found. Botany fac-
antics (the last owner, a SLC coun- ulty and students have been searching for new localities in the area.
cilperson, became involved in sev- This population is greatly threatened from a future subdivision. Some
eral controversies resulting in some plants have already been lost to development. Red Butte Gardens and WSU
boycotting the store) led to the mar- Botany Department, among others, are investigating some conservation
ket's demise. The market was lo- options such as seed collection and plant relocation. WSU Botany is also
cated at the southeast corner of the considering micropropagation. - Blake Wellard

Utah Native Plant Society

The Cactus and the Beetle

By Dorde W. Woodruff monitoring, it is impossible to know
the rate at which the Scleros are be-
The cactus borer beetle, ing killed, or to know what killed
(Moneilema sp.) eats cacti from them unless they are freshly dead.
without as an adult, and from within Some monitoring studies or surveys
as a larva. Although somewhat op- state the cause of death (if possible
portunistic (especially the adults), to determine), although some do
they are known as using various spe- not.
cies of Opuntia (prickly pear) or It is often possible to tell that a
Above: the cactus borer beetle plant is infested. The areoles of the
Cylindropuntia (cholla) as hosts. In Moneilema semipunctatum. Photo by
fact, Opuntia longhorn beetle or Robert Pearson.
plant will be too close together, indi-
Opuntia borer beetle are alternate cating that it is not metabolizing
common names. The beetle is now an important well, and is not healthy. The apex
However, in the last 30 years or factor in the health and survival of will look shriveled, it will not flower
so, some of these beetles have Utah Sclerocactus populations. It when the others are in anthesis, or it
changed hosts from certain mem- is possible that the beetle will may have a discolored patch on its
bers of the cactus subfamily Opun- make threatened or endangered side. It may be asymmetric, though
tioidiae to those of the subfamily species out of many Sclerocacti this can result when it is stepped on
Cactoideae (the barrels, balls, and that have until now not been or otherwise injured.
hedgehogs) and become a constant threatened. This photo (below) of a recently
menace to these other cactus spe- Moneilema is not lethal for killed Uinta Basin hookless cactus
cies. Knowledge of the threat these Opuntia plants, which can propa- (S. wetlandicus) shows what the
animals pose to our rare native cacti gate vegetatively. The result of beetle does to a Sclerocactus plant.
has been slow to develop and their predation on Sclerocactus The female lays her eggs at the bot-
spread. Every book referring to plants varies a little with the spe- tom of a cactus. The larva burrows
them lists various cholla and prickly cies. Those that more readily pro- into it and eats the cactus from
pear species as their hosts. duce offsets may make a new head within. Pathogens may also move
The Utah cacti most affected by from an eaten plant. Sclerocactus into the injured flesh. The larva pu-
these beetle borers are the members parviflorus (Smallflower fish- pates in the plant or in the soil
of the genus Sclerocactus, and the hook), our most common species, nearby — authorities are unclear
beetle species is Moneilema semi- dies. The larva will have severed whether it is one of these or both—
punctatum. This species can be dis- the top of the root, dooming the and emerges as an adult beetle. It is
tinguished from other U. S. species plant. also not known how many individ-
of its genus by having more than one Dying plants will then progress ual plants one female can infect.
white antenna segment. It has been to a skeleton of spines with the
sparsely collected throughout Utah, cactus‘s cylindrical or globose
and into adjacent southern Idaho, shape and some dry crumbly flesh
southwestern Colorado, northwest- at the base. The skeleton will break
ern New Mexico, northern Arizona, down into separate spine clusters.
then on into southern Nevada, the Finally, the spine clusters will be-
eastern Sierra, southern California, come indistinguishable from other
and adjacent northern Baja Califor- woody litter on the desert floor.
nia. There may be some M. annula- Sometimes after the spine clusters
tum in the very northeast of our disintegrate you will see an empty
state. basal ring of spiny areoles with the
M. semipunctatum is a black bee- center silted in. This process can
tle about an inch long, with the two be hastened by wind or distur-
wing covers (or ‗elytra‘) fused into bance from animals.
one . These wing covers have It is difficult to know the details
evolved for protection of the body of a beetle kill on a colony of Scle-
rather than the wings, as the insect rocactus unless you catch it in the
is flightless. ―Semipunctatum‖ process. The time sequence of dis-
means that some of the rows of im- solution of a dead Sclerocactus has
pressed dots on its body are not very not been quantified, and will de- Above: A federally Threatened Sclero-
deep (or only partially punctate). cactus wetlandicus plant eaten by cactus
pend on disturbance. Without
borer beetle. Photo by Dorde Woodruff.

Sego Lily May 2010 33 (3)

In my early years of working with

Sclerocactus from 1960 through the
early 1970s (as I went from cacto-
phile to master‘s degree) I never saw
mass mortality. I‘ve seen no cause
for mass mortality other than these
beetles since becoming active in cac-
tus research again in 2005. Only a
few species of Sclerocactus are
monitored, so we really don‘t know
what is happening with the others.
Not being able to read the future,
no one in the 1960s was document-
ing the health of Sclerocactus popu-
lations. One exception was an un-
usual population of S. parviflorus I
observed (and photographed) in
1962 on a 6 km stretch of road along
Cottonwood Wash in what is now
Grand Staircase-Escalante National
Monument (GSENM). The popula-
tion was not only uniquely abun-
dant, large, and many-headed, but
there were many white or pale pink
flowers instead of the usual bright
pink. I went back in 2005 intending
to document this wonderful popula- Above: Numerous individuals of related activities
tion — and they were gone. Instead healthy Sclerocactus parviflorus can - commercial and residential ex-
of being able to see hundreds right be seen in this faded Ektachrome pansion
photo from 1962 along the Cotton- -road building and maintenance
from the car, I couldn‘t see any. The wood Road in the future Grand Stair-
old photos were useful although Ek- case-Escalante National Monument.
- construction and maintenance
tachrome, sadly, deteriorates badly In 2006, only 8 dead plants were of powerlines and pipelines
(see photo at right) — we didn‘t found in the same area. Photo by - off-road vehicles
know that at the time. I matched the Dorde Woodruff. - commercial and private collect-
photo stations and did repeat pho- ing
tography. With lots of walking, I did - livestock grazing, trampling,
find a very few cacti hidden in flour- verdae on Mancos shale, have a and soil disturbance
ishing cheatgrass. better chance of re-establishing. - natural threats, such as herbi-
How did this happen? But even there, after a mass kill vory by different insects or mam-
Study has shown that this terrible the beetle will have selectively re- mals, unusual or erratic weather
disappearance was relatively recent. moved the best seed producers of a events, erosion, and competition
Beetles weren‘t totally responsible, population — the largest, oldest - for some species, restriction to a
but they were a large factor. A ones that they prefer. The popula- narrow edaphic range and limited
change in grazing regime increased tion, if or when it recruits from the habitat availability
competition. I could still find some seed bank, may not have time for - climate change
undissipated cactus skeletons from large plants to mature before an- Moneilema has always been
beetle kill. In 2005 an army of other round of beetle kill. known to be opportunistic, using
cheatgrass moved in. Skeptics say that the beetles are other cacti for adult food if not for
After a beetle kill, cheatgrass is just part of the natural cycle. But larvae — but only occasionally, and
the biggest threat to the recovery of this is not true. As far as we know, always preferring chollas or prickly
Sclerocactus populations. The cac- Moneilema hosting regularly and pears. So when did this host-
tus must re-establish from the seed preferably on Sclerocactus and switching occur?
bank in the soil. Competition from other Cactoideae is a new thing, at The first observations of the
cheatgrass is likely to be devastating a time when our native plants are beetle switching hosts to Sclerocac-
to the survival of the tiny, slow- facing many new threats. tus were in the late 1970s. Larry
growing, vulnerable cactus seed- Sclerocactus at present faces England of the Salt Lake office of the
lings. Also cheatgrass is subject to many threats, many of them man- Fish and Wildlife Service made one
fire, to which small cacti like Sclero- made: of these very first observations. He
cactus have no resistance. Sclero- - oil and gas exploration and was originally hired by the BLM in
cactus populations in environments production Vernal because of a flurry of oil and
where cheatgrass has not become - coal or other mining and gas development at that time. None
established, such as S. mesae- of these early observations appeared
Utah Native Plant Society

in print right away. People had no geography of Moneilema, suggests

idea of the significance of this. At three possible causes: 1) competi-
first no one knew the identity of the tion with other insect species or
borers. within Moneilema species; 2) a
A few written accounts began ap- scarcity of host species; 3) evolu-
pearing in the 1980s, for some of the tion of a distinct race or races of
Cactoideae species other than Scle- insect species with a different host
rocactus. In the 1990s Moneilema preference. Reasons 1 and 2 don‘t
was identified as the agent. Ron seem likely. No other insect has
Kass‘ 2001 papers in the Proceed- the modus operandi of Moneil-
ings of the 3rd Conference on Rare ema, and Opuntia and Cylindro-
and Endangered Plants, and in puntia species are not scarce. An
Western American Naturalist, were hypothesis would be that some
the first readily-available, detailed, beetles found that Cactoideae were
published reports of this host- effective hosts, and a genome with
switching, in this case of M. semi- that host preference began to de-
punctatum to S. wrightiae. velop, thrive, and increase. Chris
It is a common experience in re- Smith in a study of Sclerocactus Above: Healthy young adult Sclerocac-
cent years to visit a Sclerocactus mesae-verdae in 2000, did collect tus parviflorus from the Andy Miller
population that is pleasingly numer- material for genetic analysis, but Flats in the Orange Cliffs of Utah.
Photo by Dorde Woodruff.
ous, only to find on each revisit the was unable to complete it due to
plants are harder to find. For in- lack of funds.
stance: populations of S. wetland- Moneilema is quite willing to
from the wild* without treating
icus in the southern end of its distri- use new cacti for hosts opportunis-
them with insecticide so that any
bution; S. parviflorus adjacent to I- tically. Arizona growers or collec-
hidden larvae will not hatch out bee-
70 at the west end of Salina Canyon; tors of either native or exotic cacti
tles ready to infest other Cactoideae
the yellow-flowered S. parviflorus such as the South American Echi-
in their gardens. Mark Dimmitt of
east of Hite on U95; a unique popu- nopsis loathe this beetle. Culti-
the Arizona–Sonora Desert Museum
lation of S. wrightiae x S. parviflo- vated cacti are better watered and
rus in the San Rafael Swell — all of fertilized, protected from competi- in Tucson, concerned about the Mu-
seum‘s gardens, considers
these were healthy and numerous, tion, and thus especially succulent
Moneilema the most injurious insect
until quite recently. In as short a and tempting dainties for a cactus-
predator of cacti in the U. S.
period as three years, live individu- eating insect.
This phenomenon needs more
als have become scattered and Reports of Moneilema species
observation and documentation.
scarce. In a 2006 reconnaissance of hosting on Cactoideae other than
Because the present-day cycle of
S. pubispinus and S. spinosior sites Sclerocactus have been scattered
beetle kill and recruitment from the
at the south end of their range throughout this same time period
seed bank is a multi-year cycle,
(some known to be of great abun- of the 1980s on. These reports
monitoring or observation needs to
dance) plants were few and scarce. with their date of publication are:
be done over the long term. Also, it‘s
In the 1960s and early 1970s, if you Cochise pincushion, Coryphantha
counterintuitive to make a specimen
found one S. spinosior or S. pu- robbinsorum, in southeastern Ari-
of Sclerocactus from a population
bispinus plant, it would always be in zona in 1985; Acuña cactus, Echi-
that is doing badly. But when it‘s
a colony. nomastus johnsonii ssp. acuñen-
clear that a plant is infested, it is
North of the Badland Cliffs, S. sis, in southwestern Arizona in
wetlandicus and S. brevispinus do 1992; Escobaria sneedii in south- almost certainly doomed, and the
presence of a larva would document
not show extensive beetle kill. Kipp eastern New Mexico in 2003; Star
the kill. Beetles can be searched for
Lee reported a numerous and cactus, Astrophytum asterias, in
healthy population of S. pubispinus northeastern Mexico in 2007; near twilight, though Smith in his
2000 study did not find many. It
near its northwestern limit. This Siler‘s pincushion, Pediocactus
only takes one egg-laying female
and other information suggests that sileri, in southwestern Utah and
beetle to kill a 20-year-old cactus.
while the host-switching beetle has northwestern Arizona in 2008,
Sclerocactus is challenged by
been known to be widespread for based on a 2006 report; Scarlet
modern-day adverse factors as never
more than three decades, the hedgehog cactus, Echinocereus
before. How much will the beetle
amount of beetle kill has increased coccineus, and other hedgehog
contribute to downward spirals of
in recent years, and seems to have species in Colorado in 2009. Larry
Sclerocactus species? We already
spread from the south. But we really England observed beetle predation
know that it is a factor in the ill
don‘t have enough data. on our Pediocactus despainii and
health and sketchy prospects of
So we have some idea of when P. winkleri in the 1980s, and took
colonies of Sclerocactus wrightiae.
this host-switching occurred, but photos.
why is it doing this? Christopher Cactophiles in Utah have * only through legally permitted collect-
Smith, whose PhD dissertation and learned not to bring Sclerocactus ing, lest you worry
subsequent papers were on the bio-
Sego Lily May 2010 33 (3)

Utah Botanica
Odds and Ends from Utah Botany
Forest Service Updates Additions to the US Forest Service Intermountain Region
Sensitive Plant List - For the (Region 4) Sensitive Plant Species List, March 30, 2010
first time since 1994 the Intermoun-
tain Region (Region 4) of the U.S. Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)
Forest Service has revised its list of Angelica wheeleri (Wheeler‘s angelica), Uinta, Wasatch-Cache
Sensitive plant and animal species.
On March 30, 2010, the service offi- Asteraceae (Compositae)
cially added 38 plant species to the Erigeron garrettii (Garrett‘s flea-
Sensitive list, of which 13 are known bane), Uinta, Wasatch-Cache
from Utah forests. Another 17 plant
species were dropped from the Sen- Brassicaceae
sitive list for Region 4 (which in- Draba abajoensis (Abajo Peak
cludes national forests in Utah, draba), Manti-LaSal
southern Idaho, Nevada, western
Wyoming, and eastern California). Draba brachystylis (Wasatch draba),
None of the dropped species were Uinta?, Wasatch-Cache
from Utah‘s six national forests
(Ashley, Dixie, Fishlake, Manti-
Draba burkei (Burke‘s draba), Wa-
LaSal, Uinta, and Wasatch-Cache).
The Forest Service defines Sensi- satch-Cache
tive species as “those plant and ani-
mal species identified by a Regional Draba ramulosa (Mt. Belknap
Forester for which population vi- draba), Fishlake
ability is a concern, as evidenced by
significant current or predicted Draba santaquinensis (Santaquin
downward trends in population draba), Uinta
numbers or density or significant
current or predicted downward Lepidium montanum var. alpinum
trends in habitat capability that (Wasatch pepperwort), Uinta?,
would reduce a species' existing Wasatch-Cache
distribution.” Sensitive species re-
ceive special management attention Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
which helps ensure that they do not Astragalus iselyi (Isely‘s milkvetch), Manti-LaSal
need to become federally listed un-
der the Endangered Species Act. Fumariaceae
Projects that may impact the habitat Corydalis caseana ssp. brachycarpa (Wasatch fitweed), Uinta, Wasatch-
of Sensitive species undergo scru- Cache
tiny to determine how they might
adversely impact populations, vi- Orchidaceae
ability and the ecology of the species Cypripedium parviflorum or C. calceolus var. parviflorum (Lesser yellow
as a whole. Sensitive species pro- lady‘s-slipper), Wasatch-Cache
grams are therefore critical and cost
effective programs that in the long Primulaceae
run not only help to preserve bio- Dodecatheon utahense or D. dentatum var. utahense (Wasatch shooting
logical biodiversity but also save tax star), Wasatch-Cache
dollars and represent excellent long
term investments. Rosaceae
See the table for a list of what was Ivesia utahensis (Utah ivesia), Uinta, Wasatch-Cache
added in Utah. For a complete re-
gion wide list that incorporates Two additional species (Botrychium simplex and Viola charlestonensis)
these changes, see www. that are listed as Sensitive region-wide occur in Utah, but not on US Forest
miscpdf/R4TESList 2010.pdf or Service lands and are thus excluded.
simply click on the ―Rare plants‖ tab
at www. and scroll down to Top: Utah ivesia (Ivesia utahensis) illustration by W. Fertig
the link provided there in the Forest
Service (Utah/Region 4) section.
—Tony Frates.
Utah Native Plant Society

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