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Phacelia inconspicua

Scientific Name:Phacelia inconspicua
Common name:obscure scorpionflower
Rank and Status   
Global Rank:G2 Native Status:Native
Subnational (State) Rank:S1 Endemic:No
US ESA Status:None Sand Dunes:No
NNHP Tracking Status:At-Risk List Wetland:No
Other Agency Status Status Last Updated Status Comments
Bureau of Land Management - Nevada Sensitive BLM Nevada Sensitive Species List dated 2017-10-01
US Forest Service - Region 4 (Intermountain) Sensitive USFS list, Jan 2015 update
State of Nevada Protected Critically endangered
Nevada Native Plant Society Endangered
Distribution (NV Counties)

Status: Confident or certain

Summary Occurrence Data
Occurrence Count:5
Total Observed Area (hectares):14
Maximum Known Elevation (m):2524
Minimum Known Elevation (m):1524
Phacelia inconspicua data at NatureServe
Phacelia inconspicua photos and data at Encyclopedia of Life
Character Abstract
Identification Comments:In P. inconspicua all hairs are non-glandular, the inflorescences are ebracteate and exceeded by the subtending leaves, the stamens are shortly exserted, and the fruits produce only 2 or 4 seeds.
Subspecies Comments:None recognized.
Lookalikes:Similar to P. austromontana, P. humilis, and P. minutissima. P. inconspicua has flowers that are smaller than those of P. humilis; P. austromontana has a generally more southern distribution, is glandular, and usually has at least some leaves with 1-2 lobes; P. minutissima is also glandular, has leafy inflorescences longer than the subtending leaves, well-included stamens, and produces as many as a dozen seeds per capsule.
Phenology Comments:Depending on elevation and moisture, flowering probably begins sometime between late May and late June and continues sporadically into July. The fruit probably mature by 2-3 weeks after flowering, betwen early June and early August.
Reproduction Comments:Moseley (1989) speculated that Phacelia inconspicua is probably pollinated by flying insects, but its reduced floral display also suggests self-pollination as a possibility (Holland 1996). Dispersal is probably short-distance and mostly down-hill or lateral, by wind, water, ants and other ground-dwelling insects, and/or gravity.
Habitat Comments:Relatively deep, undisturbed, organic-rich soils on fairly steep, concave, N- to NE-facing slopes where snow drifts persist well into spring, on small, otherwise barren soil terraces in small clearings in shrub fields dominated by Artemisia tridentata vaseyana in association with Holodiscus microphyllus, Symphoricarpos rotundifolius, and Leymus cinereus.
Ecology Comments:Appears to be an early- to mid-seral fire-adapted species, undergoing significant population increases after its habitat burns. Invasion of cheatgrass or other exotics after a replacement burn could, however, cause permanent population losses.
Inventory Comments:Systematic surveys have been performed, but much potential habitat north and east of the Humboldt Range remains to be searched in Nevada.
Inventory Needs:
Version Date:07/18/2001 - 12:00am
Illustration from Mozingo and Williams, 1980.
Photographer: Jeanne R. Janish
Photo Date: 1980