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Erigeron abajoensis

Erigeron abajoensis

Erigeron abajoensis

Erigeron abajoensis

Erigeron abajoensis

Erigeron abajoensis

Erigeron abajoensis (Abajo Daisy, Abajo Fleabane)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Montane.  Meadows.  Summer.
Above: Robertson Pasture Trail, Abajo Mountains, Utah, July 20, 2016; July 27, 2011; August 1, 2014; July 29, 2019.
Left: Prairie Dog Knoll, Abajo Mountains, Utah, August 17, 2009 and Robertson Pasture Trail, Abajo Mountains, Utah, July 29, 2019.

Erigeron abajoensis is a rare plant known from only a few counties in the Four Corners area of Utah, Colorado, and Arizona, but rarity, like most other aspects of our world, is a matter of place and time and circumstances. On the knolls where the photographs on this page were taken, this plant abounds. One of the knolls and its open, rocky habitat is shown immediately above.

E. abajoensis typically grows to six inches tall but varies from two to fourteen inches tall with stems that often recline and then ascend (as shown in the photographs on this page) or with stems that are erect.  The plant grows with tight, mounded clusters of shortly hairy, oblanceolate basal leaves. Stem leaves tend to be smaller and oblong or lance-oblong. Both basal and stem leaves have a single vein.

Stanley Welsh, Utah plant authority, indicates that E. abajoensis is closely allied to E. caespitosus, E. nauseosus, and E. jonesii and can be difficult to separate from these. I find that E. abajoensis and E. leiomerus are also very similar. They can best be separated by noting several things:
1) E. leiomerus almost always has glabrous stems and leaves; E. abajoensis has hairy stems and leaves.
2) E. leiomerus is far more widely distributed than the rare E. abajoensis and although the two species enjoy similar habitats, they only rarely occur in the same regions. See the distribution maps for the two species at the bottom of each page.
3) E. leiomerus is found from 8,400 feet to 12,000 feet; E. abajoensis is found from 6,500 feet to 10,800 feet. The photographs of E. abajoensis on this web page were taken on Prairie Dog Knoll at about 9,800 feet and on a knoll above the Robertson Pasture Trail from 10,600 feet to 10,800 feet.

Rydberg and Garrett found the plant in 1911 in the Abajo Mountains, but it was not named and described until 1947 by Arthur Cronquist.

Erigeron abajoensis

 

Erigeron abajoensis

 

 

 

Erigeron abajoensis (Abajo Daisy, Abajo Fleabane)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Montane.  Meadows.  Summer.
Prairie Dog Knoll, Abajo Mountains, Utah, August 17, 2009.

Ray flowers are often reflexed (bent downward) and vary from 3 to 8 millimeters long.          

                            

                                Erigeron abajoensis 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phyllaries are in 2 or 3 nearly equal length rows, but you may find them in equal length rows. The phyllaries are thickened in the middle, and often green with tan margins and reddish tips.  Hairs on the phyllaries are white and multicellular.  Hairs throughout the plant, but especially on and just below the phyllaries, are often crinkled or bent backward at their tip.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Erigeron abajoensis

Range map for Erigeron abajoensis