Using the Guide

To access species profiles, from the Home Page, see "Rare Plant Lists". The "Master List" shows all species covered in the Guide. A subset of the master list, by County, by BLM Office, and by US Forest is also available "Rare Plant Lists". Access to species profiles according to their Global Rank is available by clicking "Plant List by Status", also on the Home Page.

Species Profiles:

  • General Descriptions and Technical Botanical Artwork:

    The artwork, identifying characters (profiles done in 1997), and general descriptions (profiles done in 2013 and beyond) are intended to help users identify plants in the field. For many species a complementary text will be necessary. Please see the references listed and resources provided under the Information tab for many excellent supplementary texts and websites.

  • Nomenclature:

    Scientific nomenclature follows Weber and Wittmann (2012) and Ackerfield (2012). Where these names do not overlap with the PLANTS database (USDA NRCS 2012) or other commonly used names, the synonyms are also provided. An exhaustive list of common names is not provided; for these we have made an effort to select the most commonly used name.

  • Look Alikes:

    This section will help users distinguish the rare species from other species with which they are likely to be confused when the plants are in flower or fruit. "Look alikes" in vegetative stages only are not listed. "Look alike" species are also limited to those species which occupy a similar habitat and range in Colorado as the rare species.

  • Flowering/Fruiting Period:

    The range of months likely for flowering and fruiting periods is based on the data from all Colorado records for each species. The months listed may represent a time within which a shorter flowering or fruiting period occurs.

  • Global and State Distribution

    The total distribution of known historical and extant occurrences is provided.

  • Distribution Maps:

    Based on data housed at the Colorado Natural Heritage Program at Colorado State University. An effort is made to also include all locations recorded by specimen data at national and regional herbaria.

  • Habitat:

    Using the available data from all Colorado records for each species, we summarize key habitat features such as associated plant community and geological substrate. Lists of associated plant species are included when available. For those species which have global distributions that extend beyond the Colorado state borders, habitat is described for Colorado locations only.

  • Threats and Management Issues:

    This section describes threats and management issues for Colorado populations only.


This feature allows users to learn about specific research needs, and on-going research activities. A password protected account must be requested and approved to access this part of the Guide.

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