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Rough popcornflower recovery efforts
Establishing new populations
rough popcornflower plants in greenhouse
outplanting rough popcornflower
rough popcornflower thriving in an introduced population
Left: Rough popcornflower (Plagiobothrys hirtus) plants growing in the greenhouse. Middle: ODA staff outplanting P. hirtus seedlings to create a new population at a protected site in Sutherlin. Right: An established population of P. hirtus that was created in 1998 at BLM’s North Bank Habitat Management Area. Photos by Melissa Carr (left and center) and Rebecca Currin (right). If downloading images from this website, please credit the photographer.

Project Goals
To promote the recovery of rough popcornflower (Plagiobothrys hirtus) by:
  • Developing efficient and cost-effective greenhouse cultivation methods
  • Using these methods to produce transplants for population creation projects
  • Creating a model for identifying suitable habitat to host new rough popcornflower populations
  • Creating a series of new populations in appropriate habitat in permanently protected sites
  • Establishing and implementing a long term monitoring program for created populations

Background
Rough popcornflower, a rare member of the forget-me-not family (Boraginaceae), occurs in approximately fourteen known locations in the Umpqua Valley near Sutherlin. This species currently faces many threats to its continued existence, the most important being loss of habitat due to residential and industrial development in the Sutherlin area. Degradation of remaining habitat due to hydrologic alterations and invasions of exotic species also threaten this species. In response to these threats, both ODA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) list P. hirtus as Endangered. A Recovery Plan  (pdf, 626 MB) specifying actions needed to recover this species, including creation of new populations, was drafted by ODA and issued by USFWS in 2003.

Research Summary
  • Cultivation and outplanting protocol development: In 1995, ODA began developing protocols for greenhouse cultivation of rough popcornflower plants to be used to create new populations of this rare species. Seeds germinated easily, and grew quickly to transplantable size. Transplants survived well when competing vegetation was removed at the time of planting. Data collected during this initial work was used to create a model based on existing vegetation that identified those microsites most suitable for successful outplantings.  
     
  • Creation of new populations: In cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM - Roseburg District) and USFWS, ODA created three new populations on the North Bank Habitat Management Area, a 6,000 acre ranch currently managed by the BLM for multi-species habitat conservation. Planted in 1998, these populations continue to thrive and make a significant contribution to the recovery of this species.  
     
  • Monitoring and adaptive management of created populations: Ongoing monitoring continues to document the success of these populations, and provides information used to manage for their continued viablility.


Future Work
ODA continues to monitor these created populations and cooperate with BLM to ensure their long term viability.
 
For more information about this species, visit the rough popcornflower plant profile.