Hackelia venusta Facts
- Most notably, the term Hackelia venusta serves as the scientific name of a beautiful but extremely rare species of flowering plant. However, the plant also goes by the unusual common name of Showy Stickweed. But, by either term, this unique flora represents a species of extreme interest to botanists.
- Quite unfortunately, though, this amazing plant also officially lists as an Endangered Species within the country in which it appears. That’s partly due to the fact that only about 770 individual plants presently remain in existence. Despite searches, to date, this comprises the entirety of its population.
- Further, the primary threat to its existence currently appears to be comprised of the danger of habitat loss. But, its already scant numbers also qualify as a problem. In this, unfortunately, the plant faces the same threats as many other species. However, its greatest threat likely comes from climate change.
- Finally, the Hackelia venusta nonetheless remains in a precarious position, due to the nature of its habitat. That’s because a single disaster such as severe weather or wildfire could potentially eradicate the entire species. But, despite all these facts, for unknown reasons, the plant does not yet have a listing on the IUCN Red List.
Hackelia venusta Physical Description
First of all, the truly amazing Hackelia venusta has many qualities to merit attention and appreciation. For one thing, the stunning flora evolved as a variety of perennial herb. In addition, each taproot produces several leafy stems. Somewhat surprisingly, each of these stems may be as much as 16 in (40 cm) in height.
Furthermore, it also blooms between the months of April and May. At that time, this wonder of Nature produces large clusters of small flowers. These most commonly attain a size measuring roughly 0.8 in (2 cm) across. These tiny but beautiful blooms also typically present as either a pale bluish or bright white in color.
Further, the fruit of the marvelous, though sadly rare, Hackelia venusta presents as a relatively small nut. This part of the plant also develops covered in short, stiff, hair-like structures. Highly interestingly, these features cling tightly to any passing animal, thereby allowing for successful dispersal of the seeds.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Boraginales
- Family: Boraginaceae
- Genus: Hackelia
- Species: H. venusta
Hackelia venusta Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Quite unfortunately, the magnificent Hackelia venusta inhabits an extremely limited and restricted habitat range. In point of fact, only one known population of the remarkable Angiosperm currently exists. That’s because it only exists within Tumwater Canyon in Chelan County, Washington State, United States, in North America.
Fortunately, however, this remote location presently forms part of the protected Wenatchee National Forest. Additionally, the entire habitat range of this rare species comprises only an estimated 2.5 acres (1 hectare). Even more precisely, and dangerously, it lies a mere 330 ft (100 m) from a major highway passing through the National Forest.
To the likely surprise of many, the beautiful Hackelia venusta inhabits a type of environment normally considered inhospitable. This holds true due to the fact that the rare botanical marvel grows in areas of rock ledges and open talus. Its native soil remains quite rocky and sandy, with relatively poor nutrient levels.
In addition, the impressive small species also has very specific needs in other ways, as well. This particular for of flora requires copious amounts of direct sunlight to thrive. In fact, this species possesses an extremely low tolerance for shade. This further makes its habitat requirements highly specific, only adding to its vulnerability.