Hackelia venusta Facts
- Most notably, the lovely Hackelia venusta constitutes an extremely rare species of flowering plant. Not to be outdone by the scientific name, Showy Stickseed serves as its common name.
- This amazing plant also officially lists as an Endangered Species within the country in which it exists. That’s partly due to the fact that only about 770 individual plants presently remain in existence.
- Further, the primary threats to its existence appear to be habitat loss and its already scant numbers. In this, unfortunately, the plant faces the same threats as many other species.
- Further, a single disaster such as severe weather or wildfire could potentially eradicate the entire species. But, despite all these facts, the plant does not yet have a listing on the IUCN Red List.
Hackelia venusta Physical Description
Firstly, the rather amazing Hackelia venusta evolved as a perennial herb. In addition, each taproot produces several leafy stems. Somewhat surprisingly, each of these may be as much as 16 in (40 cm) in height.
It also blooms between April and May when it produces large clusters of small flowers roughly 0.8 in (2 cm) across. These tiny but beautiful blooms typically present as either bluish or white in color.
Further, the fruit presents as a rather small nut covered in short, stiff, hair-like structures. Interestingly, these features cling tightly to any passing animal, 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
To the likely surprise of many, the beautiful Hackelia venusta grows in areas of rock ledges and open talus. Its native soil remains quite rocky and sandy, with relatively poor nutrient levels.
The species also requires copious amounts of direct sunlight to thrive and does not tolerate shade. This further makes its habitat requirements highly specific, only adding to its vulnerability.
This remote location also 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). Furthermore, it lies a mere 330 ft (100 m) from a major highway passing through the National Forest.