The lovely Maguire Daisy represents a plant species with a unique status, for two separate reasons. In 1987, it was accidentally listed as an Endangered Species. Naturally, you wonder how. Who wouldn’t?
At that time, there were only 7 known individual specimens of what was thought to be a variety (1 of 2) of Maguire Daisy. However, experts discovered in 1996 that the variations were environment based, and were not genetic.
Also, this variety remains highly localized. We now know that more than 160,000 individuals of the species exist. Unfortunately, they all grow in only ten known concentrations. These locations all occur in two counties, in the state of Utah.
Maguire Daisy Physical Characteristics
The Maguire Daisy constitutes a small perennial, herbaceous in nature, with a close relationship to the aster family.
The base has a relatively woody and highly branched nature. This diminutive, but beautiful, plant attains an average height of approximately 11 in (28 cm). Fortunately, they have the capability of reproducing from either its taproot or a caudex.
Also, both the numerous stems and the small, narrow leaves grow covered in dense hair-like structures.
Each specimen produces 1-5 flower heads, and each of these produces as many as 20 small blooms. Not surprisingly, they display the yellow center and surrounding white petals typical of most daisies.
Maguire Daisy Distribution, Habitat, and Status
The Maguire Daisy appears to only exist in two locations, in the state of Utah, in the United States. Fortunately, the majority of the known specimens reside within the borders of the Capitol Reef National Park. Since this constitutes federally protected land, this provides them with a measure of protection.
The Maguire Daisy typically grows in cracks and crevices in the local Navajo sandstone. The types of regions it thrives in includes mesas, washes, and canyons. Its principal habitat consists of pine and juniper woodland, and also shrubland.
Despite its numbers, the minimal distribution forms a concern. A single natural disaster could seriously threaten the species. For that reason, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists the plant as Threatened.