Sedum moranii

Rogue River stonecrop is endemic to southwest Oregon, where it is found only along a less than 96km (60mi.) strip of the Rogue River and its tributaries. It is considered a Sensitive Species in Oregon and Critically Imperiled by the USDA. Threats to remaining plants listed by the USDA include: horticultural collecting for rock gardens, trail maintenance, recreational use of its habitat, and flooding. I’ve seen the result of horticultural overcollecting on other species (e.g., Cistanthe tweedyi), and I would say that there isn’t much apparent evidence of plant-collecting at this site. In the instance of the Cistanthe, it was quite apparent that the density of individuals in a given area was higher (sometimes much) where plants were inaccessible. Here, for the few plants that I observed (one didn’t have to go far), most were easily accessible both in terms of the distance from the vehicle and within 2.5m (8 ft.) up the face of the cliffs. A few plants even had potential for “drive-thru” photography–you could sit in your vehicle and photograph them out the side window.

Sedum moranii is named in honour of the now recently-deceased Dr. Reid Moran (scroll down linked page for short article), a US-born botanist (1916-2010). He was the Curator of Botany at the San Diego Natural History Museum from 1957 to 1982 and the author of the Flora of North America treatment for the Crassulaceae.

You can read the Flora of North America account for Sedum moranii for more or see additional images via Dr. Gerald Carr: Sedum moranii.

For local readers in the Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA areas: in Vancouver, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum is hosting a photography exhibition called Interaction beginning March 6th, which will include sixteen photographs of mine. Read more on the Beaty’s events page. For those of you in or around Seattle, the Miller Library is hosting a botanical art exhibit from March 2nd to March 29th in conjunction with the conference “Conserving Plant Biodiversity in a Changing World: A View from NW North America”. I have two photographs in that exhibit, as well.

Sedum moranii
Sedum moranii

7 responses to “Sedum moranii”

  1. Meg

    Amazing adaptation and color.

  2. Timothy

    I would love to have that sedum growing in my garden. Both of those photos are gorgeous.

  3. Marika Drier

    It is amazing that a plant can look so healthy growing out of a vertical face of rock like that. Outstanding. I love the adaptability of Sedum.

  4. elizabeth a airhart

    lovely news about the exhibitions be proud of yourself we are

  5. gail shewchuk

    Thank you… I love the stonecrop…!

  6. Equisetum

    Love the dramatic more distant picture. It really says everything about why the plant is endangered: picky about habitat — thought substrate looked like serpentine, looked up the link to Flora of North America which says it grows on serpentine (but not where else), which further explains how a plant becomes endangered: pick a difficult habitat for your picky habitat!
    Being so picky, and serpentine being so unfriendly, I’d guess that plants tend to grow isolated from others of the species. I wonder what pollinates it. The abundant offsets suggest the plant doesn’t expect much from pollinators… and it doesn’t look to me like those offsets are going to have a great chance of taking root when they fall off.
    Love photos that reveal more and more of a story as you look at them — especially when they are so beautiful…
    Hope you didn’t risk your neck too much parking on a no-shoulder road or setting up a tripod on an all but no shoulder!

  7. Daniel Mosquin

    No risk involved with these photographs, other than potential contact with poison oak and perhaps dehydration (when in flower, the canyons they grow in are pretty hot and dry). Without giving too much away, where you could do “drive-thru” photos of them is on a very wide, short span of road where people wouldn’t be driving at high speeds.

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