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Leedy's Roseroot (Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi)
Leedy's roseroot is a cliffside wildflower, found today in only six locations in two widely separated states: Minnesota and New York. Species whose populations are so widely separated from each other geographically are known as "disjunct" species. In the case of Leedy's roseroot, not only are the two centers of population geographically distant from each other, but the subspecies is disjunct from the main species, which occurs in the western mountains. This pattern of distribution suggests that Leedy's roseroot is a glacial relict - a plant that was more widespread at the end of the last glaciation but which has since become isolated because of the loss of appropriate habitat in intervening areas as the climate has warmed.
Leedy's roseroot is a very distinctive plant that cannot be easily mistaken for any other native Minnesota species. The stems and leaves are smooth and succulent. It is dioecious, meaning the male flowers and female flowers are on separate plants. The flowers are red or yellow and occur in flat-topped clusters.
Leedy's Roseroot Recovery Plan (39-page PDF; 2.75MB)
Federal Register Final Rule: Technical Corrections for Three Midwest Region Plant Species (Sept. 14, 2010) - - includes Leedy's roseroot
Links to More Information
Leedy's Roseroot: a cliffside glacial relict by Nancy Sather, MN DNR (5-page PDF)
Leedy's Roseroot - Center for Plant Conservation Plant Profile