The Kremmling beardtongue, also known as the Penland beardtongue, is a herbaceous, or non-woody, plant species in the plantain family (Plantaginaceae). This species was formerly classified in the figwort family. In June and July you can find the showy Kremmling beardtongue in bloom. The Kremmling beardtongue is only known to occur on white to tan barren shale soil exposures. There is only one population of the Kremmling beardtongue in the whole world, making the Kremmling beard-tongue a local treasure.
The Kremmling beardtongue is threatened by off-highway vehicle recreation, road maintenance, fugitive dust from nearby roads and utility maintenance. The extremely small range and limited habitat availability make Kremmling beardtongue more susceptible to extinction than other species with broader ranges. Therefore, protection of existing populations is vital to the survival of the species. Additional threats includeand non-native invasive plants. Protection of native bee pollinators and their nesting habitat is also essential to the Kremmling beardtongue's survival.
It is a compact, clumping plant with straight and pointed dark green, inrolled leaves, meaning that they curve inwards. The plant grows 2 to 6 inches tall and up to 8 inches wide from a spreading and deep root system, which secures the plant in the highly erodible soils of its habitat.
Its flowers are blue-violet and tubular, measuring 0.75 inches long.
Kremmling beardtongue is known from only one site 10 miles (16 kilometers) east of Kremmling, Colorado. It is estimated the species occupies less than 1,500 acres. The plant is locally abundant but highly restricted to sparsely vegetated shales of the Troublesome Formation that are high in selenium. The plant community is dominated by grasses and mixed shrubs, especially, rabbitbrush and bitterbrush.
Kremmling beardtongue has rhizomes and vegetative growth. It is unknown how clonal the species is, nor has its genetic diversity been investigated. We also don't know what the life span of Kremmling beardtongue is. The plant exhibits a mixed mating system, meaning that it can produce seed with pollen from the same plant, but the species is significantly more successful with pollen from another plant. Pollen must be moved from plant to plant with the assistance of pollinators. The primary pollinators are native solitary bees, especially those in the genus Osmia. Conservation of Kremmling beardtongue must include these pollinators.
Explore the information available for this taxon's timeline. You can select an event on the timeline to view more information, or cycle through the content available in the carousel below.4 Items