roan plateau

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BLM Works With Partner to Study Rare Colorado Plant Species

BLM Colorado has been working with Betty Ford Alpine Gardens to research the rare Parachute penstemon, a plant that only grows on oil shale cliffs high above the Colorado River.

BLM Botanist Carol Dawson and the Alpine Gardens staff are studying how Parachute penstemon grows in order to understand how it may one day be planted in its native habitat as part of successful recovery efforts.

Research on Parachute penstemon is currently focused on gaining a better understanding of the plant by testing multiple germination techniques and seeing which one works best. In addition, BLM Colorado monitors the plant population annually and has determined that it is currently stable.

The threatened plant is native only to northwest Colorado’s Roan Plateau, an ecologically diverse area managed by the BLM and known for its recreational opportunities, remarkable landscape, and sensitive species.