Fine Art

Hedeoma todsenii

Hedeoma todsenii, Photo: US Forest Service

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Nepetoideae
Tribus: Mentheae
Subtribus: Menthinae
Genus: Hedeoma
Species: Hedeoma todsenii

Hedeoma todsenii R.S.Irving, 1979
Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
Regional: Southeastern USA

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Irving, R.S., 1979. Madroño 26:184.

Additional references

Govaerts, R.H.A. 2003. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [unavailable for the public] Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2022. Hedeoma todsenii in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Apr 20. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2022. Hedeoma todsenii. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2022. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Apr 20. Reference page. 2022. Hedeoma todsenii. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 20 Apr 2022.
International Plant Names Index. 2022. Hedeoma todsenii. Published online. Accessed: Apr 20 2022.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Hedeoma todsenii in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
English: Todsen's false pennyroyal

Hedeoma todsenii is a rare species of flowering plant in the mint family known by the common name Todsen's pennyroyal, or Todsen's false pennyroyal. It is endemic to New Mexico in the United States, where it occurs in the San Andres and Sacramento Mountains.[1] It is federally listed as an endangered species of the United States.[2]

This plant was discovered on the White Sands Missile Range in 1978 by Thomas K. Todsen (1918-2010) and described to science and named for him the following year.[2] It is a rhizomatous perennial herb growing up to 20 centimeters tall with fragrant lance-shaped leaves. The tubular flowers are red-orange or occasionally yellow in color and bloom in the summer rainy season.[1] Flowers occur rarely, with only 20% of the plants flowering in a given season.[3] The plant reproduces vegetatively, forming wide mats of many clones all arising from the rhizome of one plant.[4] What appears to be a large colony of many stems may actually be a single plant.[3]

The plant grows on steep mountain slopes composed of gypsum and limestone. It occurs in pinyon-juniper woodland habitat dominated by the Colorado Pinyon (Pinus edulis) and one seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma). It grows among grasses such as muhly grass (Muhlenbergia sp.) species. It occurs in shady spots in the habitat where moisture remains for a longer period of time. The rare plant may be a relict species from a time when the region was cooler and not as dry.[3]

There are three occurrences of the plant in the San Andres Mountains and fifteen occurrences in the Sacramento Mountains. The plant, as a relict, may be naturally rare. It reproduces by cloning itself. Flowering occurs rarely, and successful seed set is relatively uncommon. Few pollinators visit the flowers. When a plant does produce fruit, it usually produces only one or two nutlets together, instead of the quartet that is possible. Furthermore, most of the seeds do not germinate.[3]

Threats to the species include its low reproductive rate and genetic diversity, illegal grazing of domestic animals, and damage from insects and other wild animals.[3]

Hedeoma todsenii. New Mexico Rare Plants.
USFWS. Determination of two New Mexico plants to be endangered species and threatened species with critical habitat. Federal Register January 19, 1981.
USFWS. Hedeoma todsenii Revised Recovery Plan. January 2001.
Hedeoma todsenii. Archived 2010-12-15 at the Wayback Machine Center for Plant Conservation.

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