Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research 3:1 (February 1993), pp. 03-19. Copyright © 1993 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


Blowout penstemon (Penstemon haydenii S. Wats.) is the rarest plant endemic to the Great Plains and is the only officially endangered plant species in Nebraska. The endangered species recovery plan calls for an increase in viable populations from five to ten and an increase in plant numbers from about 6,000 to 15,000. Research conducted on survival of greenhouse grown seedlings transplanted at three sites in the Nebraska Sandhills showed that transplanting seedlings was feasible. Greatest survival was obtained when blowout penstemon seedlings were transplanted into blowout grass [Redfieldia flexuosa (Thurb.) Vasey] communities in blowout depressions. Plants were not long lived, but they produced seed for continuation of the species. Their relatively short life span may be directly related to the temporary aspect of suitable habitat in blowouts.