Let It Be

By Taylor on May 30, 2013 in Blog

Jeweled Shooting Start found by INHF land stewardship intern Devon Hovey

Jeweled Shooting Start found by INHF land stewardship intern Devon Hovey

“Yesterday, Devon Hovey (an INHF Blufflands intern) made an exciting discovery at Heritage Valley. On the north side of a rock outcropping, she found “a neat purple flower.” It was Jeweled Shooting Star, a state threatened species that is associated with cool north-facing cliff habitat and occasionally found along cold water streams. As we worked our way along the bluff looking for garlic mustard, we found several more populations of the shooting star. We did not find this species during the BioBlitz events, thus it is a new one for our list.” -Brian Fankhauser, INHF Blufflands Program Manager

As the INHF Land Stewardship interns working on the bluffs in northeastern Iowa discovered last week, Iowa has some beautiful plant species you might want to take with you to show others.

However, there are some species that should not be picked.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website, endangered plant life is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant part of its natural range. Threatened species are in danger of become endangered within the foreseeable future.

Check out this list of Endangered and Threatened Plant and Animal Species in Iowa.

Plant species play an important role in their natural community and removing them can have a negative impact.

As a result, there are penalties for removing endangered and threatened species from the nature community where they are found. In Iowa, threatened and endangered species are protected by law under the Endangered Plants and Wildlife section of the Code of Iowa (Chapter 481B).

The next time you take a trip to Iowa's prairie consider a following these tips from the Leave What You Find principle of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

  • Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species
  • Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches

And if you find something truly breathtaking, snap a photo and share it with us at the INHF Facebook page.

For more information about Iowa's threatened and endangered species visit: