The Gypsum Files

Notes on the Rock Nobody Knows

A plant that thrives on gypsum

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The downside of reclaiming an old gypsum mine or processing facility: You could be destroying the Gierisch mallow (I’ve bolded the relevant sentence):

Another mine, about eight miles south of St. George city limits on the Arizona Strip, owned by Western Mining and Minerals, has existed since 1989 with little controversy and virtually no local impact. However, future operations – especially expansion – may be affected by Gierisch mallow, a desert plant listed as a protected species under the Endangered Species Act in August, as the mine is located near designated critical habitat. Gierisch mallow is a subspecies of the mallow plant that adapts quickly and thrives on gypsum; therefore if someone mines gypsum or puts more gypsum on the ground it often will crop up and is most prevalent on old mine dumps, geologist Fred Johnson said. The extent of these potential effects remains to be seen as research and preservation efforts continue.

via St. George area gypsum mines bring viable industry, address local concerns | St. George News – STGnews.com |St. George News | STGnews.com.

According to Wikipedia:

The plant is nearly an obligate gypsophile, mainly limited to the gypsum soils of the Kaibab Limestone; it has also been seen on limestone soils.

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Written by Elizabeth McCullough

October 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm

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