Yellowstone’s hidden secret



Little known research center holds the secrets of rare park life Those seeking to see a living specimen of Yellowstone National Park’s most rare species, Yellowstone sand verbena, are sworn to secrecy. Its location is closely guarded, and those who visit are asked not to discuss its exact whereabouts. The little-known, delicate flowering plant grows on a sandy patch of land, less than 1.5 acres, on the shores of Yellowstone Lake. It’s been theorized that what makes the nation’s premiere park popular — it’s volcanic nature — is why the Yellowstone sand verbena (Abronia ammophila) grows only within the park’s boundaries. Most similar species live in much warmer environs in southern states and Mexico. It’s one of only three endemic plants in Yellowstone...

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