CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Zanthoxylum coriaceum

Photographer:
S. Wright

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Zanthoxylum coriaceum


Family: 
Rutaceae  
Common Name: 
Biscayne Prickly Ash
Author: 
(Desv. Ex Ham.) Walp.
Growth Habit: 
Shrub, Tree
CPC Number: 
4451

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Zanthoxylum coriaceumenlarge
Photographer: S. Wright


Zanthoxylum coriaceum is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Devon Powell and Samuel Wright contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Zanthoxylum coriaceum


Shrub or small tree to 7 m tall. Stems armed with prickles. Leaves imparipinnate, infrequently paripinnate, (3-) 5-7-foliolate, (6-) 9-14(-18) cm long; central leaf stalk not winged; leaflets leathery, oblong to elliptic, ovate or obovate, with apex acute to acuminate or emarginated, larger leaflets (2-) 3-8(12) x (1-) 2-4(-5) cm, the margin unarmed, entire to barely crenate, rarely crenate, with teeth separated 2-4(-5) mm at the middle of leaflets; pellucid dots not obvious or < 0.2 mm diameter, sparse on blades. Inflorescence 6-9(-14) cm long. Flowers unisexual in dense terminal cymes; sepals three, about 1 mm long, petals 3, stamens 3, follicles 5-6 mm long. Fruit round, in dense clusters, thickly dotted with small glands, 4–6 mm (Coile 2000, Reynel 1995, Long and Lakela 1971, Buswell 1945).

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Florida
State Range of  Zanthoxylum coriaceum
Habitat
  COASTAL STRAND, MARITIME HAMMOCK. Coastal hammocks (Long and Lakela 1971, Wunderlin 1998); tropical hammocks, sandy beaches (Coile 2000); near the coast. (Buswell 1945); dry woodlands or scrubs, usually rocky soil or on limestone, commonly in coastal thickets up to 500 m (Reynel 1995); maritime hammocks (Gann et al. 2002), coastal strand and coastal strand/maritime hammock ecotone (Wright pers. obs.).

Distribution
  Florida
(Historic)
The Keys of Dade and Monroe County (Lakela and Craighead 1965); South Florida and Keys (Long and Lakela 1971); Southeastern US, Florida (Reynel 1995)
Not mentioned in Small 1913
(Current)
Broward, Dade and Palm Beach Counties (Wunderlin 1998, Gann et al. 2002), presumed to be extirpated in Palm Beach

World
(Current) South Florida and West Indies (Wunderlin 1998, Gann et al. 2002); Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica (Reynel 1995, Adams 1972); Cat Island, Bahamas (dpls.dacc.wisc.edu); Cuba (Fernandez, pers. comm.); Cayman Islands (virtualherbarium.org)

Number Left
  8 populations for a total of 306 individuals

Protection

Global Rank:  
G4?
 
10/14/2002
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
 
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Florida S1 E  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Physical Features:
-Soil: Substrate varies by site. Areas containing Z. coriaceum at Site 23 contain mostly sand with small amount organic matter while plants in Site 102 occur in hammock habitats with more organic soil.
-Elevation: Low (coastal)
-Aspect: unknown
-Slope: unknown
-Moisture: Low. Also tolerant of an unknown but presumed low level of salt spray.
-Light: Z. coriaceum seedlings germinate under partial shade, but may require full sun to flower (Fernandez, per. comm.).

Biotic Features:
-Community: Found mostly in coastal hammocks and occasionally in coastal strand. Commonly associated with Metopium toxiferum (poison wood), Coccoloba uvifera (sea grape), Ardisia escallonioides (marlberry), Guapira discolor (blolly), and Psychotria nervosa (wild coffee).
-Interactions:
-Competition: Zanthoxylum sp. can be locally abundant; many species exhibit pioneer behavior – growing in areas affected by human disturbance (Reynel 1995)
-Mutualism: unknown
-Parasitism: n/a
-Host: Larval host plant for giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) butterflies. (Institute for Regional conservation)
-Other: unknown
-Animal use: spiders have been observed making nest in leaves

Natural Disturbance:
-Fire: This species appears to be relatively fire-intolerant. Fires in the maritime hammock at one site in the 1990s caused mortality of several individuals.
-Hurricane: unknown, hurricanes and storms may open up canopy, which may help facilitate flowering, fruiting and dispersal
-Slope Movement: unknown
-Small Scale (i.e. Animal Digging): unknown
-Temperature: unknown

Threats
  Natural:

•Herbivory: Potential host to Toxoptera citricida, the brown citrus aphid (Michaud 1998), a moderate infestation of T. citricida was found on plants within a garden (doacs.state.fl.us); ineffective host of Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes (Jameson 2000); rabbits have been known to bite the stems off new seedlings at Site 6 (Possley 2002) and Site 102 (Fernandez per. comm.)
•Disease: unknown
•Predators: unknown
•Succession: Overgrowth of native vines and canopy species can reduce reproductive potential and slow growth (Fernandez, pers. comm.)
•Weed invasion: Coastal hammocks have a variety of invasive species that can threaten Z. coriaceum, including Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian pepper) and Colubrina asiatica (latherleaf). Aggressive native vines such as Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) and Smilax auriculata (greenbrier) have been known to grow over and shade out Z. coriaceum (Possley and Wright pers. obs.) Possley (2002) observed the native parasitic Cassytha filiformis (lovevine) imbedded into the trunk of Z. coriaceum.
•Fire: Although hammock habitats rarely burn, coastal strand habitats have been burned in the past, and mortality of Z. coriaceum has occurred. Existing trees should be considered when implementing prescribed burns in coastal strand habitats.
•Genetic: unknown, but populations with fewer than 20 individuals should be carefully augmented for prevention of bottleneck effects, which may occur in small populations

Anthropogenic

•On site: All known wild populations are on protected state, city or county land. However, one individual was poached in the late 1990s and another in 2005 (J. Fernandez, pers. comm.). Habitat destruction (Gann et al. 2002). High levels of recreational activity at Site 184 may have caused the > 50% decline of outplanted plants on site. Mowing and weedwacking by maintenance crews have had a negative impact on the outplanting at Site 45. Two trees at Site 162 were stolen from a recent outplanting at Site 162.
•Off site: Mosquito fogging from trucks may injure or kill Z. coriaceum (Possley 2002). Fogging would also have a negative impact on pollinators. Development of nearby sites could also reduce the amount of pollinators within the area.

Current Research Summary
  Demography study at Crandon Park.

Current Management Summary
 

Research Management Needs
  Management of fire around plants. Plants are killed from fire.

Monitoring Efforts
  All populations are monitored periodically.

Ex Situ Needs
  Seed banking

References

No references available.

  This profile was updated on 9/23/2011
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