CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Leiophyllum buxifolium

Photographer:
Tom Ward

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Leiophyllum buxifolium


Family: 
Ericaceae  
Common Names: 
sandmyrtle, sand-myrtle
Author: 
(Persoon) Hedwig. f.
Growth Habit: 
Subshrub, Shrub
CPC Number: 
4460

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Leiophyllum buxifoliumenlarge
Photographer: Tom Ward
tomward[at]arnarb.harvard.edu


Leiophyllum buxifolium is Fully Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Irina Kadis contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Leiophyllum buxifolium


This species is found in three disjunct locations in the United States: the New Jersey Pine Barrens, the Coastal Plain of North and South Carolina, and the southeastern Blue Ridge Province. (Strand and Wyatt 1991) It has yet to be resolved if plants at these three locations are members of the same species, or different varieties. (Radford et al. 1968)

Leiphyllum buxifolium, or sand myrtle, is an evergreen shrub, with adventitious roots (Small 1933, Gleason 1952, Hightshoe 1988, Foote and Jones 1994); it is in a monotypic North American genus (a genus consisting of a single species). L. buxifolium is placed in the family Ericaceae because of its pollen structure; however, its flower rather resembles species from the Diapensiaceae family. The hermaphroditic pinkish-white flowers are arranged in umbel-shaped clusters and bloom during May. This shrub is only 0.2-1 m tall and can grow erect, prostrate, or decumbent stems, in accordance with location or altitude. Its flowers are white or pinkish, arranged in terminal umbel-shaped clusters (Dirr 1998).

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Georgia
Kentucky
New Jersey
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
State Range of  Leiophyllum buxifolium
Habitat
  L. buxifolium grows in open, sandy habitats (Small 1933, Gleason 1952, Foote and Jones 1994). On coastal plains, it is found in sandy pine barrens on acidic soils. It also grows in rocky woods in piedmont and low mountains (on mountain crests).

Distribution
  L. buxifolium is geographically fragmented; it occurs in southern New Jersey (pine barrens), west into the mountains of the Carolinas, Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, and in northern Georgia (var. prostratum). In North Carolina and South Carolina it can be found on coastal plains.

Number Left
  Twelve populations were studied by Strand and Wyatt (1991), otherwise, the current status of this species is unknown.

Protection

Global Rank:  
G4
 
12/21/1988
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
 
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Kentucky SX H 1/1/2002  
  Pennsylvania SX PX 6/11/2002  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  L. buxifolium is pollinated by small bees and flies and honeybees (Strand and Wyatt 1991).

Threats
  Excessive recreational development of vulnerable coastal areas
Road construction, right-of-way maintenance
Human trampling
Shoreline erosion
Invasive species

Current Research Summary
  Strand and Wyatt (1991) used allozyme markers to study 12 populations from six different regions and found that species between regions showed some morphological differences but were not genetically different.

Current Management Summary
  There is no formal management plan for this species.

Research Management Needs
  There is need to investigate the infraspecific taxa (varieties) within L. buxifolium and whether any of them deserve only a rank of form.

Ex Situ Needs
 

References

Books (Single Authors)

Dirr, M.A. 1998. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Champaign, Illinois: Stipes Publishing L. L. C.

Foote, L.E.; Jones, S.B., Jr. 1994. Native Shrubs and Woody Vines of the Southeast. Oregon: Timber Press.

Hightshoe, G.L. 1988. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Radford, A.E.; Ahles, H.E.; Bell, C.R. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. 1183p.

Small, J.K. 1933. Manual of the southeastern flora. New York, NY: Hafner Publishing Company. 1505p.

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Electronic Sources

(2000). Showy Native Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines. [Web site] NC State University. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/native/scientific_namea-e.html. Accessed: 2002.

(2002). Leiophyllum buxifolium: Tour of Ericaceae Family. [Web site] American Rhododendron Society, Massachusetts Chapter. http://www.rosebay.org/chapterweb/index.htm. Accessed: 2002.

(2002). New York Metropolitan Flora Project: Metropolitan Plant Encyclopedia. [Searchable Web site] Brooklyn Botanic Garden. http://www.bbg.org/sci/nymf/encyclopedia/contents.htm. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles



Kron, K.A.; King, J.M. 1996. Cladistic Relationships of Kalmia, Leiophyllum, and Loiseleuria (Phyllodoceae, Ericaceae) Based on RBCL and NRITS Data. Systematic Botany. 21, 1: 17-29.

Schuyler, A.E.; Gordon, T. 2002. Rare plants in the Middle Branch of the Forked River watershed, Lacey Township, Ocean County, New Jersey. Bartonia. 21: 117-121.

Strand, A.E.; Wyatt, R. 1991. Geographical variation and biosystematics of Sand Myrtle, Leiophyllum buxifolium (Ericaceae). Systematic Botany. 16, 3: 529-45.

White, S.P. 1983. Evidence that temperate east North American evergreen woody plants follow corners rules. New Phytologist. 95, 1: 139-146.

Magazine Articles

Morse, L.E. 1988. Rare Plants of Appalacian Bedrock. The Nature Conservancy Magazine: 38.

Reports

Clemants, S. 1998. Sand Myrtle Technical Page. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Botanic Garden. p.2. Web page.


  This profile was updated on 9/28/2010
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