CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Geocarpon minimum

Photographer:
Casey Galvin

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Geocarpon minimum


Family: 
Caryophyllaceae  
Common Names: 
earth fruit, geocarpon, tinytim
Author: 
Mackenzie
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
2010

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Geocarpon minimumenlarge
Photographer: Casey Galvin


Geocarpon minimum is Fully Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Kimberlie McCue, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Geocarpon minimum


If you want to see Geocarpon minimum you'll need good eyes and good knees! That's because this plant is TINY, and to find it often requires getting down on hands and knees. Growing between one and four centimeters tall, G. minimum is the only member of its genus, making it a very unique member of the Caryophyllaceae (Carnation) family.
Seeds of Geocarpon germinate in the winter and produce a small rosette. In spring the plant produces flowers and sets seed within about 4 weeks time. As the fruits mature, the plant turns from green to a striking magenta color.


Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Arkansas
Louisiana
Missouri
State Range of  Geocarpon minimum
Habitat
  In Missouri, Geocarpon minimum grows on moist, sandy soils on exposed sandstone outcrops. It is limited to shallow depressions in slightly tilted sandstone strata within sandstone glade plant communities (Shepard et al. 1991). In Arkansas and Louisiana, Geocarpon is restricted to saline soils in plant communities classified as "saline soil prairies" (USFWS 1993).

In Missouri, Geocarpon is strongly associated with the lichen, Xanthoparmelia sp. (USFWS 1993). Also likely to occur with Geocarpon: Talinum sp., and Polytrichum juniperinum.
In Arkansas and Louisiana, associates include: Scirpus koilolepsis, Aristida longespica, and Anemone caroliniana (USFWS 1993).

Distribution
  Seven counties in SW Missouri, four counties in Arkansas (in NW and SE areas of the state), and one county in Northern Louisiana (USFWS 1993).

Number Left
  Known from approximately 27 sites in AR, LA, and MO. The majority of sites occur in Missouri (USFWS 1993). The number of individual plants at each site varies from year to year, ranging from 0 to hundreds or occasionally even a few thousand.

Protection

Global Rank:  
G2
 
11/16/2006
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LT
 
6/16/1987
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
7/26/1993

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Arkansas S2 SE 7/1/1997  
  Louisiana S1 unprotected 9/1/1995  
  Missouri S2 E 5/1/2000  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  None known.

Threats
  Threats include destruction or adverse modification of the habitat, trampling and grazing by cattle, road expansions and improvements, overcrowding and shading by invading plants (USFWS 1993).

Current Research Summary
  The Missouri Botanical Garden is currently (year 2002) working to assess the genetic diversity and differentiation present within and among Geocarpon populations across its range. Given the disparate nature of the habitat occupied by Geocarpon in Missouri versus Arkansas and Louisiana, there is interest in determining if there are subspecific differences between the MO and the AR and LA populations. Knowledge of these differences will assist in potential future reintroduction work.

Current Management Summary
  The Nature Conservancy conducts an annual census of Geocarpon on its Corry Flatrocks Preserve in SW Missouri. The Missouri Dept. of Conservation (MDC) also monitors Geocarpon at several sites in SW Missouri. MDC has worked for several years to relocate Geocarpon from an area of Collins Glade that was lost to expansion of HWY 13. Seeds of the destroyed site were transported to a protected area of Collins Glade. Monitoring of the project is done on an annual basis.

Research Management Needs
  Management needs include evaluating potential habitat and searching for additional populations and preserving genetic stock. Population monitoring should be continued.
Research needs include determining the effects of disturbance factors (natural and man-made) and incorporating findings into management prescriptions, establishing experimental populations to determine the presence of habitat specific factors and understanding reproductive biology and ecology.

Monitoring Efforts
  Not Available

Ex Situ Needs
  Establish reliable propagation protocols.

References

Books (Single Authors)

2000. Missouri Plants of Conservation Concern. Jefferson City, MO: Conservation Commission of Missouri--Missouri Department of Conservation.

Electronic Sources

(2002). New York Botanical Garden--The Virtual Herbarium. [Searchable Web site] New York Botanical Garden. Fordham Road Bronx, New York. http://scisun.nybg.org:8890/searchdb/owa/wwwspecimen.searchform. Accessed: 2002.

USFWS. (1990). Endangered and Threatened Species Accounts. [Web page] U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Endangered Species. http://ecos.fws.gov/servlet/TESSSpeciesQuery. Accessed: 2002.

USGS. (2002). Status of Listed Species and Recovery Plan Development. [Web site] USGS: Norther Prairie Wildlife Research Center. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/others/recoprog/plant.htm. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Behnke, H.D. 1982. Geocarpon-minimum sieve element plastids as additional evidence for its inclusion in the Caryophyllaceae. Taxon. 31, 1: 45-47.

Boetsch, J.R. 2002. The Aizoaceae and Molluginaceae of the southeastern United States. Castanea. 67: 42-53.

MacKenzie, K.K. 1914. A new genus from Missouri. Torreya. 14: 67.

McInnis, N.C. 1993. Geocarpon minimum (caryophyllaceae), New to Louisiana. Phytologia. 75, 2: 159.

Shepherd, W.M.; Preston, C.R.; Steinower, R. 1991. Five-year study of Geocarpon minimum at Warren Prairie Natural Area, Bradley County, Arkansas. Proceedings of the Arkansas Academy of Science.

Smith, T.; Ely, J.S. 2006. A demographic and ecological analysis of Geocarpon minimum (Caryophyllaceae): a federally threatened species in southwest Missouri. SIDA. 22, 2: 1145-1147.

USFWS. 1976. Proposed Endangered Status for 1700 U.S. Plants. Federal Register. 41: 24523-24572.

USFWS. 1986. 18 Plants Proposed for Listing Protection. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 11, 5: 1-13.

USFWS. 1987. Twelve Listings. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 12, 7: 1, 7-8.

Reports

2002. Rare Plant Fact Sheet. Little Rock, Arkansas: Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. p.2.

Locklear, J. 1987. Plant Conservation Activities: 1987 Annual Report. Lincoln, NE: From the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum to the Center for Plant Conservation. p.3.

USFWS. 1993. Geocarpon minimum MacKenzie Recovery Plan. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p.34.


  This profile was updated on 2/25/2014
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