CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Geum radiatum

Photographer:
William S. Justice

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Geum radiatum


Family: 
Rosaceae  
Common Names: 
Appalachian avens, cliff avens, spreading avens
Author: 
Michx.
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
2023

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Geum radiatumenlarge
Photographer: William S. Justice
Image Owner: fr. Smithsonian

Geum radiatumenlarge
Photographer: Robert Sutter
rsutter[at]tnc.org


Geum radiatum is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 

 
Geum radiatum


Spreading avens is a rare endemic found on a few mountaintops in the Southern Appalachians. This species has received a great deal of attention over the past few decades from government organizations and conservationists who have called attention to the problems facing it’s continued survival. Several of the remaining populations are managed on public land now and one of the privately owned populations is on Nature Conservancy land and is partially protected. This plant produces bright yellow flowers from June to September and the potential to be cultivated for ornamental use. Unfortunately it has also been collected from the wild at least twice which further endangers this species. Another potential threat is that the coniferous forests that are adjacent to the cliffs where this species is found are dying from the combined effect of an exotic weevil infestation and air pollution. No one knows how this will impact the rare species in these areas.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  North Carolina
Tennessee
State Range of  Geum radiatum
Habitat
  Open, exposed high elevation cliffs, outcrops, steep slopes and gravelly talus associated with cliffs with shallow acidic soils. (Hamrick and Godt 1996)

Associated species include Leiophyllum buxifolium, Menziesia pilosa, Rhododendron catawbiense, Aster spp., Carex spp., Solidago spp., Heuchera villosa, Saxifraga michauxii, and various grass species. The cliffs that this species inhabits are often adjacent to red spruce (Picea rubens) dominated coniferous forests. (USFWS 1990)

Distribution
  Western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee (Hamrick and Godt 1996)

Number Left
  There are eleven sites remaining although five additional populations are known to have gone extinct recently. Seven of the extant populations have less than fifty individuals and three have fewer than ten. (USFWS 1990)

Protection

Global Rank:  
G2
 
12/13/2006
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
10/24/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Great Smokies P1 9/17/1990  
  North Carolina S1 E-SC 8/2/1991  
  Tennessee S2 E 8/11/1986  
  Tennessee Valley Authority S? 9/24/1990  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  None known.

Threats
  • Trampling and soil compaction by tourists
• Encroachment by shrubs
• Recreational development
(USFWS 1990)

Current Research Summary
  • In 1980, S.W. Morgan wrote a status summary for this species using information from a survey of five of the fifteen populations that were thought to exist during the late 1970’s. (Morgan 1980)
• In the late 1980’s and 1990’s Hamrick and Godt compared allozyme genetic diversity to population sizes in this species and found a positive correlation between them (Hamrick and Godt 1997).
• Paterson and Snyder published a study (1999) that gave genetic evidence to support the taxonomic designation of this species as separate from G. peckii.
• Dr. Bart R. Johnson, Associate Professor in the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Oregon in Eugene, has been researching the ecological aspects of this species (with a number of manuscripts in preparation, including (Johnson In Prep.)).
• Dalenia S. Medford, a graduate student at East Tennessee State University, completed a Masters Thesis on this species in August 2001. (Medford 2001) This study investigated population level variation in this and another rare species across a time span of 150 years.

Current Management Summary
  In 1997 a study was done on Mt. LeConte to determine the impact of visitor patterns on the high elevation vegetation including this species and a restoration project for this species was initiated. (Rock 1997).

Research Management Needs
  • The red spruce forests controlled by the U.S. Forest Service are regularly sprayed with an insecticide, Lindane. A study is needed to determine if there are short-term and/or long-term effects of this practice on G. radiatum (Morgan 1980)
• Continued restoration of areas in GSMNP including supplementing populations with seedlings germinated ex situ.

Ex Situ Needs
  Public education is needed, especially in Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP) where tourists are inadvertently trampling this plant.

References

Books (Single Authors)

Chester, E.W.; Wofford, B.E.; Kral, R.; DeSelm, H.R.; Evans, A.M. 1993. Atlas of Tennessee vascular plants. Clarksville, Tennessee: Austin Peay State University.

Cooper, J.E.; Robinson, S.S.; Funderburg, J.B. 1977. Endangered and threatened plants and animals of North Carolina. Raleigh, NC.: North Carolina State Museum Natural History. 444p.

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.

Books (Sections)

Hamrick, J.L.; Godt, M.J.W. 1996. Conservation genetics of endemic plant species. In: Avise, J.C.; Hamrick, J. L., editors. Conservation Genetics. Case Histories From Nature. Chapman and Hall. New York, NY. p 281-304.

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

(2002). NC-ES Plant profiles. [Web pages] North Carolina Ecological Services--U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services--Southeast Region 4. http://nc-es.fws.gov/plant/plant.html. Accessed: 2002.

(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.

Journal Articles

Allen, W.H. 1995. The Reintroduction Myth: Trying to save endangered plants by transplanting them fails as often as it succeeds. American Horticulturist. 33-37.

Brackley, F.E.; Burger, J.F. 1980. Occurence of two anthophilous diptera in Geum radiatum (Rosacιe) in north Carolina. Entomological News. 91, 4: 110-112.

Godt, M.J.W.; Johnson, B.R.; Hamrick, J.L. 1996. Genetic diversity and population size in four rare southern Appalachian plant species. Conservation Biology. 10, 3: 796-805.

Johnson, B.R. In Prep. Population status, threats and management for Geum radiatum.

Paterson, I.G.; Snyder, M. 1999. Genetic evidence supporting the taxonomy of Geum peckii (Rosaceae) and G. radiatum as separate species. Rhodora. 101, 908: 325-340.

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

USFWS. 1989. Proposed Endangered Status for Geum radiatum and Hedyotis purpurea var. montana. Federal Register. 54, 139: 30572-30576.

USFWS. 1990. Determination of Endangered Status for Geum radiatum and Hedyotis purpurea var. montana. Federal Register. 55, 66: 12793-12797.

Wiser, S.K.; Peet, R.K.; White, P.S. 1998. Prediction of rare-plant occurrence: A southern Appalachian example. Ecological Applications. 8, 4: 909-920.

Reports

Kral, R. 1983. A report on some rare, threatened, of endangered forest-related vascular plants of the south. Atlanta, GA: USDA Forest Service, Southeast Region. Technical Publication R8-TP2.

Morgan, S.W. 1980. Species General Information System: Species, Population, Habitat, and Threat Inventory--Species Status Summary for Geum radiatum Michaux. p.49.

NCA. 1996. Annual Report for the Center for Plant Conservation Taxa in the National Collection. The North Carolina Arboretum. p.5.

Rock, J.F. 1997. Restoration of federally listed Geum radiatum (Rosaceae) and its habitat. Gatlinburg, TN: Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Sutter, R.D.; Frantz, V.; McCarthy, K.A. 1987. Atlas of rare and endangered plant species in North Carolina. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Dept. Agriculture, Plant Protection Section, Conservation Program. p.174.

USFWS. 1993. Spreading Avens Recovery Plan. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p.32. Author: Murdock, Nora A.

Theses

Medford, D. 2001. The Detection of Morphological Variation Across Time in Two Roan Mountain Endemics: Geum radiatum and Houstonia montana. [M.S. Thesis]: East Tennessee State University. Johnson City.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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