CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Lilium grayi

Photographer:
Paul Somers

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Lilium grayi


Family: 
Liliaceae  
Common Name: 
Gray's lily
Author: 
S. Wats.
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
2546

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Lilium grayienlarge
Photographer: Paul Somers
paul.somers[at]state.ma.us
Image Owner: North Carolina Natural Heritage Program


Lilium grayi is Fully Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 

 
Lilium grayi


Gray’s lily is a delicate lily of the North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia mountains. It is characterized by having purple-spotted orange-red drooping bell-like flowers in mid June-July. Although Gray’s lily generally grows to 2-3’, it can grow up to heights of 8’ (Smith 1998). It is a narrow endemic originally found on Roan Mountain in 1840 and is restricted to high-elevation grassy balds, meadows, mountain bogs, and seeps along the North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia borders (Bates 2000).

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  North Carolina
Tennessee
Virginia
State Range of  Lilium grayi
Habitat
  Sandstone shallow, acidic soils mountain balds, steep summits and bluff outcrops meadows and forest openings that receive full sun at high elevations. (Bates 2000)

Distribution
  Northwestern North Carolina, northeastern Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia. (Bates 2000)

Number Left
  • 61 extant populations in NC, some have only 5-10 plants. (Bates 2000)
• Found in only one county in Tennessee. (Chester 1993)

Protection

Global Rank:  
G3
 
12/22/1997
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
SC
 
1/19/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Great Smokies PH 9/7/1990  
  North Carolina S T  
  Tennessee S1 E 8/11/1986  
  Tennessee Valley Authority S?  
  Virginia S2 8/19/1991  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Grows best in areas with little canopy cover. Has been observed to be susceptible to at least three different types of fungal infections (Colletotricum sp., Botrytis sp and Alternaria sp). Botryis and Alternia infections probably occur after senescence and infection by Colletoticum (Bates 1997).

Threats
  • Overgrazing by cattle, herbivory by rabbits and European wild boars, habitat destruction, illegal collecting, low capsule production, canopy shading, and early senescence of flowering plants prior to capsule production.
• Past research shows that anthracnose (Colletotricum sp.), a common fungal pathogen, is responsible for early senescing (Bates 2000).

Current Research Summary
  • Botanists for the Plant Conservation Program (PCP) are investigating the effects of clearing overstory on fungal infection and seed production. Preliminary results suggest that canopy clearing does not decrease early senescing but it may delay fungal infections. These data further suggest that plants with delayed fungal infection may have the opportunity to flower and produce capsules before wilting. Delaying the onset of fungal infection is one means of increasing capsule production (Bates 2000).
• Continued monitoring and experimentation are being conducted by the PCP (see Bates 2000).

Current Management Summary
  • Some active management on protected lands (canopy clearing, cattle exclusion).
• Unknown management on many private lands.

Research Management Needs
  • Protect existing populations and surrounding areas from development.
• Continued research on fungal effects and early senescence.
• Pollination biology, general ecological relationships.

Ex Situ Needs
  • Seed collection from all extant populations

References

Books (Single Authors)

Adams, K.; Casstevens, M. 1996. Wildflowers of the Southern Appalachians. Winston Salem, NC: John F. Blair Publisher.

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.

Massey, J.R.; Otte, D.K.S.; Atkinson, T.A.; Whetstone, R.D. 1983. An Atlas and Illustrated Guide to the Threatened and Endangered Vascular Plants of the Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. Asheville, NC: Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 218p.

Smith, R.M. 1998. Wildflowers of the Southern Mountains. Knoxville, Tennessee: The University of Tennessee Press.

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.

Journal Articles

1988. Center for Plant Conservation at North Carolina Botanical Garden. North Carolina Botanical Garden Newsletter. 16, 2: 2, 3.

Magazine Articles

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

Reports

1995. 1995 Annual report on taxa in the national collection for North Carolina Botanical Garden. Annual report to the Center for Plant Conservation. p.1.

Bates, M. 1997. North Carolina Plant Conservation Program Lillium grayi Annual Report. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Bates, M. 2000. North Carolina Plant Conservation Program Lillium grayi Annual Report. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Theses

Adams, Richard Macdonald, II. 1981. A systematic study and monograph of the Turk's-Cap lilies of eastern North America (With the Introduction of Some New Cultivars). [Ph.D. Thesis]: Cornell University. 264p.

Southerlin, Sloan W. 1966. A study of the embryo-sac development of Lilium grayi s. wats. [M.A. Thesis]: East Tennessee State University. 22p.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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