CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Solidago spithamaea

Photographer:
Robert Sutter

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Solidago spithamaea


Family: 
Asteraceae  
Common Name: 
Blue Ridge goldenrod
Author: 
M.A. Curtis
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
4049

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Solidago spithamaeaenlarge
Photographer: Robert Sutter
rsutter[at]tnc.org
Image Owner: North Carolina Natural Heritage Program


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

 
Solidago spithamaea


Blue ridge goldenrod is a perennial plant endemic to a very narrow range found on rock outcrops, cliffs, and balds in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Solidago spithamaea grows from short stout rhizomes while erect stem is from 5-10 cm. tall and is usually unbranched below the inflorescence. It is known from only three populations and is Federally listed as threatened but State listed as endangered in both North Carolina and Tennessee. It is considered to be a relict a larger group of goldenrods abundant in more northern, alpine localities. The rock outcrops on which it occurs are exposed with no canopy cover and experience possibly the most extreme winter conditions in North Carolina and Tennessee (Sutter 1986). It is these open mountain summits that have been commercially developed, with the construction of observation platforms, trails, parking lots, roads, etc. that have directly impacted populations of this species, and the visitors who use these resorts often indirectly contribute to population decline. (USFWS 1990)

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  North Carolina
Tennessee
State Range of  Solidago spithamaea
Habitat
  Rock outcrops, cliffs, balds, and ledges, generally at elevations higher than 4600 ft. (USFWS 1987)

Often associated with another rare, endangered endemic, Liatris helleri, as well as Picea rubens, Geum radiatum, Scipus cespitosus, and Leiophyllum buxifolium (Sutter 1986, NatureServe 2001).

Distribution
  Avery and Mitchell Counties, NC, Carter County, TN (about 15 square miles total) (USFWS 1987)

Number Left
  Three populations are known, and the largest of these is thriving despite heavy recreational use (NatureServe 2001). Approximately 2000 plants were known when the Recovery Plan was written (USFWS 1987).

Protection

Global Rank:  
G1
 
11/25/1996
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LT
 
10/24/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
Yes
 
10/28/1987

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  North Carolina S1 E  
  Tennessee S1 E 8/11/1986  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  The Blue Ridge goldenrod is considered to be one of the few southern representatives of a larger group of colder-climate, alpine goldenrods abundant in the northern US (USFWS 1987) . The Blue Ridge goldenrod populations probably occupied a much larger range and were continuous with the now northern species when the climate was cooler and moister. With the recession of the glaciers and the consequent warming and drying of the climate, the Blue Ridge goldenrod was relegated to the most alpine-like conditions in the Southern US.
The plant flowers from July to September and reproduces by rhizomes and seeds.
(Sutter 1986, NatureServe 2001).

Threats
  Trampling and habitat disturbance from heavy recreational use of habitat
Acid precipitation and other forms of atmospheric pollution.
(USFWS 1987)

Current Research Summary
  No research known.

Current Management Summary
  Protection of existing populations and habitat.

Research Management Needs
  Further study is needed in a number of areas, including:
Specific management requirements
Demographic studies of each population
Pollination biology
Seed dispersal
Roles of biotic and abiotic environmental factors and disturbance on plant and population vigor
The potential effects of acid precipitation

Management needs include
Searches for additional populations
Implementation of management requirements when determined

Ex Situ Needs
  Propagation techniques, further seed collection.

References

Books (Single Authors)

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.

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)

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.

NatureServe. (2008). NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. [Internet].Version 7.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. Accessed: (June 17, 2008).

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

1984. Endangered Species. AABGA Newsletter. pp. 4.

Corin, C.W. 1988. Approved Recovery Plans. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 13, 8: 8-9.

USFWS. 1985. Blue Ridge Goldenrod Listed as Threatened. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 10, 4: 4.

USFWS. 1985. Determination of threatened status for Solidago spithamaea (Blue Ridge goldenrod). Federal Register. 50, 60: 12306-12309.

USFWS. 1985. Proposed threatened status for Solidago spithamaea (Blue Ridge goldenrod). Federal Register. 49, 142: 29629-29632.

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

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.

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.

Sutter, R.D. 1986. Solidago spithamaea M.A. Curtis. Plant Conservation Program Species Abstract. North Carolina Plant Conservation Program.

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. 1987. Blue Ridge goldenrod recovery plan. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Southeast Region.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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