CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Banara vanderbiltii

Photographer:
Jennifer Possley

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Banara vanderbiltii


Family: 
Flacourtiaceae  
Common Name: 
Palo de Ramon
Author: 
Urban
Growth Habit: 
Tree, Shrub
CPC Number: 
536

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Banara vanderbiltiienlarge
Photographer: Jennifer Possley
jpossley[at]fairchildgarden.org
Image Owner: Fairchild Tropical Garden

Banara vanderbiltiienlarge
Photographer: Jennifer Possley
jpossley[at]fairchildgarden.org
Image Owner: Fairchild Tropical Garden


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

 
Banara vanderbiltii


Banara vanderbiltii is a small evergreen shrub endemic to Puerto Rico. Adult plants have a rough, sandpaper-like textured leaves and bare, small, yellow hermaphroditic flowers that bloom from April through June and ripen into red/purplish fruits (Little et al. 1974). Two birds, the bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) and stripe headed-tanager (Spindalis zena) have been observed feeding on fruits of this species (USFWS 1986a).

Deforestation has been the most significant contributor to this species' endangered status (USFWS 1986c and 1986d). Currently there are fewer than twenty plants occurring in the wild, and these are located on private property (USFWS 1986a). Banara vanderbiltii is on of the 253 plants considered nearest to extinction in the United States (Hilts 1988).

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Puerto Rico
State Range of  Banara vanderbiltii
Habitat
  Banara vanderbiltii is found in the semi-evergreen coastal forests of Puerto Rico on limestone hills and prefers moister portions of the forest (USFWS 1991).

Distribution
  Banara vanderbiltii is only found in Puerto Rico.

Number Left
  There are approximately 18 known individuals in the wild (USFWS 1991). A second population was found several years ago - a disjunct population original site was on limestone; new site is higher and on a different substrate a single group of plants in the limestone hills west of Bayamon with 2 mature trees and 4 saplings.

Protection

Global Rank:  
G1
 
11/1/1984
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
LE
 
10/24/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 
3/15/1991

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Puerto Rico S1 2/27/1985  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Ecological relationships are largely unknown.

Threats
  The primary threat to this species is deforestation and selective cutting for agriculture, grazing and production of charcoal (USFWS 1986 a, b, and c). Extensive coffee planting in the central hills iof Puerto Rico has further increased negative pressure on this already rare species. Other threats include U.S.-Puerto Rico military training activities that trample and disturb vegetation.

Current Research Summary
  Banara vanderbiltii is being successfully grown at Fairchild Tropical Garden. Seeds produced from the Garden's Conservation Collection may become a viable seed source for reintroductions in Puerto Rico. Plants have also been distributed to Florida's horticulture community as an ornamental species. These additional individuals may also aid in creating a viable reintroduction population.

Current Management Summary
  The Recovery for Banara vanderbiltii calls for further protection of remaining individuals by gaining protective status and eliminating military training in sensitive areas (USFWS 1991).

Research Management Needs
  Population monitoring and general plant reproductive knowledge, such as pollination ecology, seed dispersal mechanisms and recruitment success need to be investigated.

Ex Situ Needs
 

References

Books (Single Authors)

Little, E.L., Jr.; Woodbury, R.O.; Wadsworth, F.H. 1974. Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands: Agriculture Handbook No. 449. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

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). 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.

ESIS. (1998). Endangered Species System (ESIS): Fish and Wildlife Exchange. [Web site;] Virginia Tech. http://fwie.fw.vt.edu/WWW/esis/. Accessed: 2002.

FCONSERVE. (2002). Threatened and endangered species in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico's Conservation Foundation. http://www.tld.net/users/fconserv/List.htm. 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

Densmore, D. 1986. Endangered Plants of our Caribbean Islands: A Unique Flora Faces Unique Problems. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 11, 3: 3-4.

Lippincott, C. 1990. Rare Plant Rescue: Exploring the Puerto Rican Archipelago. Fairchild Tropical Garden Bulletin.

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

USFWS. 1986. Caribbean Plants. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 11, 3: 4.

USFWS. 1986. Endangered Plants of our Caribbean Islands: A Unique Flora Faces Unique Problems. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 11, 3: 3-4.

USFWS. 1986. Two Puerto Rico Plants. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 11, 5: 7-8.

USFWS. 1987. Banara vanderbiltii (Palo de Ramon) -- Distribution: U.S.A. (PR). Listing information. Federal Register. 52: 1462.

Newspaper Articles

Hilts, Philip J. 1988 Tuesday, December 6. U.S. Faces Big Loss of Plant Species: Botanists Consider Emergency Measures. The Washington Post; Washington, D.C.

Shabecoff, Philip. 1988 Tuesday, December 6. Survey Finds Native Plants in Imminent Peril. The New York Times; New York, NY. Science Times.

Reports

USFWS. 1991. Banara vanderbiltii Recovery Plan. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p.22.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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