Agalinis skinneriana - (Wood) Britt.
Pale False Foxglove
Other English Common Names: Skinner's Agalinis, Skinner's False Foxglove
Other Common Names: Skinner's false foxglove
Synonym(s): Gerardia skinneriana Wood ;Tomanthera skinneriana
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Agalinis skinneriana (Wood) Britt. (TSN 33033)
French Common Names: Gérardie de Skinner
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.160503
Element Code: PDSCR010T0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Figwort Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Scrophulariales Scrophulariaceae Agalinis
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Agalinis skinneriana
Taxonomic Comments: Kartesz (1994, 1999) treats this species as Agalinis skinneriana. USFWS (1993) treated it as Tomanthera skinneriana but that name was never validly published.  The name Gerardia skinneriana was used for this plant in most older literature, but is unacceptable on nomenclatural grounds.  This record also follows the concept of Agalinis skinneriana in Pettengill and Neel (2011).
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 20Oct2006
Global Status Last Changed: 20Oct2006
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: This species is widespread, ranging through much of the Midwestern and South-central U.S. states, and barely reaching Ontario, yet most populations are quite small, with about 50 or fewer plants. The species is easily overlooked when you have other Agalinis flowering at the same time in the same habitats; it is likely undercollected for that reason (T. Smith, pers. comm. 2006). The number of distinct occurrences may exceed 100.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3
Nation: Canada
National Status: N1 (28Sep2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNR), Arkansas (SH), Illinois (S2), Indiana (S1), Iowa (S1), Kansas (S1), Kentucky (SH), Louisiana (S1S2), Maryland (S1), Michigan (S1), Mississippi (S1), Missouri (S3S4), Ohio (S1), Oklahoma (SH), Tennessee (S1S2), Wisconsin (S2)
Canada Ontario (S1)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: E (05Jun2003)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Endangered (26Nov2010)
Comments on COSEWIC: A highly restricted annual species of tallgrass prairie known in Canada from only two populations in southwestern Ontario. Recent losses of subpopulations have resulted in a decline in range, habitat area and quality, and number of mature individuals.
Designated Endangered in April 1988. Status re-examined and confirmed Endangered in April 1999, May 2000, and
November 2010.

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: A North American species that is most frequent in the south-central United States, with its distribution being most abundant in the Midwest. States where there are vouchered specimens include: Arkansas (historic only - historic here to mean 50 or more years), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin; it is also found in southwestern Ontario, Canada (Canne-Hilliker 1987). Reports of the species from Kentucky, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Tennessee have not been seen or confirmed by the author via specimens or by field observation, and the some botanists at the Kentucky Heritage Program question the identification of the specimens labeled A. skinneriana (Deborah White pers. comm., Kentucky Nature Preserves 1999); it is possible, however, that A. skinneriana is extant in Kentucky and Tennessee due to the potential habitat in these states. In addition, there are specimens that the author hasn't seen that may, in fact, be A. skinneriana; further surveys are encouraged, and specimens thought to be A. skinneriana should be sent to a taxonomist who has experience and is comfortable working with Agalinis.

Although extant sites are known from 10 states, this is misleading because the overwhelming majority (ca. 70%) of these sites are in located in one state - Missouri.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Possibly over 100 Element Occurrences.

Population Size Comments: Although relatively abundant in terms of occurrence numbers, populations are typically small (usually fewer than 50 plants). Agalinis skinneriana is considered rare throughout most of its range.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: All of the evidence at hand suggests that loss of habitat, the degradation of habitat, and the suppression of natural disturbance regimes, are the principle reasons behind the rarity of this species. In southwest Missouri, for example, A. skinneriana is locally abundant on high-quality prairies, and can be found on over half of all the high-quality, public prairies in southwest Missouri (Hays 1995); moreover, it is not uncommon on the large, high-quality dolomite glades of the Ozarks (Hays 1998). Pennell (1929, 1935) never saw the species alive and considered it a "waning species," a notion supported by Canne-Hilliker (1987). However, with the location of so many new sites in southwest Missouri alone during the past years (an area not frequented by Pennell, it should be noted), more study is needed.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Some sites have been displaced by other land uses (Canne-Hilliker 1987; Hedge, Homoya and Baker 1992) and some are believed to be declining because of successional changes (Robertson and Phillippe 1993). As part of the Federal listing protocol, the USFWS is studying the current abundance of this species throughout its range. A summary report is expected in 1995. Reports from State assessments indicate that some populations were based on mis-identifications.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Fairly resistant to moderate levels of disturbance. Appears to require disturbance of habitat (through natural or prescribed fire, etc.) for seed germination.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: A North American species that is most frequent in the south-central United States, with its distribution being most abundant in the Midwest. States where there are vouchered specimens include: Arkansas (historic only - historic here to mean 50 or more years), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin; it is also found in southwestern Ontario, Canada (Canne-Hilliker 1987). Reports of the species from Kentucky, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Tennessee have not been seen or confirmed by the author via specimens or by field observation, and the some botanists at the Kentucky Heritage Program question the identification of the specimens labeled A. skinneriana (Deborah White pers. comm., Kentucky Nature Preserves 1999); it is possible, however, that A. skinneriana is extant in Kentucky and Tennessee due to the potential habitat in these states. In addition, there are specimens that the author hasn't seen that may, in fact, be A. skinneriana; further surveys are encouraged, and specimens thought to be A. skinneriana should be sent to a taxonomist who has experience and is comfortable working with Agalinis.

Although extant sites are known from 10 states, this is misleading because the overwhelming majority (ca. 70%) of these sites are in located in one state - Missouri.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MO, MS, OH, OK, TN, WI
Canada ON

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IA Allamakee (19005)*, Cedar (19031)*, Dubuque (19061)*, Muscatine (19139)*
IL Brown (17009), Calhoun (17013), Cass (17017), Cook (17031), Greene (17061)*, Hancock (17067), Jersey (17083)*, Lake (17097), Mason (17125), Menard (17129)*, Morgan (17137), Peoria (17143), Pike (17149), Union (17181)
IN Lake (18089)
KS Cherokee (20021), Douglas (20045), Franklin (20059)*, Montgomery (20125), Woodson (20207)
LA Allen (22003), Catahoula (22025)*, Grant (22043)*, La Salle (22059)*, Natchitoches (22069), Sabine (22085), Vernon (22115)
MD Charles (24017), Dorchester (24019), Prince Georges (24033)
MI St. Clair (26147)
MO Barry (29009)*, Barton (29011), Cedar (29039), Dade (29057), Douglas (29067), Hickory (29085), Iron (29093)*, Jasper (29097), Jefferson (29099), McDonald (29119)*, Morgan (29141)*, Newton (29145)*, Ozark (29153), Polk (29167), St. Francois (29187)*, Ste. Genevieve (29186)*, Sullivan (29211), Taney (29213), Vernon (29217), Washington (29221)*
MS Jasper (28061)*
OH Lucas (39095), Wood (39173)
OK Atoka (40005)*
TN Franklin (47051), Montgomery (47125)
WI Adams (55001)*, Dane (55025)*, Grant (55043), Iowa (55049), Kenosha (55059)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Lower Potomac (02070011)+, Western Lower Delmarva (02080109)+
03 Upper Leaf (03170004)+*
04 Little Calumet-Galien (04040001)+, Pike-Root (04040002)+, Lake St. Clair (04090002)+, Lower Maumee (04100009)+
05 Red (05130206)+
06 Upper Elk (06030003)+
07 Coon-Yellow (07060001)+*, Upper Iowa (07060002)+*, Grant-Little Maquoketa (07060003)+*, Apple-Plum (07060005)+*, Castle Rock (07070003)+*, Lower Wisconsin (07070005)+, Flint-Henderson (07080104)+, Lower Cedar (07080206)+*, Bear-Wyaconda (07110001)+, The Sny (07110004)+, Chicago (07120003)+, Upper Fox (07120006)+, Lower Illinois-Senachwine Lake (07130001)+, Lower Sangamon (07130008)+, Lower Illinois (07130011)+, Macoupin (07130012)+*, Cahokia-Joachim (07140101)+, Big (07140104)+, Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau (07140105)+
08 Upper St. Francis (08020202)+*, Little (08040304)+*, Upper Calcasieu (08080203)+, Whisky Chitto (08080204)+
10 Lower Kansas (10270104)+, Lower Chariton (10280202)+, Upper Marais Des Cygnes (10290101)+*, Marmaton (10290104)+, Harry S. Missouri (10290105)+, Sac (10290106)+, Pomme De Terre (10290107)+, Lake of the Ozarks (10290109)+*
11 James (11010002)+*, Bull Shoals Lake (11010003)+, North Fork White (11010006)+, Upper Black (11010007)+*, Middle Verdigris (11070103)+, Upper Neosho (11070204)+, Middle Neosho (11070205)+, Lake O' the Cherokees (11070206)+*, Spring (11070207)+, Elk (11070208)+*, Muddy Boggy (11140103)+*, Lower Red-Lake Iatt (11140207)+, Saline Bayou (11140208)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Basic Description: Annual, hemi-parasitic plant that flowers from late August through early October.
Technical Description: Stems 1-4 dm, strongly 4 angled and appearing winged, the angles scabrous but the stem faces glabrous, simple to sparingly branched, the branches ascending; leaves opposite, linear, ascending-appressed, less frequently spreading, 0.5-1.5 mm wide, 1-2 (2.5) cm long, scabrous above and on the midveins below; fascicles absent; inflorescence a short raceme; pedicels 0.4-1.6 (2) cm long; bracts mostly 3/4 the length to longer than the pedicels; calyx hemispherical, 2-4 (4.5) mm long, the lobes 0.4-1.2 mm long; corolla pink to rarely white, 8-16 mm long, the throat noticeably pubescent within across the base of the two reflexed-spreading, upper lobes, the outside of the three lower lobes glabrous; anthers 0.6-1.2 mm long; style barely protruding beyond throat, often only stigma visible; capsule globose, 3.5-5 mm long; seeds 0.6-1.0 mm long, yellowish (Hays 1998); n=13 (Canne 1984).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Agalinis skinneriana is often confused with a number of other species within the genus. The three species most commonly confused with living or pressed specimens of A. skinneriana are: A. gattingeri, A. obtusifolia, and A. tenuifolia; all can inhabit similar habitats. Nomenclature here follows that of Canne-Hilliker & Kampny (1991); in their treatment, A. decomloba and A. erecta (sensu Pennell 1929) are synonymous with A. obtusifolia.

Agalinis skinneriana can be distinguished from A. gattingeri in the field by its more insert style, the glabrous surface of the three lower corolla lobes, its leaves, which are linear and spreading- erect, the winged, scabrous stem, and by the presence of a true raceme. A. gattingeri is also a species that inhabits open woodlands as well as prairies, rocky glades, and borders of rocky forests, whereas A. skinneriana is restricted to relatively undisturbed prairies, glades, and other open, graminoid dominated habitats.

A. skinneriana and A. obtusifolia can be very difficult to separate where they are sympatric. The most important characteristic separating the two while in flower is the length of the bracts. In A. skinneriana the bracts are from half as long to slightly longer than the pedicels; the pedicels of A. obtusifolia, on the other hand, are much longer (2-10 times the length) than the bracts on well-developed flowers. A. obtusifolia is also much more common and widespread and can tolerate considerably more disturbance than can A. skinneriana.

Agalinis acuta is also closely related to A. skinneriana and the two appear alike superficially. The only place where these two species are known to be sympatric is in Maryland, where A. skinneriana is also very rare; A. skinneriana can be distinguished from A. acuta by its consistently scabrous stem margins, its shorter calyx lobes, its smaller anthers, and by its much wider distribution.

Agalinis skinneriana is easily recognized in the field from A. tenuifolia by its spreading upper lobes, the pubescence at the base of the two upper corolla lobes, and by its very short-exert style. In addition, A. skinneriana has a conspicuously winged stem and the plant has a pale green appearance when alive, compared to the dark green appearance of A. tenuifolia.

Duration: ANNUAL
Reproduction Comments: Plants begin flowering in late August and continue until early October; there is some variation in this pattern from year to year, but its phenology is remarkably similar throughout its range. This may vary by one or two weeks throughout its range, such as the sites in Canada and Louisiana (Canne-Hilliker 1987; Hays 1998; Vincent 1982), but for the most part the phenology of this species is similar. Maturation of fruit occurs from late September through early November, and the seeds are gravity dispersed. Once senescence begins, plants will often begin to lean strongly toward the ground prior to seed dispersal, and seeds are probably not carried more than 3 meters by gusts of wind. Once on the soil, rain can disperse seeds farther away in habitats that have some relief; there is no evidence suggesting that the seeds are harvested by insects. Dormancy is broken only when the seeds are exposed to cold (at a minimum of 5 degrees C) for at least 60 days and a degree of moisture is attained (Canne- Hilliker 1987). The length of seed viability is not known.

The pollination ecology of this species is not well understood. However, there is evidence to suggest that species of Agalinis demonstrate a variety of reproductive strategies: some are known to self, others are obligate outcrossers, and still others demonstrate a mixed-mating system. There is no evidence of hybridization within A. skinneriana, or for any other North American species; Agalinis, taxonomically speaking, is - with few exceptions - a "good" group.

Ecology Comments: Agalinis skinneriana is found mostly in open, fire-maintained, graminoid- dominated communities; edaphic factors per se do not seem to be the overriding factor in the distribution of this species: it inhabits wet to xeric soils of various types and is found in strongly arenaceous soils as well as strongly calcareous ones. It tolerates well the natural disturbance regimes of open, graminoid communities, namely, fire, slight erosion on slopes due to rain and drought, and the activities of native mammals found in these habitats. Studies on the reproductive biology of the species are sorely needed; equally important is the study of A. skinneriana's hemi-parasitic nature. Simply determining which host species A. skinneriana prefers is not sufficient. It is most likely not host specific, but rather has adapted to complete its life cycle more effectively while parasitizing particular species. Another very important consideration is determining which haustoria are functional; one cannot assume that each haustorial attachment functions in a similar fashion, especially if the plant is parasitizing more than one species, which is likely to be the case. Lastly, the fact that A. skinneriana produces a seed bank necessitates frequent visits to known sites to try and determine what factors are conducive to seed germination.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest/Woodland, Grassland/herbaceous, Sand/dune, Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: A. skinneriana can be found in open, wet/mesic to xeric, graminoid dominated communities. Its distribution suggests that it is not habitat specific in terms of edaphic conditions; it can be found on chert, sandstone, dolomite, limestone, granite, and igneous substrates, sandy soils, or it can be found in deeper and richer prairie soils, and its affinity for open, graminoid dominated communities is clear.

Arkansas: The author has seen only one specimen from Arkansas and it was historic (1896); the label data is very imprecise (Hays 1998). The habitat is listed simply as "dry open woods." Contrary to the report prepared by the U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service (1995), this species is not known to be extant in Arkansas, and so is certainly not "abundant" or "weedy" as was stated in the report.

Illinois: In Illinois A. skinneriana occurs mostly on moist to wet sandy prairies and on loess hill prairies (William McClain, pers. comm., Illinois Department of Natural Resources 1999; Robertson & Phillipe 1993; Swink & Wilhelm 1994). Mohlenbrock (1986) also includes "rocky woods" as a habitat type, but it is more likely that he was referring to A. gattingeri, a more common species easily confused with A. skinneriana that inhabits dry, rocky, open woodlands.

Indiana: In Indiana A. skinneriana is found only on sandy substrates of mesic to wet prairies, swales, mesic dune ridges, and upland pine forests (Hedge, Homoya, & Baker 1992).

Iowa: The Iowa Natural Areas Inventory (Dohrmann pers. comm., Iowa Department of Natural Resources 1997, 1999) has only locational data for one historic site; the habitat of this site is (was) a sand prairie.

Kansas: In Kansas A. skinneriana is found in sandy, tallgrass prairies, and sandy prairie ravines (C. Morse pers. comm., R.L. McGregor Herbarium, University of Kansas 1999); A. skinneriana is located in the southeastern portion of Kansas. Holmgren (1986), in the Flora of the Great Plains, treated A. skinneriana as a synonym of A.gattingeri, which was incorrect as suggested by previous work and subsequent research by Canne-Hilliker & Kampny (1991); many of the specimens originally determined or annotated to A. gattingeri were later changed to A. skinneriana prior to the authors' review of the University of Kansas' herbarium in November of 1996.

Kentucky: As discussed above, there is some question as to the correct determination of specimens labeled A. skinneriana; a review of the specimens by someone comfortable with the genus should done to determine if, in fact, A. skinneriana does occur in Kentucky. The supposed habitat for A. skinneriana in the state is dry, sandy slopes, and open woods.

Louisiana: A rare species in Louisiana, A. skinneriana is found mostly in coastal prairies and in open, longleaf pine forests of central to west-central Louisiana, both in moist and dry soils. Occurrences of this species in prairie remnants, recently disturbed areas, and edge habitats reflect the open, graminoid dominated, fire-maintained communities that once existed throughout much of the state, and as such, populations found in such habitats should not be interpreted as weedy, but rather as occupying the remnants of a once much larger complex. See Vincent (1982) for a discussion of A. skinneriana in Louisiana.

Maryland: There are two known extant sites in Maryland (Chris Frye, pers. comm., Maryland Department of Natural Resources 1999). One, located in 1993, grows in a military antenna field that is mowed twice yearly (Davis 1993), and the second - a recent collection sent to the author for verification by William McAvoy of the Delaware Natural Heritage Program - from a sandy, peninsular grassland community (William McAvoy, pers. comm. 1999). There is also an historic site, but the location of the site has yet to be determined.

Michigan: There is one known extant site for A. skinneriana and it occurs in southeast Michigan (Penskar 1996; Mike Penskar, pers. comm., Michigan Natural Features Inventory 1999); it is located on a remnant lakeplain prairie in moist to wet soil.

Mississippi: During 1998 the author located a recent (1989) specimen of A. skinneriana originally determined as A. obtusifolia from the herbarium at Mississippi State University (the specimen was from Jasper County); a subsequent search of the area failed to locate any plants or suitable habitat. However, there ishabitat for this species in the state (open pine savannas and prairies) and a status survey is strongly recommended.

Missouri: The current heart of A. skinneriana's range is located in Missouri, and in particular, in the southwestern portion of the state on the large dolomite glade complexes and prairies; it also occurs on dolomite glades southeast of St. Louis in Jefferson County, and in a dry-mesic prairie in Sullivan County in northeast Missouri (Hays 1998; Tim Smith, pers. comm., Missouri Department of Conservation 1999). Approximately 75% of all known extant sites for A. skinneriana are located in Missouri (Unpublished Data, State Natural Heritage Program 1995-1999) and it is likely that more sites will be found as more prairies are purchased/visited and as more of the large igneous glades of southeast Missouri are botanized. The habitat for A. skinneriana in Missouri is largely open, dry, sparsely vegetated habitats with little human disturbance; a few plants can occasionally be found in mesic conditions, but this is uncommon and the plants are usually depauperate. It is easiest to locate A. skinneriana by looking at the crests of rolling, high-quality prairies, the upper portion of prairie draws, and the dry to xeric, open and large, ungrazed dolomite glades scattered in the state; it rarely grows among dense vegetation.

Ohio: In Ohio there are 3 extant sites in 2 counties and 1 historic site (Cusick 1993; Patricia Jones, pers. comm., Ohio Department of Natural Resources 1999) in the extreme Northwestern portion of the state. The habitat type is open, "seasonally moist openings on sandy substrates" where the vegetation is very sparse; such areas are referred to as "Oak Openings" (Cusick 1993), a post-glacial beach area characterized by dune ridges and swales.

Wisconsin: In Wisconsin A. skinneriana grows in dry, hillside prairies (Trick 1995; Joel Trick, pers. comm. 1999) and in low, wet swales in the southeastern portion of the state (Swink & Wilhelm 1994; Floyd Swink, pers. comm., Morton Arboretum 1998).

Ontario, Canada: In southwest Ontario, A. skinneriana is found in wet prairies where the vegetation is sparse (Canne-Hilliker 1987); as of this writing many of the sites in Ontario are in danger of being extirpated (Canne-Hilliker, pers. comm., University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada 1999).

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary
Stewardship Overview: Management needs include determination of the extent and type of disturbance regime that is most appropriate for the long-term survival of the species and the habitat in which it occurs. Mimicking the disturbance regime believed by ecologists to be the one present at a particular area prior to European colonization is often the best way to ensure survival. It has been the authors' experience that A. skinneriana thrives under such conditions.

Monitoring should be focused on the year to year presence and number of plants at a known site due to the fact that A. skinneriana produces a seed bank. Research on the species' life history is of the utmost importance. This includes study on the pollination ecology, parasitism (to include studies on host specificity), germination requirements, and possible hybridization. A. skinneriana should be considered a rare plant, but it is locally abundant on the prairies of southwest Missouri (Hays 1995). Late season haying of prairies is also a problem noticed by the author (Hays 1995) - haying that takes place in mid to late summer often severs the vegetatively mature stems of A. skinneriana, resulting in a great reduction - if not elimination - of seed production for that year.

Species Impacts: The effects of A. skinneriana on other species is unclear; very little is known about its hemi-parasitic nature, but considering that it is usually only found in high-quality habitats, it is doubtful that A. skinneriana poses any problems in the management of these areas.
Restoration Potential: In the authors' opinion, the restoration potential for A. skinneriana depends on the type of human-caused disturbance as well as the frequency and intensity at which they occur (or have occurred). A. skinneriana is sensitive to human-created disturbance and the author has yet to find a population of A. skinneriana on a glade or prairie that has been more than moderately grazed in the past; one can only speculate as to the reasons at this point - more is needed on the life history of this species, but restoration seems best reserved for areas of high-quality habitat that are very similar to that of the nearest population of extant A. skinneriana. The continued plowing of remnant prairies, the over grazing of remaining prairies and glades, the improper haying of prairies, rapid development, and fire suppression are the greatest threats to this species existence. Fortunately there are over 30 sites on state or federally owned land and a number of privately owned lands with A. skinneriana occurring on it. Another potential concern is the caterpillar of the Common Buckeye Butterfly (Junonia coenia). Although the author has not seen this species feed on plants of A. skinneriana, it commonly feeds on other species of Agalinis during this stage in its life cycle - A. aphylla, A. heterophylla, A. obtusifolia, A. oligophylla, and A. pulchella - often devastating most of the plants in a localized population. This biological impact seems to be non-threatening for plants found in large areas, but may be a concern with a very localized population of a rare species confined to a small, remnant habitat.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Land protection must be centered around the habitat within which A. skinneriana grows. In order to provide adequate protection from pesticide drift, etc., adjacent buffer lands should also be protected. The appropriate natural disturbance regime also must be maintained.
Management Requirements: Agalinis skinneriana is an annual plant that thrives in grassland communities in either wet or xeric conditions. It can tolerate "natural" disturbances such as periodic fire, periodic flooding, drought, burrowing animals, and slight erosion well. Occasionally it can be found in rather dense, waist-high grassy areas along moist prairie draws. It seems unable to adjust to human-caused disturbances, such as grazing, plowing, and fire suppression, and is rarely found along the borders of an open woodland/forests' edge. Mimicking the disturbance regime of A. skinneriana's habitat is the best way to ensure its continued existence at any particular site.

Agalinis skinneriana is a species apparently dependent on slight levels of habitat disturbance for seed germination and growth. Being an annual, these disturbance regimes may need to occur somewhat frequently, if seed longevity is short. In pre-settlement times, this disturbance was likely made by prairie fires and occasionally ungulates or other burrowing mammals. Most extant populations of this species occur in slightly disturbed areas. Due to the loss of the natural fire regime, many historic habitats have become overgrown or offer no seed germination opportunities.

Prescribed burning on a 3-4 year cycle appears to be a realistic management objective for the species as well as for the habitat in which it occurs. Site specific research is needed to provide more detailed management prescriptions within the specific contexts of particular plant communities. All management programs should include a research component to assess the effects of actions.

Monitoring Requirements: The best way to monitor for extant populations of A. skinneriana is to make yearly visits to conduct a count of flowering plants and to note any changes in the immediate habitat for each population/group of plants. Numbers can vary from year to year due to seed banks and the lack of knowledge on the life history of the species; it is not unusual to visit a site with ca. 200 plants, only to return the next year to find only 20-30 plants - this is simply part of the life history of the species, and should not be a source of concern unless significant (especially human-caused) changes to its habitat are observed.

Monitoring of population abundance and stability with respect to on-going management regimes is the most crucial need now. It is believed that prescribed fire as a disturbance regime may provide a portion of the germination requirements that A. skinneriana requires. Without satisfactory evidence to support this belief, however, the success of this management tool is somewhat speculative. Other mechanical soil disturbance regimes may also be attempted, but should be considered secondarily to that of fire.

Numbers of individuals within A. skinneriana populations typically vary widely between years at any given site. The absence of the species in any given year should not be taken to signify that the species is no longer extant at the site; conditions may simply have not been favorable for seed germination or seedling survival (Canne-Hilliker 1987). Suitable habitats should be checked for several successive years before extirpation can be confirmed.

Locating A. skinneriana in the field is nearly impossible when the plant is not flowering. Field identification is also difficult when specimens are in pre-flowering stages of growth. For best results, monitoring should be attempted during the morning within the peak flowering period. Petals fall from the plant by mid to late afternoon, making location exceedingly difficult.

Precise management techniques and habitat conditions, soil moisture, canopy closure, competition, etc.) should be measured and noted at each extant site that is being monitored. Detailed information along these lines should provide valuable insight into appropriate management of the site, a primary need for this monitoring program.

Management Programs: A number of states have management programs aimed at protecting the habitat where Agalinis skinneriana is found.

Illinois has management plans for the public preserves where A. skinneriana is found. Contact Kenneth Robertson of the Illinois Natural History Survey for information on these sites and the management status of the privately owned sites at the Illinois Natural History Survey, 607 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign, IL 61820; (217) 244-2171.

Indiana has a prescribed burning regime that is practiced every 3-4 years aimed at the habitat where A. skinneriana is located. Contact Mike Homoya at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Nature Preserves, 402 W. Washington St., Rm. 267, Indianapolis, IN 46204; (317) 232-4052.

Maryland currently has 2 extant sites for this species; one is on an airfield and the other in a moist, sandy grassland; the airfield site is mowed twice annually, and the recently discovered site has a management plan for the entire habitat. Contact Chris Frye, botanist, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Division, 580 Taylor Ave, E-1, Annapolis, MD 21401; (410) 260-8865.

The Michigan Chapter of The Nature Conservancy as well as the staff at the Michigan Natural Features Inventory actively manage the mesic prairie where A. skinneriana occurs, mostly in the form of prescribed burns. Contact Mike Penskar, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Division of Nature Preserves, 5th Floor Mason Bldg., P.O. Box 3044, Lansing, MI 48909; (517) 335-4582

Missouri, with the largest concentration of A. skinneriana sites, manages the habitats where the species is located on a 3-4 year basis; the management consist of haying, prescribed burns, and removal of woody growth; there are also sites on private land. Contact Timothy Smith, Chief Botanist, Missouri Department of Conservation, Natural History Division, Jefferson City, MO 65102; (573) 751-4115, ext. 200.

In Ohio management is centered around preservation of the wet, oak openings and mesic prairies where A. skinneriana occurs at the Kitty Todd Preserve in northwest Ohio. Contact Allison Cusick of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, (614) 265-6471.

In Wisconsin, the Chiwaukee Prairie site in Kenosha County (extreme S.E. Wisconsin) is owned and managed by TNC. There are also several other privately owned sites in the state, but the management practices, if any, are not known. Contact Joel Trick of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 1015 Challenger Ct., Green Bay, WI 54311; (920) 465-7416.

Ontario, Canada. The fate of A. skinneriana in southwestern Ontario appears bleak. In a recent communication with Dr. Judith Canne-Hilliker, the author was told that most of the former sites are no longer extant due to development, and that the remaining sites are equally in peril.

Monitoring Programs: The Ohio Field Office of The Nature Conservancy attempts to locate and monitor the population on an annual basis, but due to the short flowering period indicative of this species, locating individuals is difficult at best. Consequently, reliable estimates of population size have not been recently obtained. Contact: Terry Seidel, Kitty Todd Preserve OH. Telephone No. (419) 867-1521.

In Indiana, status of populations of Agalinis skinneriana at the Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve is monitored by Tom Post, Regional Ecologist, Indiana DNR, Division of Nature Preserves, c/o Jasper Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area, Indiana. Telephone No. 219-843-4841.

Management Research Programs: No specific management research program is currently known for Agalinis skinneriana, although several habitat management research programs may have A. skinneriana as a component.
Management Research Needs: Karl Vincent of the New York Botanical Garden, the authority of Scrophulariaceae of Louisiana, is writing the section about Agalinis for the Flora of the Southeastern United States and has extensively studied the systematics of the genus. Contact Karl Vincent, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458. Telephone No. (212) 933-4547. Judith Canne-Hilliker, University of Guelph, Canada is familiar with the germination requirements of several Agalinis species and has studied the micro-morphological features of the genus that are helpful with identifications. Contact Judith Canne-Hilliker, University of Guelph, Department of Botany, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada. Telephone No. 519-824-4120, ext. 2767.
Additional topics: It is important to take careful notes in the field and herbarium when working with this genus, as pressed specimens can appear quite different from live plants, especially in regards to the delicate corollas. It is important to note the following features of living plants of Agalinis while in the field: the color of plant, the size and branching habit of the plant, the size, shape, and color of the corolla, the position of the two uppermost corolla lobes (arching forward or laying flattened as opposed to being reflexed), the presence of lack thereof of spots or lines in the throat of the corolla, the position of the style (exert, insert, arching, straight), specific habitat type, and phenology.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Any occurrence of one or more plants. Agalinis skinneriana is an annual species with a seed bank, and often plants will be absent from a specific area for a year or two, while other plants in the population may be in flower.
Separation Barriers: EO's are separated by either 1km or more of unsuitable habitat (forested habitats, large bodies of water such as major rivers, bays, or lakes), disturbed habitats (plowed or heavily grazed fields/farmland) or unsuitable expanses such as recreational sites and developed areas; or 3km or more of seemingly suitable habitat that is not known to be occupied.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 3 km
Separation Justification: Currently, little is know about the pollinators of Agalinis skinneriana other than the fact that they are likely small bees, sulphur butterflies, and perhaps small wasps. There is currentresearch being conducted by Dr. Greg Derringer of Western Illinois University on the population genetics of A. skinneriana (these studies are being conducted at the peripheral of the range of A. skinneriana in Illinois, however, and this should be kept in mind considering that the majority of known extant sites for A. skinneriana are found in southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri). The flight distance of these insects is not large, and it is assumed that they do not fly more than 3km during their forays. Forested habitats and large bodies of water are probably not penetrated or crossed by these insects; in addition, farmland or other developed areas are not likely to harbor the habitat necessary for such pollinators to exist or be effective. In the case of a large, suitable habitat (over 400 hectares) where plants are located in an isolated portion of the site, this isolated location should be considered a distinct EO; however, because A. skinneriana does produce seed banks, yearly visits to such a habitat is encouraged to observe if plants appear in another area during the next year. If plants are found to occur scattered throughout such habitat over the course of a few years, however, then it is best to treat the site as a single population; a consistent concentration of plants in a certain portion of such a large area over the course of a few years could be considered a sub-EO if desired.
Date: 30Jul1999
Author: Hays, John F.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Date: 30Jul1999
Author: Hays, John F.
Notes: private contractor
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 30Jul1999
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: W.R. Ostlie (1995); rev. Charles A. Davis, rev. L. Morse (1997, 1998); J.F. Hays (1999), revised Maybury (2006)
Management Information Edition Date: 30Jul1999
Management Information Edition Author: CHARLES A. DAVIS (1995); REVISED BY J.F. HAYS (1999)
Management Information Acknowledgments: John Hays would like to acknowledge Dr. Judy Canne-Hilliker of the University of Guelph, in Ontario, Canada, for her constant support while working with this genus; she remains the authority on the group and the author would not be at this point in terms of his knowledge of this genus were it not for her willingness to share data and her patience due to my incessant questioning. I would also like to thank all of the individuals from the various state heritage programs for their assistance.

Acknowledgements from the original ESA: Terry Seidel, Ohio Field Office, The Natural Conservancy, Kitty Todd Preserve; Chris Clampitt, Ecologist, Michigan Field Office, The Nature Conservancy; Michael Homoya, Indiana DNR, Division of Nature Preserves; Karl Vincent, New York Botanical Garden Mike Penskar, Michigan DNR

Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 15May1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): WAYNE OSTLIE, Revised by CHARLES A. DAVIS

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