Asclepias viridula - Chapman
Southern Milkweed
Other Common Names: southern milkweed
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Asclepias viridula Chapman (TSN 30324)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.154257
Element Code: PDASC02280
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Dogbane Family
Image 10397

© Alfred R. Schotz

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Gentianales Apocynaceae Asclepias
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Concept Reference
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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: Asclepias viridula
Taxonomic Comments: Distinct species, similar to Asclepias longifolia.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 20May2016
Global Status Last Changed: 07Jun1984
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Known from 2 small, disjunct areas - central panhandle Florida and northeastern Florida - and never very abundant. Also reported from adjacent Georgia, however this report is unconfirmed, and Alabama. The Florida Natural Areas Inventory's database currently contains records for 66 occurrences, about half of which could be considered somewhat protected. Habitat quality and extent are declining. This species is extremely sensitive to intensive site preparation for forestry management.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2

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 (S1), Florida (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Florida and Georgia. In Florida the recorded occurrences are for Franklin, Gulf, Liberty, Wakulla, St. Johns, and Nassau counties; reported from Bay, Duval, Baker, Bradford, and Flagler counties by Kral (1983). This species was discovered in Alabama in 1996 and known from the far southeast in Houston Co. (pers. comm. A. Schotz).

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: In Florida, there are 66 occurrences, however, some of these are historic or unranked. There is one occurrence documented in Alabama, and reports in Georgia are unconfirmed.

Population Size Comments: As of 2016 there is no information available on population numbers.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: None to few (0-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Sites in Florida, and especially in Apalachicola National Forest, can have hundreds of plants and have good viability.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Destroyed by intense site preparation for forestry management, fire suppression and alteration of hydrology. Residential development is also a threat. In places where there is residential development there is also fire suppression, so these two threats are interconnected (pers. comm. A. Schotz). Even where habitat is managed as in the Apalachicola National Forest burning takes place at less frequent intervals than what is ideal.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: This status of this species in Alabama is unknown as of 2016 because ownership of the land has changed and it is not known if the habitat is burned or otherwise managed (pers. comm. A. Schotz). It is believed to be stable in Florida (pers. comm. A. Johnson and A. Jenkins).

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: This milkweed species requires fire which leads to the open habitat where it thrives. It also requires exposed mineral soils (pers. comm. A. Schotz).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Florida and Georgia. In Florida the recorded occurrences are for Franklin, Gulf, Liberty, Wakulla, St. Johns, and Nassau counties; reported from Bay, Duval, Baker, Bradford, and Flagler counties by Kral (1983). This species was discovered in Alabama in 1996 and known from the far southeast in Houston Co. (pers. comm. A. Schotz).

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, FL

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Houston (01069)
FL Baker (12003)*, Bay (12005), Duval (12031)*, Franklin (12037), Gulf (12045), Leon (12073)*, Liberty (12077), Nassau (12089)*, St. Johns (12109)*, Wakulla (12129)*, Walton (12131), Washington (12133)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 St. Marys (03070204)+*, Lower St. Johns (03080103)+*, Apalachee Bay-St. Marks (03120001)+*, Apalachicola (03130011)+, Chipola (03130012)+, New (03130013)+, Apalachicola Bay (03130014)+, St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101)+, Choctawhatchee Bay (03140102)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb, reaching 3-7 cm in height. Stems are spreading or erect. Leaves are opposite, narrowly linear, and 5-10 cm long. Flower petals are 4-5 mm long and green to brown-purple in color.
Technical Description: "Perennial with a woody, tuberous, medially subglobose rootstock, usually bearing a solitary stem, infrequently more than one. Stem slender, purplish only at base, pubescent in longitudinal bands below the nodes with very short, spreading hairs. Lowermost 1-3 pairs of leaves minute and bractlike, others nearly uniform, opposite, narrowly linear, 4-10 cm long, glabrous. Umbels several, each in the axil of one of a pair of upper leaves, subtending leaves surpassing the umbels, mostly 6-10 flowered, flower stalks about 1 cm long. Calyx lobes lance-ovate, acute, 2 mm long. Corolla lobes 4-5 mm long, reflexed, their tips curving outwardly and upwardly, upper surfaces green, lower brownish purple. Hoods saclike basally, the erect free tips flairing, faintly brownish purple medially, otherwise cream-colored, each with a similarly colored horn slightly exserted and slightly arching over the gynostegium. Follicle narrowly fusiform, 8-10 cm long, glabrous" (Godfrey and Wooten, 1981).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Asclepias viridula is superficially much like A. longifolia in habit, leaf character and flower size. However A. longifolia has anther longer than the corolla and the corolla is somewhat broader and lacks horns (Kral, 1983).
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: The most observed vistors for the genus were bees, butterflies and beetles, though types of vistors depended upon whether or not the flower had pollina. Birds (Trochil.) only visited flowers without pollina.
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Savanna
Habitat Comments: Clearings in moist, acidic pineland savannas, pine flatwoods, and borders of shrub-tree bays or bogs. Frequently associated with other narrow endemics such as Chapman's crownbeard (Verbesina chapmanii), thick leaved water-willow (Justicia crassifolia), and telephus spurge (Euphorbia telephioides).
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Flatwoods milkweeds-east Gulf coastal plain-EOSPECS

Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Three naturally occurring individuals in relatively natural habitat.
Separation Barriers: Densely planted pine plantations; severely fire suppressed pine stands with closed canopies, thick shrub layers, deep duff layer, and little or no herbaceous ground cover.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 1 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: N/A
Separation Justification: Species in this group are insect pollinated (primarily Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera) with wind-dispersed seeds; 1 km is sufficient to separate populations.
Date: 18Sep2003
Author: Chafin, L.G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Justification: Use the Generic Guidelines for the Application of Occurrence Ranks (2008).
The Key for Ranking Species Occurrences Using the Generic Approach provides a step-wise process for implementing this method.

Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 20May2016
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: White, D.L., rev. L. Oliver (2004), rev. L. Oliver (2016)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14May1992

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • CLEWELL, ANDRE F. 1985. GUIDE TO THE VASCULAR PLANTS OF THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE. UNIV. PRESSES OF FLORIDA, GAINESVILLE, FL. 605 PP.

  • Clewell, A.F. 1985. Guide to vascular plants of the Florida panhandle. Florida State Univ. Press, Tallahassee, Florida. 605 pp.

  • Duncan, W.H., and J.T. Kartesz. 1981. Vascular Flora of Georgia: An annotated checklist. Univ. Georgia Press, Athens. 143 pp.

  • Godfrey, R.K., and J.W. Wooten. 1981. Aquatic and wetland plants of southeastern United States: Dicotyledons. Univ. Georgia Press, Athens. 933 pp.

  • KRAL, R. 1983.A REPORT ON SOME RARE,THREATENED,OR ENDANGEREDFOREST-RELATED VASCULAR PLANTS OF THE SOUTH.VOL I ISOETACEAETHROUGH EUPHORBIACEAE;VOL II AQUIFOLIACEA THROUGH ASTERACEAE& GLOSSARY.USDA FOREST SERV,SE REG.,ATL,GA. TECH PUBL R8-TP2

  • 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.

  • Kral, R. 1983a. A report on some rare, threatened or endangered forest related vascular plants of the south. USFS technical publication R8-TP2, Atlanta, GA. Vol. 1: 718 pp.

  • Kral, R. 1983c. A report on some rare, threatened, or endangered forest-related vascular plants of the South. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service Technical Publication R8-TP2, Athens, GA. 1305 pp.

  • RADFORD, A., H. AHLES AND C. BELL. 1968 MANUAL OF THE VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS. THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS CHAPEL HILL. 1183 PP + LXI.

  • Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles, and C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Univ. North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 1183 pp.

  • Small, J.K. 1933. Manual of the southeastern flora. Two volumes. Hafner Publishing Company, New York.

  • WARD, D.B. (ED). 1979. RARE AND ENDANGERED BIOTA OF FLORIDA, VOLUME 5: PLANTS. UNIVERSITY PRESSES OF FLORIDA, GAINESVILLE.

  • WUNDERLIN, RICHARD P. 1982. GUIDE TO THE VASCULAR PLANTS OF CENTRAL FLORIDA. UNIV. PRESSES OF FLA., TAMPA, ST. PETERSBURG, FT. MEYERS, SARASOTA

  • Ward, D.B., ed. 1979. Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Vol. 5: Plants. Univ. Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

  • Wunderlin, R.P. 1982. Guide to the vascular plants of central Florida. Univ. Presses Florida, Gainesville. 472 pp.

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