Bigelowia nuttallii - L.C. Anders.
Nuttall's Rayless-goldenrod
Other Common Names: Nuttall's rayless-goldenrod
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Bigelowia nuttallii L.C. Anderson (TSN 36840)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.128526
Element Code: PDAST19020
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Aster Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Asterales Asteraceae Bigelowia
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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: Bigelowia nuttallii
Taxonomic Comments: Distinct species. Synonym is Chondrophora virgata (Nutt.) Greene.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 22May2003
Global Status Last Changed: 22May2003
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: There may be more than 20 element occurrences (uncertain at this time); but does seem to be endemic to a rather restricted habitat that is also scattered in distribution and subject to extreme environmental (e.g. climatic) fluctuation (1988).
Nation: United States
National Status: N3N4

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 (S3), Florida (S1), Georgia (S3S4), Louisiana (SNR), Texas (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to a few disjunct narrow regions--perhaps endemic to a particular habitat. Coastal Plain and Peidmont area of Georgia to Florida (2 cos); Cumberland plateau of Alabama; and in central and western Louisiana and eastern Texas.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Approximately 20 populations in 6 counties in GA, 2 counties in FL, 1 county (?) in AL. Infrequent to rare in TX. It may occur in SW LA (Godfry and Wooten, 1981).

Overall Threat Impact Comments:

The Rock Hill population is owned by the Nature Conservancy and under no threat but the Pinellas Co. populations are not protected and are quite near development along roadsides and are heavily disturbed in at least one case. Loran Anderson (pers. comm. 1992) found only three plants in the Pinellas Co. site on his last visit to the area and they were heavily disturbed by off-road traffic.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Endemic to a few disjunct narrow regions--perhaps endemic to a particular habitat. Coastal Plain and Peidmont area of Georgia to Florida (2 cos); Cumberland plateau of Alabama; and in central and western Louisiana and eastern Texas.

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, GA, LA, TX

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Blount (01009), Cherokee (01019), DeKalb (01049), Etowah (01055)*, Jackson (01071), Jefferson (01073), Marshall (01095)
FL Pinellas (12103), Washington (12133)
GA Jenkins (13165)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Lower Ogeechee (03060202)+, Tampa Bay (03100206)+, Crystal-Pithlachascotee (03100207)+, Chipola (03130012)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+, Upper Coosa (03150105)+, Middle Coosa (03150106)+*, Cahaba (03150202)+, Locust (03160111)+
06 Guntersville Lake (06030001)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Rayless goldenrod, Asteraceae.
Technical Description: Erect perennial herb in the Asteraceae ca. (20)35-80 cm tall, the stems with short narrow caudices and arising from creeping rhizomes, the stem 2-3 mm in diameter, weakly ribbed, the branches all ascending and terminating in inflorescences. Leaves alternate, linear, minutely glandular punctate, ca. 1-2 m wide, the longer ones forming a basal cluster, becoming smaller distally into the inflorescence, the basal leaves mostly 3-8 cm long, the cauline leaves ca. 0.5-6 cm long. Inflorescence a terminal compound corymbiform panicle of involucrate discoid heads, usually ca. 5-10 cm in diameter, the heads composed of 3-5 flowers, the involucre 6-9 mm high with 11-24 phyllaries (bracts). Flowers epigynous, perfect, pappus (calyx) of many antrorsely barbed bristles ca. equalling the corolla, corolla 3.9-5.3 mm long, with 5 lobes 1.2-1.6 mm long, style bilobed with a small hairy appendage, the lobes flattened and having the stigmatic surface in lines along the margins of the lobes. Fruit an achene, 3-3.5 mm long, obconic to cylindric, antrorsely pubescent (from Anderson 1970, Cronquist 1980 and direct measurements of specimens at FLAS).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Although clearly distinct, this species may be confused with its congenor B. nudata (Michx.) DC. At a glance, it can even be easily mistaken for the very common Euthamia minor. In Euthamia the heads have ray flowers (the corolla appears to be composed of only one large petal) and in Bigelowia the flowers are all discoid (rotate, actinomorphic). The clearest difference between B. nuttallii and B. nudata is in the habit. B.nuttallii is rhizomatous and becomes colonial or loosely matted while B. nudata occurs in small clumps or singly. Although Anderson (1970, 1972) cites several other characters that separate the two, examination of specimens at FLAS gave this researcher the impression that the phenotypic variability is high in both Bigelowias found in Florida and that the habit character is the only easily observable one that is consistent. This is especially true when comparing the Pinellas Co. specimens of B. nuttallii to B. nudata subsp. australis L.C. Anderson which Anderson (1970) says has a morphology that is intermediate between B. nudata subsp. nudata and B. nuttallii in many respects. The Pinellas Co. population exhibits gigantism that results from polyploidy in that location (Anderson, pers. comm. 1993).
Ecology Comments: Due to its rhizomatous nature B. nuttallii forms loosely interwoven mats and can spread vegetatively as well as by seed. It blooms in September and October, producing seed shortly afterwards. Chromosome numbers of n=9, 18 and 27 have been recorded for the species with all three ploidy levels occurring in Florida, the diploids being at Rock Hill and both tetraploids and hexaploids occurring in Pinellas Co. (Anderson 1977). Specimens examined at FLAS showed fully differentiated styles as well as well formed and apparently functional pollen.

Bigelowia nuttallii may hybridize with B. nudata in a few populations in GA, where morphologically intermediate plants were observed (Anderson, pers. comm. 1993). Diploids of both species are basically outcrossers although B. nuttallii is much more successful in terms of autogamous seed production than B. nudata (Anderson 1977). The reproductive system in the polyploids has not been investigated.

Habitat Comments: The general habitat preference of this species is fairly restricted. It normally occurs on sandstone or siltstone outcrops from Georgia to eastern Texas. These are often Eocene to Pliocene strata. Substrates include the Altamaha Formation (Altamaha Grit, Miocene Epoch) in GA, Lithonia Gneiss (granite rock outcrops) in Rockdale and Walton Cos., GA, carboniferous period sediments (Pennsylvanian sandstone outcrops) in AL and (Anderson 1970, Patrick, pers. comm. 1992). The location of populations on only some granite outcrops, and not on Pennsylvanian sandstone in GA is not understood. In the Altamaha Formation the plant is frequent, often on tiny outcrops where rarer grit endemics have not yet been located. The species is an aspect dominant in the fall on numerous outcrops in Georgia's inner coastal plain. These habitats also harbor Selaginella acanthanota complex Arenaria uniflora and Talinum mengiesii (Patrick, pers. comm. 1992). These plants appear not to be fire-dependent, but adapted to thin soils.

The Florida population at The Nature Conservancy's Rock Hill Preserve is on an Altamaha Grit outcrop (Harper 1911). However, the species has also been found in Pinellas Co. in sand pine scrub (Anderson 1970) and among disturbed mixtures of sand pine and slash pine (See Garrett s.n. FLAS, Wunderlin #10362 FLAS). At the Rock Hill Preserve and elsewhere in its range B. nuttallii occurs on very thin soils immediately over non-calcerous rock (Gholson 1992, pers. comm.; Harper 1911). The soils are generally low (0.5-2.5%) in organic matter and cation exchange capacity (Anderson 1972). Harper (1911) reports that B. nuttallii is second only to Aristida stricta in abundance on the Rock Hill site.

Habitats for this species seem to be open, perhaps periodically disturbed sites. Other species within common habitats respond to fire with increased growth and flowering and may be adapted to this type of natural disturbance (Angus Gholson, pers. comm. 1992). Anderson (pers. comm. 1993) suggests that very hot fires may impact rhizomes and roots, which are constrained to shallow soil pockets and rock crevices.

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: The population at the Rock Hill Preserve appear to be secure. Monitoring will reveal population trends and fire effects. However, nothing is known about the Pinellas Co. population(s). The current priority must be assessment of, and development of strategies for these southern population(s).
Restoration Potential: We know of no reintroductions of this species although its occurrence in disturbed scrub habitats in Pinellas Co. indicates that germplasm for a variety of habitats may be available. Further, the vegetative and sexual reproduction of this species may mean that populations are somewhat buffered from critical declines and that propagation is feasible.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: As stated above, habitats that appear to be uncharacteristic should not be immediately excluded from consideration. Until the Pinellas Co. population(s) are further surveyed, we will not know which parameters determine the types of areas that should be protected.
Management Requirements: Fire management is a possibility but this will require further study. Any other management needs are unknown.

Angus Gholson (pers. comm. 1992) has examined the Rock Hill site and believes that the species may respond well to fire. It has almost certainly been exposed to fire there and is apparently doing well. The Pinellas Co. population is in sand pine scrub and disturbed slash pine habitats which also almost certainly have burned. This may be the factor that prevents the buildup of organic matter, and hence thicker soil, over the rocks in the Rock Hill Preserve.

No active management programs specifically designed for this species are known to be in progress.

Monitoring Requirements:

Monitoring is highly recommended. Transects established by the North Florida office of The Nature Conservancy at the Rock Hill Preserve (see below) are an excellent start. However, the population(s) in Pinellas Co. should also be surveyed and monitored given that they represent such a major departure from the known habitat for the species and that they are unprotected.

Monitoring Programs: The North Florida Office of The Nature Conservancy has set up 21, 30 m X 1 m, permanent transects (total area = 630 m2) in seven groups of three transects encompassing all of the subpopulations present in the Rock Hill Preserve. In the first survey on Sept. 3, 1992 a density 9.62 plants/m2 (SD=18.13) of B. nuttallii was determined. Of these, 14.4% were in reproductive condition.
Management Research Programs: <<> Loran Anderson, B-142, Dept. of Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2043. (904) 644-6278, 644-3700, 385-9686

Angus Gholson, P.O. Box 385, Chattahoochee, FL 32324. (904) 663-4417

Doria Gordon, The Nature Conservancy, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. (904) 392-5949

Tom Patrick, Botanist, Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources. Freshwater Wetlands and Heritage Inventory Program. 2117 U.S. Hwy 278 SE, Social Circle, Georgia 30279. (404) 557-2514

Greg Seamon, The Nature Conservancy, North Florida Office, 625 N. Adams St. Tallahassee, FL 32301 (904) 222-0199. (not contacted)

Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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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: 09Oct2002
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Mansberg, L. (1988), rev. L. Morse (1997); G. Guala (1993); L. Chafin (2002)
Management Information Edition Date: 01Jan1993
Management Information Edition Author: GUALA, GERALD
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 01Jan1993
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): GUALA, G.

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
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  • Anderson, L. 1970. Studies on Bigelowia (Astereae, Compositae). 1. Morphology and Taxonomy. Sida 3(7): 451-465.

  • Anderson, L. 1972. Studies on Bigelowia (Asteraceae) II. Xylary Comparisons, Woodiness, and Paedomorphosis. Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 53(4): 499-514.

  • Anderson, L.C. 1977. Studies in Bigelowia (Asteraceae). III. Cytotaxonomy and biogeography. Syst. Bot. 2(3): 209-217.

  • Cronquist, A. 1980. Vascular flora of the southeastern United States. Volume I Asteraceae. Univ. of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. 261 p.

  • Harper, R. 1911. Chondrophora virgata in West Florida. Torreya 11(4): 92-98.

  • 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.

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