Conradina glabra - Shinners
Apalachicola False Rosemary
Other English Common Names: Apalachicola Rosemary
Other Common Names: Apalachicola false rosemary
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Conradina glabra Shinners (TSN 196107)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.159260
Element Code: PDLAM0D030
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Mint Family
Image 10405

© Alfred R. Schotz

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Lamiales Lamiaceae Conradina
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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: Conradina glabra
Taxonomic Comments: Godfrey and Kral (and others recently) accept only reports from Liberty Co., Fla., considering reports from western Florida to be misidentified. Kartesz has one Alabama report, but it was not addressed by USFWS.
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 19Nov1998
Global Status Last Changed: 22Jan1985
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This species has few known localities within a limited range: the Florida Natural Areas Inventory's database contains 10 occurrence records, all in Liberty County, Florida. Conversion of habitat to pine plantations, intensive forestry operations and management, pasture, roads and rights of way with maintenance and development threaten this plant.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1

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 Florida (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (12Jul1993)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Although reported from both Liberty and Franklin Counties, Florida, most botanists believe it is limited to Liberty County only. The USFWS also believes the taxon to be limited to "several square miles" in Liberty County. Plants collected in 1988 in Santa Rosa County were assigned to C. glabra by a genetic study (Martin 1992).

Area of Occupancy: 26-2,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Occurs on rims of steepheads (heads of ravines) on the east side of the Apalachicola River in northern Florida.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: 10 element occurrences as of 1/13/98

Population Size Comments: 700-2000 individuals as of 1/13/9

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown
Viability/Integrity Comments: Many of the occurrences are on private lands. The Nature Conservancy have been restoring three populations, but it is unclear whether they are viable populations.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: The primary threat to this species is habitat loss and degradation as a result of commercial lumbering practices that remove all native vegetation (Ward, 1979). Most of these areas in Liberty County have been heavily logged (mainly for longleaf pine) and/or cleared for agriculture. Crop farming has eliminated some suitable habitat and grazing by cattle badly damages the shrubs in other areas. Many acres have also been planted to slash pine, while Conradina glabra appears to do well in the pine plantation rows, it may decline as the trees mature and provide increased shade and competition. Fire protection to favor the slash pine may also be detrimental to C. glabra (Kral, 1983). Baker (personal communication) reported that St. Joe Paper Company is currently in the process of cutting down these stunted slash pine in order to replant with improved sand pine. Perhaps the shrubs may indeed be shaded out when these new pines mature in 15+ years. Since C. glabra survived the initial conversion to pine plantation, they are probably not in any immediate danger by this new disturbance. The suppression of fire may actually help C. glabra to multiply in this sandhill habitat. Roadside/right-of-way maintenance are also not compatible with C. glabra habitat.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Short-term Trend Comments: In 1981, the species was described as having abundant, undisturbed habitat and that it would be able to withstand some disturbance. However, since 1987, populations have been lost to logging, and the GRANK has gone from G2 to G1. A 1995 estimate suggested there were more than 10,000 plants, however a 1998 estimate places species number closer to 2000.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Long-term Trend Comments: Original extent and abundance of this species is unknown because the species was not described until 1962, and the advent of industrial silviculture since the 1950's has destroyed large blocks of this species' sandhill habitat. It is assumed that the species was once more widespread.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Burning killed 75% of plants in transplanted plots; can withstand clear-cutting, but not intense site preparation (repeated discing, etc.). Male flowers may have a high rate of infertility.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow to narrow.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Appears to require open areas, without a heavy overhead canopy, on steepheads.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: Although reported from both Liberty and Franklin Counties, Florida, most botanists believe it is limited to Liberty County only. The USFWS also believes the taxon to be limited to "several square miles" in Liberty County. Plants collected in 1988 in Santa Rosa County were assigned to C. glabra by a genetic study (Martin 1992).

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 FL

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
FL Liberty (12077)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Lower Ochlockonee (03120003)+, Apalachicola (03130011)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Basic Description: A copiously branched, minty-smelling shrub, growing to 8 dm tall, from a woody root. Several primary shoots are spreading or stiffly ascending. Leaves are very narrowly linear, the upper surfaces sticky-dotted, the margins rolled. Flowers vary in color from plant to plant, from a deep rose-lavender to white.
Technical Description: An aromatic shrub with numerous erect branches to about 1 m tall. Older stems brown, cylindrical, exfoliating; younger twigs rufous to green, quadrangular. Leaves opposite and commonly subtend short, leafy, axillary branches that give the stem a densely clothed appearance. Leaves sessile, or nearly so, very narrow linear-oblanceolate, the larger to about 15 mm long and 3 mm wide, upper surface markedly punctate-glandular, margins revolute and largely obscuring the closely felted lower surface. Flowers 14-18 mm long, usually abundant in short-stalked axillary fascicles of 1-3 flowers. Calyx tube swollen, strongly-ribbed, closely set with inconspicuous resinous glands. Calyx strongly 2-lipped with 2 long-attenuate teeth forming the lower lip and 3 shorter, acute teeth the upper, all fringed marginally with 0.5 long ciliate hairs. Corolla deep rose lavender to white (varying from plant to plant), 2-lipped, lower lip speckled with purplish dots. Corolla tube abruptly bending upward at the mouth of the calyx, the lips and throat nearly erect. Stamens four, exserted from beneath the upper lip. Style bifid, exserted, equalling or exceeding the stamens. Fruit a cluster of 4 globose nutlets to 1 mm in length (Schultz, unpublished material in TNC files).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Characterized by its low height, numerous erect branches with clusters of leaves, minty odor, small needlelike, glandular-punctate leaves with dense, matted pubescence on the lower surface, abruptly bent corolla tube, lavender to white corolla with purplish dots and dry sandhill habitat (Schultz, unpublished material in TNC files).
Reproduction Comments: The flower is strongly protandrous the pollen being shed 24 or more hours before the stigma becomes receptive. One population displayed some degree of male sterility. The anthers of some flowers being grossly malformed and were functionally unisexual. Some anthers were well formed but the pollen was aborted. C. glabra is the only species of this genus known to have this feature.
Ecology Comments: Little information has been published on the life history of C. glabra. Flowering occurs mainly from March to June and then intermittantly until frost (Kral, 1983). The flower is strongly protandrous - its pollen being shed 24 or more hours prior to its stigma becoming receptive. Gray (1965) discovered one population near Torreya State Park that had 29 of 100 examined individuals displaying some degree of male sterility. These flowers had grossly malformed stamens and were thus functionally unisexual. The anthers were usually completely abortive; sometimes the filaments were flattened and petaloid, becoming white and variously spotted with purple. A less bizarre condition was found in flowers with normal appearing anthers having aborted pollen grains. C. glabra is the only species of this genus known to show this anomalous feature.

Wilson Baker (personal communication) said it might posibly spread byrhizomes and Kral (1983) wrote that it "often is a clonal shrub." No definite reports on its reproduction were found.

Kral (1983) proposed that this species is increased, not decreased, by fire as it was part of the original stands of longleaf pine which were historically maintained by burning. Baker (personal communication)agreed that it may need to burn to open its habitat up to more light,but suggested that frequent fires may be detrimental to its survival. Since sandhills naturally burned ever 2-5 years (Duever, 1983), perhaps Conradina's original range was restricted to the sandhill-ravine ecotone where fire may have only spread every 20 or more years (Baker, personal communication).

Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer, Forest Edge, Forest/Woodland, Old field, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: Formerly occurred in the grassy understory of the upland longleaf pine-wiregrass vegetation, as well as steephead edges. Currently found on dry, sandy, well-drained soils of road edges, in planted pine plantations and along their cleared edges, and along the edges of ravines.

In Florida, Apalachicola rosemary is a rare plant found only in two very limited areas. Liberty County has what is probably the largest population of this species. It occurs in flat sandy areas(characterized by longleaf pine and turkey or bluejack oak) that are deeply dissected by steep sided, moist ravines (Gray, 1965). Kral (1983)wrote that it was and is an understory plant in open woodlands of pine and oaks or in small clearings therein. Wilson Baker (personal communication) suggested that Conradina may have naturally grown in the ecotone between the sandhills and the densely forested ravines; it spread into the sandhills only after their disturbance by the establishment of pine plantations in the late 1950's. Since Shinners (1962) did not determine this species to be taxonomically distinct until 1962, no one is sure of its exact habitat before this disturbance. It is presently found on road edges, in planted pine plantations and along their cleared edges, and along the edges of the ravines (Baker, personal communication).

Not much is known about the Santa Rosa County population. S.C. Hood originally collected herbarium specimens in this area on April 8, 1949 Ward (1979) indicated that this collection appeared to be erroneously labeled and C. glabra was restricted to Liberty county. Dr. Robert K. Godfrey of FSU searched and eventually found flowering plants in the Blackwater River State Forest. Godfrey's collections were made on April 3, 1982, in the public use area by Juniper Creek at Indian Ford. He wrote on the herbarium sheet (examined by the author at the UF (FLAS) herbarium that plants were on the periphery of the clearing with some very close to Chamaecyparis and others in the adjacent pineland.

Ward (1979) also stated the range for this species extends into Franklin County and the Apalachicola National Forest (ANF). No herbarium collections were seen by the author at FLAS to indicate its presence in Franklin County or in the ANF. Wilson Baker (personal communication) also said it is restricted to Liberty County north of Bristol and is not known to grow in the ANF.

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary
Stewardship Overview:

1. Known populations of Conradina glabra should be monitored by annual field surveys. The main populations of plants on St. Joe Paper Company land should be checked monthly to record the effects of the recent fire and the new sand pine seedlings.

2. Additional populations should be searched for in the Bristol area, the Apalachicola National Forest, and northward into southern Alabama and Georgia where similar habitat exists. An aerial survey should be conducted in the spring when the maximum number of plants are in flower.

3. Investigate the Santa Rosa County population to determine its abundance vigor and distribution. Its management and preservation needs (if any) have yet be determined.

4. Research the life history of Apalachicola rosemary. Needed information includes reproductive strategy and capacity, seed viability seedling establishment, and whether the plants spread by rhizomes. Possible propagation techniques also need study. Its preferred fire regime also has not been determined.

5. If the main population of plants on St. Joe land appear to be in imminent danger of destruction, action should be taken toward the formation of a Conradina glabra preserve on this site. Another possibility would be the establishment of a "test plot" of C. glabra on the Apalachicola Bluffs & Ravines Preserve where the results of different management practices could be investigated.

Restoration Potential: Young Conradina plants have been known to become established in barren exposed sand adjacent to and inside of the planted slash pines. This suggest that it is able to compete effectively in open, newly exposed areas, provided a seed source is nearby (Gray, 1965). Since fire is historically important in the maintenance of longleaf pine, Conradina would also probably increase in burned over areas (Kral, 1983). However, Baker (personal communication) suggested that fire suppresion in the sandhills may be beneficial to Conradina's proliferation.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Forty acres should be considered a minimum size for a scrub or sandhill preserve, but a smaller site with an exemplary population of C. glabra could be considered for protection. The site should have a fairly open canopy and be large or secure enough to allow fire as a management tool(FNAI).
Management Requirements: C. glabra seems to do well in areas of disturbed sandhill where planted pines have been established (Kral, 1983). These areas have a reduced frequency of fire when compared to original sandhill habitat, and this may be beneficial to this shrubby mint (Baker, personal communication) It is important that fairly open areas be maintained (Kral, 1983).

An open canopy could be maintained by occasionally thinning or cutting of the overstory (Kral, 1983). Proper schedules of burning for C. glabra have not yet been established. Baker (personal communication)recommended burning on a 20-50 year cycle to keep down competing vegetation and suggested that a shorter fire interval may be detrimental to Conradina's spread and multiplication. Kral (1983) agreed that fire is a necessary management tool but wrote that Conradina was a natural part of the sandhill vegetation (which normall burned at 2-5 year intervals (Duever, 1983)). Major human alteration of the sandhill environment (such as land clearing) seems to favor this opportunistic shrub as it is found in and around pine plantations as well as along roadsides (Baker, personal communication).

Monitoring Requirements: Conradina needs to be monitored where it occurs on St. Joe Paper Company property in Libery County and in the Blackwater State Forest in Santa Rosa County. Its eastern population seems to currently be in good condition with many vigorous plants (Leonard, Baker, 1982). Baker(personal communication) reported that part of this Conradina population burned in February, 1984. This fire was a controlled burn to improve wildlife habitat in the Robert Brent Wildlife Management Area. None of the burned Conradina resprouted until June and not all plants survived the fire. This site needs continued monitoring. No Conradina glabra plants are known to be growing on TNC's Apalachicola Bluffs & Ravines(Baker, personal communication), the closest being about 1 to 1.5 miles away.

Field surveys of known habitats should be done annually. In areas disturbed by fire or recent pine plantation activity, these surveys should be done monthly.

Management Programs: None in progress. Perhaps a more active role should be taken to protect plants on St. Joe Paper Company property. However, Conradina seems to be doing well in areas altered for pine monoculture. Another possibility would be to establish a "test plot" of C. glabra on the Apalachicola Bluffs & Ravines Preserve where different management techniques could be evaluated.

Steve Reifler (Rt. 2, Box 178-B, Chipley, FL 32428) is currently propagating and selling the closely related Conradina canescens at his nursery in Chipley.

Monitoring Programs: The FNAI should be contacted for further information. Wilson Baker can be contacted at Tall Timbers Research Station, Route 1, Box 160, Tallahassee, FL 32312. Wilson Baker is unofficially monitoring the St. Joe Paper Company site in Liberty County.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 18Apr1991
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: D.L. White, rev. 1998, A.F. Johnson, L.G. Chafin; Schulz, G. (1986)
Management Information Edition Date: 17Feb1986
Management Information Edition Author: GARY SCHULTZ
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 29May1992
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): SCHULTZ, G (1986)

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).

  • Anderson, L. and A. Parker. 1993. Field survey of proposed pipeline routes for listed species. Florida Gas Transmission Company, P.O. Box 1188, Houston, TX 77251. (713) 853-6161.

  • Brazis, D.M. No date. Center for Plant Conservation National Collection Plant Profile: Conradina glabra. Online. Available: Accessed 2004.


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

  • Duever, L.C. 1983. Natural communities of Florida's inland sand ridges. Palmetto 3(3): 1-3.

  • Falk, D.A., C.I. Millar, and M. Olwell. 1996. Restoring diversity: strategies for reintroduction of endangered plants. Island Press, Washington, D.C.


  • Gordon, D.R. 1996. Experimental translocation of the endangered shrub, Apalachicola rosemary (Conradina glabra), to the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve, Florida. Biological Conservation 77:19-26.

  • Gray, T.C. 1965. A Monograph of the genus Conradina A. Gray (Labiatae). [Ph.D. dissertation]. Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN.

  • Johnson, Ann F. 1998. Summary of status of Conradina glabra in FNAI database. FNAI, Tallahassee, FL 32303.


  • 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. 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.

  • Leonard, S.W. and W.W. Baker. 1982. Biological survey of the Apalachicola Ravines biotic region of Florida. FL State Office of The Nature Conservancy. Unpublished report.


  • 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.

  • Schultz, G. 1986. Element stewardship abstract for Conradina glabra. The Nature Conservancy, Winter Park, Florida.

  • Shinners, L.H. 1962a. Synopsis of Conradina (Labiatae). Sida 1(2):84-88.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1992. Proposed endangered status for three Florida plants of the genus Conradina. Federal Register 57(98): 21369-21374.



  • 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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