Conradina verticillata - Jennison
Cumberland False Rosemary
Other English Common Names: Apalachicola Rosemary
Other Common Names: Cumberland false rosemary
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Conradina verticillata Jennison (TSN 32481)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.148865
Element Code: PDLAM0D050
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Mint Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Lamiales Lamiaceae Conradina
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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: Conradina verticillata
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 13Feb1997
Global Status Last Changed: 28Mar1997
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Endemic to the upper Cumberland Plateau in northcentral Tennessee and adjacent southeastern Kentucky and restricted there to flood plain habitats. As of 1996, 91 occurrences were believed to be extant, most of them very small and isolated from other occurrences. (Fewer than 4000 total individuals were estimated at the known locations.) This species' abundance and distribution has probably been reduced by dam construction and by water pollution from nearby coal mining. Habitat destruction due to intensive recreational use also poses a threat.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Kentucky (S1), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S3)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT: Listed threatened (29Nov1991)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Overall Threat Impact Comments: The greatest threat to Conradina verticillata is inundation by reservoirs constructed for hydropower or recreation (USFWS 1996). Past dams have destroyed populations and habitat, and currently dams are located downstream of every river where this species occurs (USFWS 1996). More dams are proposed upstream on Clear Creek and Clear Fork River (USFWS 1996).

Habitat destruction due to recreational activities is a very critical threat and includes off-road vehicles, camping, hiking, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting (USFWS 1996). Other threats are plants that outcompete C. verticillata, potential oil and gas exploration, and water pollution from current and abandoned coal mines (USFWS 1996). Horticultural collection of these plants is possible, but not highly probable since it is easy propagate vegetatively (USFWS 1996).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States KY, SC, TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
KY McCreary (21147)
TN Cumberland (47035), Fentress (47049), Knox (47093)*, Morgan (47129), Scott (47151), White (47185)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+, Caney (05130108)+
06 Watts Bar Lake (06010201)+*, Emory (06010208)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small evergreen shrub (< 5 dm tall) that forms clumps or mats of sprawling branches which root at the nodes. The plants have needle-like, aromatic leaves and small lavender, purple, or (occasionally) white flowers which bloom in abundance in May and early June. This species may be a relict of a comparatively widespread, lowland progenitor that became restricted to the few Coastal Plain-like habitats on the Cumberland Plateau as it was uplifted.
General Description: Plant a low (< 5 dm tall), aromatic, perennial evergreen shrub, forming clumps or mats of sprawling branches which root at the nodes. Leaves needle-like, borne in fascicles, making them appear to be whorled; 1-2.5 cm long, with a strong rosemary-like scent. Flowers blooming in May or early June. Corolla tubular and 2-lipped, pinkish-lavender to purple, rarely white, having darker purple dots lining the throat of the corolla-tube; 2-2.5 cm long. Calyx tubular, notably ribbed, about 1 cm. with long hairs. Fruit are smooth, dark brown, tiny, nearly globe-shaped nutlets, four grouped together, nested in the base of the calyx.
Technical Description: Plant a low (< 5 dm tall), aromatic, perennial evergreen shrub, forming clumps or mats of sprawling branches which root at the nodes; resembles common rosemary (Rosmarinus). Small branches are erect, longer ones tending to be decumbent; upper stems four-sided. Leaves needle-like, borne in fascicles, making them appear to be whorled; 1-2.5 cm long, stiff, linear, with margins rolled under, the upper surfaces green and smooth, the lower surfaces paler, covered with fine, gray-white hairs; with a strong rosemary-like scent. Flowers, blooming in May or early June, are borne 1 to 3 at nodes in the axils of upper leaves, on short stalks. Corolla tubular and 2-lipped, pinkish- lavender to purple, rarely white, having darker purple dots lining the throat of the corolla-tube; 2-2.5 cm long. Calyx tubular, notably ribbed, about 1 cm. with long hairs. Fruit are smooth, dark brown, tiny, nearly globe-shaped nutlets, four grouped together, nested in the base of the calyx. This species is possibly a relict of a comparatively widespread, lowland progenitor that became restricted to the few Coastal Plain-like habitats on the Cumberland Plateau as it was uplifted.
Diagnostic Characteristics: When in flower, the relatively large, 2-lipped flowers with dots on the corolla tube throat are unmistakable. Its foliage is distinctive at any time with its rosemary-like fragrance, its leaves with pale undersides, and its decumbent lower stem-branches rooting in the sand of its riverside habitat.
Habitat Comments: Restricted to boulder/cobble/gravel-bars, sand bars and islands, sandy river banks, flood plains in river gorges, and similar sunny riparian areas where seasonal flooding minimizes competition (by keeping out out less well-adapted competitors) and creates new gravel-bar habitats for colonization. Common associates include green-headed coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata), along with globally rare plants such as large-flowered Barbara's-buttons (Marshallia grandiflora) and Virginia spiraea (Spiraea virginiana).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Any naturally occurring plants in suitable habitat. Suitable habitats for Conradina verticillata populations are full to moderate sunlit gravel bars in the floodplain of major rivers and streams. Substrate can vary from dense deep sands to cobble boulders that are well drained. Populations of C. verticillata occur on boulder bars, boulder-cobble-sand bars, sand gravel bars, sand terraces adjacent to the river, and islands with gently sloping sand banks. High quality populations are annually scoured by spring flooding to preserve and restore the open conditions required by C. verticillata. Annual floods also act as a disperser through the transport of viable plant fragments down stream.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Primary Element Occurrences should be considered all plants from the uppermost occurrence on a stream or river to the confluence with a second stream or river with C. verticillata occurrences (a separate EO). Plants (if any) below this confluence will constitute a new EO. A clump will be considered an individual plant when there is no apparent connection to another clump.

Separation Justification: C. verticillata is a highly colonial species, which reproduces sexually and asexually. Due to low seed viability, a majority of reproduction is the result of asexual reproduction via fragmentation.
Date: 13Dec2002
Author: Major, C. S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: An A ranked occurrence of Conradina verticillata will have 100 clumps or greater. These populations will be in riverine situations on boulder bars, boulder-cobble-sand bars, sand gravel bars, sand terraces adjacent to the river, and islands with gently sloping sand banks which experience annual flood events that scour these features and greatly reduce competition. These sites will be open to slightly shaded, have moderately deep, well-drained soils, consisting of pure sand or a mixture of sand and gravel with no visible organic matter, and have topographic features, which augment sand deposition and protect the plants from the force of flood events. A ranked occurrences should have few to no invasive exotics or naturally weed species.
Good Viability: A B ranked occurrence of Conradina verticillata will have between 25 and 99 clumps. These populations will be in riverine situations on boulder bars, boulder-cobble-sand bars, sand gravel bars, sand terraces adjacent to the river, and islands with gently sloping sand banks which experience annual flood events that scour these features and greatly reduce competition. These sites will be open to slightly shaded, have moderately deep, well-drained soils, consisting of pure sand or a mixture of sand and gravel with no visible organic matter, and have topographic features, which augment sand deposition and protect the plants from the force of flood events. B ranked occurrences should have few to no invasive exotics or naturally weed species.
Fair Viability: A C ranked occurrence of Conradina verticillata will have between 10 and 24 clumps. These populations will be in riverine situations on boulder bars, boulder-cobble-sand bars, sand gravel bars, sand terraces adjacent to but may not be directly on the river, and on islands with gently sloping sand banks. These occurrences should be exposed to annual flood events but may have less reduction of competition from other woody and herbaceous species. These sites will be open to partially open with varying degrees of shade, have moderately deep, well-drained soils, consisting of pure sand or a mixture of sand and gravel with little to no visible organic matter, and may or may not have topographic features, which augment sand deposition and protect the plants from the force of flood events. C ranked occurrences may have some invasive exotics or naturally weed species but these should not dominate the occurrence. Highly impacted occurrences of an A sized or B sized occurrence should be ranked as a C ranked occurrence.
Poor Viability: A D ranked occurrence of Conradina verticillata will have between 1 and 9 clumps. These populations will be in riverine situations on boulder bars, boulder-cobble-sand bars, sand gravel bars, sand terraces adjacent to but may not be directly on the river, and on islands with gently sloping sand banks. These occurrences are seldom exposed to annual flood events and have greater competition from other woody and herbaceous species. These sites will be partially closed to closed with varying degrees of shade, have variable well-drained soils, consisting of pure sand or a mixture of sand and gravel with some visible organic matter. D ranked occurrences will have some invasive exotics or naturally weed species that tend to dominate the occurrence.
Justification: For A Rank: A ranked occurrence specifications are based on USF&W recovery plans and observations of all known populations of this species. If comparative viability studies are conducted on this species, eo specs should be revisited.

C vs D Rank: EOs not meeting "C"-rank criteria are likely to occur in highly degraded habitats that have not been scoured resulting in impacts by invasive exotics and weedy species that out compete C. verticillata.. These occurrences have only scattered clumps of Conradina verticillata. Degradation is severe resulting marginal population viability.

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: 02Dec1996
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Maybury, K. and M. Pyne (1996)

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

  • 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.

  • Shea, A.B, and T.H. Roulston. 1996. Recovery plan for Cumberland rosemary (Conradina verticillata). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Atlanta, GA. 42 pp.

  • Shea, A.B., and T.H. Roulston. 1995. Technical/agency draft recovery plan for Cumberland rosemary (Conradina verticillata). Prepared for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region, Atlanta, GA. 53 pp.

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

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