Cuphea aspera - Chapman
Tropical Waxweed
Other Common Names: tropical waxweed
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cuphea aspera Chapman (TSN 27095)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.144873
Element Code: PDLYT02010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Loosestrife Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Myrtales Lythraceae Cuphea
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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: Cuphea aspera
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 28Jul2009
Global Status Last Changed: 28Jul2009
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: This species has a very narrow range, restricted to the central Florida panhandle in Gulf and Franklin counties. 32 occurrences are believed extant, although some of these are in close proximity and might be considered the same population. This shade-intolerant species' open pine flatwoods and wet prairie habitat has largely been converted to slash pine silviculture; many extant occurrences are located in ruderal habitats such as roadsides. Threats include fire suppression, development, herbicide use, and incompatible mechanical disturbance such as mowing during flowering or disking/chopping.
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 Florida (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to a small portion of the central panhandle of Florida, in Gulf and Franklin counties. One occurrence has been documented in Calhoun County, but it is now believed extirpated.

Area of Occupancy: 26-500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Using a 2 x 2 km grid, approximately 23 grid cells are occupied.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: 30 occurrences are believed extant and have been observed in 2001 or later; 2 additional occurrences are likely extant (last observed 1996) and 1 additional is of unknown status (last observed 1991). A further 9 occurrences have been extirpated. Some of the occurrences are in close proximity; the total could be closer to 20 believed extant if closely adjacent sites were considered the same occurrence.

Population Size Comments: Approximately 3500-4000 individuals are known as of most recent counts; not all of these were reproductive when seen. Individual occurrences tend to be small, with just ten occurrences having 100 or more individuals.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Approximately 7 occurrences are believed to have good viability and a further 13 to have good or fair viability; none are believed to have excellent viability.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Habitat is converted to slash pine silviculture; canopy closure and needle layer accumulation eliminate habitat. Many current occurrences are in ruderal habitat such as roadsides, where there is concern that future disturbance regimes may not be compatible (e.g. mowing may occur during flowering) or that the site will be developed (e.g. by road widening or pine plantation expansion; many occurrences are on private timber company lands). Fire suppression, herbicide use, and site management involving intensive soil disturbance (disking or chopping) are also threats at some sites.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: Nearly a quarter of known occurrences are now believed extirpated, and declines in plant numbers and/or habitat quality have been noted for a few extant occurrences.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: It needs fire to reduce competition; shade intolerant.

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Fire maintained, wet-mesic flatwoods.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Endemic to a small portion of the central panhandle of Florida, in Gulf and Franklin counties. One occurrence has been documented in Calhoun County, but it is now believed extirpated.

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 Calhoun (12013)*, Franklin (12037), Gulf (12045)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Apalachicola (03130011)+, Chipola (03130012)+*, Apalachicola Bay (03130014)+, St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb, growing to 40 cm in height, from a woody, horizontally branched rootstock. Stems are few to several, erect, hairy with white, spreading hairs and somewhat longer, purplish, sticky-dotted hairs. Leaves are opposite or whorled, 1-2.5 cm long, the largest at mid-stem. Flowers are opposite or whorled. Petals, 6 to 7 mm long, are lavender or pink in color. Sepals are maroon-tinted.Flowers June-July (Based on Kral 1983, Clewell 1985).

Diagnostic Characteristics: Colombian waxweed (Cuphea carthagenensis), introduced from South America, is a coarser plant with opposite leaves and alternate flowers (Chafin 2000).
Riverine Habitat(s): SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest Edge, Forest/Woodland, Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: Open, mesic to wet (or seasonally wet) pine flatwoods, seepage slopes, wet prairies, and margins of shrub bogs. Openness of habitat was historically maintained by fire. Currently grows well on roadsides, clearings, and rights-of-way within flatwoods communities. Prefers moist soils; often on black, sandy peats.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Burn every 2-3 years. Avoid ditching, draining, bedding, or other disturbance to soil and hydrology (Chafin 2000).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Endemic species of Apalachicola river lowlands-EOSPECS

Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Any naturally occurring population of 3 or more individuals
Separation Barriers: Barriers for this species include dense shrub thickets, pine plantations, fire-suppressed flatwoods, developed areas.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 1 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: N/A
Date: 19Sep2003
Author: Norden, A.H. and L.G. Chafin
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: 07Oct2003
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cooper, S.T. & E.D. Hardin; rev. K. Maybury (1997); rev. L.G. Chafin (1998, 2003), L. Morse (2000), K. Gravuer (2009)

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
  • Baker, N. 2008, 22 July last update. National Collection Plant Profile: Cuphea aspera. Center for Plant Conservation. Online. Available: www.centerforplantconservation.org/ASP/CPC_ViewProfile.asp?CPCNum=1150 (Accessed 2009).

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

  • Chafin, L. G. 2000. Field guide to the rare plants of Florida. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. [http://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/]

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

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

  • Hall, D.W. 1993. Illustrated plants of Florida and the Coastal Plain. Maupin House, Gainesville, Florida. 431 pp.

  • Hall, David W. 1993. Illustrated plants of Florida and the coastal plain. Maupin House, Gainesville, FL. pp. 431.

  • 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.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • 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.

  • Tobe, J. D., K. C. Burks, R. W. Cantrell, M. A. Garland, M. E. Sweeley, D. W. Hall, P. Wallace, G. Anglin, G. Nelson, J. R. Cooper, D. Bickner, K. Gilbert, N. Aymond, K. Greenwod, and N. Raymond. 1998. Florida Wetland Plants: An Identification Manual. Fla. Dept. of Environ. Protection, Tallahassee, Fla. 598 p.

  • Tobe, J., K.C. Burks, R. W. Cantrell, M.A. Garland, M.E. Sweeney, D. W. Hall, P. Wallace, G. Anglin, G. Nelson, J. R Cooper, D. Bickner, K. Gilbert, N. Aymond, N. Raymond. 1998. Florida Wetland Plants. An identification manual. Florida Department of Environmental Protection and University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Gainesville, FL 32611.

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

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

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