Echinacea laevigata - (C.L. Boynt. & Beadle) Blake
Smooth Purple Coneflower
Other English Common Names: Smooth Coneflower
Other Common Names: smooth purple coneflower
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Echinacea laevigata (C.L. Boynt. & Beadle) S.F. Blake (TSN 37278)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.147692
Element Code: PDAST38030
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Aster Family
Image 12188

© North Carolina Natural Heritage Program

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Asterales Asteraceae Echinacea
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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: Echinacea laevigata
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 18Feb2016
Global Status Last Changed: 07Dec2007
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Known from about 60 occurrences, a majority of which are of fair to poor viability in several southeastern states. Most historically known populations were destroyed by development and habitat alteration. Presently the greatest threat is the suppression of fire. Many of the higher quality sites are on protected lands.
Nation: United States
National Status: N2N3

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 Georgia (S2), North Carolina (S1S2), Pennsylvania (SX), South Carolina (S3), Virginia (S2)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (08Sep1992)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Occurs in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia. Historical range possibly included Pennsylvania. Reports from Alabama and Arkansas are believed to have been misidentifications (Gaddy 1991); also an apparent false report from Maryland.

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

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are approximately 68 occurrences including a few restored populations in Georgia and South Carolina. The number of occurrences may be fewer in South Carolina depending on how you delineate the boundaries of an occurrence (1 km vs 2 km). Thirty-two occurrences are historic or extirpated.

Population Size Comments: One occurrence in NC has over 10,000 plants, at last count in 2012.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some (13-40)

Overall Threat Impact: High - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Habitat loss and degradation from the growth of woody vegetation as a result of prolonged fire suppression is the primary threat to the species' habitat. Commercial digging was not thought to be a problem as this practice is generally confined to Echinacea species west of the Mississippi River. However, the Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project (2002) reported that this showy species with medicinal uses is occasionally harvested. Conversion of habitat to agriculture and/or silviculture, residential and industrial development, highway maintenance (e.g., herbicides) have threatened this species in the past and may continue.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Not enough consistent monitoring data is available to assess short term trends in NC populations. Sites on Forest Service Land in SC seem to be stable or have plant that are increasing in number for at least ten years (USFWS 2011).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: Since the species' discovery, more than 2/3rds of the historical populations have been lost. Known from 61 populations in 8 states. However, when it was listed, it was known from fewer than 25 sites in 4 states. Populations have been lost to highway construction, a gas line, and habitat conversion to a pine plantation.

Environmental Specificity Comments: Disturbance dependent.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Occurs in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia. Historical range possibly included Pennsylvania. Reports from Alabama and Arkansas are believed to have been misidentifications (Gaddy 1991); also an apparent false report from Maryland.

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 GA, NC, PAextirpated, SC, VA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
GA Habersham (13137), Stephens (13257)
NC Durham (37063), Granville (37077), Mecklenburg (37119), Montgomery (37123)*, Orange (37135)*, Rockingham (37157)*
PA Berks (42011)*, Lancaster (42071)*
SC Aiken (45003)*, Allendale (45005), Anderson (45007), Barnwell (45011), Lancaster (45057)*, Oconee (45073), Pickens (45077), Richland (45079)
VA Alleghany (51005), Amherst (51009), Botetourt (51023), Campbell (51031), Franklin (51067), Halifax (51083), Lynchburg (City) (51680)*, Montgomery (51121), Nottoway (51135)*, Pulaski (51155), Roanoke (51161)*, Wythe (51197)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+*, Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+*, Upper James (02080201)+, Middle James-Buffalo (02080203)+, Appomattox (02080207)+*
03 Upper Roanoke (03010101)+, Middle Roanoke (03010102)+, Upper Dan (03010103)+*, Nottoway (03010201)+*, Upper Tar (03020101)+, Upper Neuse (03020201)+, Haw (03030002)+*, Lower Yadkin (03040103)+*, Upper Pee Dee (03040104)+*, Lynches (03040202)+*, Upper Catawba (03050101)+, Lower Catawba (03050103)+*, Wateree (03050104)+, Seneca (03060101)+, Tugaloo (03060102)+, Broad (03060104)+, Middle Savannah (03060106)+, Upper Chattahoochee (03130001)+
05 Upper New (05050001)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A rhizomatous perennial herb, which grows to a height of about 1.5 m, with smooth stems, few leaves and pink to purplish flowers. This species flowers from May to mid-July and fruits from late June to September (Gaddy 1991).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Unlike Echinacea purpurea, E. laevigata does not have heart-shaped leaves. The flower is smooth, with longer, narrower corollas. Also, the awn on the chaff is shorter, only 1/4 the length of the body, as opposed to 1/2 the length for E. purpurea.
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: Flowering occurs May through July; fruiting occurs June to October. Seldom produces viable seeds. Rhizomatous/Cormophyte.
Known Pests: Host for a leaf beetle (Family Chrysomelidae) - effects, if any, are unknown.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree, Cliff, Forest - Hardwood, Forest/Woodland, Grassland/herbaceous
Habitat Comments: Formerly, a plant of prairie-like habitats or oak-savannas maintained by natural or Native American-set fires. Now, primarily occurs in openings in woods, such as cedar barrens and clear cuts, along roadsides and utility line rights-of-way, and on dry limestone bluffs. Usually found in areas with magnesium- and calcium-rich soils. Requires full or partial sun. Associated species include: Juniperus virginiana and Eryngium yuccifolium.
Economic Attributes
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Economic Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG
Economic Comments: For over a century huge quantities of related coneflower species have been sold in European and American markets under the trade name "Kansas snake root". In Germany alone, more than 280 products made from various American species of coneflowers are registered for medicinal use. Drastic declines in some midwestern coneflower populations have been noted [Endangered Spp. Tech. Bull. 17(1-2): 9-10].
Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Continue to monitor known populations for status of threats, site condition, and abundance of plants. Survey potential habitat for new populations. Natural fires, as well as large herbivores (such as bison) historically maintained the habitat in the open condition needed by this coneflower. Currently, fire or some other suitable form of disturbance, such as well-timed mowing or the careful clearing of trees, is essential to maintaining the glade remnants upon which this species depends. Without such periodic disturbance, the habitat is overtaken by shrubs and trees [Endangered Spp. Tech. Bull. 17(1-2): 9-10].
Management Research Needs: In 1992, flowering quadrupled four months after a controlled, late winter burn. Another, previously unknown site, was also discovered following a burn.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: An A-ranked occurrence of Echinacea laevigata should have 1000 or more plants, and many of these plants flower every year. The plants occur in 5 acres or more of open glade or prairie remnant. The site is kept open by periodic fires, edaphic conditions, or other disturbance.
Good Viability: A B-ranked occurrence of Echinacea laevigata should have between 100 and 1000 plants, and many of these plants flower every year. The plants occur in 1 acre or more of open glade or prairie remnant. The site is kept mostly open by periodic fires or other disturbance factors. Occurrences with more than 1000 plants, but occurring in degraded or remnant glade or prairie are ranked here.
Fair Viability: A C-ranked occurrence of Echinacea laevigata should have between 10 and 100 plants with 50% or fewer plants flowering every year and occur in any size glade or prairie remnant. Prairies or glades are mostly open but succeeding to eastern red cedar or other woody species around the edges. *OR* The habitat is an isolated right-of-way with remnant glade or prairie flora, possibly with larger populations and greater percentage flowering.
Poor Viability: A D-ranked occurrence of Echinacea laevigata should have fewer than 10 plants that may not flower every year. The population occurs in a remnant glade or prairie flora in an isolated right-of-way.
Justification: A-rank specifications based on largest known populations.
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 02Feb2005
Author: Amoroso
Notes: BCD rank specifications written by K. McKeown (NCSU PhD on Echinacea)
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: 23Aug2016
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: K. McKeown (1999), rev. Treher (2016)
Management Information Edition Date: 18Feb2016
Management Information Edition Author: Fellows, M.(2004), rev. A. Treher (2016)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 21Oct1992
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): RUSSELL, C.

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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  • Barnett-Lawrence, Matthew S. 1994. Echinaceae laevigata (Boynton & Beadle) Blake; Preliminary report summarizing 1993 and 1994 data. North Carolina Botanical Garden for NC Plant Conservation Program.

  • Barnett-Lawrence, Matthew S. 1994. Smooth coneflower, Echinaceae laevigata (Boynton & Beadle) Blake experimental monitoring and management for 1993. The North Carolina Botanical Garden for NCDA Plant Conservation Program.

  • Cronquist, A. 1980. Vascular flora of the southeastern United States. Vol. 1. Asteraceae. Univ. North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. 261 pp.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2006c. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 21. Magnoliophyta: Asteridae, part 8: Asteraceae, part 3. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxii + 616 pp.

  • Gaddy, L.L. 1991. The status of Echinacea laevigata (Boyton & Beadle) Blake. Cooperative agreement No. 14-16-0004-89-952 USFWS & NCDEHNR NHP.

  • 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.

  • McGregor, R.L. 1968. The taxonomy of the genus Echinacea (Compositae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 48(4): 113-142.

  • McKeown, K.A. 1999. A review of the taxonomy of the genus Echinacea. Pages 482-489 in: J. Janick (ed.). Perspectives on new crops and new uses. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.

  • Peters, M.D., Q. Xiang, D.T. Thomas, J. Stucky, and N.K. Whiteman. 2009. Genetic analyses of the federally endangered Echinacea laevigata using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP): Inferences in population genetic structure and mating system. Conservation Genetics 10(1):1-14.

  • 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.

  • Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project. 2002. A partnership between the U.S. Forest Service-Region 8, Natural Heritage Programs in the Southeast, NatureServe, and independent scientists to develop and review data on 1300+ regionally and locally rare species in the Southern Appalachian and Alabama region. Database (Access 97) provided to the U.S. Forest Service by NatureServe, Durham, North Carolina.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1992. Echinacea laevigata (smooth coneflower) determined to be endangered. Federal Register 57(196): 46340-46344.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1995. Smooth coneflower recovery plan. Atlanta, GA. 31 pp.

  • USFWS. 2011. Smooth Coneflower (Echinacea laevigata) 5 Year Review: Summary and Evaluation. USFWS Southeast Region Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office Raleigh, North Carolina.

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