Gentiana pennelliana - Fern.
Wiregrass Gentian
Other Common Names: wiregrass gentian
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Gentiana pennelliana Fern. (TSN 29981)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.148193
Element Code: PDGEN060K0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Gentian Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Gentianales Gentianaceae Gentiana
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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: Gentiana pennelliana
Taxonomic Comments: (=Dasystephana tenuifolia) one of two species in the subsect. Angustifoliae of sect. Pneumonanthe.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 23Dec1997
Global Status Last Changed: 23May1991
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Narrow range, loss of available habitat and decreasing quality of habitat; 136 occurrences, mostly of small population sizes; affected by alteration of soil, hydrology and natural fire cycle.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3

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 (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Wiregrass gentian is endemic to Northwestern Florida, and restricted to eight counties: Walton, Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, and Wakulla Counties, Florida.

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: One hundred thirty-six element occurrences recorded at Florida Natural Areas Inventory as of October 1997.

Population Size Comments: Occasionally populations of hundreds of plants but usually of scattered few individuals.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: A primary threat to G. pennelliana is loss of habitat from drainage or degradation of the watershed. Habitat is also lost in the conversion of pine flatwoods to slash pine plantations. G. pennelliana populations are destroyed when sites are mechanically prepared.

Fire suppression is likely to degrade existing habitat and result in the possible loss of wiregrass gentian populations.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Reports of observed flowering response to fire.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Wiregrass gentian is endemic to Northwestern Florida, and restricted to eight counties: Walton, Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, and Wakulla Counties, Florida.

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 Bay (12005), Calhoun (12013), Franklin (12037), Gulf (12045), Leon (12073), Liberty (12077), Wakulla (12129), Walton (12131), Washington (12133)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Apalachee Bay-St. Marks (03120001)+, Lower Ochlockonee (03120003)+, Apalachicola (03130011)+, Chipola (03130012)+, New (03130013)+, Apalachicola Bay (03130014)+, St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101)+, Choctawhatchee Bay (03140102)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Perennial herb.
Technical Description: Perennial herb 1-3 dm. in height. Stems slender and brittle, mostly unbranched, erect (sometimes drooping). Leaves opposite, entire and linear, mostly 3-4 cm long, 3 mm wide. Lower leaves reduced and scalelike, longest leaves found at or above midstem. Flowers solitary at tips of stem. Corolla funnelform, 4.5-6 cm long, with widely spreading lobes. Interior surface of corolla white, external surface white, sometimes tinged with blue or greenish-purple. Seeds winged. Closely related to G. autumnalis.
Ecology Comments: This species does best in sunlight (Kral 1983), and thus is most often found in open habitats. Wiregrass gentian grows on moist to wet soils, which are usually sandy and peat enriched. Plants usually flower in mid-winter, but may bloom any time between October and May.

G. pennelliana is a fire-adapted species; plants have a thickened root system which enables them to survive and resprout after burning. Individuals observed after burns appeared more robust and healthy than those in unburned areas (Baker 1989). Flowering response may be related to fire frequency and season of burn. A profusion of flowering in November/December has been noted after a summer burn. The number of flowers observed decreased annually until the third season after burning, when no blooms were apparent (Baker 1989). It is not known if a growing-season burn is required for G. pennelliana to flower.

Habitat Comments: Moist to wet longleaf pine/wiregrass flatwoods, wet prairies and ecotonal seepage slopes between flatwoods and titi swamps.

Scattered individuals occur in pine flatwoods, increasing in abundance in the ecotone bordering cypress/titi swamps. Extensive populations occur in open, treeless savannas or wet prairies.

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: This species is threatened by habitat loss and fire suppression. Gentiana pennelliana grows in open habitats and is a fire-adapted species; plants have a thickened root system which enables them to survive and resprout after burning. Individuals observed after burns appeared more robust and healthy than those in unburned areas (Baker 1989). Flowering response may be related to fire frequency and season of burn. It is not known if a growing-season burn is required for G. pennelliana to flower.
Restoration Potential: The potential for wiregrass gentian restoration at degraded or extirpated sites in unknown.
Management Requirements: Fire appears to play a role in wiregrass pentian populations throughmaintenance of the habitat, as well as the possibility of a floweringresponse to fire. A program of prescribed burning to prevent shrubencroachment and shading should be implemented. Modifications toexisting fire programs may be necessary as more information aboutflowering response becomes available.

Management to maintain the integrity of the watershed at G. pennellianasites is necessary to ensure long-term viability of individualpopulations.

Observations suggest G. pennelliana sites should be burned during the growing season (Baker 1989).

Monitoring Requirements: Monitoring procedures have not been determined.
Monitoring Programs: A survey conducted by Florida Natural Areas Inventory in 1988 increased the known range of G. pennelliana, and found 50 previously unknown populations. Suitable habitats with a history of recent fire were targeted during the flowering season (White 1989).
Management Research Programs: G. pennelliana exists in research plots for a season of burn study at St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge (Streng 1989).
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: 18Apr1991
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: White, D.L.
Management Information Edition Date: 17Aug1989
Management Information Edition Author: PAULA SEAMON AND ROB EVANS

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

  • 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.

  • Ward, D.B., ed. 1979. Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Vol. 5: Plants. Univ. Presses of Florida, Gainesville.

  • Wunderlin, R.P. 1984. Endangered and threatened plant status survey. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Contract No. 14c16c0004c79c100, Jacksonville, FL.

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