Harperocallis flava - McDaniel
Harper's Beauty
Other Common Names: Harper's beauty
Synonym(s): Isidrogalvia flava (McDaniel) Remizowa, D.D. Sokoloff, L.M. Campb., D.W. Stev. & Rudall
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Harperocallis flava McDaniel (TSN 42939)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.154865
Element Code: PMLIL0Y010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Lily Family
Image 10416

© Alfred R. Schotz

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Liliales Liliaceae Harperocallis
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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: Harperocallis flava
Taxonomic Comments: Previously thought to be a monotypic genus, Campbell and Dorr (2013) and Remizowa et al. (2011), on the basis floral morphology, determined that Harperocallis is congeneric with Isidrogalvia. South American members of two other genera, Asagraea and Tofieldia, were also transferred to Harperocallis. Harperocallis flava is the only member of the genus occurring outside of South America.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 11Apr2018
Global Status Last Changed: 11Apr2018
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Endemic to Franklin, Liberty and Bay (population discovered in 2003) counties in the panhandle of Florida and restricted to open, boggy habitats. Possibly because of the exclusion of periodic fire from much of this region, some of the populations are restricted to the shoulders of a single highway, where competitive shrubs have been eliminated. The total population was estimated at 6000 plants in 1983 by Leonard and Baker. Since then many populations have declined and a number of studies examining the environmental factors that have the greatest influence on the species postulate that precipitation and competition for nutrients may be the most influential. Lack of fire and other disturbance is another possible reason for decline, but in one study where one of the populations was burned, a decline was also observed.

While there are 8 occurrences that are ranked with good viability, this species' intrinsic vulnerability is quite high. Genetic studies revealed that of all of the genetic loci examined, there was no genetic variability detected, which suggests this species is, from a genetic perspective, at a high risk for extinction. In addition, there are other developmental abnormalities that have been observed within the species that suggest genetic instability. Given the very small distribution, the decline in the recent past, the genetic constraints and the anthropogenic threats, this species' future is precarious.

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 (02Oct1979)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Harperocallis flava is endemic to Florida and occurring in Franklin, Liberty and Bay Counties. In 2003, a population was discovered in Bay County and in 2015, one new Harper's Beauty population was discovered on the east side of the New River, all other populations of this species are west of the New River and east fo the Appalachicola River. Range extent was calculated at 821.1 square km using GeoCat (Bachman et al. 2018).

Area of Occupancy: 26-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Area of occupancy is 35 four square km grid cells as calculated by GeoCat (Bachman et al. 2018).

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are 29 occurrences as of 2018 but three are likely not extant. 24 occurrences have been verified extant by the Florida Natural Areas Inventory between 2013-2017 (NatureServe Network Database as of April 2018).

Population Size Comments: No population size estimate because it might indicate a sense of security that is not warranted. Population ranges for this species are highly variable and most surveys have been of counts of ramets, not individuals. Keppner and Anderson (2008) summarized what is known about the population size of this species. In the early 1980s, a survey was done of the known populations of the species (Leonard and Baker 1983), and approximately 200 plants were noted at the type locality in Franklin Co., FL. The survey attempted to locate another population that a student reported from 1975, and in doing so they found a new population that contained 5,620 plants, but not the one reported by the student. In the 1990-2000's US Forest Service Biologist, Louise Kirn, did extensive searching for this species and discovered many natural populations on the Apalachicola National Forest. The populations in the Walker and Silletti (2005) study make up at least 1,800 (and probably more) ramets given that they set out to sample at least 300 plants from each of 6 sites. If all populations of this species were healthy, in natural settings and repeatedly producing the maximum number of ramets mentioned here, the total number of genetically distinct individuals might be around 7,600, based on a rough calculation from these studies. With this said though, several studies have reported sharp declines during droughts, and individuals of this species are known to exhibit traits that indicate genetic instability (Godt et al. 1996).

FNAI, in coordination with the US Forest Service, began visiting/and monitoring all known occurrences in the Apalachicola National Forest in 2011. FNAI counts ramets during monitoring so population size really cannot be concluded from the monitoring data. However, total ramets counted in all monitoring plots between 2011-2015 (mean taken per plot because all populations are not monitored every year) is 3,823. Population size is extremely hard to measure, given that most of the plants do not flower each year and the vegetative plants are difficult to identify.

At the only population in Bay Co. fewer than 300 ramets are known (Keppner and Anderson 2008), and this number is substantially higher than the size during the drought of 2007. Population size does not seem to be the best indicator of this species' conservation priority, since it might lead one to think that the species is of lower conservation concern than it really is. One important consideration is that genetic studies revealed low levels of genetic variability (Godt et al 1997, von Wettburg et al. 2015 unpubl. data, USFWS 2016).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: There are 12 occurrences ranked either A or B as of 2018.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: The greatest long term threat to this species is loss of habitat (Walker and Silletti 2005), and fire exclusion. Natural populations are severely threatened by fire exclusion (causing woody encroachment) and hydrologic disturbances. Several populations occur along roadsides, so any disruption of roadside vegetation (power pole maintenance, road maintenance activities, etc.) would threaten populations on the road shoulder. This species was discovered to contain no genetic variation, at either the roadside populations or the more natural populations by Godt et al. (1997) and low genetic diversity by von Wettburg (USFWS 2016). The lack of genetic variation affords the species no room to adapt as the environment changes and therefore is more at risk of extinction than other species with similar characteristics. Also, Harper's Beauty exhibits polycarpelly, a condition where flowers produce anywhere from 3 to 6 carpels, and these multicarpellate flowers outnumber the usual tricarpellate flowers. Polycarpelly is thought to be a result of individual instability, and in this species it may be an indication of genetic stress (Godt et al. 1997). It should be pointed out that the study done by Godt et al. (1997) was completed before the Bay Co. population was discovered, so it is unknown what if any genetic variation exists in that population compared to the others.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Several studies have noted declines. Walker and Silletti (2005) noted that between 1998-2000 there was low sexual reproduction and a decline in the number of ramets. Overall, this study found that the populations of Harper's Beauty had low recruitment and high mortality and that the populations examined might be declining, however, a longer study period is needed to determine if the decline is a longer term trend and the causes of the decline (Walker and Sillettii 2005). In a study of the most recently discovered population of Harperocallis flava, in Bay Co. Florida, the population there also had a steep decline (23%) between 2006 - 2007, which corresponded with the worst drought in the area in recorded history (Keppner and Anderson 2008). The Florida Natural Areas Inventory has monitored populations of this species on the Apalachicola National Forest from 2011-2017 and while population trends cannot be surmised extreme variation in flowering from year to year is a common observation across the populations (A. Jenkins, pers. comm.). This species appears to be able to remain on a site without flowering for long periods of time (~5 years?) and may go undetected during routine surveys (A. Jenkins, pers. comm., 2018). A much longer demographic study spanning at least two fire cycles in multiple populations is warranted to attempt to answer these questions (A. Jenkins, pers. comm.)

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: While the long term trend is not known, there has been considerable decline due to habitat loss mostly due to long term fire exclusion. At the type locality, which is severely threatened by woody species encroachment resulting from fire exclusion, a steady decline of ramets has been observed from 2007-2015 (NatureServe Network Database as of April 2018).

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: This species was discovered to contain no genetic variation, at either the roadside populations or the more natural populations by Godt et al. (1997) and low genetic diversity by von Wettburg (USFWS 2016). The lack of genetic variation affords the species no room to adapt as the environment changes and therefore is more at risk of extinction than other species with similar characteristics. In addition, the study by Walker and Silletti (2005) found that recruitment was very low and mortality was high during their 3 year study.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Extremely narrow habitat requirements that are not well-understood and not quantified as of 2018. This species inhabits several different variations within wet prairie habitat: 1) narrow ecotone prairies between linear stringer swamps and adjacent upland flatwoods at the highest slope of prairie/wet flatwoods exactly where titi tends to invade when fire is excluded and 2) within large open wet prairies but tending to be in isolated areas of lower competition/higher exposed soil (possibly higher elevation) (A. Jenkins, pers. comm., 2018).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Harperocallis flava is endemic to Florida and occurring in Franklin, Liberty and Bay Counties. In 2003, a population was discovered in Bay County and in 2015, one new Harper's Beauty population was discovered on the east side of the New River, all other populations of this species are west of the New River and east fo the Appalachicola River. Range extent was calculated at 821.1 square km using GeoCat (Bachman et al. 2018).

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 Franklin (12037), Liberty (12077)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Apalachicola (03130011)+, New (03130013)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb with basal, grass-like leaves and a tall flowering stem that bears a solitary greenish-yellow flower, about 2 cm across. Blooms in May. There are 10 other members of the genus, all occurring in the Andes or the Guayana region of northern South America (Campbell and Dorr 2013).
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: Blooms in mid April to early May, and fruits in July (Walker and Silletti 2005). It is thought that roadside populations of this species are dispersed by water and by lawn mowers (Godt et al. 1997).  

Levels of viability were high (>95%) and germination ranged from 5-95% depending on temperature and seed source (Gardner 2017) and variable results of 0% and 51% were found in Historic Bok Sanctuary germination trials (USFWS 2016).  Based on seed germination and seedling recruitment research, Gardner (2017) concluded that in situ conservation may not be feasible, ex situ conservation may be possible if seedlings are grown in controlled conditions, and long term seed storage in gene banks seems possible.

Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest/Woodland, Grassland/herbaceous, Savanna, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: This species occurs in the long-leaf pine ecosystem, in acidic boggy areas in full sun with soils high in sand and peat. Most occurrences are found in open seepage bogs dominated by a suite of herbaceous species and lacking woody vegetation. Some times the species is found growing at the base of woody evergreen shrubs with few herbaceous species (Walker and Silletti 2005). Presettlement habitat was probably open bogs surrounded by buckwheat tree (Cliftonia monophyla) and pine (Pinus serotina, P. elliottii, or P. palustris), and bog-flatwoods ecotones where periodic fire prevented woody succession.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Harperocallis flava, a highly restricted species to Florida's panhandle, presents challenges in determining management guidelines given the uniformity of tested genes across populations (Godt et al. 1997). This species occurs in boggy depressions in Longleaf pine ecosystems where soils are highly devoid of nutrients. For many years, there were only a few occurrences known that did not inhabit roadside ditches. In 1997 a genetic study was published that reported no genetic variation within the species, which included both the roadside and the natural populations. Given that no genetic variation was detected, there aren't specific populations that should be protected over others (this statement excludes the Bay Co. population which was only discovered 2003). All populations of this species, given how few there are, should be protected, but if prioritization has to occur it should be done based on the number of ramets, overall quality and health of the population, and health of the surrounding environment. Precipitation and competition with other species seem to have more of an influence on this species health (Walker and Silletti 2005) than a recent burn, but that statement is based only on one short-duration study. It is evident though, that this species needs disturbance to keep overgrowth to a minimum, and fire has historically provided that disturbance to the Longleaf pine ecosystem. Controlled burns or other disturbance may be needed as part of a management program if the area in question is not receiving adequate natural disturbance.

In terms of specific management guidance, threats to the species including mowing to close to roadside populations should be avoided. Natural populations should be given conservation priority over the roadside populations given that the roadside populations are probably pollinated in a linear fashion and contain less genetic potential than the natural populations (Godt et al. 1997).

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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Justification: Use the Generic Guidelines for the Application of Occurrence Ranks (2008).
The Key for Ranking Species Occurrences Using the Generic Approach provides a step-wise process for implementing this method.

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: 05Apr2018
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Oliver, L. (2010), rev. Jenkins, A. (2018)
Management Information Edition Date: 03Sep2010
Management Information Edition Author: Oliver, L.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 03Apr2018
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Oliver, L. (2010), Jenkins, A. (2018)

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
  • Bachman, S., J. Moat, A.W. Hill, J. de la Torre, and B. Scott. Supporting Red List threat assessments with GeoCAT: geospatial conservation assessment tool. In: Smith, V., and L. Penev (Eds). 2011. e-Infrastructures for data publishing in biodiversity science. ZooKeys 150:117-126. Version BETA. Accessed online: http://rlat.kew.org/.

  • Campbell, L.M., and L.J. Dorr. 2013. A synopsis of Harperocallis (Tolfieldiaceae, Alismatales) with ten new combinations. PhytoKeys 21:37-52.

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

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 26. Magnoliophyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxvi + 723 pp.

  • Gardner, A. 2017. Using seed biology to conserve Harperocallis flava, a federally endangered endemic plant of the Florida Panhandle. M.S. Thesis. University of Florida. Gainesville, FL. 120 pp.

  • Godt, M. W., J. Walker and J. L. Hamrick. 1997. Genetic diversity of the endangered lily Haperocallis flava and a close relative, Tofieldia racemosa. Conservation Biology 11(2) 364-366.

  • 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.

  • Keppner, L. A. and L. C. Anderson. 2008. Notes on Harper's Beauty, Harperocallis flava (Tofieldiaceae), in Bay County, Florida. Notes of the Southearn Naturalist 7(1):180-185.

  • 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. 1983. Additional populations of Harperocallis flava McDaniel (Liliaceae). Castanea 48(2): 151-152.

  • McDaniel, S. 1968. Harperocallis, a new genus of the Liliaceae from Florida. J. Arnold Arboretum 49: 35-40.

  • Pitts-Singer, T. L., J. L. Hanula, and J. L. Walker. 2002. Insect pollinators of three rare plants in Florida longleaf pine forest. Florida Entomoligist 85(2):308-316.

  • RADFORD, A., H. AHLES AND C. BELL. 1968 MANUAL OF THE VASCULAR FLORA OF THE CAROLINAS. THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS CHAPEL HILL. 1183 PP + LXI.

  • 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.

  • Remizowa, M.V., D.D. Sokoloff, L.M. Campbell, D.W. Stevenson, and P.J. Rudall. 2011. Harperocallis is congeneric with Isidrogalvia (Tofieldiaceae, Alismatales): Evidence from comparative floral morphology. Taxon 60(4):1076-1094.

  • U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service. 2016 Haperocallis flava, Harper's Beauty, 5-Year Review. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region, Panama City Field Office.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1983. Harper's beauty (Harperocallis flava) recovery plan. U.S. Dep. Inter., Fish and Wildl. Serv. Atlanta, GA. 32 p.

  • WARD, D.B. (ED). 1979. RARE AND ENDANGERED BIOTA OF FLORIDA, VOLUME 5: PLANTS. UNIVERSITY PRESSES OF FLORIDA, GAINESVILLE.

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

  • Walker, J. L. and A. M. Silletti. 2005. A three-year demographic study of Harper's Beauty (Harperocallis flava McDaniel), an endangered Florida endemic. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 132 (4): 551-560.

  • 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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