Kalmia cuneata - Michx.
White-wicky
Other Common Names: whitewicky
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Kalmia cuneata Michx. (TSN 23675)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.161229
Element Code: PDERI0K020
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Heath Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Ericales Ericaceae Kalmia
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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: Kalmia cuneata
Taxonomic Comments: Distinct species.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 15Dec1997
Global Status Last Changed: 05Jun1997
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Kalmia cuneata is known from over forty element occurrences in North Carolina and one in South Carolina. Habitat loss due to land development, conversion to agriculture or silviculture, and fire suppression are the main threats to this species.
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 North Carolina (S3), South Carolina (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Kalmia cuneata is an endemic of the southeastern Coastal Plain, having been vouchered from seven counties in North Carolina and three in South Carolina. It occurs primarily in the Sandhills region, an area of fluvial sand and gravel deposits adjacent to the Fall-line Piedmont. HISTORIC RANGE: Kalmia cuneata was historically known from the Sandhills region of northeastern South Carolina in Chesterfield, Darlington (Rayner 1980), and Kershaw (Michaux 1794) Counties and the Sandhills region and Inner Coastal Plain of southeastern North Carolina in Bladen, Cumberland, Hoke, Moore, Pender, Richmond, and Scotland Counties (Rayner 1980). Collections exist for historic or extirpated occurrences in Bladen (last seen 1896, 1928, 1929, 1938, 1939, 1952, 1977, 1980), Cumberland (1940, 1942), Hoke (1957), Moore (1901, 1942), and Pender (undated, 1933, 1946) Counties, North Carolina (Rayner 1980, North Carolina University 1991, North Carolina Natural Heritage Program 1993), and Darlington (1908, 1909, 1932) and Kershaw (1784) Counties, South Carolina (Rayner 1980, SCHT 1993). CURRENT RANGE: Kalmia cuneata is still known from all seven North Carolina counties identified by Rayner in the 1980 status survey (North Carolina Natural Heritage Program 1993), suggesting that discoveries of new occurrences have not been outstripped by losses. A breakdown of the 42 extant occurrences in North Carolina by county is as follows: Bladen (11), Cumberland (2), Hoke (10), Moore (2), Pender (1), Richmond (11), and Scotland (5) Counties (North Carolina Natural Heritage Program 1993). In South Carolina, only Chesterfield County, one of the three counties which historically supported white wicky, still does so today (South Carolina Heritage 1993), although the 1794 Michaux record from Camden, Kershaw County may, in fact, be too vague to accurately place. Rayner's 1980 status survey report documented the loss of Kalmia cuneata from six historical locations; many sites have not been revisited since that time. However, subsequent survey work has identified new subpopulations on Fort Bragg and Camp MacKall military reservations and Sandhills Game Land in North Carolina. Although the overall range of the species is about the same now as historically, most of the current populations are confined to a small portion of that range.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Over forty element occurrences believed extant in North Carolina, one in South Carolina.

Population Size Comments: Some occurrences with several hundred stems.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Loss of habitat through fire suppression remains the primary threat to white wicky. Even on properties with active fire management, land managers need to determine optimal fire frequency and timing. On small properties, especially where surrounded by human development, fire management may be restricted and may not be adequate for the successful long-term health of white wicky habitats and the other longleaf pine/wiregrass communities associated with it. Loss of habitat through drainage of Carolina bays and shrub pocosins and conversion to agriculture, silviculture, or other uses has been and continues to be another major threat. However, since most land conversion occurred prior to intensive plant inventories, the relative loss of this species in these areas is unknown.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Widespread commercial and residential development and conversion of longleaf pine forests to pine plantations continues throughout white wicky's range. The implications of these activities on white wicky are obvious; the species is likely to continue to decline from direct loss of plants and habitat, as well as from restrictions in management options available to this fire-dependent species.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Kalmia cuneata is an endemic of the southeastern Coastal Plain, having been vouchered from seven counties in North Carolina and three in South Carolina. It occurs primarily in the Sandhills region, an area of fluvial sand and gravel deposits adjacent to the Fall-line Piedmont. HISTORIC RANGE: Kalmia cuneata was historically known from the Sandhills region of northeastern South Carolina in Chesterfield, Darlington (Rayner 1980), and Kershaw (Michaux 1794) Counties and the Sandhills region and Inner Coastal Plain of southeastern North Carolina in Bladen, Cumberland, Hoke, Moore, Pender, Richmond, and Scotland Counties (Rayner 1980). Collections exist for historic or extirpated occurrences in Bladen (last seen 1896, 1928, 1929, 1938, 1939, 1952, 1977, 1980), Cumberland (1940, 1942), Hoke (1957), Moore (1901, 1942), and Pender (undated, 1933, 1946) Counties, North Carolina (Rayner 1980, North Carolina University 1991, North Carolina Natural Heritage Program 1993), and Darlington (1908, 1909, 1932) and Kershaw (1784) Counties, South Carolina (Rayner 1980, SCHT 1993). CURRENT RANGE: Kalmia cuneata is still known from all seven North Carolina counties identified by Rayner in the 1980 status survey (North Carolina Natural Heritage Program 1993), suggesting that discoveries of new occurrences have not been outstripped by losses. A breakdown of the 42 extant occurrences in North Carolina by county is as follows: Bladen (11), Cumberland (2), Hoke (10), Moore (2), Pender (1), Richmond (11), and Scotland (5) Counties (North Carolina Natural Heritage Program 1993). In South Carolina, only Chesterfield County, one of the three counties which historically supported white wicky, still does so today (South Carolina Heritage 1993), although the 1794 Michaux record from Camden, Kershaw County may, in fact, be too vague to accurately place. Rayner's 1980 status survey report documented the loss of Kalmia cuneata from six historical locations; many sites have not been revisited since that time. However, subsequent survey work has identified new subpopulations on Fort Bragg and Camp MacKall military reservations and Sandhills Game Land in North Carolina. Although the overall range of the species is about the same now as historically, most of the current populations are confined to a small portion of that range.

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 NC, SC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
SC Aiken (45003), Chesterfield (45025), Darlington (45031)*, Kershaw (45055)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Lower Pee Dee (03040201)+, Wateree (03050104)+*, South Fork Edisto (03050204)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Plant, dicot, Ericaceae; perennial, deciduous shrub with white flowers.
General Description: A small (about 1 m tall, rarely to 2 m), upright, sparsely branched, deciduous shrub. Leaves are light green, alternate, broadest above the middle, generally 3-6 cm long and 1-2 cm wide, tapering gradually to the leafstalk as to be wedge-shaped, and having many short glandular hairs beneath. Flowers are produced in lateral clusters of 1-3 at the tips of the previous season's growth, shortly after new shoots and leaves develop. Sepals 5, 3-4 mm long, and stalked-glandular. Petals 5, greenish-white with a red band basally, united for 1/3 their length, and stalked-glandular outside. The anther of each of the 10 stamens fits into a small pocket in the petals prior to pollination. The fruit is a stalked-glandular capsule which is erect on a recurved stalk.
Technical Description: Deciduous shrub to about 1 m (2 m) tall, perennating by subterranean runners. Shoots solitary or few from root crown, erect or leaning on other shrubs, sparingly branched except above. Young twigs slender, reddish brown, puberulent and mixed with longer, spreading, gland-tipped hairs. Older branches ascending, grey or grey brown, with thin bark irregularly cracked. Leaves alternate, ascending or erect, oblanceolate, 3-6 cm long, 1-2 cm wide, apically acute to obtuse-angled, sometimes mucronulate, the margins entire, somewhat revolute, the base cuneate and then short-attenuate into a narrow wing on the short petiole, upper surface glabrous, pale yellowish green, lower surface stipitate glandular. Inflorescence contracted umbel-like racemes from axillary, ovoid, imbricate-scaly buds near tips of previous season's growth, expanding shortly after new shoots and leaves in May. Flowers complete, rotate, on slender, glandular pedicels 1.5-3.0 cm long; sepals 5, joined at base, ovate, 3-4 mm long, somewhat spreading in bloom, firm, acute, entire, green with narrow pale margins, abaxial surface sparsely stipitate glandular; petals 5, joined into a shallowly lobed saucer 1.5-2.0 cm broad, the base with 10 creases, each crease opposite a stamen (in immature flowers, each anther fitting into a crease, bending the filaments outwardly), white with narrow red band just outside stamen ring, inner surface puberulent basally, outer surface sparingly stipitate glandular; stamens 10, 5-6 mm long, filaments spreading at anthesis, somewhat flattened in cross-section, sparsely hairy basally, anthers oblong, pale brown, about 0.5 mm long, introrse porcidal; ovary superior, depressed globose, glandular hairy, slightly 5-lobed, style simple, linear, straight, 7-8 mm long. Fruit a depressed-globose capsule 4-5 mm across, dehiscence septicidal, seeds numerous, pale brown, oblong-cuneiform, 0.6-0.7 mm long. (Kral, 1983; Rayner, 1980).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Kalmia cuneata may be characterized by its deciduous, rather than evergreen habit, its consistently alternate, cuneate-based leaves (rather than whorled, elliptic-lanceolate), and its flowers which are white with a red-bordered "eye" (rather than pinkish). Closest in appearance is Kalmia carolina which is similar in size but which has rosy pink flowers, whorled or opposite leaves, and is evergreen. Kalmia latifolia, which also occurs through part of K. cuneata's range has flowers in terminal, instead of lateral, inflorescences and is evergreen. Vegetatively, Vaccinium tenellum is similar but is only 0.5 m tall and has small glandular teeth on the leaf margins. Gaylussacia frondosa also has similar shaped leaves, but the plant's crown spreads widely, and the leaves are glabrous with little yellow resin dots beneath. material in TNC files)
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: Reproduces from rhizomes and seeds. Most likely pollinated by flying insects, probably bees.
Ecology Comments: Frequent fire disturbance is important to the species' success.
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Savanna
Habitat Comments: White wicky is limited to moist ecotones between Streamhead Pocosins (linear shrub swamps along small creeks and headwater stream branches) and longleaf pine communities in the Carolina Sandhills region. Farther out on the Coastal Plain, the ecotone may be along sand rim margins of Carolina bays or even within the bays. Kalmia cuneata is found in highly acidic (pH 4-5), sandy loam soils that are usually overlain by a layer of organic material. These soils have a relatively high hydroperiod, are moist for most of the year, and are often saturated for extended periods, especially in Carolina bays. On Fort Bragg the plants have been found growing on a variety of soils series, including Blaney (Arenic Hapludults), Candor (Arenic Paleudults), Gilead (Aquic Hapludults), Johnston (Cumulic Humaquepts), and Vaucluse (Typic Hapludults) (Hudson 1984, North Carolina Natural Heritage Program 1993). Typically, white wicky grows in association with other ericaceous shrubs, including Rhododendron viscosum, Kalmia carolina, Lyonia lucida, L. ligustrina var. foliosiflora, Vaccinium corymbosum, Zenobia pulverulenta, Leucothoe racemosa, Oxydendrum arboreum, Gaylussacia frondosa, as well as nonericaceous shrubs such as Clethra alnifolia, Ilex glabra, I. coriacea, Aronia arbutifolia, and Fothergilla gardenii. Small trees may also be present, but these are more prominent in the wetter portions of the pocosin. In the ecotone, trees are short (from fires), provide little shade, and may include Acer rubrum, Magnolia virginiana, Cyrilla racemiflora, Nyssa biflora, Gordonia lasianthus, Persea palustris, and Oxydendrum arboreum. Pinus serotina commonly occurs in the pocosins, with P. palustris and/or P. taeda usually present in the adjacent uplands. In good, well-burned habitats, shading is minimal. Good ecotones are rich in herbaceous species, although most species occur just slightly upslope away from the relatively dense shrub layer. Commonly associated genera are Aletris, Andropogon, Aristida, Arundinaria, Aster, Bigelowia, Calamagrostis, Calamovilfa, Chasmanthium, Ctenium, Dichanthelium, Drosera, Eriocaulon, Eupatorium, Gratiola, Hypericum, Juncus, Lachnocaulon, Lobelia, Ludwigia, Lycopodium, Panicum, Platanthera, Polygala, Pteridium, Pyxidanthera, Rhexia, Rhynchospora, Sarracenia, Scleria, Solidago, Sorghastrum, Xyris, and Woodwardia. Among the species often found growing in close proximity to white wicky are several other rare taxa, including Calamovilfa brevipilis, Carex turgescens, Dionaea muscipula, Eupatorium resinosum, Lilium iridollae, Lindera subcoriacea, Lycopus cokeri, Lysimachia asperulifolia, Oxypolis ternata, Rhynchospora pallida, R. stenophylla, Solidago verna, Sporobolus sp. 1, and Tofieldia glabra. All may occur within the ecotones or pocosins that Kalmia cuneata favors, although rarely more than three are found at a given site.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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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: 19Apr1997
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Mary J. Russo (1993); Grank by NCHP, rev. D. Gries (1997)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 24Jul1993

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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  • Carter, J.H., III. 1982. Kalmia cuneata in the North Carolina Sandhills. Survey results and notes. Files of North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh.

  • Hudson, B.D. 1984. Soil survey of Cumberland and Hoke counties, North Carolina. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Washington, DC. 155 pp. + maps.

  • 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.

  • NCU. 1991. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill herbarium collections. Data compiled by B.A. Sorrie, Sandhills Field Office, Southern Pines, NC.

  • NCU. 1991. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill herbarium collections. Data compiled by B.A. Sorrie, Sandhills Field Office, Southern Pines, NC.

  • 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.

  • Rayner, D.A. 1980. Status report on Kalmia cuneata. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Office, Region 4, Atlanta, GA.

  • Rayner, D.A. 1980. Status report on Kalmia cuneata. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Office. Region 4. Atlanta, GA.

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy] and NCNHP [North Carolina Natural Heritage Program]. 1993. Rare and endangered plant survey and natural area inventory for Fort Bragg and Camp MacKall military reservations, North Carolina. Unpublished report by M. J. Russo, B. A. Sorrie, B. van Eerden, and T. Hippensteel. Contract #M67004-91-D-0010. The Nature Conservancy and North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Raleigh, NC.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 1993. Rare and endangered plant survey and natural area inventory of Fort Bragg and Camp MacKall military reservations, North Carolina. Final report by The Nature Conservancy, Sandhills Field Office, December 1993.

  • Weakley, A. S., compiler. 1993. Natural Heritage Program list of the rare plant species of North Carolina. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program. Raleigh. 79 pp.

  • Weakley, A.S. 1993. North Carolina Natural Heritage Program list of the rare plant species of North Carolina. Draft North Carolina Natural Heritage Program list of the watch list plant species. Natural Heritage Program, North Carolina Dept. Environment, Health and Natural Resources, Raleigh.

  • van Eerden, B. 1995. Status report on Kalmia cuneata. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Office, Region 4, Atlanta, GA.

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