Lilium grayi - S. Wats.
Gray's Lily
Other Common Names: Gray's lily
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lilium grayi S. Wats. (TSN 42725)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.139859
Element Code: PMLIL1A060
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Lily Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Liliales Liliaceae Lilium
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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: Lilium grayi
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 15Mar2018
Global Status Last Changed: 15Mar2018
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Lilium grayi is a regional endemic of the southern Appalachian Mountains with 46 extant occurrences with majority of the global population occurring in North Carolina. Recent, significant declines are attributed to lily spot disease and hybridization with Lilium canadense. Continuing threats to the species include habitat alteration, succession, and wild collection.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1N2

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 (S1S2), Tennessee (S1), Virginia (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: This species is a southern Appalachian endemic occurring in mountains of northern North Carolina and adjacent Virginia and Tennessee. Reports from Maryland and West Virginia and one from Tennessee are correctly identified as L. canadense var. editorum. The two most important strongholds are the Roan Mountain massif where L. grayi was first found, in Avery and Mitchell Counties, North Carolina, and Carter County, Tennessee, and Long Hope Valley in Ashe and Watauga Counties in North Carolina (Weakley 1993). Since this species has been widely cultivated, some records may represent planted populations (Hardin 1977). The majority of plants are found within North Carolina. Range extent was calculated using extant occurrences only.

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

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Approximately, 46 occurrences range wide. Most occurrences are in North Carolina but eight occurrences are in Tennessee and seventeen in Virginia.

Population Size Comments: Likely at least 2,000-3,000 individuals in NC, based on records, but there has been decline due to exotic fungus, and many records are over 20 years old (L. Robinson, pers. comm., 2017).

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

Overall Threat Impact: Very high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The greatest threat to this species is vegetative succession due to hydrologic alteration of habitat and possibly the elimination from the landscape by native grazers and wildfires. Grazing by cattle constitutes a threat on some managed areas such as the Roan Mountain Massif, while lower elevation populations occurring in wet meadows on private land may be threatened by mowing (Pyne, pers. comm.). Declines to Pseudocercosporella inconspicua, a fungal pathogen causing lily spot leaf are evident. Flowering plants have been seen to senesce before seeds mature by several observers (Bucher, pers. comm.) This condition may be aggravated by weather; many flowering plants in Ashe County, North Carolina were observed to set seed in a wet year, but to prematurely senesce during a drought the next summer. Like many other showy species, L. grayi is exploited for commercial and private horticultural use, which may represent a minor threat. (Ludwig, pers. comm.) This species is exploited by unscrupulous wildflower collectors (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002). Other threats include trampling by hikers, and non-native species (Microstegium vimineum and Rosa multiflora). This species is also threatened by hybridization with Lilium canadense.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: Although several excellent occurrences of this species have been protected, it is very difficult to evaluate the global trend of the species given the paucity of data on its life history. Some researchers fear that individuals may be very long-lived, thereby creating an impression of health and stability while the population declines along a gentle trajectory (Simms, pers. comm). However, there is evidence of recent decline due to the fungal pathogen.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: This species is a southern Appalachian endemic occurring in mountains of northern North Carolina and adjacent Virginia and Tennessee. Reports from Maryland and West Virginia and one from Tennessee are correctly identified as L. canadense var. editorum. The two most important strongholds are the Roan Mountain massif where L. grayi was first found, in Avery and Mitchell Counties, North Carolina, and Carter County, Tennessee, and Long Hope Valley in Ashe and Watauga Counties in North Carolina (Weakley 1993). Since this species has been widely cultivated, some records may represent planted populations (Hardin 1977). The majority of plants are found within North Carolina. Range extent was calculated using extant occurrences only.

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, TN, VA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NC Alleghany (37005), Ashe (37009), Avery (37011), Buncombe (37021), Caldwell (37027), Haywood (37087), Henderson (37089)*, McDowell (37111), Mitchell (37121), Watauga (37189), Yancey (37199)
TN Carter (47019)
VA Bath (51017)*, Bedford (51019)*, Botetourt (51023)*, Carroll (51035), Floyd (51063), Grayson (51077), Smyth (51173)*, Washington (51191)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Upper James (02080201)+*
03 Upper Roanoke (03010101)+*, Upper Yadkin (03040101)+, Upper Catawba (03050101)+, Upper Broad (03050105)+*
05 Upper New (05050001)+
06 South Fork Holston (06010102)+, Watauga (06010103)+, Upper French Broad (06010105)+, Pigeon (06010106)+, Nolichucky (06010108)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Duration: PERENNIAL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous
Habitat Comments: Moist, acid, highly organic and siliceous black loams of mountain balds (2800 ft and up) or in grass-sedge meadows.
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
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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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: 22Mar2018
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Dunscomb (1994), rev. L. Robinson (2017), rev. Treher (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
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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