Lindera subcoriacea - B.E. Wofford
Bog Spicebush
Other Common Names: bog spicebush
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lindera subcoriacea B.E. Wofford (TSN 194911)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.133279
Element Code: PDLAU07030
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Laurel Family
Image 12191

© North Carolina Natural Heritage Program

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Laurales Lauraceae Lindera
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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: Lindera subcoriacea
Taxonomic Comments: Distinct species, described by Wofford (1983). 100+ species in genus, only 3 in North America.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Oct2015
Global Status Last Changed: 07Oct2015
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: There are currently over 100 occurrences, most of them very small populations located on sites that will require active management for the plants to persist. The species is clonal, and most sites have only one to five genetic individuals. L. subcoriacea occurs on the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains from southern Virginia south to northern Florida and west to Louisiana, but the plants occupy a relatively narrow ecological niche and have a correspondingly spotty distribution within the range. In the deep south, L. subcoriacea is not found outside the wettest portions of rare, sphagnum bog habitats; in the Carolinas and Virginia, the plants are restricted to stream pocosins. The general lack of fire in these habitats during the last 50 or more years has placed the plants under increased stress from competing shrubs and trees. Restoring fire to the landscapes via controlled burns would reverse this trend, but that is becoming increasingly difficult with continued development of surrounding uplands for housing and agriculture.
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 Alabama (S1), Florida (S1), Georgia (S1?), Louisiana (S1), Mississippi (S2), North Carolina (S2), South Carolina (S3)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: This species was first described in 1983, and its historic range is still poorly understood. It is currently known to occur from southeastern Virginia to Florida and west to Louisiana, almost exclusively on the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains.

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

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Over 100 occurrences.

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

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The general lack of fires in pocosin and seepage bog habitats during the past 50 or more years has placed L. subcoriacea under increased stress from competing shrubs and trees, and no doubt some populations have been lost this way. Restoring fire to the landscape via controlled burns will reverse this trend, but that is becoming increasingly difficult with continued development of surrounding longleaf pine/wiregrass uplands for housing, agriculture, timber management, and pinestraw raking. Other known or perceived threats include siltation of streamheads from military training, logging, and road building, draining of bogs and wetlands, and digging of fire plowlines along wetland ecotones. Such plowlines, designed to protect wetland wildlife, have further exacerbated the fire suppression of Lindera subcoriacea habitats, even though adjacent uplands are burned. Red Bay Blight does infect the species. It is difficult to accurately assess current or future threats, since there is a poor record of historical collections of this overlooked plant from which to judge former abundance and distribution. 

Short-term Trend: Unknown

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Occupies a very narrow ecological niche: not found outside wettest portions of sphagnum bogs. These bogs very rare. Also found in well-burned stream pocosins of North Carolina Sandhills region.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: This species was first described in 1983, and its historic range is still poorly understood. It is currently known to occur from southeastern Virginia to Florida and west to Louisiana, almost exclusively on the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains.

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 AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Baldwin (01003), Clarke (01025), Escambia (01053), Mobile (01097)
FL Escambia (12033), Okaloosa (12091)
GA Hancock (13141), Jones (13169), Richmond (13245)*
LA Washington (22117)
MS Forrest (28035), George (28039), Greene (28041)*, Harrison (28047), Jackson (28059), Pearl River (28109), Perry (28111), Stone (28131), Wayne (28153)
NC Anson (37007)*, Chatham (37037), Cumberland (37051), Hoke (37093), Johnston (37101), Lee (37105), Montgomery (37123), Moore (37125), Richmond (37153), Robeson (37155), Scotland (37165), Wake (37183)
SC Aiken (45003), Barnwell (45011), Lexington (45063), Richland (45079)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Upper Neuse (03020201)+, Haw (03030002)+, Deep (03030003)+, Upper Cape Fear (03030004)+, Lower Yadkin (03040103)+, Upper Pee Dee (03040104)+, Lower Pee Dee (03040201)+, Lumber (03040203)+, Little Pee Dee (03040204)+, Congaree (03050110)+*, North Fork Edisto (03050203)+, South Fork Edisto (03050204)+, Middle Savannah (03060106)+, Lower Oconee (03070102)+, Yellow (03140103)+, Blackwater (03140104)+, Escambia (03140305)+, Lower Tambigbee (03160203)+, Mobile - Tensaw (03160204)+, Upper Chickasawhay (03170002)+, Lower Chickasawhay (03170003)+*, Lower Leaf (03170005)+, Pascagoula (03170006)+, Black (03170007)+, Escatawpa (03170008)+, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+, Bogue Chitto (03180005)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A multi-stemmed, erect, deciduous shrub, usually 1-2 m in height; occasionally up to 4 m. Leaves are bluish-green above and pale green and hairy below. Flowers are small and yellow and appear in clusters of 3-4. The fruit is a vivid-red drupe. This species is less aromatic than the common spicebush (Lindera benzoin) but, when crushed or bruised, the stem and leaves have a piney-lemon smell, described as resembling lemon furniture polish. Flowering in early spring, before the leaves appear (March-April; February in Florida). Fruits mature in late summer.

Technical Description: "Dioecious (occasionally polygamo-dioecious), deciduous shrub to 2 m (4 m). Stems smooth, reddish-tan and pubescent when young, with obvious lenticels, becoming grayish and glabrous with age. The stem, when crushed or bruised, with a faint 'piney-lemon' smell (often described as resembling lemon furniture polish). Leaves with petiole caniculate, 3-10 mm long, pubescent; blade subcoriaceous, horizontal to ascending, elliptic to oblanceolate, 4-7.5 by 2-3.5 cm (lower stem leaves reduced), apex obtuse to rounded, rarely slightly acuminate (mucronate when young), venation eucamtrodromous, lower surface pale green, glaucescent, moderately pubescent, upper surface darker green, pubescent when young, becoming essentially glabrous with age. Flowers appearing before leaves in axils of preceding year's leaves on stout, supraaxillary branches 1.5 mm long and terminated by vegetative bud; inflorescences of 1 to 4 umbellike cymose clusters, each cluster 3- or 4- (rarely 5-) flowered, subtended by 2 pairs of concave, decussate, coriaceous, deciduous bracts, with the outer pair 2.5 by 3 mm, inner pair 3 by 3.5 mm, the secondary bracts caducous, tepaploid, flowers imperfect (rarely perfect), regular, tepals 6, 2.2 mm by 1.8 mm, glabrous, pellucid-punctate, perianth tube short. Staminate flowers on pedicels to 4 mm long; stamens 9, introrse, 2-locular, yellow, those of series I and II similar, 2.5 mm long, with anther 1 by 1 mm, those of series III 2.5 mm long, filament broadened, each with pair of conspicuous glands at base, those of series IV lacking; pistillodium 1.2 mm long. Pistillate flowers on pedicels to 1.5 mm long; tepals slightly smaller than those of staminate flowers; stamens variously developed, often reduced to glands resembling those at base of series III stamens of staminate flowers; stigma papillose, style 1 mm long, the ovary elliptic, 1 by 0.6 mm. Drupes bright red, ca. 10 mm long, elliptic, borne on pedicels to 4 mm long." (Wofford in Gordon, 1986)
Diagnostic Characteristics: Distinguished from the two other North American Lindera species, including the common spicebush L. benzoin, by its thick leaves, especially evident when the plant is in full-sun situations, and by leaf undersides that are strongly whitened (Weakley 2004). Leaves of L. subcoriacea are also distinctly less aromatic than than those of the other two species (FNA 1997).
Duration: PERENNIAL, DECIDUOUS
Reproduction Comments: Flowering in mid-March; fruits maturing in late fall (Wofford, 1983).
Ecology Comments: Older stems within a clone tend to be replaced by younger stems which originate from root suckering (Gordon et al., 1986).
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Habitat Comments: Summary: Bog spicebush inhabits permanently moist to wet, shrub-dominated seepage wetlands ("bogs" or "pocosins") (Gordon, et al., 1986). On the Gulf Coastal Plain of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana such wetlands occur on level to slightly sloping terrain and have been termed pitcher plant bogs or quaking bogs, depending on depth of peat buildup. Dominants include sphagnum moss, sedges, grasses, pitcher plants, and diverse shrubs and herbs. Bog spicebush also inhabits hillside seepage bogs and bayheads, which are shrub-dominated wetlands on slight to moderate slopes. In the Sandhills region of the Carolinas and Georgia, bog spicebush occurs in streamhead pocosins, shrub-and-tree- dominated wetlands that border headwater streams draining the variously sloping hills.

Full description: Bog spicebush inhabits permanently moist to wet, shrub-dominated seepage wetlands ("bogs" or "pocosins") (Gordon, et al., 1986). On the Gulf Coastal Plain of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana such wetlands occur on level to slightly sloping terrain and have been termed pitcher plant bogs or quaking bogs, depending on depth of peat buildup. Dominants include sphagnum moss, sedges, grasses, pitcher plants, and diverse shrubs and herbs. Bog spicebush also inhabits hillside seepage bogs and bayheads, which are shrub-dominated wetlands on slight to moderate slopes. In Mobile County, Alabama, Bridges and Orzell (1989) described one site thus: "Lindera subcoriacea is occasional in partial shade of evergreen shrub-tree thickets within an extensive series of mid-slope hillside seepage bogs." Soils have been described as "peaty muck" (Gordon 1993), "very acid ... high in organic matter ... permanently saturated ... often growing in floating mats of vegetation atop thick layers of peaty muck" (Gordon, et al., 1986). These descriptions apparently refer to bog communities in Mississippi; soils at sites in North and South Carolina are much less wet, although Sphagnum is nearly always present. Soil series which support bog spicebush on Fort Bragg include Blaney (Arenic Hapludults), Gilead (Aquic Hapludults), Johnston (Cumulic Humaquepts), and Vaucluse (Typic Hapludults) (Hudson 1984, NCNHP 1993). In the Sandhills region of the Carolinas and Georgia, bog spicebush occurs in Streamhead pocosins, shrub-and-tree- dominated wetlands that border headwater streams draining the variously sloping hills. The author believes this habitat to be analogous to the bayheads (bay forests) and probably also to the hillside seepage bogs of the Gulf Coast. The pocosins are usually narrow, forming a 5- to 50-meter band along each side of the stream, or in larger stream systems flanking the zone of tall swamp forest trees. L. subcoriacea is usually found within the pocosin, often occurring at the transition from shrubby slope to the flat (although narrow), forested floodplain. This may reflect the species' preference for permanently moist substrate. In southeastern Virginia, plants inhabit similar habitats along streams that drain uplands within ecosystems formerly dominated by longleaf pine and turkey oak (McCartney 1990, Ludwig 1993). Lindera subcoriacea sites share many species in common. Among the most constant are Sphagnum spp., Acer rubrum, Aronia arbutifolia, Arundinaria tecta, Chamaecyparis thyoides, Cyrilla racemiflora, Ilex coriacea, I. glabra, I. laevigata, Magnolia virginiana, Myrica heterophylla, M. inodora, Nyssa biflora, Persea palustris, Pinus serotina, Smilax glauca, S. laurifolia, Symplocos tinctoria, and Toxicodendron vernix. Limited canopy cover appears to be important; plants under dense shade appear less robust, as if struggling to compete with Lyonia lucida, Magnolia virginiana, and other shade-tolerant species. On Fort Bragg, several occurrences are found where roads cross a stream, suggesting that limited disturbance may reduce competition and provide additional light (TNC 1991-93). Additionally, Lindera subcoriacea is often found with or near other rare plants in the NC Sandhills, including Lysimachia asperulifolia, Kalmia cuneata, Eupatorium resinosum, Tofieldia glabra, Xyris scabrifolia, Eriocaulon aquaticum, Scirpus etuberculatus, Cladium mariscoides, Lilium iridollae, Rhynchospora macra, R. pallida, R. stenophylla, Oxypolis ternata, Calamovilfa brevipilis, Carex turgescens, Sporobolus sp. 1, and Lycopus cokeri. In Mississippi, it is often found with or near such rare species as Carex exilis (Bryson, et al., 1988), as well as Xyris scabrifolia, X. drummondii, Agalinis aphylla, Lachnocaulon digynum, Pinguicula primulifolia, P. planifolia, Rhynchospora macra, and Calopogon barbatus (Gordon 1993).

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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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. Seek long term protection for exceptional sites. Review most critical threats and consider the feasibility of their removal and how their removal will impact the quality of habitat for the species, as well as other species of interest. Key stewardship needs for bog spicebush include (1) restoring fire to the communities in which it occurs, using winter, fuel-reduction burns and growing season burns where appropriate, (2) protecting and/or restoring the hydrologic conditions which support the species, and (3) monitoring extant subpopulations for responses to current land management practices. Research into the species' reproductive biology and ecology may indicate that more specialized management activities are required for its long-term survival.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: An A-ranked occurrence of Lindera subcoriacea should have more than 50 clumps of stems with at least 6 clumps female; plants robust vegetatively; disturbance to habitat minimal; area defensible.
Good Viability: A B-ranked occurrence of Lindera subcoriacea should have between 20 and 50 clumps, with at least 3 female; plants healthy, disturbance to habitat easily recovered with management.
Fair Viability: A C-ranked occurrence of Lindera subcoriacea should have between 5 and 20 clumps, both sexes present; habitat needs management to recover population.
Poor Viability: A D-ranked occurrence of Lindera subcoriacea should have less than 5 clumps, may be only one sex present. OR Habitat needs extensive management (cutting of overstory) to recover.
Justification: The rank specifications for Lindera subcoriacea are based on current populations and expert opinion. This species is dioecious and evidence of both genders present indicates at least 2 genets present.
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 16Dec2004
Author: Amoroso
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: 07Oct2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Mary J. Russo (1993), rev. Maybury 2004, rev. A. Treher (2015)
Management Information Edition Date: 16Dec2015
Management Information Edition Author: MARY RUSSO, NC NHP, rev. A. Treher (2015)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 24Mar2003
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): K. Maybury

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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  • Bridges, E.L., and S.L. Orzell. 1989. Lindera subcoriacea (Lauraceae) new to Alabama. Phytologia 67: 214-216.

  • Center for Biological Diversity. 2010. Petition to list 404 aquatic, riparian and wetland species from the southeastern United States as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Petition submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Chafin, L. G. 2000. Field guide to the rare plants of Florida. Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Tallahassee. [http://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/]

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1997. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Vol. 3. Magnoliophyta: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxiii + 590 pp.

  • Gordon, K.L., R.L. Jones, and J.B. Wiseman, Jr. 1986. Status report - Lindera subcoriacea B.E. Wofford. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Office, Jackson, Mississippi. 31 pp. + appendix.

  • 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.

  • McCartney, R.B. 1990. Lindera subcoriacea in Virginia. Unpublished manuscript. 3 pp.

  • McCartney, R.B., K. Wurdack, and J.H. Moore. 1989. The genus Lindera in Florida. Palmetto, Summer 1989: 3-8.

  • 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.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2011m. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; partial 90-day finding on a petition to list 404 species in the southeastern United States as endangered or threatened. Federal Register 76(187):59836-59862.

  • USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, PLANTS Database [USDA PLANTS]. http://plants.usda.gov/. Accessed 2015.

  • WOFFORD, B.E. 1983. A NEW LINDERA (LAURACEAE) FROM NORTH AME RICA. J. ARN. ARB. 64:325-331.

  • Weakley, A. S. 2004. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia. Draft as of March 2004. UNC Herbarium, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill. Available online: http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm. Accessed 2004.

  • 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.

  • Weakley, A.S. 2000. Flora of the Carolinas and Virginia: working draft of May 15, 2000. Unpublished draft, The Nature Conservancy, Southern Resource Office.

  • Wofford, B.E. 1983. A new Lindera (Lauraceae) from North America. J. Arnold Arboretum 64: 325-331.

  • Wofford, B.E. 1983. A new Lindera (Lauraceae) from North America. J. Arnold Arboretum 64: 325-331.

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