Linum arenicola - (Small) Winkl.
Sand Flax
Other Common Names: sand flax
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Linum arenicola (Small) Winkl. (TSN 29230)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.152712
Element Code: PDLIN02020
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Flax Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Linales Linaceae Linum
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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: Linum arenicola
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 24Mar2003
Global Status Last Changed: 01Jun1993
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This species is known from about nine sites in southern Florida. Altered fire and disturbance regimes and destruction of habitat by urban development are continuing and ongoing threats to many locations where these plants occur. Although each population is small, few are protected. The species appears to have two disjunct population centers, with the northern center having a smaller population number. This species' preferred habitat (pine rocklands) has been nearly destroyed as a result of development, with associated disruption of community processes such as fire regime and vulnerability to invasion by non-native species.
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 Florida (S1S2)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (29Sep2016)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Linum arenicola is endemic to the southeastern tip of peninsular Florida and the lower portion of the lower Florida Keys (Godfrey and Wooten 1981); Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Long and Lakela (1976) stated that this is the only species of Linum commonly found in the Florida Keys.

Area of Occupancy: 6-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Restricted habitat and small population at each site.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Fourteen element occurrence records were recorded in the Florida Natural Areas Inventory database as of 10/97. There were at least 10 extant populations as of 9/02, and one population had been bulldozed (1999). Perhaps using somewhat different population definitions, the USFWS considers seven populations to occur in Miami-Dade County, and two in the Florida Keys (Monroe Co).

Population Size Comments: Usually occurs as scattered individuals; populations never large. USFWS (2004) reports that there are somewhat more than 10,000 plants of this species altogether, although 1,000 to 3,000 of those are in non-natural settings.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few (1-3)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Populations on Big Pine Key appear to be large, reproductive and stable.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Management, including appropriate fire and disturbance regimes, mowing and roadside maintenance and non-native species control methods on public preserves may not be specific to maintaining openings for L. arenicola. At least one population occurs on public land, but is neither protected nor under threat of development. Residential housing and accompanying urban development, as well as agriculture, threaten to replace suitable habitat in unprotected pine rocklands. The long-term exclusion of fire reduces the amount of open areas required by Linum arenicola. Rising sea levels could alter suitable habitat on Big Pine Key.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Fire suppression and invasive exotic species continue to degrade extant populations. One population was reported as bulldozed in 1999, and another was impacted by trash dumping in 1992 (USFWS, 2004).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 50-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: Linum arenicola is restricted to pine rocklands in extreme southern Florida. The habitat on Big Pine Key seems to be stable in maintaining its open shrub layer (Alexander and Dickson 1972, Ross, O'Brien and Flynn 1992). Other locations where sand flax has been found in the past are now often overgrown by hardwoods (Florida Natural Areas Inventory [FNAI] data) thereby reducing its population size and restricting its dispersal. Rogers (1963) speculated that L. arenicola appeared to be more abundant in 1963 than previously as a result of having become established in partly disturbed areas, along roadsides and in woodland clearings. However, the only recent siting of L. arenicola on mainland Florida occurred at Camp Owaissa-Bauer in Dade County (by G.N. Avery on 2/19/83 Element Record Occurrence.002) where a tract of pine rockland had been burned about 15 years earlier (FNAI, pers. comm. 1992). Other FNAI Element Record Occurrence's include mowed road shoulder on Lower Sugarloaf Key (.001), roadside on Middle Torch Key (.004), and in cleared area on Ramrod Key (.005).

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Occurs in fire-maintained open habitat on oolitic limestone in pine rocklands or marl prairie in southern Florida, and at one site has colonized a levee composed of crushed oolitic limestone (USFWS, 2004).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Linum arenicola is endemic to the southeastern tip of peninsular Florida and the lower portion of the lower Florida Keys (Godfrey and Wooten 1981); Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Long and Lakela (1976) stated that this is the only species of Linum commonly found in the Florida Keys.

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 Miami-Dade (12086), Monroe (12087)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Florida Bay-Florida Keys (03090203)+, Florida Southeast Coast (03090206)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A glabrous, perennial herb with wiry stems reaching up to 7 dm tall. Leaves are few, alternate, and early deciduous. Flowers are in terminal cymes, 5-parted, less than 1 cm wide, with ephemeral yellow petals and separate styles.
Technical Description: Slender, wiry, glabrous perennial herb 2-7 dm tall; stems usually several from the base, simple or sparingly branched below the inflorescence, each with a terminal cyme, flowering stems of previous years commonly intermixed, irregularly striate-angled, usually bare of leaves by flowering time. Leaves sessile, opposite below, alternate above, erect or ascending, linear-subulate, 7-10(15) mm long and 0.6-1(1.2) mm wide, upper ones smaller, margins entire or with irregular minute glands; stipules persistent, glandular, small, reddish, becoming dark. Inflorescence a terminal cyme; pedicels 2 mm long or less. Flowers radially symmetric, bisexual, sepals 5, imbricate, lanceolate to ovate, the inner ones sometimes obovate, with prominent midrib, the outer 2.5-3.2(3.6) mm long, the inner slightly shorter, edges hyaline, all glandular tipped, apices acute; petals 5, convolute, obovate, separate, yellow, 4.5-5.5(6.5) mm long, falling very soon after anthesis; stamens 5, filaments united basally, staminodia sometimes present as lobes between filaments; pistil 1, ovary superior, styles 5, separate, stigmas capitate. Capsule straw-colored, ovoid, 2-2.5 mm broad, short apiculate, dehiscing into 10 1-seeded segments. Seeds ovate, 1.2-1.3(1.6) mm long and 0.7-0.8(1.0) mm wide, nearly flat, lustrous, with a yellowish cartilaginous marginal band within which the surface is brown and very finely reticulate. (Small 1913, Rogers 1963, Godfrey and Wooten 1981).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Linum arenicola (Linaceae) is characterized by its glabrous, wiry, erect, 20-70 cm tall stems; few, small, early deciduous leaves; conspicuous dark stipular glands; flowers in terminal cymes, 5-parted, less than 1 cm wide, with ephemeral yellow petals and separate styles; and pine rockland habitat in extreme southern Florida. (Small 1913, Long and Lakela 1976, Godfrey and Wooten 1981). It can be distinguished from other Linum spp. by the combination of separate styles and conspicuous stipular glands.
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: A status report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1980) stated that apparently all reproduction is sexual.
Ecology Comments: Very little life history information is found in the literature. The ephemeral flowers are usually seen only in the morning as the petals fall off in the heat of the day (Lippincott pers. comm. 1992). A status report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1980) stated that apparently all reproduction is sexual. Hardin (pers. comm. 1992) reported seeing L. arenicola in 1987 as scattered individuals intermixed with other herbs on Big Pine Key. In some places, however, the species can be locally abundant (Lippincott pers. comm. 1992).
Palustrine Habitat(s): TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest/Woodland, Old field, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: Godfrey and Wooten (1981) listed places where it is found as solution pits and shallow soil of ephemeral pools on limerock in open pinelands, pineland clearings and adjacent roadsides. Rogers (1963) stated that this species is found in open or semi-shaded calcareous soil, principally in pine or pine-palmetto woodlands in the Miami vicinity and in the lower Florida Keys. Pine rockland of the lower Florida Keys has a slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. densa) canopy, the understory is low and sparse (including Byrsonima lucida, Tetrazygia bicolor, Crossopetalum ilicifolium, Serenoa repens, Ardisia escallonioides, Thrinax morrisii and Coccothrinax argentata palms), and the forest floor is scantily covered with endemic grasses (e.g. Schizachyrium rhizomatum), and herbs (Snyder, Herndon and Robertson, 1990).

Rare herbaceous species on Big Pine Key include Cassia keyensis, Chamaesyce deltoidea subsp. serpyllum and Chamaesyce porteriana var. scoparia. (Ross, O'Brien and Flynn 1992). On Big Pine Key, L. arenicola grows in "high pine rocklands" in areas with low foliage density in the shrub layer (at 1 or 2 m), a slightly higher elevation, and exposed rock (Ross, O'Brien and Flynn 1992). Mike Ross (pers. comm. 1992) added that it is widely scattered over the island in appropriate habitat where it grows among other herbaceous plants. See the Element Stewardship Abstract on pine rockland for further information.

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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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: 21Dec1989
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cooper, S.T. and E.D. Hardin, rev D.L. White, rev. M. Fellows (2003), rev. L. Morse (2006)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 29Jun1992

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. 2016. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 12. Magnoliophyta: Vitaceae to Garryaceae. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxiv + 603 pp.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Long, R.W., and O. Lakela. 1971. A flora of tropical Florida. Univ. Miami Press, Coral Gables, Florida. 962 pp.

  • Martin, D. 2000. Candidate and listing priority assignment form: Linum arenicola. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vero Beach, Florida Field Office.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2004. Species assessment and listing priority assignment form. Linum arenicola. 9 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2015. Endangered Species Status for Chamaecrista lineata var. keyensis (Big Pine Partridge Pea), Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. serpyllum (Wedge Spurge), and Linum arenicola (Sand Flax), and Threatened Species Status for Argythamnia blodgettii (Blodgett?s Silverbush). Federal Register 80(188): 58536-58567.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2016. Endangered Species Status for Chamaecrista lineata var. keyensis (Big Pine Partridge Pea), Chamaesyce deltoidea ssp. serpyllum (Wedge Spurge), and Linum arenicola (Sand Flax), and Threatened Species Status for Argythamnia blodgettii (Blodgett?s Silverbush). Final rule. Federal Register 81(189): 66842-66865.

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

  • Wunderlin, R.P. 1982. Guide to the vascular plants of central Florida. Univ. Presses Florida, Gainesville. 472 pp.

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