Linum carteri var. carteri
Carter's Small-flowered Flax
Other English Common Names: Carter's Flax
Other Common Names: Carter's flax
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Linum carteri var. carteri Small (TSN 528813)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.148480
Element Code: PDLIN02071
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 carteri var. carteri
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G2T1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 12Aug2008
Global Status Last Changed: 18Dec1984
Rounded Global Status: T1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Endemic to Miami-Dade County, south Florida. Approximately eight extant occurrences are known; several have been recently extirpated by development. Only three extant sites are considered to be on conservation lands, and these contain a small number of plants in total. Viability of all remaining occurrences is uncertain due to their small and isolated nature. Preferred habitat includes disturbed edges of pine rocklands, a globally imperiled ecosystem. Highly threatened by ongoing urban development, and non-compatible management (lack of fire, inappropriately-timed mowing).
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 (04Sep2014)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Restricted to eastern Miami-Dade County, Florida, in the vicinity of the Miami metropolitan area; no confirmed collections appear to have been made outside of this county. Extent of occurrence is estimated to be approximately 180 square km.

Area of Occupancy: 26-500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Using a 2 x 2 km grid, area of occupancy is estimated to be 32 square km. Note, however, that for each "occupied" 4 square km grid cell, there are few individuals.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Based on data compiled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Halupa 2007) and the Florida Natural Areas Inventory, there appear to be approximately 8 extant occurrences. Since 2003, two additional occurrences are believed extirpated (Ponce & Riviera and Old Dixie Pineland) due to urban development (for residential and transportation purposes, respectively) (K. Bradley pers. comm. 2007 cited in Halupa 2007). A further two occurrences are known to have been extirpated (Brickell Hammock and Charles Deering Estate), as well as part of an extant occurrence (Red Road & 114 Terrace, here considered part of an extant occurrence in close proximity).

Population Size Comments: Remaining occurrences are small and isolated (Halupa 2007). Most sources report a rangewide estimate of less than 2,000 plants; FNAI estimates around 1,100 plants, and individual site estimates from element occurrence data and Halupa (2007) suggest a range of about 250-1850 plants. However, one source (Fellows et al. 2004) suggests an estimate closer to 10,000 plants. Obatining accurate census figures for this taxon can be difficult. Plants are intermittent, and it is easiest to estimate numbers when flowering; however, the corolla dehisces sometime in the morning (10am to 12pm). Several occurrences are found in mowed areas, which are impossible to count accurately, as they rarely reach size to flower. In addition, plants appear to be locally abundant (i.e. all individuals visible) for only short periods of the year (Tatje 1980 cited in Fellows et al. 2004).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: None (zero)
Viability/Integrity Comments: No occurrences have long-term viability, due to small size, isolation, and ongoing threats that are difficult to mitigate even on conservation lands (invasive species, altered fire regimes). Halupa (2007) notes that "although no population viability analysis has been conducted for this species, indications are that existing populations are at best marginal and none are truly viable."

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Just three relatively small occurrences are considered to be on "conservation lands," and the high rate of residential/commercial development in the Miami area threatens all non-protected sites. Development is responsible for at least two recent likely extirpations. There is little opportunity to acquire more conservation lands within the range of this taxon (Halupa 2007).
Non-compatible management threatens most sites, including 'protected' sites and potentially suitable, as-yet unoccupied sites. The fire return interval for pine rockland communities is 5-7 years, yet there has been a lack of fires in most forest fragments in Miami-Dade County during the last century; none of the protected sites for this taxon have been recently burned. Prescribed burning is complicated by the urban setting of the sites and the difficulty in obtaining burn permits. In the absence of fire, pine rocklands can experience canopy closure and succession to hammock communities, eliminating suitable habitat for this taxon. In addition to fire suppression, several sites are mowed during the flowering and fruiting season, and herbicide use is a threat at at least one site.
Invasive exotic plants, especially Burmareed (Neyraudia reynaudiana) and Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), are a threat at several sites (Halupa 2007). In addition to competition, these species create hotter fires than occurred under natural conditions, adding uncertainty to fire management plans.
This taxon is considered particularly vulnerable to environmental and demographic stochasticity, as well as threats related to genetic factors, because of the small and fragmented nature of remaining occurrences. A particularly relevant environmental threat within its range is the potential for catastrophic storms (Halupa 2007).
Finally, mountain biking has been identified as a low-level threat at one site (Halupa 2007).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: Four of the twelve sites have very likely been extirpated, at least two since 2003. Bradley and Gann (1999 cited in Halupa 2007) estimated that the population may be declining overall. However, most protected populations do not currently appear to be declining (as long as the habitat amount and quality does not change).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 50-70%
Long-term Trend Comments: Substantial habitat has been lost historically, due to residential and commercial development and agricultural conversion throughout south Florida pine rocklands. Pine rockland habitat in Miami-Dade County has been reduced to about 11 percent of its natural extent (Kernan and Bradley 1996 cited in Halupa 2007), and outside of Everglades National Park, only about one percent of the Miami Rock Ridge pinelands have escaped clearing; much of what is left is in small remnant blocks isolated from other natural areas (Herndon 1998 cited in Halupa 2007). Most known extirpated sites are within the current range boundaries of L. carteri var. carteri; only the Brickell Hammock site is outside the current range, at a distance of about 8 km to the north.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: The small number of populations and scarcity of individuals makes this species vulnerable to effects of stochastic processes and catastrophic phenomena. In addition, extant plants appear to exhibit somewhat weak reproduction: plants collected in August, at the end of the fruiting season, had few seeds (with 0% germination at 4 weeks post collection), and each flowering head had 6 or fewer seeds (although, morphologically, the maximum number could be 10) (Maschinski et al. 2002 cited in Fellows et al. 2004). Also, the seeds of this taxon appear to germinate and establish less successfully in cultivation than those of a congener, Linum arenicola (Carrera, pers. comm. cited in Fellows et al. 2004).

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Plants occur in highly disturbed margins of Miami Rockridge Pine Rocklands and in mowed open areas. Habitat preferences are likely to be inconsistent with most management plans.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Restricted to eastern Miami-Dade County, Florida, in the vicinity of the Miami metropolitan area; no confirmed collections appear to have been made outside of this county. Extent of occurrence is estimated to be approximately 180 square km.

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)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Florida Southeast Coast (03090206)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: An annual or short-lived perennial herb, 10-60 cm, branched throughout. Alt. leaves, long, very narrow, red gland at attachment point to stem (distinguishing character). Flowers 5-petals, yellow, shed less than 6 hours after opening (usually before 12pm). Fruit a capsule. Flowers and fruits from February to August.
Technical Description: The technical description for the full species Linum carteri follows: "Annual with erect stems up to 6 dm tall, rather scabrous near the base or on stem angles throughout. Leaves alternate, narrow, entire or the upper glandular-toothed; stipules present as dark glands. Inflorescence of spreading, striated branches, rather coarse, sepals lanceolate, glandular-toothed, 5-7 mm long; petals orange yellow, 9-17 mm long. Styles united; capsule yellowish, ovoid, dehiscing into five segments, false septa complete" (Long and Lakela, 1971). L. carteri var. carteri may be characterized by stems conspicuously pubescent on their angles and mostly 1-3 dm tall; petals 9-11 mm long; styles 4-6 mm long; stipular glands present (Long and Lakela, 1971).
Diagnostic Characteristics: See PCAG for Linum carteri for full species technical description. L. carteri var. carteri may be characterized by stems conspicuously pubescent on their angles and mostly 1-3 dm tall; petals 9-11 mm long; styles 4-6 mm long; stipular glands present (Long and Lakela, 1971).
Duration: ANNUAL
Reproduction Comments: Distyly occurs in genus.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest Edge, Forest/Woodland, Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: Pine rocklands, with all known occurrences within human-disturbed areas in or adjacent to these communities. This variety is intolerant of shading and of pine litter accumulation and is probably now restricted to human-disturbed areas because of fire suppression (Webber 2000). Several populations occur in mowed areas; this mowing is thought to partially mimic the beneficial effects of fire by maintaining an open, shrub-free understory and reducing competition from other plants, but mowing also appears to have some negative impacts on the Linum carteri var. carteri populations, retarding maturation or killing plants in some cases (Maschinski 2005 cited in Halupa 2007). Soils are calcareous, with plants occurring in tiny, less than 10 cm diameter and 5 cm deep soil pockets in limestone rock surface (Fellows et al. 2004). Sites are relatively flat, with low moisture and high light. Associated natives include Pinus elliottii var. densa, Serenoa repens, Myrica cerifera, Metopium toxiferum, Sideroxylon salicifolium, Schizachyrium sanguineum, Schizachyrium gracile, Aster adnatus, Acalypha chamaedrifolia, Sabal palmetto, Jacquemontia curtissii, Crossopetalum ilicifolium, Polypremum procumbens, and Agalinis sp.
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: 12Aug2008
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Fellows, M. (2003), rev. L. Morse (2006), rev. A. Jenkins and K. Gravuer (2008)
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
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  • Fellows, M., J. Possley, C. Lane and J. Maschinski. 2004 last update. Conservation Action Plan: Linum carteri Small var. carteri. Conservation of South Florida Endangered and Threatened Flora (ETFLORA) Project, Research Department, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, FL. Online. Available: http://www.fairchildgarden.org/index.cfm?section=centerfortropicalplantconservation&subsection=speciesandhabitatconservation&page=speciesweworkwith (Accessed 2008).

  • 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.

  • Gann, G.D., K.A. Bradley, S.W. Woodmansee. 2002. Rare Plants of South Florida: Their History, Conservation, and Restoration. The Institute for Regional Conservation, Miami, FL. 1056 pgs.

  • Halupa, P. 2007, April 30 last update. Species Assessment and Listing Priority Assignment Form: Linum carteri var. carteri Small. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Program. Online. Available: http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/candforms_pdf/r4/Q14I_P01.pdf (Accessed 2008)

  • Kabat, C. A., S. M. Kabat, W. S. Judd, and G. M. Ionta. 2006. Floristic inventory of the remnant pinelands of the U.S.D.A. Subtropical Horticultural Research Station at Chapman Field, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Rhodora 108(936): 387-399.

  • 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.

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

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

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2013. Proposed Endangered Status for Brickellia mosieri (Florida Brickell-bush) and Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter's Small-flowered Flax). Federal Register 78(192): 61273-61293.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2014. Endangered Species Status for Brickellia mosieri (Florida Brickell-bush) and Linum carteri var. carteri (Carter?s Small-flowered Flax). Federal Register 79(171): 52567-52575.

  • Webber, G. 2000. Candidate and listing priority assignment form: Linum carteri var. carteri. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vero Beach, Florida Field Office.

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