Lysimachia fraseri - Duby
Fraser's Loosestrife
Other English Common Names: Fraser's Yellow Loosestrife
Other Common Names: Fraser's yellow loosestrife
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lysimachia fraseri Duby (TSN 23989)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.154093
Element Code: PDPRI07070
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Primrose Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Primulales Primulaceae Lysimachia
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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: Lysimachia fraseri
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 28Dec2017
Global Status Last Changed: 30Apr2008
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Although rare throughout its range, Lysimachia fraseri can be found locally in populations of over 500 individuals. There are about 130 populations with multiple threats across the species range. Threats include road construction and related maintenance, logging activities, and succession.
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), Georgia (S2), Illinois (SH), Kentucky (SX), North Carolina (S3), South Carolina (S3), Tennessee (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Lysimachia fraseri is distributed throughout the central and southeastern United States, reaching its northwestern limit in the extreme southern tip of Illinois (Herkert 1991) and extending from there into Kentucky, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama (Simpson et al. 1983, TN ESD 1992).

Number of Occurrences: 81 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are approximately 130 extant occurrences. 

Population Size Comments: Lysimachia fraseri is a clonal plant and distinguishing individuals may be difficult. Therefore, recorded numbers of plants within populations may be overestimates of true abundance.

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

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Because Lysimachia fraseri's preferred habitats are often maintained by disturbance regimes, such as periodic flooding or fire, succession poses the greatest threat to populations. Populations occurring along roadsides are threatened by succession and human activities. Frequent mowing or untimely mowing, road grading, vehicle traffic, grass planting, and possibly herbicide application all have negative impacts on this plant (Gaddy 1994, Kaufman 1994, Weakley 1994a). Populations occurring in natural habitats, such as stream banks and river flats, are threatened by human disturbance. Human activities that may damage or destroy populations include dam construction and fire suppression. Intensive logging activities can increase drying of habitat, which can increase the suitability of sites for non-native or more aggressive native species.

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-50%
Short-term Trend Comments: Throughout the range of Lysimachia fraseri, population trends are directly related to the condition of the habitat in which populations are found. Populations may undergo natural increases and declines as disturbance and succession change habitat characteristics (Gaddy 1994). In locations where succession is kept in check, populations remain stable; however, fire suppression and human activities have had negative effects in many states. Nearly thirty percent of occurrences are historic or extirpated.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Lysimachia fraseri does not appear to be very fragile as it inhabits areas maintained by disturbance. Populations are known to survive in areas of periodic, but not managed, mowing (Gaddy 1994) and winter cutting of vegetation with a brushhog have proven to be beneficial (Weakley 1994).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Lysimachia fraseri is distributed throughout the central and southeastern United States, reaching its northwestern limit in the extreme southern tip of Illinois (Herkert 1991) and extending from there into Kentucky, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama (Simpson et al. 1983, TN ESD 1992).

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, GA, IL, KYextirpated, NC, SC, TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Calhoun (01015), St. Clair (01115)*
GA Cherokee (13057), Dade (13083), Floyd (13115), Rabun (13241), Stephens (13257), Walker (13295), Whitfield (13313)
IL Pope (17151)*
KY Calloway (21035)*, Marshall (21157)*
NC Buncombe (37021)*, Haywood (37087)*, Jackson (37099), Macon (37113), Polk (37149), Swain (37173), Transylvania (37175)
SC Anderson (45007), Oconee (45073), Pickens (45077)
TN Benton (47005), Bledsoe (47007)*, Cocke (47029)*, Hamilton (47065)*, Hardin (47071), Marion (47115), Polk (47139), Rhea (47143)*, Stewart (47161)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Upper Broad (03050105)+, Seneca (03060101)+, Tugaloo (03060102)+, Upper Savannah (03060103)+*, Broad (03060104)+, Coosawattee (03150102)+, Etowah (03150104)+, Upper Coosa (03150105)+, Middle Coosa (03150106)+
05 Lower Ohio-Bay (05140203)+*
06 Upper French Broad (06010105)+*, Pigeon (06010106)+*, Upper Little Tennessee (06010202)+, Tuckasegee (06010203)+*, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Ocoee (06020003)+, Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001)+, Kentucky Lake (06040005)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Lysimachia fraseri is a rhizomatous, herbaceous, perennial plant, 3-5 ft. in height, occurring in moist, rocky habitats. Plants have yellow flowers about 0.5 inches wide. The 2-6 inch-long leaves occur in whorls of 3 to 5 and are covered with dark purple spots. The 0.1-0.2 in. fruits are spherical and brown when ripe, and possess dark brown seeds.
Technical Description: Lysimachia fraseri is described by Radford et al. (1968) as follows: "... herbaceous perennial... stems erect, stipitate-glandular, otherwise glabrous, stout, 1-1.5 m tall, rhizomatous. Leaves stipitate-glandular, in whorls of 3-5, lanceolate to lance-elliptic, 6-15 cm long, 2-6 cm wide, acute, base cuneate to rounded; petioles 4-10 mm long. Inflorescence a leafy panicle 0.6-2.5 dm long, stipitate-glandular. Calyx densely stipitate-glandular, 4-5 mm long, lobes lanceolate, acute to acuminate, margins purple; corolla rotate, 1.5-1.6 cm broad; filaments united 1\2-1\3 their length. Capsule subglobose, 3-5 mm long. Seeds dark brown, finely alveolate, 1.6-2.3 mm long."
Diagnostic Characteristics: There are several Lysimachia with yellow flowers in the range of L. fraseri. Lysimachia fraseri and L. terresteris are most similar as both have yellow terminal inflorescences (flowers are grouped at the end of the main stem) and small leaves mixed with the flowers. However, in L. terrestris, the flowers are in a simple raceme, and the leaves are generally opposite. In L. fraseri, the inflorescence is made up of multiple racemes, and the leaves are in whorls of 3-5. (TN ESD 1992b)

Lysimachia fraseri appears to be more closely related to the Eurasian L. vulgaris than to other native American species (Ray 1956). L. vulgaris, Garden Lysimachia, occasionally escapes cultivation in the eastern U.S. (Gleason & Cronquist 1991). The stem of L. vulgaris is viscid-pilose above, while L. fraseri has a stem glandular-puberulent above and leaves with dark-glandular margins (Ray 1956).

When plants are sterile, L. fraseri may be confused with L. quadrifolia. A useful vegetative key has been developed by Alan Weakley. Contact the North Carolina Heritage Program, Dept. of Environment, Health and Recreation, Box 27687, Raleigh, NC 27611. Telephone: (919) 733-7701.

Duration: PERENNIAL
Ecology Comments: Because L. fraseri occurs in areas that experience cyclic disturbance, populations are likely to undergo natural periods of increase and decline (Gaddy 1994). After disturbance creates favorable conditions, L. fraseri increases. As succession progresses, increasing competition from other herbaceous plants and shading by woody vegetation causes L. fraseri to decline. The average population life cycle for L. fraseri in habitat undergoing succession may be up to 20 years (Gaddy 1994).

Plants in heavily shaded situations may remain sterile for many years until a gap opens in the canopy, after which the plant responds vigorously, flowering and setting fruit (Weakley 1994a).

In Georgia Lysimachia fraseri flowers in mid-June through July and the fruiting period is September and October (Patrick et al. 1994).

In Tennessee, L. fraseri is vegetative in April and May, flowers in June and July, and turns to fruit in August that ripen in September to October. It is dormant from December to March (TN ESD 1992b).

Possible insect associates include Macropis ciliata, M. patellata, and M. steironimata steironimata (Simpson et al. 1983).

Palustrine Habitat(s): HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest/Woodland
Habitat Comments: Lysimachia fraseri is generally found in wet areas such as alluvial meadows, moist stream and river banks, flats along streams, moist pastures, and roadside ditches (TN ESD 1992b, Herkert 1991). It is also known from rocky upland and hardwood forests (AL NHS 1994, IL NHD 1994, Weakley 1994a) and alluvial soil (TN ESD 1992b, Radford et al. 1968). The species generally occurs in habitats that are maintained by natural or anthropogenic disturbances.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Lysimachia fraseri is reliant on disturbance, natural or manmade. It often occurs in areas where a disturbance regime, such as periodic fire or flood, creates and maintains favorable habitat. The greatest threats to populations in general are shading and competition from successional growth, however streamside populations are threatened by disruption of hydrological processes, and roadside populations are threatened by road maintenance and construction. Management that mimics natural processes, such as cutting and mowing, has been demonstrated to be beneficial to populations of Lysimachia fraseri. Proper timing of management actions, such as mowing in winter when not in flower or fruit, is likely to be important to maximize positive results. The watershed of sites should be protected to maintain natural disturbances. Trails should be closed to vehicle traffic. Manual removal of shrubby vegetation is beneficial. Monitoring when plants are in flower or fruit is suggested for positive identification and for obtaining a measure of population vigor. Additional monitoring needs include examination of reproductive success and population trends. Surveys should be conducted in open, sunny habitat to locate additional healthy populations and in marginal habitat such as wooded areas with some canopy cover, to locate populations of sterile plants. Research is needed to study the reproductive and population biology of the species (particularly seed set and germination requirements), examine the effects of fire and competition, and determine levels of shade tolerance.
Restoration Potential: Opinions concerning the restoration potential for Lysimachia fraseri are mixed. Field botanists in North and South Carolina are somewhat optimistic concerning the ability of the plant to re-establish and recover after damage or disturbance, given favorable conditions and management (Gaddy 1994, Weakley 1994a). Propagation from rhizomes is not very difficult and re-introduction or bolstering of weak populations should be possible. A nursery in North Carolina sells L. fraseri and successfully grows this plant through vegetative propagation (Kaufman 1994). Contact We-du Nursery, Route 5, Box 724, Marion, NC 28652. Telephone: (704) 738-8300. However botanists in Kentucky and Illinois feel that it may be somewhat difficult to restore populations due to the individualistic nature of the plants and failure of past propagation efforts (McKinney 1994, Schwegman 1994). Attempts at growing Lysimachia fraseri from seed in Illinois where unsuccessful (Schwegman 1994). Incidental observations of poor seed set may suggest a lack of a good seed source for local restoration efforts (Gaddy 1994).
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Preserve designs fashioned to provide protection for populations of Lysimachia fraseri will have to directly incorporate areas of suitable habitat. In addition it may be necessary to protect much larger areas to ensure natural disturbance regimes, such as an entire watershed to allow flooding. If fire management is to be used, adequate area for firebreaks and smoke buffer will also have to be incorporated. When target populations occur in areas where periodic flooding and fire are not viable options, manual cutting of woody growth and properly timed mowing will have to be substituted.
Management Requirements: When possible, the best management program for Lysimachia fraseri is simply to let natural processes maintain open, sunny areas in alluvial and wet meadows, streamsides, moist stream banks, river flats, and woodlands. When this is not possible, or when L. fraseri is found along roadsides and in roadside ditches, active management to maintain these openings will be necessary.

Populations are known to survive in areas of periodic, but not managed, mowing (Gaddy 1994) and winter cutting of vegetation with a brush hog have proven to be beneficial (Weakley 1994a). A roadside population in Georgia is being successfully managed with manual removal of woody growth and periodic mowing when plants are neither flowering or fruiting (Patrick 1994). Therefore it is likely that a regimented program of manual removal of competing vegetation would be successful in other areas.

Careful selection cutting in the vicinity of populations is recommended as a management technique in an information manual on designated plants in the state of Georgia (Patrick et al. 1994).

Management suggestions provided by the State of Tennessee indicate that the plant probably would not be harmed by some thinning of the understory (but not the canopy) to reduce competition from other shrubs. Fencing to exclude grazing may also be beneficial (TN ESD 1992).

Management suggestions provided by Gunn et al. for the Alabama population state that fire, including wildfire, should be used periodically to keep the woods open (Gunn et al. 1994).

Monitoring Requirements: Because it can be difficult to distinguish L. fraseri from L. quadrifolia when the plants are sterile, it is best to identify this plant when it is in flower. A vegetative key developed by Alan Weakley is available to aid in identifying the plants when this is not possible.

Monitoring requirements include surveying populations for flowering and fruiting individuals, vegetative propagation, and seedling establishment to determine population vigor and reproductive success and monitoring habitat for threats such as encroachment by woody growth. In addition, stem number within populations in both open and closed canopy habitats should be tracked in order to assess fluctuations and trends.


Management Programs: Alabama's sole population occurs on the Main Post of the Army's Fort McClellan. Planned management efforts will be carried out by the Fort McClellan Natural Resources Management Division (Gunn et al. 1994). Contact Scott Gunn, Coordinator/Botanist, Alabama Natural Heritage Section, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of Lands, Folsom Administration Building, 64 N. Union Street, Room 421, Montgomery, AL 36130. Telephone: (203) 242-3484.

Populations within Georgia occur on National Forest Service land. One of these exists along a roadside and is being managed with manual removal of woody growth and periodic mowing when plants are neither flowering or fruiting. The remaining populations occur in natural openings along small streams in a wilderness area and are not being actively managed (Patrick 1994). Contact Thomas Patrick, Botanist, Georgia Natural Heritage Program, Wildlife Resources Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 2117 U.S. Highway 278 S.E., Social Circle, GA 30279. Telephone: (706) 557-3032.

The only extant population in Illinois is within the Shawnee National Forest and is located alongside a small- to medium-sized stream in a pristine watershed. Due to the remote location and stable condition of this population no active management is being conducted at this time (Schwegman 1994).

In North Carolina, populations are being managed by the state (Department of Transportation and Natural Heritage Program) and by the National Forest Service. Nantahala National Forest harbors many occurrences and resource managers plan to carry out a variety of management schemes in order to determine the most effective management methods for the plant (Weakley 1994a). Contact North Carolina Heritage Program, Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks and Recreation, Box 27687, Raleigh, NC 27611. Telephone: (919) 733-7701.

Sumter National Forest contains all of the extant populations known in South Carolina (SC HT 1994). No active management plans exist for these populations, although informal monitoring is conducted to tract population conditions (Roecker 1994). Contact Robin Roecker, Ecologist, Francis Marion-Sumter National Forests, USDA Forest Service, 4931 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 29201. Telephone: (803) 561-4071.

National Forest Service botanists in North and South Carolina are presently working on a Conservation Strategy for Lysimachia fraseri with the goal of protecting the plant adequately enough to prevent listing as a federally threatened or endangered species. Contact Gary Kaufman, Highlands Ranger District, Route 1, Box 247, Highlands, N.C. 28741. Telephone: (704) 526-3765

Tennessee has populations within the Cherokee National Forest, and efforts at arranging a management agreement with the Department of Transportation are underway (Pistrang 1994). Contact Botanist, Cherokee National Forest, USDA Forest Service, 2800 North Ocoee Street NW, P.O. Box 2010, Cleveland, TN 37320. Telephone: (615) 476-9700

Monitoring Programs: The Forest Service is working on a Conservation Strategy for this plant. At present this effort is still in the planning stage. If completed, this would provide for management and monitoring of many populations of Lysimachia fraseri (Kaufman 1994).

In North Carolina, a large roadside population has been monitored and initial monitoring efforts have begun in Nantahala National Forest in preparation for management research efforts (Kaufman 1994). Contact Gary Kaufman, Highlands Ranger District, Route 1, Box 247, Highlands, N.C. 28741. Telephone: (704) 526- 3765.

Baseline monitoring efforts have been started in South Carolina by the National Forest Service, and more in-depth monitoring efforts are being planned (Roecker 1994). Contact Robin Roecker, Ecologist, Francis Marion-Sumter National Forests, USDA Forest Service, 4931 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 29201. Telephone: (803) 561-4071.

In Illinois, some basic monitoring efforts have been conducted on the plants, but subsequent monitoring has been infrequent (Schwegman 1994). Contact John Schwegman, Botanist, Illinois Natural Heritage Division, Department of Conservation, 524 S. 2nd St., Springfield, IL 62706. Telephone: (217) 785-8774.

Management Research Programs: In Nantahala National Forest, the Forest Service is going to begin a research project into a variety of management tactics in 1995. The effort will include combinations of manually cutting back woody growth, burning, and mowing (Kaufman 1994, Weakley 1994a). Contact Gary Kaufman, Highlands Ranger District, Route 1, Box 247, Highlands, N.C. 28741. Telephone: (704) 526-3765. And North Carolina Heritage Program, Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources, Division of State Parks and Recreation, Box 27687, Raleigh, NC 27611. Telephone: (919) 733-7701.
Management Research Needs: Research into the proper management techniques for the protection of Lysimachia fraseri is important as many populations occur in unnatural habitat settings (roadsides) and require active efforts to control succession. Because fire management is often not possible in a roadside situation, alternatives such as cutting and mowing should be examined.

The observation that L. fraseri may be present in closed canopy woodlands as sterile individuals until conditions are favorable (Weakley 1994a) indicates that there is a potential for studying the process of "releasing" these plants. Comments in a 1992 element occurrence record mentioned the potential for researching the effect of openings on an apparently low-vigor, non-blooming population in a site in North Carolina (NC NHP 1994).

Additional topics: "The genus Lysimachia is named for Lysimachus, ancient king of Thrace, whose name in turn comes from the Greek word lysis, to loose from, and mache, strife. According to mythology the king pacified a pursuing bull by snatching up a plant of loosestrife and waving it at him(!). Lysimachia fraseri was first collected in South Carolina by John Fraser, for whom it was named,..." (Patrick et al. 1994).
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: 28Dec2017
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Fuller, Garth (1994), rev. Treher (2017)
Management Information Edition Date: 22Sep1994
Management Information Edition Author: FULLER, G., J. HENGELFELT, D.W. SCHUEN, AND M. PENSKAR
Management Information Acknowledgments: We are indebted to all the botanists, ecologists, information managers, and others who took the time to provide the information necessary for the preparation of this and many other Element Stewardship Abstracts.

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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  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2009. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 8. Magnoliophyta: Paeoniaceae to Ericaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. xxiv + 585 pp.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Gunn, S.C., M.A. Bailey, C. Oberholster, and G.C. Godwin. 1994. Final report on the natural heritage inventory of Fort McClellan, Alabama-Main Post. Alabama Natural Heritage Program for the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile district. pp. 23, 24, 82, 97, 183, 184.

  • Herkert, J., ed. 1991c. Endangered and threatened species of Illinois: Status and distribution. Volume 1 - Plants. Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board, Springfield. 158 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.

  • Patrick, T.S., J.R. Allison, and G.A. Krakow. 1994. Protected plants of Georgia (draft). Georgia Natural Heritage Program, Wildlife Resources Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources. pp. 1, 2.

  • 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.

  • Ray, J.D., Jr. 1956. The genus LYSOMACHIA in the New World. Illinois Biological Monographs, Vol. 24, Nos. 3-4. Univ. Ill. Press, Urbana, IL.

  • Ray, J.D., Jr. 1956. The genus Lysimachia in the new world. Illinois Biological Monographs: Volume XXIV, Nos. 3-4. The University of Illinois Press, Urbana, Illinois.

  • Simpson, B.B., J.L. Neff, and D. Seigler. 1983. Floral biology and floral rewards of LYSIMACHIA (Primulaceae). American Midland Naturalist 110(2): 249-256.

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