Malaxis bayardii - Fern.
Bayard's Malaxis
Other English Common Names: Bayard's Adder's-mouth Orchid
Other Common Names: Bayard's adder's-mouth orchid
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Malaxis bayardii Fern. (TSN 507254)
French Common Names: malaxis de Bayard
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.145455
Element Code: PMORC1R0N0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Orchid Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Orchidales Orchidaceae Malaxis
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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: Malaxis bayardii
Taxonomic Comments: Recognized as a distinct species by Fernald (1950); synonymized with Malaxis unifolia by some subsequent authors, but revalidated as distinct by Catling (1991).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 05Aug2014
Global Status Last Changed: 27Sep2004
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: One of the rarest orchids in northeastern North America, this species is known from seven (potentially up to 12) small, scattered populations from Massachusetts south to North Carolina, although there is a high probability that other populations have been overlooked. Six of the seven populations have less than 50 plants each. A single population in Massachusetts represents nearly 90% of the known individual plants. Based on historical data, this orchid has always been rare, with no more than twenty populations known at any one time; however, substantial potential habitat has likely been altered or destroyed by fire suppression and development. Habitat succession is the most frequently-cited threat, particularly shading by aggressive herbs and vines; active management may be needed to maintain populations at some sites. Development may also threaten some sites.
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 Connecticut (SH), Massachusetts (S1), New Jersey (SH), New York (S1), North Carolina (S1), Pennsylvania (S1), Rhode Island (SH), South Carolina (SNR), Virginia (SU), West Virginia (SH)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Very locally distributed within the mountains of North Carolina northeast to the mountains of Pennsylvania. Also scattered in the mountains and sandplains of New York, and the coastal plain of Virginia to Massachusetts. Reported from Ohio (Flora of North America 2002, Kartesz 2008), but report awaits confirmation (R. Gardner pers. comm. 2009). There are also two records of the species from Nova Scotia, but specimens supporting these reports await independent confirmation; until such confirmation occurs, this species is not considered confirmed for Nova Scotia (S. Blaney pers. comm. 2009).

Area of Occupancy: 6-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Approximately 7 (potentially 12) occurrences are believed extant, 4 in Massachusetts and 1 in each of Pennsylvania, New York, and North Carolina. The New York occurrence was last observed in 1997 and was not found in a more recent survey (in which the habitat was observed to be more shaded than previously) - this site may eventually be considered historical. At least 31 additional historical occurrences, as well as 4 additional failed to find occurrences, are known for this species. This plant difficult to find and very easy to overlook, so more occurrences may yet be discovered (or historical sites re-discovered).

Population Size Comments: Six of the seven occurrences believed extant have few plants, less than 50 each. A single occurrence in Massachusetts has "upwards to 500 plants" (Brown 2005), representing nearly 90% of the known individual plants. Plant numbers at each site tend to fluctuate considerably from year to year, with many more plants in wet years (Brown 2005). Maintains a significant seed bank.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Habitat succession is the most frequently-cited threat (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002, New York Natural Heritage Program 2009). The New York Natural Heritage Program (2009) points out that the most problematic aspect of succession for this plant seems to be shading by aggressive herbs and vines; although its habitat is typically described as "dry open woods and barrens," it can do well under a relatively full canopy of oaks or pines provided ground-level habitat conditions are suitable. Suppression of fire in historically fire-maintained habitats may contribute to this succession at some sites. Although development has had little impact in some parts of the range (e.g. New York, New York Natural Heritage Program 2009), it appears to be somewhat of a threat in others (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002); for example, sites in Pennsylvania will eventually be threatened by expansion of the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas (S. Grund pers. comm. 2009).

Short-term Trend Comments: The largest known extant occurrence (in Massachusetts) appears to be more or less stable, although numbers fluctuate from year to year (Brown 2005). The only potentially extant New York occurrence has been in decline - it had as many as 28 plants in the past, but had just one plant in 1997 and no plants have been observed since, despite several surveys. It is questionable whether plants may reappear at this site (individuals may be dormant); active management appears needed (New York Natural Heritage Program 2009). Trends at other sites are unknown.

Long-term Trend:  
Long-term Trend Comments: It is likely that this plant has always been rare (New York Natural Heritage Program 2009), although substantial habitat has likely been altered or destroyed by fire suppression and development. Many of the documented sites are now considered historical, but the plant difficult to find and very easy to overlook, so more occurrences may yet be discovered (or historical sites re-discovered).

Environmental Specificity: Narrow to moderate.
Environmental Specificity Comments: At some sites, may be dependent on periodic fire to generate/maintain habitat.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Very locally distributed within the mountains of North Carolina northeast to the mountains of Pennsylvania. Also scattered in the mountains and sandplains of New York, and the coastal plain of Virginia to Massachusetts. Reported from Ohio (Flora of North America 2002, Kartesz 2008), but report awaits confirmation (R. Gardner pers. comm. 2009). There are also two records of the species from Nova Scotia, but specimens supporting these reports await independent confirmation; until such confirmation occurs, this species is not considered confirmed for Nova Scotia (S. Blaney pers. comm. 2009).

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 CT, MA, NC, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
MA Barnstable (25001), Dukes (25007), Essex (25009)*, Nantucket (25019)*, Worcester (25027)*
NC Caldwell (37027)*, McDowell (37111)
NJ Morris (34027)*, Passaic (34031)*, Sussex (34037)*
NY Albany (36001), Orange (36071)*, Richmond (36085)*
PA Bedford (42009), Fayette (42051)*, Lackawanna (42069)*, Luzerne (42079)*, Monroe (42089)*, Schuylkill (42107)*, Susquehanna (42115)*, Wayne (42127)*
RI Washington (44009)*
WV Greenbrier (54025)*, Monongalia (54061)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Charles (01090001)+*, Cape Cod (01090002)+, Pawcatuck-Wood (01090005)+*
02 Middle Hudson (02020006)+, Rondout (02020007)+*, Hudson-Wappinger (02020008)+*, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+*, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+*, Raritan (02030105)+*, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+*, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+*, Lehigh (02040106)+*, Schuylkill (02040203)+*, Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna (02050107)+*, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+
03 Upper Yadkin (03040101)+*, Upper Catawba (03050101)+
05 Cheat (05020004)+*, Greenbrier (05050003)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small erect perennial orchid, 4-18 cm tall. Plants usually have only a single oval green clasping leaf on the stem. A cylinder-shaped spike of stalked flowers is produced at the top of the stem; up to 150 small green flowers may be present, wilting from the top down as the season progresses. Flowering period is late June-September.
General Description: This is a very small orchid only about 1 or 2 dm tall. There is one, oval, green, clasping leaf about one third to half the way up the stem. At the top of the stem is a cylindrical spike of up to 150, tiny, stalked, chartreuse-green flowers that wilt from the top down. The lip is divided into two lobes with another petal sticking out at the top between the lobes.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Similar to Malaxis unifolia. M. bayardii tends to be found in drier habitats (e.g. upland woods and barrens), while M. unifolia tends toward wetter sites (e.g. swamps and bogs). The inflorescence of M. bayardii is loosely flowered above with flowers wilting from the top down and the lower flowers wilting slowly, while the inflorescence of M. unifolia is densely flowered above with flowers maturing from the bottom up and the lower flowers wilting quickly (Morton and Speedy 2008, New York Natural Heritage Program 2009). M. bayardii flowers tend to have shorter pedicels (3.4-5 (5.8) mm) than those of M. unifolia ((3.8) 5-10 (15) mm). Finally, the basal lobes of M. bayardii have a prominent lip, 0.76-1.1 mm long, usually 1.5-2 or more times as long as the apical lateral lobes, and 0.6 or more times as long as the length from the base to the tip of the mid lobe; while the basal lobes of the lip on M. unifolia are not prominent, 0.4-1.1 mm long, mostly less than 1.5 times as long as the apical lateral lobes and less than 0.6 times as long as the length from the base to the tip of the mid-lobe (New York Natural Heritage Program 2009).
Duration: PERENNIAL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Barrens, Forest - Hardwood, Forest Edge, Forest/Woodland, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood
Habitat Comments: Usually dry (occasionally moist) open woodlands and clearings, often on hilltops; known sites include rocky chestnut oak forests and a successional hilltop woodland dominated by Pinus virginiana. Also occurs in pitch pine-scrub oak barrens and shale barrens. Many of these systems are fire-maintained, or the sites are kept open by humans (cemeteries, railroad rights-of-way). Soils tend to be sandy. In New York, associated species include Canada May-flower (Maianthemum canadense), Pitch Pine (Pinus rigida), Bigtooth Aspen (Populus grandidentata), Wild Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Chestnut Oak (Quercus montana), Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), and American Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) (New York Natural Heritage Program 2009). 10 - 600 m.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Additional research is needed to determine the most appropriate management. Management actions that may benefit the plant include hand-pulling aggressive herbs and vines from known habitat and providing some soil disturbance, although soil disturbance might also cause invasive species to increase, requiring follow-up (New York Natural Heritage Program 2009). In fire-maintained systems, restoring the historical fire regime may benefit the species. It is unclear whether thinning of the tree canopy would be of substantial benefit.
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: 27Sep2004
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Weldy, T., rev. K. Gravuer (2009)

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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  • Brown, P. M. 2005. An albino Adder's Mouth from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. North American Native Orchid Journal 11: 4-5.

  • Brown, P.M. 1993. A field and study guide to the orchids of New England and New York. Orchis Press, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. 246 pp.

  • Catling, P. M. 1991. Systematics of Malaxis bayardii and Malaxis unifolia. Lindleyana 6(1):3-23.

  • Catling, P.M. 1991. Systematics of Malaxis bayardii and Malaxis unifolia. Lindleyana 6(1): 3-23.

  • Fernald, M. L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. Corrected printing (1970). D. Van Nostrand Company, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Fernald, M.L. 1950 Gray's Manual of Botany, 8th ed. American Book Company, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. D. Van Nostrand, New York. 1632 pp.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002. Flora of North America, North of Mexico. Volume 26. Magnoliophyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. Oxford University Press, New York. 723 pp.

  • 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.

  • Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

  • Haines, A. 2011. Flora Novae Angliae: a manual for the identification of native and naturalized higher vascular plants of New England. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT. 973 pp.

  • Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

  • 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.

  • Kartesz, J.T.  2008. Synthesis of the North American Flora. 2nd Edition. CD-ROM computer application (review draft 2008). [in preparation]

  • Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. 1997. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants. Contributions to a Flora of New York State. Checklist IV. Bulletin No. 490. New York State Museum. Albany, NY. 400 pp.

  • Morton, C. M. and L. Speedy. 2008. Checklist of the vascular plants of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 2(2): 1449-1474.

  • New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Enviromental Conservation. March 1998. Element Occurrence Record Database. Latham, NY.

  • New York Natural Heritage Program. 2009, 13 March last updated. Online Conservation Guide for Malaxis bayardii. Online. Available: http://www.acris.nynhp.org/guide.php?id=9702. Accessed 2009.

  • Reschke, Carol. 1990. Ecological communities of New York State. New York Natural Heritage Program, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Latham, NY. 96 pp. plus xi.

  • 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.

  • Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://wwws.nyflora.org/, Albany, New York

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