Rhododendron eastmanii - Kron & Creel
Eastman's Rhododendron
Other English Common Names: May-White Azalea, Santee Azalea
Other Common Names: Santee azalea
Taxonomic Status: Provisionally accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.637293
Element Code: PDERI15110
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Heath Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Ericales Ericaceae Rhododendron
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kron, K. and M, Creel. 1999. A new species of deciduous Azalea (Rhododendron section Pentanthera; Ericaceae) from South Carolina. Novon 9: 377-380.
Concept Reference Code: A99KRO01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Rhododendron eastmanii
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 14Jun2018
Global Status Last Changed: 14Jun2018
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Rhododendron eastmanii is endemic to the piedmont and coastal plain of South Carolina, where it is found at sixty-five locations in thirteen counties. The global population size is estimated around 2,000 to 3,000 individuals. This species is threatened by invasive species, deer browse, and the succession of the forest, including the development of a secondary canopy. Further searches in adjacent North Carolina and Georgia may eventually locate the species there, and continued inventory is expected to yield new discoveries in South Carolina as well.
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 South Carolina (S2)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Rhododendron eastmanii is endemic to the piedmont and coastal plain of South Carolina, occurring in 13 counties (Calhoun, Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Greenwood, Kershaw, Laurens, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Spartanburg, Union, and York). Weakley (2008) notes that "it should be sought in NC and GA, approaching with 4 miles of the NC border in Cherokee County, SC (M. Creel, pers. comm.., 2007)."

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

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Rhododendron eastmanii is known from around 65 occurrences in South Carolina, although there might be fewer depending on how they are delimited (C. Horn, pers. comm., 2018). Ongoing surveys have identified more occurrences since the summary of 25 occurrences published in 2005 (Horn 2005; NatureServe Natural Heritage Network Database 2018).

Population Size Comments: In 2018, the estimated population size is probably around 2,000 to 3,000 plants based on surveys that expanded the size of known occurrences and the discovery of new occurrences (C. Horn, pers. comm., 2018). In 2005 (Horn), there was an estimated 813 individuals.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: More research is needed to understand the impact of threats on this species but field observations suggest some threats based on the lack of flowering, few seedlings or young plants, and sometimes fewer plants over time at sites. Invasive species, which compete for resources, and deer that browse plants threaten plants at some sites including those on National Forest Land. It is believed that invasive species are increasing in some forests and sites where the species occurs. Many sites are on Forest Service Land, which provides protection from the impacts of forestry management practices that increase erosion (like cutting on steep slopes). Long term conditions on Forest Service Land, favoring forest growth, appears to have benefited the species, but the development of a secondary canopy over time without natural disturbances that produces openings in the canopy, may reduce flowering and germination of seedlings. Further research is needed to determine the relationship of the species reproduction and survival under different forest structures, as well as, the influence of fire in maintaining habitat (C. Horn, pers. comm., 2018). One site in Richland county and possibly other private sites are threatened by urban development (Kron and Creel 1999).

Short-term Trend: Unknown

Long-term Trend: Relatively Stable to increase of <25%
Long-term Trend Comments: This species is believed to have an increasing trend, long term, due to the protection of forests on National Forest Lands, which has minimized the impacts of logging and reduced cutting on steep slopes, which causes erosion of soils (C. Horn, pers. comm., 2018).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Rhododendron eastmanii is endemic to the piedmont and coastal plain of South Carolina, occurring in 13 counties (Calhoun, Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Greenwood, Kershaw, Laurens, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Spartanburg, Union, and York). Weakley (2008) notes that "it should be sought in NC and GA, approaching with 4 miles of the NC border in Cherokee County, SC (M. Creel, pers. comm.., 2007)."

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 SC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
SC Calhoun (45017), Cherokee (45021), Chester (45023), Fairfield (45039), Florence (45041), Greenwood (45047), Kershaw (45055), Laurens (45059), Marion (45067), Newberry (45071), Richland (45079), Spartanburg (45083), Union (45087), York (45091)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Lower Pee Dee (03040201)+, Lower Catawba (03050103)+, Wateree (03050104)+, Upper Broad (03050105)+, Lower Broad (03050106)+, Tyger (03050107)+, Enoree (03050108)+, Saluda (03050109)+, Congaree (03050110)+, Lake Marion (03050111)+, Upper Savannah (03060103)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Duration: PERENNIAL, DECIDUOUS
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest/Woodland
Habitat Comments: This species occurs in "Forests on north-facing slopes near limestone" at elevations of 30-200 m (FNA 2009) and prefers slightly acidic to circumneutral soils (Horn 2005).
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: 14Jun2018
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Oliver, L., rev. K. Gravuer (2009), rev. Treher (2018)

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

  • Horn, C.N. 2005. Distribution and Ecological Preference of Rhododendron eastmanii Kron & Creel (May-White Azalea) in South Carolina. Castanea 70(1):1?12.

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

  • Kron, K. and M, Creel. 1999. A new species of deciduous Azalea (Rhododendron section Pentanthera; Ericaceae) from South Carolina. Novon 9: 377-380.

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

  • Weakley, A. S. 2008. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, northern Florida, and surrounding areas. Working Draft of 7 April 2008. University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU), North Carolina Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Online. Available: http://herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm (Accessed 2008).

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