Scutellaria montana - Chapman
Large-flower Skullcap
Other Common Names: largeflower skullcap
Synonym(s): Scutellaria serrata var. montana (Chapman) Penl.
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Scutellaria montana Chapman (TSN 196144)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.159616
Element Code: PDLAM1U0U0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Mint Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Lamiales Lamiaceae Scutellaria
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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: Scutellaria montana
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 23May2013
Global Status Last Changed: 23May2013
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Scutellaria montana is known from a limited area of the Ridge and Valley and Cumberland Plateau provinces of Tennessee and Georgia. The total number of known individuals is estimated to be 50,000. Approximately 200 occurrences are currently believed extant, but ongoing redelineation to combine nearby sites is anticipated to lower this number. Although some populations have a relatively high number of individuals, there are also imminent threats to some, including logging-associated habitat degradation, suburban development, and quarrying. Very few sites are protected in Georgia.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4

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 Georgia (S3), Tennessee (S4)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LT: Listed threatened (14Jan2002)
Comments on USESA: Scutellaria montana was proposed endangered on November 13, 1985 and listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act as endangered on June 20, 1986. It was proposed for reclassification to threatened status on July 12, 2000, due to the location of additional populations. On January 14, 2002 it was reclassified as threatened.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Ridge and Valley and Cumberland Plateau physiographic provinces in Georgia and Tennessee.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: 205 occurrences are currently mapped and considered extant, but delineating separate occurrences for this species is challenging because it occurs as small clumps that are relatively close together. Efforts are now underway to re-delineate occurrences, resulting in many closely-spaced small occurrences being lumped into fewer large occurrences with better viability ranks. Nevertheless, additional search effort for this species continues to result in the discovery of additional occurrences.

Population Size Comments: More than 50,000 individuals known (Fish and Wildlife Service 2002). Plants are fairly widely scattered, even within occurrences; often, additional search effort at the same site results in the discovery of additional plants. Some occurrences contain over 500 plants, but others have only 5 or 6. Many of the Georgia occurrences are small. Suitable habitat is abundant on the escarpment of the Cumberland Plateau in forests that are no longer logged or converted to pine monoculture. Suitable habitat also exists in Northern Alabama.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some (13-40)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Approximately 20-40 of the currently-mapped occurrences are believed to have excellent or good viability. However, as noted above, efforts now underway to re-delineate occurrences will result in fewer, larger occurrences with better viability ranks. Also, approximately 10 currently-mapped occurrences are believed extant, but have not yet been evaluated for viability - some of these may be excellent or good.

Overall Threat Impact: High - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: (1) One of the greatest potential threats is the proliferation of exotic and opportunistic native species after logging in the species' habitat. Aggressive exotic vines such as kudzu and Japanese honeysuckle are responsible for the permanent or long-term destruction of numerous sites. S. montana does not compete well with its herbaceous associates and appears to be very sensitive to the amount of light in the canopy. Increased runoff and erosion from logging activities can alter downslope habitats. (2) In much of the range, habitat conversion and destruction is a significant threat. Sites in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Rome, Georgia are prime for suburban development, including the construction of new large homes. The suburbs of Chattanooga near the state line appear to be the area where development is the biggest issue at this time. However, the low current growth rate of Chattanooga is mitigating this threat to some extent. (3) Fortunately, the more remote and steep mountain slopes on the escarpment are less likely to be developed; however, quarrying of rock in these areas is a threat. Quarrying can be an issue anywhere mineral rights are not owned by the state; even on protected land, mineral rights may be owned by another party. Rangewide, quarrying is a less likely but more widespread threat than home building. (4) The potential for conversion of forests to agriculture or grazing exists at most unprotected sites. Very few sites are protected in Georgia (USFWS 2002, T. Patrick, T. Crabtree, and C. Nordman pers. comm. 2010).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: In many occurrences, the number of flowering plants fluctuates from year to year, and there don't seem to be many seedlings. A small percentage of known occurrences are being lost.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Appears to be self-maintaining in mature forests. However, at some sites, it is unclear whether the species is reproducing, as seedlings are infrquently detected.

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Fire may benefit this species - an accidental fire at one site seemed to have a positive effect.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Ridge and Valley and Cumberland Plateau physiographic provinces in Georgia and Tennessee.

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 GA, TN

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
GA Catoosa (13047), Chattooga (13055), Dade (13083), Floyd (13115), Gordon (13129), Murray (13213), Walker (13295), Whitfield (13313)
TN Bledsoe (47007), Hamilton (47065), Marion (47115), Sequatchie (47153)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Conasauga (03150101)+, Coosawattee (03150102)+, Oostanaula (03150103)+, Upper Coosa (03150105)+
06 Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb with solitary, erect square stems, 3-5 dm tall. The leaves are short petiolate, lanceolate to ovate 5-8 cm long, by 2.5-5 cm wide, with blunt crenate to serrate margins, and hairy on both surfaces. The blue and white flowers, about 2.5 cm long, are borne on a terminal raceme with leafy bracts. The flowers bloom in May and early June and lack a fleshy ridge (annulus) within the tube near the calyx top. Fruit contain 4 light brown nutlets enclosed by the two-lobed calyx, the upper lobe with a cap above the base of the lower lobe (USFWS 1998).

General Description: A perennial herb with an erect, usually solitary, square stem, usually 3-5 dm tall. The leaves are lanceolate to ovate, short-petiolate, 5-8 cm by 2.5-5 cm, with blunt-serrate margins, hairy on both surfaces. The blue and white flowers, about 2.5 cm long, are borne in a terminal leafy-bracted raceme; they bloom in May and early June. The fruit contain 4 light brown nutlets, enclosed by the expanding 2-lobed calyx, the upper lobe with a "cap" above the base of the lower lobe.
Technical Description: A perennial herb with an erect, usually solitary, square stem, usually 3-5 dm tall. The leaves are lanceolate to ovate, short-petiolate, 5-8 cm by 2.5-5 cm, with blunt-serrate margins, hairy on both surfaces. The blue and white flowers are large for the genus, about 2.5 cm long, and are borne in a terminal leafy-bracted raceme, maybe with smaller basal racemes; they bloom in May and early June. In addition, the flowers lack a ridge within the tube near the top of the calyx, which is characteristic of the other members of the section. Distinguished from S. pseudoserrata, its closest sympatric relative, by the presence on the lower leaf surface of a fine, dense, continuous coverage of glandular and non-glandular hairs. S. montana also lacks the round, pale, peltate scales and combination of longer and shorter hairs found in S. pseudoserrata. Other Scutellaria found in the habitat area of S. montana have either smaller flowers and/or leaves with truncate to cordate leaf bases. The fruit contain 4 light brown nutlets, enclosed by the expanding 2- lobed calyx, the upper lobe with a "cap" above the base of the lower lobe.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Distinctive characters are the terminal inflorescence, the large flowers, the distinctive calyx, and the long, tapering leaf bases. The flowers lack the ridge (annulus) within the tube near the top of the calyx, which is characteristic of the other members of the section. Distinguished from S. pseudoserrata, the most common associated skullcap species, by the presence on the lower and upper leaf surface of a fine, dense, continuous coverage of glandular and non-glandular hairs giving it a velvety surface. The upper surface has no sessile glands (Kral 1983, Shea Hogan 1998).

Reproduction Comments: The nutlets have a smooth exterior and do not appear to be adapted for any means of long-distance dispersal; they most likely fall a short distance (≤ 5 m) from the parent plant due to explosion of mint capsule. They could be washed downslope by water, or carried by small animals, but have only remote chances of extrapopulation dispersal (Collins, unpublished manuscript).
Ecology Comments: The life history of Scutellaria montana has not been specifically studied, and relatively little of it is known. Mature nutlets were not even seen until about 1983 by workers at Shorter College, thus indicating the early stage of work on the biology of the species. Collins (unpublished manuscript) summarizes the general life cycle as follows. "Nutlets are released from late June through early July (mid-June to mid-July?), overwinter, and apparently germinate in late March. Mature individuals that have perennated as rootstocks begin shoot growth in late March. By early April, plants are 5-10 cm tall and are pushing through the leaf litter. Anthesis typically begins during mid-May and continues through early June. Pollination is principally or exclusively by Hymenoptera of the superfamily Apoidea (bees). The corolla shrivels somewhat and falls from the calyx one or two days after pollination, presumably within 24 hours of fertilization. The calyx closes around the developing fruit immediately after corolla abscission. During the next two to four weeks, the calyx and the enclosed nutlets enlarge and mature. The calyx then dehisces by the loss of the upper lip, and the nutlets are released...A different course is followed if fertilization does not occur. The corolla shrivels markedly and may or may not remain united to the calyx. The entire calyx, still open at the mouth, falls leaving the pedicel bare."

Workers at Shorter College are apparently conducting demographic and autecological studies on S. montana. Preliminary results indicate that less than 40 % of the flowers produce mature nutlets. Collins (1976) found that in other species of this group of Scutellaria studied, 76 to 93% of the flowers form nutlets. This lowered rate of fruit production, and the often few-flowered inflorescences, combine to give S. montana a reproductive capacity less than many of its relatives. The nutlets have a smooth exterior and do not appear to be adapted for any means of long-distance dispersal; they most likely fall a short distance (≤ 5 m) from the parent plant due to explosion of mint capsule. They could be washed downslope by water, or carried by small animals, but have only remote chances of extrapopulation dispersal. However, as Collins (unpublished manuscript) notes, this cannot alone explain its rarity, in that all of its more widespread relatives have virtually identical seed dispersal.

Conditions necessary for germination and establishment are still unknown, although the Marshall Forest population has variously been described as from 500 to 1300 plants. This may represent actual population fluctuations.

Scutellaria species in the group to which S. montana belongs generally occur at fairly low density, scattered seemingly at random over fairly large areas of forest. Large colonies are seldom found, and individual plants are usually widely spaced and easily distinguishable. S. montana may sometimes occur in tighter colonies than many of its relatives, as indicated by its clumped distribution at Marshall Forest. In the largest Tennessee population (ca. 5000 individuals), the plants are spaced at approximately 6" intervals (Hawks 1985b), giving a density of 4/sq ft, or ca. 40/sq meter. In the smaller Tennessee populations, however, density is 1 plant per sq meter or less, and individuals can be separated by 50m or more from the nearest S. montana (Bridges 1983, 1984; Bridges and Hawks 1984)

Collins (unpublished manuscript) indicates that S. montana was only known to occur in minimally disturbed sites with a stable habitat. This would indicate it to be a plant of late-successional or climax forests. In Tennessee, some of the sites have clearly younger trees and more recent disturbances than the above would suggest. One site has trees generally 30-40 years old; most sites average trees less than 60 years old. The largest site is in a relatively old (50-60 yrs ?) forest, but is unique in that there had been a gentle ground fire about three years before the discovery of S. montana at the site. While S. montana will not, or has not been observed, to grow in early successional pine stands, it will occupy relatively mature stands with varying degrees of disturbances. Thus it can be considered a mid-to-late successional species which probably persists in, but is not restricted to, mature or climax forests. This is the typical situation for most forest herbs of the region.

Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Forest/Woodland
Habitat Comments: SUMMARY: Scutellaria montana is typically found in rocky, shallow soils, and on submesic to xeric, well-drained, slightly acidic oak-pine forests in the Ridge and Valley and Cumberland Plateau provinces of Northwestern Georgia and adjacent southeastern Tennessee. In Georgia, it has been reported from elevations of 189 to 265 m on steep, lower slopes of all aspects. In Tennessee, the elevation range of the species is much greater, with one concentration of sites at 200 to 320 m on slightly sloping to steep lower to mid-slopes on the Upper Mississippian Pennington Formation. The other concentration is at 400 to 540 m on gentle to somewhat steep slopes of small ravines near the escarpment on the Cumberland Plateau, on Lower Pennsylvanian sandstone and shale (Bridges 1984). The soil is always rocky and somewhat shallow, with plants rooted in deeper soil between boulders, or on as little as 3 cm of soil over rocks (Collins, unpublished manuscript). The species appears to have little specific habitat preference, occurring in localized areas within its known range. It is unclear what limits the northern edge of its distribution.

FULL DESCRIPTION: Scutellaria montana is typically found in rocky, submesic to xeric, well-drained, slightly acidic slope, ravine, and stream bottom forests in the Ridge and Valley and Cumberland Plateau provinces of Northwestern Georgia and adjacent southeastern Tennessee (and possibly Alabama). In Georgia, it has been reported from elevations of 189 to 265 m (620 to 870 feet) on steep, lower slopes of all aspects (Collins 1976). In Tennessee, the elevation range of the species is much greater, with one concentration of sites at 200 to 320 m (650 to 1050 feet) on slightly sloping to steep lower to mid-slopes on the Upper Mississippian Pennington Formation. Another concentration of Tennessee sites is at 400 to 540 m (1300 to 1780 feet) on gentle to somewhat steep slopes of small ravines near the escarpment on the Cumberland Plateau, on Lower Pennsylvanian sandstones and shales. The breadth of its occurrence in relation to geological strata is remarkable - shale, chert, limestone, and sandstone from Cambrian to Pennsylvanian age, essentially most of the major slope-forming formations of the region. The soil is always rocky and somewhat shallow, with plants rooted in deeper soil between boulders, or on as little as 3 cm of soil over rocks (Collins 1976).

In terms of natural community types, Scutellaria montana occupies types which are typical for the region and occupy a large percentage of the lesser disturbed slopes within and beyond the known range of the species. In Wharton (1978) these community types are Armuchee Ridge Forest, Oak-Pine Forest of the Great Valley, and possibly Submesic Ridge and Slope Forest (Sedimentary Region). These types are difficult to distinguish in absolute terms, as are the community types supporting Scutellaria montana in Tennessee. Perhaps a more broadly defined type, such as "Dry-mesic acidic slope forest - Upland Oak-Pine Region Type" may be more appropriate, with numerous subtypes being possible throughout the range of the type (Virginia to Alabama and Tennessee). The distinguishing features of this type are 1) At least some natural pine occurrence for long periods [typically Pinus echinata or P. taeda, less commonly P. virginiana or P. palustris]; 2) Predominately oaks and hickories as canopy species, with scattered more mesic species; 3) Predominately deciduous shrub layer, with some evergreen Vaccinium [not dominant]; 4) Moderately dense herb layer (typically 20-50%) of a mixture of mesic and somewhat xeric species (Desmodium spp., Hexastylis spp., Chimaphila maculata characteristic); 5) Developed on well-consolidated paleozoic to pre-cambrian strata, often with some exposed rock. This is a common natural community in the Piedmont (VA, NC, SC, GA, AL), extreme Southern Blue Ridge (GA, AL) and southern Ridge and Valley and Cumberland Plateau (GA, AL, southeastern TN) on sites typical of these regions.

Scutellaria montana is associated with several of the same species throughout its range, while other associates differ in relation to degree of moisture of the site, and from northernmost to southernmost populations. Several oak species usually dominate the canopy, most often Quercus alba, Q. velutina, and/or Q. montana, less often Q. stellata and Q. rubra. Four hickory species are present from at least one site (Carya ovata, C. glabra, C. tomentosa, C. pallida.) Pines are at least a minor component of the canopy at all sites, with Pinus echinata being most typical (less often P. virginiana, P. taeda, P. palustris). At least at the Tennessee sites, other hardwoood species, often of more mesic affinities, are present in the canopy. Liriodendron tulipifera and Liquidambar styraciflua are the most frequent of these species.

The most typically associated subcanopy species is Cornus florida, which is extremely common in the natural community type. Numerous other subcanopy and shrub species may be present, as well as many transgressives of the canopy species. Vacciniium arboreum, Oxydendron arboreum, Sassafras albidum, and Calycanthus floridus are present at several sites, with Cercis canadensis, Vaccinium stamineum and Vaccinium vacillans said to be typical of Georgia sites (Colllins, unpublished manuscript).

The herbaceous layer associates are perhaps the most critical species in explaining Scutellaria montana habitat and occurrence, yet are even more varied than the woody associates, with at least 30 species present at more than one site. Those which are common associates in Georgia (Collins 1976) and are also present at some Tennessee sites include Dioscorea quaternata, Spigelia marilandica, and Hexastylis arifolia. Several other species are common associates in Georgia, but are not known to be closely associated in Tennessee. These include Polygonatum biflorum, Geranium maculatum, Arisaema triphyllum, Asclepias quadrifolia, Trillium catesbaei, Trillium cuneatum, Chimaphila maculata, and Hypoxis hirsutus. Several additional species are associated with Scutellaria montana at two or more of the Tennessee sites, including the woody vines Smilax glauca, Vitis rotundifolia, and Parthenocissus quinquefolia, as well as Cynoglossum virginianum, Desmodium glutinosum, Lysimachia tonsa, Galium circaezans, Sanicula canadensis, Pteridium aquilinum, Polymnia uvedalia, and Coreopsis major.

The associated species of Scutellaria montana include both somewhat mesic and somewhat xeric indicator species for the region, with the extremely mesic species and most xeric species lacking. The relatively wide range of moisture preferences of associates is attributable in part to variation between sites, but much of this variation is due to the microtopography diversity within many of the sites. The steep, rocky surfaces result in both quite xeric shallow soil areas over and in small cracks between rocks, and deeper, moister soils in larger crevices in positions where runoff is channeled. The relationship of Scutellaria montana to this microtopographic variation is either not very specific, or as yet undetermined, as it can be found in many microhabitats at most sites. It does seem to be in areas with less herbaceous cover than its surroundings, and apparently does not compete well with many of its herbaceous associates. This is probably particularly true with regard to rhizomatous, colony-forming species which, once established, could easily crowd out Scutellaria. Nearest neighbor studies at one of the Tennessee sites (Bridges and Hawks 1984), indicate that S. montana is often found 3"-10" away from rhizomatous plants such as Calycanthus floridus, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, and Desmodium nudiflorum, and most shaded by a subcanopy tree of Cornus florida and a canopy Quercus alba. This situation obviously varies by site, but perhaps indicates the tenuous balance between S. montana and its larger, more aggressive, herb, vine, and shrub associates.

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Protection of the best sites in public ownership through management agreements and possible acquisition of outstanding sites should be continued. Formal written agreements should be developed to ensure that managers conserve the populations and should address the following management considerations. Invasive exotic and native plant species that are in direct competition with S. montana will need to be manually removed or direct application of herbicides conducted. Off-road vehicle traffic should be prohibited. Trampling of plants along hiking trails could be a problem; all trails that exist within S. montana habitat should be surveyed and re-routed if necessary.
The species grows on forested slopes, usually in a closed canopy, and appears to be sensitive to light availability. Logging, clearing or burning of the forest that would open the canopy could have an adverse effect on the life cycle of S. montana and the abundance of invasive plant species. Prescribed fire could benefit the species if the canopy cover is not altered and if the competing vegetation is reduced. Monitoring of long-term effects of these different management strategies has been initiated at some sites and should be continued

Restoration Potential: Too little is known of the conditions for establishment and maintenance of S. montana to definitely assess the potential recovery possibilities. It is estimated that recovery potential is poor for several reasons. The scattered nature of the plant suggests that conditions necessary for germination and establishment may rarely be met in the field, and are probably difficult to duplicate. Transplanted individuals would be difficult to establish, and would spread very slowly, if at all. The species may not withstand much competition, and therefore would not succeed where other species are well-established. It may be found that there are conditions which would result in good field results, but further research would be needed to determine these.

If a population is declining because of competition by more aggressive species, particularly exotics, it may recover if these are manually removed - a difficult or impossible job in most cases. The plant would probably be adversely affected by herbicide use to control competition. Prescribed burning, while not necessarily detrimental to S. montana (possibly having been beneficial at one site), is risky since it could easily encourage competition from vines and result in further decline. Manual removal of competition seems to be the only way to attempt recovery of a population declining from this problem.

Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Since the largest and highest quality populations of Scutellaria montana are generally dispersed over a large area, it is important to protect a fairly large site to adequately protect the species. A preserve should include areas of potentially suitable habitat, particularly near the periphery of the population, to allow potential for new colonization and population expansion. A significant amount of buffer is necessary, particularly immediately upslope from the population, and preferably extending to include all the watershed above the plants. This buffer can protect the site from future problems from diversion of runoff, erosion, water pollution, or land clearing upslope. Ideally, a preserved site should include the entire mountainside or part of a mountainside where the plants occur, from crest to lower slopes. Unfortunately, existing development precludes this possibility at some sites. These should be considered relatively lower priority sites, as they may never be completely free of threats from man's activity upslope or in the watershed.

At this point, further land acquisition for the protection of S. montana is a low priority, pending the results of a systematic inventory for the species. The ease with which additional sites have been found in the past 2 years indicate that it may be possible to adequately protect this plant on existing public lands through management agreements, and on private land through management agreements or donated conservation easements.

Monitoring Requirements: Scutellaria montana is in definite need of monitoring at several sites throughout its range. Some information exists that indicates a possible decline of the species at one well-known site, and this needs to be clarified and documented. In general, we know little of the life cycle and population stability of this species, which makes it difficult to determine appropriate protection and management strategies, and the effects of deliberate or unintentional changes in the habitat.

The most appropriate technique for monitoring this plant (and other non-colonial, presumably long-lived perennials) is to permanently identify and mark individual plants and follow their life cycle over several years. In small populations, every plant could be identified and followed. In larger populations, quadrats (1/4 m2 to 1 m2) could be mapped randomly or systematically throughout the population, being sure to cover areas of varying population densities, competitive differences, various microhabitats, and edges of the population, as well as any areas of specific interest to determine effects of management or extraneous changes. Within the population, or the quadrats, each plant should be mapped and permanently marked for relocation. The following measurements should be made on each plant: height, number of flowers, number of fruit set, plant vigor and condition, and cover and identities of competition within a 1' radius. Evidence of reproduction (vegetative or sexual) within the population or within the quadrats should be closely watched for, and new individuals followed as above. This process can be tedious, but over several years can answer many questions about the life cycle of and best management practices for the species. Monitoring should first be done when the plants are in late flower(early June?), and again in fruit (late June?). With experience, monitoring while in fruit may be possible, counting inflorescence pedicels or scars to determine number of flowers. It may be found that fruit set is less important to measure, and monitoring can take place when the plants are in flower, and most easily observed.

Monitoring Programs: Current monitoring programs may be being conducted by workers at Shorter College in Rome. Data has been collected on some plants at a population in Tennessee (Bridges and Hawks 1984) which could be used for monitoring purposes. Less detailed population estimates at other sites by Leo Collins, Graham Hawks, Paul Somers, and others could be used as baseline data for simpler monitoring.
Management Research Programs: Workers at Shorter College have been doing demographic research on this species. The details of this work are not known to me at this time. Dr. Lewis Lipps is a key contact person.
Management Research Needs: It seems from available information that Scutellaria montana populations are stable under natural conditions as they currently exist in the region, and that no active management is necessary. However, protection from threats by man's influences on the sites and surrounding areas is needed in some cases. The populations need protection from changes within the watershed, particularly directly upslope. This could involve barriers to mitigate erosion effects, increased runoff, and water pollution. If water is being diverted from the population habitat in great quantities, ditches and drains may need to be blocked. If human impacts from recreational use, casual walking or dumping becomes problematic, fencing the area and restricting access may be necessary. If there is not much off-trail walking, trails through the area are not necessarily undesirable. If grazing animals are present near populations, fencing may be desirable to ensure that escaped or free-ranging animals do not decimate populations. If exotic, aggressive species are within or on the edges of the population habitat, they should be removed. This must be done manually if they are in direct competition with Scutellaria, but other techniques (local herbicide direct application, mowing, burning, etc.) could be used if encroachment by exotics has not yet reached the population.
Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: An A-ranked occurrence of Scutellaria montana is a site containing greater than 1,000 plants or smaller occurrences (500-1,000 plants) with minimal habitat disturbance and none or few invasive exotic plant species.

Good Viability: A B-ranked occurrence of Scutellaria montana is a site containing 500-1,000 plants with some habitat disturbance, or smaller occurrences (100-500 plants) in sites with minimal habitat disturbance and none or few invasive exotic plant species. Site may be restorable to an A rank.
Fair Viability: A C-ranked occurrence of Scutellaria montana is a site containing 100-500 plants with some habitat disturbance or smaller occurrences (50-100 plants) in sites with minimal habitat disturbance and none or few invasive exotic plant species. Restoration to B rank conditions is unlikely.

Poor Viability: A D-ranked occurrence of Scutellaria montana is a site containing less than 50 plants or a larger occurrence (50-100 plants) that is highly disturbed. Restoration of disturbed or degraded sites would be unlikely.
Justification: The rank specifications for Scutellaria montana are based on minimum viability index of 100 plants (USFWS 1996), habitat quality based on affects of invasive exotic species, mapped occurrences and expert opinion.

Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 13Mar2006
Author: A. Bishop
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: 13Mar2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: A. Bishop, rev. K. Gravuer (2010)
Management Information Edition Date: 24Oct1986
Management Information Edition Author: EDWIN BRIDGES, rev. A. Bishop (2006)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 24Oct1986
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): BRIDGES, E., rev. A. Bishop (2006)

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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  • Bridges, E. 1983, 1984. Unpublished field data on Scutellaria montana.

  • Bridges, E. 1986. TNC element stewardship abstract: Scutellaria montana. Unpublished document prepared for the Southeast Regional Office of The Nature Conservancy, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 11 pp.

  • Bridges, E., D. Durham, D. Eager, L. Smith, and P. Somers. 1984. An ecological survey of the Tennessee River Gorge. Report to The Nature Concervancy, Tennessee Field Office, Nashville. 76 pp. and appendices.

  • Collins, J. L. Unpublished manuscript. The taxonomy, distribution and rarity of Scutellaria montana Chapm. (Lamiaceae).

  • Collins, J. L. 1976. A revision of the annulate Scutellaria (Labiatae). Ph.D. dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, Tennessee. 294 pp.

  • Epling, C. 1942. The American species of Scutellaria. Univ. of California Publications in Botany 20(1): 1-146.

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

  • Hawks, G. 1985. Unpublished field data on Scutellaria montana.

  • Kartesz, J. T. 1991. Synonym names from 1991 checklist, as extracted by Larry Morse, TNC, June 1991.

  • 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.

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