Sericocarpus rigidus - Lindl.
Columbian Whitetop Aster
Other English Common Names: Curtus' Aster, Whitetop Aster
Other Common Names: Columbian whitetop aster
Synonym(s): Aster curtus Cronq.
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Sericocarpus rigidus Lindl. (TSN 508083)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.134849
Element Code: PDASTEF010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Aster Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Asterales Asteraceae Sericocarpus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Concept Reference Code: B99KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Sericocarpus rigidus
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Jul2007
Global Status Last Changed: 16Jul1984
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Approximately 80 total element occurrences. However, the number of discrete, isolated populations is somewhat less, and the degree to which many of the occurrences are threatened is significant. Threats include invasion of its habitat by native conifers and non-native shrubs and grasses, as well as development, grazing, and military training exercises.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3
Nation: Canada
National Status: N2 (19Nov2017)

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 Oregon (S2), Washington (S3)
Canada British Columbia (S2)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: SC (05Jun2003)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Special Concern (26Apr2009)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for designation: This perennial species reproduces primarily asexually and is present at 22 discrete sites that include 14 recently discovered populations. The latter were previously unrecorded, but likely always present, and include the largest populations. The total population comprises many thousands of stems with most of the plants found in parks and on federal lands. In spite of the species? occurrence mainly in protected areas, it is at risk from increasing recreational activities and the spread of invasive exotic plants.

Status history: Designated Threatened in April 1996. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2000. Status re-examined and designated Special Concern in April 2009.

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Regional endemic: southwest British Columbia (restricted to souther Vancouver Island), Puget Trough in Washington and Willamette Valley, Oregon.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are approximately 50 known occurrences in Washington, another 28 in Oregon, and another 22 in British Columbia. Douglas and Illingworth (1994) report eighteen occurrences, six of which are likely extirpated.

Population Size Comments: Due to the clonal nature of the taxon, the number of individuals is extremely difficult to estimate.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Few (4-12)
Viability/Integrity Comments: At least 8 occurrences, in Oregon, considered of good to excellent viability. Three in Washington and nine in BC.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: The most significant threat to this taxon is the invasion of its habitat by native conifers and non-native shrubs (Scot's broom) and grasses. Other significant threats include the continued loss of habitat due to suburban and light industrial development, grazing, off-road vehicle use, and military training exercises. Fire suppression appears to have favored the expansion of some native species including Symphoricarpos albus which may also competitively exclude this species from existing sites or prevent its establishment at new sites (Douglas 1994).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Small occurrences continue to be lost to development and/or conifer and non-native invasions. Large occurrences are also being degraded by the same invasions.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Although the taxon is resistant to some types of disturbance, it cannot withstand conifer and/or Scot's broom invasions.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Regional endemic: southwest British Columbia (restricted to souther Vancouver Island), Puget Trough in Washington and Willamette Valley, Oregon.

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 OR, WA
Canada BC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
OR Clackamas (41005), Lane (41039), Linn (41043), Marion (41047), Polk (41053)*
WA Grays Harbor (53027), Island (53029), King (53033), Klickitat (53039)*, Pierce (53053), San Juan (53055), Skamania (53059)*, Thurston (53067)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
17 Middle Columbia-Hood (17070105)+*, Coast Fork Willamette (17090002)+, Upper Willamette (17090003)+, North Santiam (17090005)+, Middle Willamette (17090007)+, Molalla-Pudding (17090009)+, Upper Chehalis (17100103)+, San Juan Islands (17110003)+, Duwamish (17110013)+, Puyallup (17110014)+*, Nisqually (17110015)+, Deschutes (17110016)+, Puget Sound (17110019)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: An erect, relatively small (10-30 cm tall) perennial. Leaves are alternate, broadly lanceolate, three-nerved with short-hairy margins. Lower and upper leaves reduced. Flowerheads are short-stalked and five to twenty. Flowers have white rays and are inconspicuous.
General Description: A 4-12 inch tall (1-3 dm) plant with leafy stem and a single, compact terminal cluster of flower heads with yellow central disk flowers and white to blue ray flowers.
Technical Description: Perennial from slender creeping rhizome, 1-3 dm tall, usually simple and unbranched up to a close terminal cluster of heads, glabrous except for scabrous-ciliolate margins of leaves; leaves 2.5-3.5 cm long; heads ca. 10 mm or less long; rays few, from one to three, whitish, typically two, 1-3 mm long, shorter than pappus; disc flowers few, pale yellow with purple anthers (Cronquist, 1955; Meinke, 1982).
Diagnostic Characteristics: This species is separated from the closely related Aster oregonensis by small ray flowers shorter than the pappus, fewer flower heads, and generally smaller stature (Oregon Natural Heritage Program).
Duration: PERENNIAL
Reproduction Comments: The taxon appears to rely primarily upon asexual reproduction, through framentation of existing clones and repeated production of new ramets.
Ecology Comments: Occurs primarily in open grassland habitats. Population levels and vigor decline as a canopy of trees or shrubs develops. Seedlings appear to be poor competitors.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous, Savanna
Habitat Comments: Occurs in open grassland habitats in the Willamette-Puget Trough. A majority of the occurrences occur in gravelly, glacial outwash soils. However, in the southern and northern portions of its range, it occurs in the clayey and exposed bedrock habitats, respectively. The general requirement appears to be open, non-forested habitats that are seasonally mesic but somewhat moisture stressed during late summer. Trees such as Quercus garryana and Arbutus menziesii are often present, but do not form a closey overstory. Possible associates of the understory of shrubs are Cytisus scoparius, Holodiscus discolor, and Symphoricarpos albus. Dense thickets are not formed by these shrubs because soils are too shallow. The ground tends to be dominated by a mixture of introduced grasses including Aira praecox, Dactylis glomerata, Poa sp., Cynosurus echinatus and Anthoxanthum odoratum (Douglas 1994).
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: 22Jan1992
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Gamon, J., rev. S. Vrilakas (2006)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 06Feb1992

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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  • Alverson, E. 1987. Report on the status of Aster curtus Cronquist. Washington Nat. Heritage Program, Olympia, WA. 47pp.

  • Alverson, E.R. Report on the status of Aster curtus Cronquist. Rev.1987. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Dept. of Natural Resources, Land and Water Conservation Div., Olympia, WA.

  • B.C. Ministry of Environment. Recovery Planning in BC. B.C. Minist. Environ. Victoria, BC. Available: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/recoveryplans/rcvry1.htm

  • Clampitt, C.A. 1984. The ecological life history of Aster curtus, a grassland endemic in a forested region. M.Sc. Thesis. Univ. of Washington, Seattle. 96pp.

  • Clampitt, Christopher A. 1984. The ecological life history of Aster curtus, a grassland endemic in a forested region. MS thesis, U. of Washington, Seattle.

  • Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). 2009a. COSEWIC Assessment Results, April 2009. Online. Available: http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/.

  • Douglas, G.W. 1995. The Sunflower Family (Asteraceae) of British Columbia. Vol. 2. Astereae, Anthemideae, Eupatorieae and Inuleae. Royal B.C. Mus. Victoria. 393pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., D. Meidinger, and J. Penny. 2002. Rare Native Vascular Plants of British Columbia, 2nd ed. B.C. Conserv. Data Centre, Terrestrial Inf. Branch, Victoria. 358pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., G.B. Straley, and D. Meidinger, eds. 1998. Rare Native Vascular Plants of British Columbia. Conserv. Data Centre, Resour. Inventory Branch, B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, Victoria, and B.C. Minist. For., Victoria.

  • Douglas, G.W., G.B. Straley, and D. Meidinger. 1989. The vascular plants of British Columbia. Part 1. Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons (Asteraceae through Cucurbitaceae). Crown Publications Incorporated. Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. 208 pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., G.D. Straley, and D. Meidinger, eds. 1998b. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia, Vol. 1, Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons (Aceraceae through Asteraceae). B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, Wildl. Branch, and B.C. Minist. For. Res. Program. 436pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., and J.M. Illingworth. 1994. Status report on the White-top Aster Aster curtus Cronq. Unpubl. rep. submitted to the Comm. on the Status of Endangered Wildl. in Can. Ottawa. 20pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., and J.M. Illingworth. 1994. Status report on the White-top Aster Aster curtus Cronq. Unpubl. rep. submitted to the Comm. on the Status of Endangered Wildl. in Can. Ottawa. 20pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., and J.M. Illingworth. 1996. Status Report on White-top Aster, Aster curtus, in Canada. Unpubl. rep. submitted to the Comm. on the Status of Endangered Wildl. in Can. Ottawa. 26pp.

  • Douglas, G.W., and J.M. Illingworth. 1997. Status of the White-top Aster, Aster curtus (Asteraceae), in Canada. Can. Field-Nat. 111(4):622-627.

  • Douglas, G.W., and J.M. Illingworth. 1999. Status of the White top Aster in British Columbia. B.C. Minist. Environ., Lands and Parks, Wildl. Branch. Wildl. Bull. B-96. 24pp.

  • Fairbarns, M. 2005k. Demographic and Phenological Patterns of Sericocarpus rigidus (White-top Aster). Aruncus Consulting, 776 Falkland Road, Victoria, BC.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2006b. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 20. Magnoliophyta: Asteridae, part 7: Asteraceae, part 2. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxii + 666 pp.

  • Gamon, J. and D. Salstrom. 1992. Report on the status of Aster curtus Cronquist. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Dept. of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA. 95 pp.

  • Gamon, J. and D. Salstrom. 1992. Report on the status of Aster curtus Cronquist. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Dept. of Natural Resources, Olympia, Washington. 95 pp.

  • Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team. 2003. Sericocarpus rigidus (edit 2010). In: Species at risk in Garry oak and associated ecosystems in British Columbia. Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team, Victoria, British Columbia.

  • Hitchcock, C.L., and A. Cronquist. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest: An Illustrated Manual. University of Washington Press, Seattle, Washington. 730 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.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Maslovat, C. 2009. Guidelines for Translocation of Plant Species at Risk in British Columbia. B.C. Minist. of Environ. Victoria, BC.

  • Meinke, R.J. 1982. Threatened and Endangered Vascular Plants of Oregon: An Illustrated Guide. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1, Portland, Oregon. 326 pp.

  • Parks Canada Agency. 2006b. Recovery Strategy for Multi-Species at Risk in Garry Oak Woodlands in Canada. In: Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Ottawa: Parks Canada Agency. 58pp.

  • Roemer, Hans. 2003. Rare plant monitoring at Mill Hill Regional Park. A project carried out for Capital Regional District Parks. Roemer Field Botany Consulting. 19pp.+ photos and map.

  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978-1979. The flora of Canada: Parts 1-4. National Museums Canada, Ottawa. 1711 pp.

  • Washington Natural Heritage Program. 1981. An illustrated guide to the endangered, threatened and sensitive vascular plants of Washington. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Olympia. 328 pp.

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