Silene regia - Sims
Royal Catchfly
Other Common Names: royal catchfly
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Silene regia Sims (TSN 20109)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.128777
Element Code: PDCAR0U1G0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Pink Family
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Caryophyllales Caryophyllaceae Silene
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Concept Reference
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: Silene regia
Taxonomic Comments: Distinct species.
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 11Aug2000
Global Status Last Changed: 11Aug2000
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Midwestern endemic of tallgrass prairie habitats, now with relatively few, scattered populations coupled with continued destruction of habitat. Apparently most abundant in Missouri; extirpated from Kansas and Tennessee, and considered quite rare in all other states in range. Many remaining population remnants are along roadsides where vulnerable to construction or to changes in management of roadside vegetation.
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 (S2?), Arkansas (S2), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S1), Illinois (S1), Indiana (S2), Kansas (SH), Kentucky (S1), Mississippi (S1), Missouri (S3), Ohio (S2), Oklahoma (S1), Tennessee (SH), Wisconsin (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Over two hundred natural occurrences throughout range, with 165 known extant occurrences in Missouri alone. Rarer elsewhere.

Population Size Comments: Often few individuals per site; note that 100 is considered a factor in 'A'-ranked occurrences. Total individuals in natural occurrences nevertheless probably exceeds 3,000 (but perhaps not 10,000) given relatively large number of occurrences. Frequently cultivated; the thousands or millions of cultivated plants not considered here.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: The major threat to extant S. regia populations is habitat destruction through agricultural practices. Prairies are no longer extensive in the Midwest and S. regia now seems to be found principally along roadsides where prairie vegetation is still extant (Cook et al. 1987). As a result, road construction activities and the regrading of railroad beds may pose problems to extant populations. Other right-of-way maintenance activities such as herbicide application (used to maintain railroad and powerline rights-of-way and roadsides) and untimely mowing are additional threats (Bender pers. comm., Smith pers. comm., Emmitt and Cusick 1984). Three populations occurring along Kentucky roadsides have not been seen since 1978 and may have been destroyed by frequent mowing or herbicide application (Bender pers. comm.).

Woody plant encroachment into open prairie areas is a significant threat to extant S. regia populations (Menges 1988, Emmitt and Cusick 1984). Maintenance of open areas through the natural fire regime has generally not occurred for well over a century and successional change is taking place. An increase in shade levels caused by woody vegetation (shrubs, trees and vines) encroachment has reduced reproductive vigor of some extant populations (Emmitt and Cusick 1984). The weight of vines can also cause S. regia stems to snap in the wind.

Continued fragmentation of existing habitat may threaten pollination success of the small, remnant populations (Menges 1990b, Menges 1988, Shepherd 1986a). It is not known what number of existing acres and royal catchfly plants would have to remain in order to engage a hummingbird's attention. Hummingbirds apparently operate in a sphere of tight economics. If plant visitation is likely to expend more energy than the potential reward, hummingbirds will not visit the plants (Shepherd 1986a). In such situations, adequate pollination and subsequent fruit production for population maintenance may not occur. Small populations (under 150 individuals) may also have lower population viability (Menges 1988) as a result of two factors, 1) inbreeding depression resulting in inefficient seed germination and 2) reduced pollinator avctivity and changes in pollen sources (Menges 1990b).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Decreasing over most of its range due to habitat loss, but secure inmany sites in Missouri and perhaps elsewhere. Extirpated from Kansas and Tennessee. Recent surveys suggest that it is not as threatened (at least in Missouri) as once believed.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

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, AR, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MO, MS, OH, OK, TN, WIexotic

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Bibb (01007), Wilcox (01131)
AR Benton (05007), Boone (05009), Carroll (05015), Fulton (05049)*, Hot Spring (05059), Madison (05087), Marion (05089), Newton (05101)*, Searcy (05129), Sharp (05135)*, Stone (05137), Washington (05143)*
GA Chattooga (13055)*, Dade (13083), Floyd (13115)*, Randolph (13243)*
IL Clark (17023)*, Clay (17025), Cook (17031), Edwards (17047), Effingham (17049), Jasper (17079), Kane (17089), Lawrence (17101), Macoupin (17117), Madison (17119), Marion (17121), Montgomery (17135), Sangamon (17167), Vermilion (17183), Will (17197)
IN Delaware (18035), Fountain (18045), Greene (18055), Knox (18083)*, La Porte (18091), Parke (18121)*, St. Joseph (18141), Sullivan (18153)*, Tippecanoe (18157), Vermillion (18165), Vigo (18167)*, Warren (18171), Washington (18175)
KS Cherokee (20021)*
KY Allen (21003)*, Barren (21009)*, Breckinridge (21027)*, Bullitt (21029)*, Butler (21031)*, Caldwell (21033)*, Christian (21047)*, Edmonson (21061)*, Grayson (21085)*, Hardin (21093), Hart (21099), Hopkins (21107)*, Jefferson (21111)*, Larue (21123)*, Logan (21141)*, McCreary (21147)*, Meade (21163)*, Muhlenberg (21177)*, Nelson (21179)*, Simpson (21213)*, Todd (21219)*, Trigg (21221)*, Warren (21227)*
MO Barry (29009), Barton (29011), Benton (29015), Bollinger (29017)*, Camden (29029), Cape Girardeau (29031)*, Cedar (29039), Christian (29043), Crawford (29055), Dade (29057), Dallas (29059), Dent (29065), Douglas (29067), Franklin (29071)*, Greene (29077), Hickory (29085), Howell (29091), Jasper (29097), Jefferson (29099), Laclede (29105), Lawrence (29109), Madison (29123)*, McDonald (29119), Miller (29131), Morgan (29141), Newton (29145), Oregon (29149), Ozark (29153), Perry (29157)*, Phelps (29161), Polk (29167), Pulaski (29169), Shannon (29203), St. Charles (29183)*, St. Francois (29187)*, St. Louis (29189), St. Louis (city) (29510)*, Ste. Genevieve (29186)*, Stone (29209), Taney (29213), Texas (29215), Washington (29221), Webster (29225), Wright (29229)
MS Wayne (28153)
OH Champaign (39021), Clark (39023), Greene (39057), Madison (39097), Marion (39101), Union (39159)
OK Adair (40001), Cherokee (40021), Delaware (40041)
TN Knox (47093)*, Marion (47115)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Middle Chattahoochee-Walter F. George Reservoir (03130003)+*, Oostanaula (03150103)+*, Etowah (03150104)+*, Upper Coosa (03150105)+*, Cahaba (03150202)+, Middle Alabama (03150203)+, Upper Chickasawhay (03170002)+
05 Upper Scioto (05060001)+, Lower Scioto (05060002)+, Paint (05060003)+, Upper Great Miami (05080001)+, Little Miami (05090202)+, Upper Green (05110001)+, Barren (05110002)+*, Middle Green (05110003)+*, Rough (05110004)+, Pond (05110006)+*, Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+, Vermilion (05120109)+, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+*, Embarras (05120112)+, Little Wabash (05120114)+, Skillet (05120115)+, Upper White (05120201)+, Lower White (05120202)+, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+*, Lower Cumberland (05130205)+*, Red (05130206)+*, Salt (05140102)+*, Rolling Fork (05140103)+*, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+, Tradewater (05140205)+*
06 Watts Bar Lake (06010201)+*, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Guntersville Lake (06030001)+*
07 Peruque-Piasa (07110009)+*, Kankakee (07120001)+, Chicago (07120003)+, Des Plaines (07120004)+, Lower Fox (07120007)+, Lower Sangamon (07130008)+, Cahokia-Joachim (07140101)+, Meramec (07140102)+, Big (07140104)+, Upper Mississippi-Cape Girardeau (07140105)+*, Whitewater (07140107)+*, Middle Kaskaskia (07140202)+
08 Ouachita Headwaters (08040101)+, Upper Ouachita (08040102)+, Upper Saline (08040203)+*
10 Harry S. Missouri (10290105)+, Sac (10290106)+, Pomme De Terre (10290107)+, Lake of the Ozarks (10290109)+, Niangua (10290110)+, Lower Osage (10290111)+, Upper Gasconade (10290201)+, Big Piney (10290202)+, Lower Gasconade (10290203)+, Lower Missouri (10300200)+*
11 Beaver Reservoir (11010001)+, James (11010002)+, Bull Shoals Lake (11010003)+, Middle White (11010004)+, Buffalo (11010005)+, North Fork White (11010006)+, Current (11010008)+, Spring (11010010)+, Eleven Point (11010011)+, Lake O' the Cherokees (11070206)+, Spring (11070207)+, Elk (11070208)+, Lower Neosho (11070209)+, Illinois (11110103)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Technical Description: Royal catchfly (Silene regia) is a scarlet-crimson flowering, Nearctic member of the Caryophyllaceae family (King 1981). The species is a perennial herb which grows from a fleshy taproot. Its stems are simple, 5-16 dm tall, closely pubescent, with 10-20 pairs of cauline, opposite, lance-ovate and round-based, finely hairy leaves. The inflorescence is an elongate panicle, leafy bracted, with branches and pedicels strongly ascending. The corolla is deep crimson in color; Its petals may be slightly notched but not two-lobed. The calyx is long, cylindrical and sticky, becoming fusiform in fruit. Seeds are reniform to globose in shape (Gleason 1952, Fernald 1950).

Fernald (1950) described S. regia as follows:

"Perennial: stems erect, 0.7-1.5 m high, closely pulverulent-pubescent, with 15-30 pairs of lance-ovate round-based puberulent firm sessile leaves; panicle elongate, ellipsoid, leafy-bracted, the branches and pedicels strongly ascending; calyx 2-2.5 cm long, cylindrical, becoming fusiform in fruit, glandular-pilose; petals with scarlet subentire limb 1.5-2 cm long."

Diagnostic Characteristics: The royal catchfly is one of three red-flowered members of the genus that are found in eastern North America: S. regia, S. virginiana and S. rotundifolia. All three taxa are cross-fertile, but despite overlapping ranges, are ecologically isolated (Heaslip 1951). The three taxa can be distinguished by consulting Gleason and Cronquist 1963.
Ecology Comments: Royal catchfly is a long-lived perennial with a semi-fleshy taproot (Kurz pers. comm.). The root crowns of each plant produce additional stems each year, but the plants do not reproduce vegetatively (Kurz pers. comm.). Plants begin to bloom in late May in the south and continue until frost, typically in October (Cook et al. 1987, Steyermark 1977).

Flowers of S. regia are protandrous. Initially during anthesis, five of ten stamens elongate and dehisce their anthers, followed by elongation of the remaining five stamens. Shortly thereafter, elongation of the styles and expansion of the three stigmas occur (Heaslip 1951).

Silene regia appears to be a self-fertile species (Heaslip 1985), but production of more than a few fruit apparently requires cross-pollination (Menges 1988). It was shown that forced, within-plant crosses produce as many fruits as forced out-crosses, suggesting that fruit is self-compatible. Although S. regia plants produce many flowers, not all mature into fruit (Menges 1988). Capsules produce an average 20-40 seeds (Menges 1988).

Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been observed visiting the plants (King pers. comm., Menges pers. comm.) and are thought to be the primary pollen vectors (Menges 1990b, Menges 1988, Shepherd 1986a). The scarlet red color of the corolla is not visible by insects but is visible to birds which feed on the nectar and transplant pollen (Shepherd 1986a). Experiments conducted by Menges (1988) showed that exclusion of hummingbirds (but not insects) sharply reduced fruit production and seed numbers.

Population size is linked directly to seed germination percentage in S. regia (Menges 1990b). Larger populations have higher percentages of seed germination than smaller populations. Reduced germination success in small populations (under 150 plants) may be the result of two factors, 1) inbreeding depression resulting in inefficient seed germination and 2) reduced pollinator activity and changes in pollen sources (Menges 1990b). Germination success is not apparently related to isolation.

Reproductive output in S. regia increases with plant size and decreases with cover (Menges 1988). Fruit-set efficiency varies considerably between populations and is believed to be primarily an artifact of flower predation (Menges 1988, Menges 1985). Limited numbers of pollinators or resources may also result in diminished fruit-set. Reduced hummingbird visitation in small populations has been observed, suggesting that S. regia may be affected indirectly by habitat fragmentation through its pollinator (Menges 1988).

Establishment may require bare, exposed soil (Baskin pers. comm., Kurz pers. comm.). Bison may have helped to perpetuate S. regia by disturbing the soil (Kurz pers. comm.), but fire was likely the primary disturbance factor that prepared suitable germination and growth sites. Menges (1988) found that plant growth rates were highest in areas subjected to controlled burning and in some populations where litter was shallowest and cover was least. Detailed field work found that frequently-burned sites possessed numerous seedlings (Menges 1988). Current populations may be declining due to the lack of significant soil disturbances historically caused by fire or other physical means.

Seeds germinate readily under artificial conditions where competition is reduced and water is plentiful (Baskin pers. comm., Kurz pers. comm.), but they seem to benefit from a cold treatment (Dolan pers. comm.). Under cold stratification and exposure to light, seeds have a high germination rate typically greater than 80 percent (Menges 1988). In a tended garden or greenhouse, seeds can germinate and produce flowering stems in one year. In nature, seed germination is typically low (under 5%) but can be increased with minor soil disturbance and prescribed fire regimes (Menges 1988). In such situations, plants take about two years to produce the first flowers (Baskin pers. comm., Kurz pers. comm.).

Habitat Comments: Royal catchfly has been collected in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Florida (King 1981). Silene regia is an inhabitant of prairie, open woodlands and glades. Preferred substrate is typically well-drained soils that are calcareous in nature.

In Illinois, S. regia occurs along roadsides and in gravel prairies (Schwegman pers. comm.). A historic population was known from a loess hill prairie in St. Clair County (Sheviak 1981).

In Kentucky, royal catchfly is found within the barrens region, typically associated with old fence rows over limestone substrates (Bloom pers. comm.). Populations have been found near roadside drainage ditches, edges of rocky woods, edges of corn fields, near a rock pile in the middle of a field and under a powerline on rocky ground (Bender pers. comm., KY NHP 1990). Plants typically occur in full sunlight (Bloom pers. comm.). Associates include Lonicera japonica, Manfreda virginica, Andropogon scoparius, Parthenium integrifolium, Andropogon gerardii, Poa pratensis, Liatris spp. and a species of Ratibida (Bender pers. comm.).

In Oklahoma, S. regia is known from four sites, occurring in open areas (pasture) adjacent to oak-hickory forests (Watson pers. comm.). Typical associates include Gentiana alba and Cypripedium parviflorum. One documented site includes a north-facing slope on the margin of an oak-hickory forest (Estes pers. comm.). The soil at this site is stony silt-loam over chert.

In Arkansas, S. regia is found in prairies and on rock outcrops (Shepherd pers. comm.) and along roadsides and railroad rights-of-way in cherty, well-drained soils (Orzell pers. comm.). At present, there are roughly six known occurrences within the state, most occurring within the Ouchita Mountain region (Shepherd pers. comm.). At Baker Prairie, plants occur in full sunlight on a west-facing, well-drained slope (ARNHC 1987). Associates include Helianthus mollis, Euphorbia corollata and Rudbeckia hirta (Shepherd 1990b). At Lake Catherine State Park, plants occur in partial shade on a non-calcareous Stanley shale outcrop (Shepherd pers. comm., AR NHC 1987). Associates at this site include Asplenium platyneuron, Cheilanthes sp., Polypodium polypodioides, Amelanchier arborea, Amsonia tabernaemontana, Bignonia capreolata, Chasmanthium latifolium, Cocculus carolinus, Commelina sp., Elymus sp., Euphorbia corollata, Fraxinus sp., Helianthus divericatus, Heuchera sp., Hypericum prolificum, Liatris sp., Ostrya virginiana, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Quercus stellata, Rhus aromatica, Rosa sp., Rubus sp., Smilax sp., Ulmus alata and a species of Yucca (Shepherd 1986b). In a roadside rocky area inhabited by S. regia in Boone County, associates include thimbleweed, Queen Anne's lace, Andropogon sp., Monarda sp., Hypericum sp., Petalostemum sp., Satureja sp., Rhus aromatica, R. toxicodendron, deptford pink and hop clover (Pell 1987).

Populations of royal catchfly in Indiana are found in dry prairies, roadsides, railroad rights-of-way and prairie cemeteries in Indiana (Homoya pers. comm.). Silene regia is found in circumneutral to calcareous silt loam soils within the state (Homoya pers. comm.).

In Missouri, Silene regia is known from dry-mesic prairies, highway rights-of-way, and edges of dolomite glades in partial shade (Smith pers. comm.). The species is often associated with warm-season grasses and other prairie vegetation. At a roadside site, it has been observed growing beside crown vetch (Smith pers. comm.). The species appears to be secure in Missouri with 165 extant populations known from the state.

In Ohio, populations of royal catchfly are found in dry prairie remnants, roadsides, railroad and powerline rights-of-way and prairie cemeteries (Emmitt and Cusick 1984, King pers. comm., King 1981). Soils occupied by S. regia are formed over calcareous glacial tills (King pers. comm.).

Silene regia was last collected in Kansas in 1949 (Freeman pers. comm., McGregor 1987). A single historic population was known from the state of Kansas, occurring in a spicebush (Lindera spp.) thicket on alluvial soil in the southeastern portion of the state (Freeman pers. comm.).

Economic Attributes
Economically Important Genus: Y
Management Summary
Stewardship Overview: Needs include the maintenance or enhancement of populations. Periodic disturbances (fire, bush-hogging, etc.) may need to be implemented to reduce woody vegetation and may provide favorable conditions for seedling establishment. Plants appear smaller and produce fewer flowers in the shade. Recruitment of seedlings requires exposed soils and minimal competition.
Restoration Potential: At slightly-damaged sites, prairie habitat should be able to recover on its own if an adequate seed bank is available. The presence of S. regia rootstock in the soil may be sufficient for population recovery. King (pers. comm.) observed increased numbers of flowering stems along a roadside two years after a construction disturbance. Following cessation of mowing in a prairie in Indiana, plants appeared in the middle of the cemetery in addition to their previous position along the fence row (Homoya pers. comm.).

The recovery potential of S. regia appears to be good, as the species transplants easily and is known to produce well via seed (Emmitt and Cusick 1984). If warranted, restocking S. regia within depleted populations or in restorable sites is an option that could be explored. Seeds of S. regia germinate readily with moist stratification at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (Yates pers. comm.). Steyermark (1977) grew S. regia from seed and transplanted individuals that have subsequently seeded new plants. In artificial conditions (i.e., no competition and plenty of water), plants will germinate and flower in one year (Baskin pers. comm.).

Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Many populations occur in narrow strips of prairie along railroad tracks, along roadsides, and in old cemeteries. Protection agreements should be obtained from the appropriate agencies for these populations. It is unlikely that populations occurring along rights-of-way will survive for any great length of time, so time expenditure for protection in such sites should reflect their temporary nature.

In protectable areas that are available for purchase, sufficient buffer for safe and effective prairie management (i.e., prescribed burning, removal of woody vegetation) should be obtained in the original acquisition.

Management Requirements: Management objectives should be to maintain population size for those occurrences in good condition and to increase population size for those occurrences that have become degraded.

Most of the known populations of royal catchfly persist in marginal habitat along roadsides, railroads, powerlines, and prairie cemeteries. All of these sites are subject to some periodic perturbation (eg., brush-hogging, road widening, mowing, or burning). The periodic disturbances reduce woody vegetation and may provide favorable conditions for seedling establishment. The deep taproot is 1 to 1.5 feet long (Kurz pers. comm.) and this may enable the plant to survive surface perturbations (Homoya pers. comm., King pers. comm.).

It is thought that S. regia evolved in situations that were influenced by fire and bison (Orzell pers. comm., Kurz pers. comm.). Fire kept woody vegetation in check and removed surface litter. By providing bare soil surfaces, fire may have aided S. regia in seedling establishment. Bison may have provided additional open space through soil perturbations.

A major management concern should be to keep occupied habitats free of woody vegetation. Royal catchfly plants appear smaller and produce fewer flowers in the shade. Plants at several sites have been overgrown with vines and as a result, few flowering stems are produced (Menges 1985). Recruitment of seedlings, which appears to be critical for long-term survival of this species, requires exposed soil and minimal competition. Appropriate management should expose sufficient amounts of soil surface.

Woody encroachment must be minimized, either by cutting or prescribed burning, or a combination of the two. If appropriate, herbicide application to the cut stems of woody vegetation may be warranted. Some minor soil disturbance (grazing) may be needed to promote seedling recruitment. Bush-hogging and mowing should not be conducted during flowering or seed-set periods (Bender pers. comm.).

Monitoring Requirements: Management objectives should include maintaining population size in occurrences of high quality and increasing population size in occurrences that are degraded or declining in size. Monitoring should be used to track the accomplishment of these objectives.

In order to track population status, stem counts should be made and seedling survival determined (Bender pers. comm.). If populations are declining, flower production and percent viable seed should be tracked in order to determine where the bottleneck is occurring in the reproductive process.

Habitat parameters (percent canopy cover, duff layer depth, etc.) should be tracked in order to follow changes that may adversely affect or benefit S. regia populations.

Population size can be monitored by stem counts of mature individuals within an entire occurrence for small populations, or in a sampled area for large populations. To determine rates of recruitment, count and track seedlings. If seedlings are rare or do not appear over a period of time, tracking of flower production, seed production and seed viability should be initiated to determine where the reproductive problems are occurring. Set up permanent or relocatable samples in treated and untreated areas to note differences in response to management practices.

Management Programs:

One site in Ohio has been monitored since 1981 (Windus pers. comm.). Plants are marked, mapped, and measured. For marked individuals, stem diameters are noted, the number of flowers per stem is recorded, and fruit set is counted. Contact: Allison Cusick, Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Fountain Square, Columbus, OH 43224. Telephone No. (614) 265-6453.

Eric Menges and Rebecca Dolan are currently (as of 1990) monitoring populations of S. regia in Ohio (5 populations), Indiana (4), Arkansas (1) and Missouri (8). Menges has conducted a long-term demographic monitoring effort in Ohio and Indiana since 1984, while the Missouri and Arkansas monitoring sites were established in 1990. In each population, 100 individuals (or all plants in populations less than 100 individuals) have been marked and will be followed through time. All monitoring will continue for the next two years under a grant by the National Science Foundation. Contact: Rebecca W. Dolan, Butler University, Department of Biological Sciences, 4600 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46208. Telephone No. (317) 283-9411; OR, Eric Menges, Archbold Biological Station, P.O. Box 2057, Lake Placid, FL 33852.

Monitoring of S. regia in Illinois has been conducted since 1989 using a system that unites annual census and demographic data with information on climate, disturbances, management activities and other factors important in developing guidelines. Implementation of this program is done by 11 District Heritage Botanists in conjunction with the staff Botanist. For a discussion of the methods used in this project, see Schwegman (1990). Contact: John Schwegman, Botany Program Manager, Illinois Department of Conservation, 524 S. Second Street, Springfield, IL 62701. Telephone No. (217) 785-8774.

Stem counts have been conducted on three extant S. regia sites in Kentucky in 1987, 1988 and 1989. The census was not completed in 1990. Contact: Joyce Bender, Kentucky Heritage Program, State Nature Preserves Commission, 407 Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601. Telephone No. (502) 564-2886.

Silene regia monitoring was initiated in Oklahoma in 1991. Funding for the project has been granted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but monitoring details have not yet been formulated. Contact: Linda Watson, Coordinator/Botanist, Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory, Oklahoma Biological Survey, 2001 Priestly Ave., Bldg. 605, Norman, OK 73019. Telephone No. (405) 325-5357.

Management Research Programs: Eric Menges and Rebecca W. Dolan are currently studying S. regia in Ohio, Indiana, Arkansas and Missouri. Menges has worked on a long-term demographic monitoring project in Ohio and Indiana and is conducting a computerized viability analysis of each population to determine the likelihood of survival for each. Dolan is studying the genetics of the same populations using electrophoresis, and is comparing information gained from this work with that obtained by Menges. Additionally, the small, remnant populations in Indiana and Ohio are being compared genetically to populations in Missouri and Arkansas in an attempt to tease apart the effects of isolation. Demographical information is being obtained from populations in Missouri and Arkansas. Contact: Rebecca W. Dolan, Butler University, Department of Biological Sciences, 4600 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208. Telephone No. (317) 283-9411; OR, Eric Menges, Archbold Biological Station, Box 2057, Lake Placid, FL 33852. Telephone No. (813) 465-2571.
Management Research Needs:

There is also a need to determine the effects of potential management practices on royal catchfly. What are the effects of fire and animal-related soil perturbations on population dynamics? What levels of disturbance are beneficial to the species?

The principle pollinator of S. regia is the ruby-throated hummingbird (Shepherd pers. comm., Menges 1988). Research pertaining to the behavior of this bird with respect to S. regia pollination is needed.

Continued inventories of potential habitat should be made in order to determine the true status of the species, particularly where intensive surveys have not yet been made. Inventories in some states have revealed that the species is still relatively common and secure, while surveys in other states have verified its rarity.

Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 27Feb2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Ostlie, W. R. (MRO, 1990), rev. L. Morse (1999, 2000)
Management Information Edition Date: 29Nov1990
Management Information Edition Author: J.BENDER REV. WAYNE OSTILE (1990)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 29Nov1990
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): WAYNE OSTILE (1990) AND J. BENDER (1986)

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).

  • Aldrich, James R., et. al. 1986. The Discovery of Native Rare Vascular Plants in Northern Indiana. Indiana Academy of Science 95:421-428.

  • Buhl, C.A. 1934. Supplement to an annotated flora of the Chicago area by H.S. Pepoon. Chicago Acad. of Sci. Nat. Hist. Surv. Bull. 5:5-12.

  • Cook, J. G., R. P. Lansky, J. L. Henszey, M. L. Nieghburs, K. H. Dueholm, K. D. Kozie and S. H. Anderson. 1987. Section V: literature review of rare species known to occur on National Park Service lands, Midwest region. National Park Service, Omaha, NE 193 pp.

  • Deam, C. C. 1940. Flora of Indiana. Division of Forestry, Dept. of Conservation, Indianapolis, Indiana. 1236 pp.

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