Trollius laxus ssp. laxus
Spreading Globeflower
Other English Common Names: American Globeflower
Other Common Names: American globeflower
Synonym(s): Trollius laxus Salisb.
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Trollius laxus Salisb. (TSN 18806) ;Trollius laxus ssp. laxus Salisb. (TSN 524786)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.142297
Element Code: PDRAN0P022
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Buttercup Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Ranunculales Ranunculaceae Trollius
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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: Trollius laxus ssp. laxus
Taxonomic Comments: FNA (1997) recognizes T. albiflorus and T. laxus, whereas Kartesz (1999) treats the two taxa as ssp. albiflorus and ssp. laxus.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5T3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 10Jul2007
Global Status Last Changed: 22Jun1990
Rounded Global Status: T3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: 37 populations of T. laxus ssp. laxus are known, these range from 5 to 3000 individuals. The largest population in 1983 3000 plants (NY); this same population had 2000 plants in 1980.
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 Connecticut (S1), Michigan (SNR), New Jersey (S1), New York (S3), Ohio (SNR), Pennsylvania (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: This plant ranges from western Connecticut and northern New Jersey, through central New York, western Pennsylvania, and northeastern Ohio. Flora of North America includes Delaware as part of the range, but this report needs further review. Voss (1985) indicates that the Michigan reports are doubtful as vouchers have been annotated to similar looking species.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: About 37 populations. Populations are often clustered, and therefore difficult to count.

Population Size Comments: Often population counts are estimated as individuals are too numerous to count.

Overall Threat Impact Comments:

Loss of habitat is the greatest threat to this subspecies. The number of extant populations has declined in areas where there has been much development, and a concomitant loss of calcareous wetlands. In some instances, changes in the watershed, e.g. an influx of nutrients or silt or a change in the drainage pattern, may have caused local extirpation. Flooding resulting from beaver dams may be a problem, although there are no documented reports. Other threats that have been mentioned are logging, overgrazing, and overcollecting.

The threat of succession which has been mentioned in the literature has not been documented. In the opinion of Joe Dowhan in a letter to Dick Dyer, forest encroachment contributing to the decline of T. laxus cannot be documented and T. laxus is as much a swamp denizen as it is of fens.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Plants produce abundant, fertile seed, and seedlings reported.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: This plant ranges from western Connecticut and northern New Jersey, through central New York, western Pennsylvania, and northeastern Ohio. Flora of North America includes Delaware as part of the range, but this report needs further review. Voss (1985) indicates that the Michigan reports are doubtful as vouchers have been annotated to similar looking species.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CT, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NJ Bergen (34003)*, Essex (34013)*, Hudson (34017)*, Morris (34027)*, Passaic (34031)*, Sussex (34037), Warren (34041)
NY Bronx (36005)*, Cayuga (36011), Chautauqua (36013)*, Cortland (36023), Genesee (36037), Herkimer (36043), Livingston (36051)*, Madison (36053), Monroe (36055)*, New York (36061)*, Oneida (36065), Onondaga (36067)*, Ontario (36069), Orange (36071)*, Otsego (36077)*, Putnam (36079), Rockland (36087)*, Schuyler (36097)*, Tompkins (36109), Ulster (36111)*, Wyoming (36121)
PA Bucks (42017)*, Centre (42027)*, Erie (42049)*, Lawrence (42073), Lehigh (42077)*, Monroe (42089), Northampton (42095)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Mohawk (02020004)+, Rondout (02020007)+, Hudson-Wappinger (02020008)+*, Lower Hudson (02030101)+, Bronx (02030102)+*, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+*, Raritan (02030105)+*, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Lehigh (02040106)+*, Schuylkill (02040203)+*, Upper Susquehanna (02050101)+, Chenango (02050102)+, Owego-Wappasening (02050103)+*, Bald Eagle (02050204)+*
04 Chautauqua-Conneaut (04120101)+*, Buffalo-Eighteenmile (04120103)+, Niagara (04120104)+, Oak Orchard-Twelvemile (04130001)+*, Upper Genesee (04130002)+, Lower Genesee (04130003)+, Seneca (04140201)+, Oneida (04140202)+
05 French (05010004)+*, Connoquenessing (05030105)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small clump forming herb with deeply lobed leaves and a globose flower of 5-7 greenish-yellow sepals.
General Description: Spreading globeflower (Trollius laxus) is a low plant below knee height with crowded leaves arising on long petioles from the base of the plant. There are five, three-lobed leaflets spreading horizontally from the same point at the top of the petiole. The terminal lobe is longer than the lateral lobes and all have smaller lobes and/or wide but sharp teeth along the margin. The flowering stalks are longer than the leaves and terminate in one flower with five light yellow showy sepals with conspicuous veins, especially the mid vein. There is usually a set of four or five leaflets just below the flower. In the center of the flower are numerous bright yellow stamens that hide the inconspicuous petals and surround the five or more separate fruits.
Technical Description: Stems ascending or erect, 1-5 dm tall. Basal leaves long petioled; cauline leaves 1-3, mostly above the middle of the stem, often approximate, sessile or subsessile; blades sub-rotund in general outline, 3-5 parted, the cuneate-obovate segments 3-lobed and coarsely toothed. Sepals 5-7, greenish-yellow elliptic, 15-20 mm long, at first concave and ascending, forming a subglobose flower. Petals 15-25, inconspicuous, much shorter than the 3-5 mm staminoidia. Follicles about 1 cm long, transversely veined.
Diagnostic Characteristics:

Cauline leaves 1-3, deeply palmately lobed; flowers regular symmetrical, sepals showy, petaloid; petals very small, 15-20. Pistils forming follicles.

Two subspecies are recognized; T. laxus ssp. albiflorus (Gray) Love, Love and Kapoor has white to cream rather than pale greenish yellow sepals. Gray (1862), Rydberg (1900), and Hitchcock (1964) described T. laxus ssp. albiflorus as having broader sepals as well. However, Doroszewska (1974) in his taxonomic treatment of the genus, found that T. laxus ssp. albiflorus may have both broader and narrower sepals. The latter subspecies is less rare and ranges from British Columbia and Alberta in Canada south in the mountains in Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Colorada and Utah.

Duration: PERENNIAL, DECIDUOUS
Ecology Comments:

T. laxus laxus flowers from mid-April to mid-May before the canopy trees fully leaf-out. In this regard it behaves like a number of its associated swamp species; Caltha palustris, Cardamine douglasii, Petasites frigidus, Ranunculus septentrionalis, Symplocarpus foetidus, and Viola papilionacea. The seeds which ripen from late May to early July are dispersed passively by gravity with the aid of wind, rain and seasonally high water (Parsons and Yates 1984). Trollius populations increase in size solely by seed (Parsons and Yates 1984), the more vigorous individuals with several flowers producing more seeds. In two independent greenhouse studies, 90% of the seeds collected in the wild germinated when subjected to a 90 day moist, cold period or a moist, cold period coupled with freezing (Parsons and Yates 1984, Brumback 1981). On the other hand, seeds kept in a pit greenhouse without an extended cold period germinated at significantly lower percentages, 8.0% - 2.8% (Parsons and Yates 1984). Seeds are thought to germinate in the wild the following April or May (Parsons and Yates 1984). Under greenhouse conditions, a few seedlings will flower that summer, but the vast majority remain vegetative (Parsons and Yates 1984). In the well maintained population at the Garden in the Woods, some seedlings flower the 2nd year, and most flower the 3rd year (Brumback 1983). No studies have been done on wild populations.

Populations of T. laxus ssp. laxus appear to be able to maintain themselves over long periods of time. Field observations throughout its range report that seedlings and mature individuals are present. Furthermore, there are extant populations from which herbarium specimens were collected as early as the 1910's. A number of references in the literature suggest that T. laxus ssp. laxus declines as shade increases (Mitchell and Sheviak 1981, Spooner 1981), although these are unsubstantiated reports. Populations of T. laxus ssp. laxus growing in open fens tend to have higher densities than populations in seepage swamps, and thus, it is possible that shading decreases population size. However, swamp populations, though scattered, are viable and can be large (Parsons and Yates 1984, Rawinski personal communication). In addition, factors other than shade may contribute to its smaller densities in seepage swamps, e.g., differnces in soils, acidity, and moisture availability.

The historical range of T. laxus ssp. laxus was reported in Fernald (1950) as "western CT to MI, south to PA; by old records northern to western NH and western ME". Gleason and Cronquist (1963) include DE in the range. Robertson (1951) does not list T. laxus ssp. laxus in MI and Voss in Mohlenbrock (1983) states that "continued reports of this plant in MI are apparently in error" as there are no specimens from the state. Crow (1982) and Eastman (1980) report that the old records for NH and ME are also erroneous. There are no authentic specimens from DE. One specimen at the NY Botanical Garden labelled "in DE" is now known to be from Delaware, NJ (Tucker et al. 1979). Thus, the historical range is the same as it is today, i.e., western CT, NY, NJ, PA and OH. However, in every state the number of extant populations has declined considerably. Populations in southeastern NY (Bronx, Otsego, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester Co.s) and northern NJ (Bergen and Passaic Co.s) have been extirpated. None of the four historic localities in OH can be relocated (Spooner 1981). In PA, it is likely that some populations, particularly in Northampton Co., have been extirpated, although many localities have not been revisited.

Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, HERBACEOUS WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest/Woodland
Habitat Comments:

T. laxus ssp. laxus grows in wetlands influenced by cold, highly alkaline groundwater seepage. It is found in open fens, along swamp margins, and in partly sunny, wet openings in seepage swamps. In the opinion of Tom Rawinski (personal communication) T. laxus ssp. laxus is an obligate calcicole under natural conditions. Swamp populations tend to be rather widely spaced and patchy, but can be large. T. laxus ssp. laxus reaches its greatest density in sloping fens. Here, individuals grow either on sedge tussocks somewhat above the saturated soils, or on seepy mineral soil. In seepage swamps, it grows alongside wet depressions or on sedge tussocks. Soils at the Mahoning Co., Ohio population (pH range of 5.9 to 6.7) are not highly organic, and have a high percentage of available carbonates due in part to a limestone formation on surrounding higher ground (Parsons and Yates 1984).

In sloping fens commonly associated species are: Acer rubrum, Aster puniceus, A. umbellatus, Bromus ciliatus, Calamagrostis canadensis, Carex aquatilis, C. flava, C. hystricina, C. interior, C. lacustris, C. leptalea, Chelone glabra, Cicuta maculata, Cirsium muticum, Clematis virginiana, Cornus racemosa, C. stolonifera, Cypripedium reginae, Epilobium leptophyllum, Equisetum arvense, Eriophorum viride-carinatum, Eupatorium maculatum, Fragaria virginiana, Galium sp., Geum rivale, Iris versicolor, Juncus sp., Liparis loeselii, Lycopus sp., Mentha arvensis, Muhlenbergia glomerata, Pinus strobus, Prunella vulgaris, Rhamnus alnifolia, Rubus pubescens, Senecio aureus, Smilacina stellata, Solidago patula, Symplocarpus foetidus, Thalictrum polyganum, (Vaccinium corymbosum and Hamamelis virginiana on acid hummocks), Virburnum cassinoides, V. recognitum, and Zizea aurea. This list was compiled from three sites, two in NY and one in CT.

In seepage swamps commonly associated species are Acer rubrum, Caltha palustris, Carex stricta, Carpinus caroliniana, Galium sp., Geranium maculatum, Geum rivale, Onoclea sensibilis, Osmunda spp., Pinus strobus, Mitella diphylla, Rhamnus alnifolia, Saxifraga pensylvanica, Senecio aureus, Smilacina stellata, Symplocarpus foetidus, Thalictrum polyganum, and Tsuga canadensis. In NY and CT, disjunct populations of northern plants such as Conioselinum chinense, Mitella nuda, and Petasites frigidus sometimes occur in these same wetlands as well as Abies balsamea and Thuja occidentalis (Rawinski personal communication). This list was compiled from six sites; three in Connecticut, one in New York, one in Pennsylvania, and one in Ohio.

Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Considered poisonous in Europe (contains saponin)
Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview:

The greatest needs are a thorough taxonomic study, and appropriately designed preserves. Management needs are either unknown or minimal.

Restoration Potential: Recovery potential is very good if the habitat is intact. Seeds are easily propagated under the conditions outlined by Brumback (1983) and Parsons and Yates (1984). Although Brumback (1983) found that germination of seed stored for over a year in a plastic jar under refrigeration is considrably reduced, no one knows the recovery potential of the seed bank in the wild. The subspecies was introduced to the Garden in the Woods over 30 years ago, and under excellent conditions, the plants are doing very well (Brumback 1983).
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations:

To protect a population of T. laxus ssp. laxus, the minimum land requirement would include those factors that produce the conditions in which T. laxus spp. laxus grows. Included would be an upland buffer strip to control nutrient input, esp. if the zone has a limestone outcrop that contributes carbonates to the lowlands. This is the case in at least two populations; one in NJ and one in OH. In addition, there is a need to prevent alteration of the watershed, e.g., its drainage pattern and water quality.

Management Requirements:

Canopy reduction has been proposed as a technique to increase population size. However, because it has not been tried, there are no results on which to base a recommendation. Furthermore, populations in both seepage swamps and sloping fens appear to be stable. The technique might be tried on a portion of a large and stable population as an experiment to assess its effect on population size.

Monitoring Requirements:

At small populations, yearly counts of individuals are feasible, and should be done. Larger populations can be randomly sampled. The sampling design should be appropriate to detect change in number of individuals and population area. A suggested procedure is to permanently mark an area, and then randomly sample the enclosed vegetation on a regular basis.

For a taxonomic study, it would be useful to know the range in flower color in a population, and the extent flower color varies in an individual.

Monitoring Programs:

The Morris Co., NJ population has been monitored yearly since 1977 by Tom Halliwell, and he reports that it is a stable population of 20 individuals (David B. Snyder personal communication to Dick Dyer). The Mahoning Co., Ohio population has been monitored since 1980 by the Ohio Natural Heritage Program, and it is reported to be stable (Jim Burns personal communication). At this same site, Brian Parsons accurately mapped the subpopulations and counted the number of individuals at each in 1983 (Parsons and Yates 1984). He has also collected data on soil pH, lb/acre of Ca, Mg, Mn, Zn, and B, and % Carbonates and organic matter on thirteen soil samples. Les Mehrhoff tagged plants at one population in Connecticut in 1981, and continues to monitor the population.

Management Research Programs:

Research on T. laxus ssp. laxus is being conducted by Brian Parsons and Thomas Yates at the Holden Arboretum in Ohio. They are doing a study on its life history and habitat requirements both in the field and under controlled greenhouse conditions. They have done extensive experiments on seed germination and seedling growth, and intend to continue this research in 1984. Mr. Bill Brumback, propagator at the Garden in the Woods, is knowledgeable on its propagation.

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: 22Feb2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Bliss, P.; rev. S.M. Young; rev. T. Weldy
Management Information Edition Date: 18Jul1984
Management Information Edition Author: PEGGY BLISS
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 30Apr1991
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): ISAAC, J.; P. BLISS (1984)

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
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NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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