Trillium persistens - Duncan
Persistent Trillium
Other English Common Names: Persistent Wakerobin
Other Common Names: persistent wakerobin
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Trillium persistens Duncan (TSN 43058)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.147783
Element Code: PMLIL200N0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Lily Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Liliales Liliaceae Trillium
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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: Trillium persistens
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1G2
Global Status Last Reviewed: 01Sep2015
Global Status Last Changed: 01Sep2015
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Narrow endemic of a single drainage straddling the Georgia/western South Carolina border. A large, contiguous population probably extended along the river banks before major dams and reservoirs inundated former habitat and fragmented the range.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1N2

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 (S1), South Carolina (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (26Apr1978)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Occurs at the head of Tallulah Gorge in Georgia and South Carolina (FNA 2002).

Area of Occupancy: 6-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Known from a single drainage. The population was probably once contiguous but has been fragmented by dams and reservoirs (Lowe et al. 1990). There are six subpopulations in Georgia and one historic site in South Carolina (Chafin 2007). The USFWS (2011) defines 4 populations.

Population Size Comments: High counts for the species are around 20,000 plants but this really needs to be updated through survey efforts (USFWS 2011). The Georgia population was estimated to be fewer than 12,000 plants, including juvenile and sterile individuals (Chafin 2007).

Overall Threat Impact: High - medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Trillium persistens is a narrow endemic, making it especially vulnerable to land-use conversion and habitat fragmentation. Any activity that causes disturbance, such as logging, power line, and trail construction is a threat (Patrick et al. 1995; Greenberger 2005). The threat of logging is largely eliminated, as more land was transferred to state (Tallulah Gorge State Park) and federal (USFS) lands (USFWS 2011). Trail related construction, although impacting some plants, has protected the majority from trampling and in some places the number of visitors is limited to reduce impacts to the plants (USFWS 2010). This species does not compete well with non-native species and if disturbance occurs, it is likely to be outcompeted by exotic species such as Pueraria montana and Lonicera japonica (Patrick et al. 1995; USFWS 2011; Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002). It was previously thought to be impacted by wild collection but if this threat still exists it is minor. The species is successfully being cultivated (USFWS 2011; Chafin 2007). This species grows under a canopy of Eastern Hemlock, which is afflicted by Adelgid. Die off of the hemlocks could allow for the invasion of non-native species. It is unknown how the species will persist under other canopy type. The USFS is treating trees with the adelgid (USFWS 2011).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: The species is in need of demographic studies but counts thus far show that population size is stable (USFWS 2011).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 30-50%
Long-term Trend Comments: Major dams and reservoirs have inundated former habitat and fragmented the range (Lowe et al. 1990).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Occurs at the head of Tallulah Gorge in Georgia and South Carolina (FNA 2002).

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, SC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
GA Habersham (13137), Rabun (13241), Stephens (13257)
SC Oconee (45073)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Tugaloo (03060102)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A perennial herb, mostly 1-3 dm tall, with a whorl of 3 leaves at the tip of the stem. Each flowering plant produces a single, nodding, 3-petaled pink flower in early spring (mid-March to mid-April) before the surrounding trees leaf out. As with other slow-growing Trillium species, it takes 7-10 years to produce a mature, 3-leaved, flowering plant.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Trillium persistens can be distinguished from T. grandiflorum, T. catesbaei, and T. rugeli by its smaller, narrower petals, pale yellow, straight anthers, and leaves mostly at least two times as long as wide, evenly tapered with straight margins at the apex (Patrick et al. 1995; Chafin 2007).
Duration: PERENNIAL, Long-lived
Reproduction Comments: Trillium (spp.) seeds which have an elaiosome, a lipid-rich attachment, are dispersed by ants who carry the seeds to their nest, eat the attachment, and discard the seed in their 'trash pile." Yellow jackets (Vespula spp.) and other wasps are similarly attracted to the elaiosome. Yellow Jackets are documented disperses for three species of Trillium (T. cuneatum, T. undulatum, and T. catesbaei). Ants carry the seeds on average about 1m where Yellow Jackets disperse seeds on average 1.4m  (Chafin 2010, Zettler et al. 2001). Long distance dispersers include mammals (deer and woodchucks) (Chafin 2010). Only about 2-6(10) seeds are produced per flower. There is no evidence of clonal reproduction (USFWS 2011). 
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Forest/Woodland
Habitat Comments: Mixed hemlock-pine-deciduous forests, typically on steep slopes or along streams near rhododendrons (Rhododendron maximum or R. minus). Occasionally in lowbush blueberry thickets (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 2002; Chafin 2007).
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
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: 01Sep2015
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Maybury, K. (1996), rev. A. Tomaino (2008), rev. A. Treher (2015)

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
  • Case, F.W. and R.B. Case. 1997. Trilliums. Timber Press, Portland Oregon.

  • Chafin, L. G. 2010d. Species account for Trillium persistens for Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Online. Available: georgiawildlife.com/sites/default/files/uploads/wildlife/nongame/pdf/accounts/plants/trillium_persistens.pdf.

  • Chafin, L.G, J.C. Putnam Hancock, and H. Nourse. 2007. Field guide to the rare plants of Georgia. State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

  • Duncan, W.H., J.F. Garst, G.A. Neece. 1971. Trilllium persistens (Liliaceae), a new pedicellate-flowered species from northeastern Georgia and adjacent North Carolina. Rhodora 73: 244-248.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2002a. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 26. Magnoliophyta: Liliidae: Liliales and Orchidales. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxvi + 723 pp.

  • Garst, J. and J. Sullivan. 1993. Tugaloo mosaic. Tipularia, Vol. 8, August. [http://www.gabotsoc.org/articleTugaloo.htm]

  • Greenberger, C. 2005. Endangered plants in the watershed. Chattooga Quarterly, Summer. [http://www.chattoogariver.org/index.php?req=endangered&quart=Su2005]

  • 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.

  • Lowe, D.W., J.R. Matthews, and C.J. Moseley, eds. 1990. The official World Wildlife Fund guide to endangered species of North America. Beacham Publishing, Washington, D.C. 1180 pp.

  • Patrick, T.S., J.R. Allison, and G.A. Krakow. 1995. Protected plants of Georgia: an information manual on plants designated by the State of Georgia as endangered, threatened, rare, or unusual. Georgia Dept. Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Georgia Natural Heritage Program, Social Circle, Georgia. 218 pp + appendices.

  • Rayner, D.A. 1984. Persistent trillium (Trillium persistens) recovery plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Atlanta, Georgia. 69 pp.

  • Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project. 2002. A partnership between the U.S. Forest Service-Region 8, Natural Heritage Programs in the Southeast, NatureServe, and independent scientists to develop and review data on 1300+ regionally and locally rare species in the Southern Appalachian and Alabama region. Database (Access 97) provided to the U.S. Forest Service by NatureServe, Durham, North Carolina.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2011. Persistent Trillium. (Trillium persistens) Duncan, 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Georgia Ecological Services Office Athens, Georgia. http://ecos.fws.gov/docs/five_year_review/doc3953.pdf.

  • U.S. Forest Service (USFS). 2004. Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Land and Resource Management Plan: Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. Management Bulletin R8-MB 113 B. USDA - Forest Service, Southern Region (Region 8). [http://www.fs.fed.us/conf/200401-plan/]

  • Weakley, A.S. 2007. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, and surrounding areas. Working draft of 11 January 2007. University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU), North Carolina Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm (accessed 2007)]

  • Zettler, J. A., T. P. Spira, and A. A. Craig. 2001. Yellow Jackets (Vespula spp.) Disperse Trillium (spp.) Seeds in Eastern North America. American Midland Naturalist 146(2):444-446.

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