Viola frank-smithii - N. Holmgren
Frank Smith's Violet
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Viola frank-smithii N. Holmgren (TSN 508072)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.133104
Element Code: PDVIO042Z0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Violet Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Violales Violaceae Viola
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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: Viola frank-smithii
Taxonomic Comments: USFWS tracks as VIOLA FRANKSMITHII (9/93). From Logan Canyon, Cache Co., Utah. Published in Brittonia 44(3): 300-305. Kartesz (1999) recognizes.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 15Sep2011
Global Status Last Changed: 12Feb2001
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Endemic to Logan Canyon and its tributaries on Wasatch-Cache National Forest in the Bear River Range, Cache County, north-central Utah. Confined to relictual populations. There are currently 11 known locations with an estimated 10,000 individuals in total. Some occurrences are threatened by recreational rock-climbing activity.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1

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 Utah (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Endemic to cliffs and near-vertical outcrops of carbonate rock in Logan Canyon and its tributaries in Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Cache County, north-central Utah. Extent of known range is approximately 30 square km.

Area of Occupancy: 1-25 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Approximately 2 4-sq km grid cells.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: 11 known occurrences ranging in size from fewer than 100 plants to 1,000 plants or more, all of which are now considered historical (last observed in 1993) (EO data in the NatureServe central database as of July 2011).

Population Size Comments: Viola frank-smithii has a total estimated population of about 10,000 individuals. The area of occupied habitat is much less than 2,000 acres.

Viability/Integrity Comments: All known occurrences are considered historical.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Some occurrences are threatened by recreational rock-climbing activity: a 1994 survey identified potential or actual impacts in several areas. Although a pre-1992 draft management plan for climbing and rappelling was written by the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, it has never been implemented (Franklin 2005). In 2004, a climbing book was published that includes many new Logan Canyon climbing routes, so the threat from climbing remains. Fire may represent the most significant threat to individual occurrences (by removing shading of the cliff-base habitat by Douglas-fir forest).

Short-term Trend: Unknown
Short-term Trend Comments: Current information is insufficient to establish population trends. Judging from its habitat and evolutionary relationships, the species is undoubtedly relictual.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Inaccesibility of habitat grants this species some level of resistance.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Endemic to cliffs and near-vertical outcrops of carbonate rock in Logan Canyon and its tributaries in Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Cache County, north-central Utah. Extent of known range is approximately 30 square km.

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 UT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
UT Cache (49005)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
16 Little Bear-Logan (16010203)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A tufted perennial herb from a short rootstock and numerous fibrous roots. Older plants often have a skirt-like mass of dead leaves dangling beneath them. Stems are 1.5-7 cm long. Leaves are heart-shaped. Flowers are pale violet-colored, with the lowermost petal prolonged backward into a prominent spur that is rounded (not narrowed or upturned) and is greenish to pale lime-green in color. Blooms mid-May through early June.
General Description: An herbaceous plant of the Violet family, distinguished by the following characteristics: (1) perennial, clustered habit; (2) herbage quite glabrous; (3) leaves simple with bases cordate or sometimes truncate; (4) flowers pale violet in color; (5) habitat in cracks and crevices of cliffs and near-vertical outcrops of are carbonate rock; and (6) chromosome number n = 12. The lowermost petal is prolonged backward into a prominent spur that is rounded (not narrowed or upturned) and greenish to pale lime-green in color. Older plants often exhibit a skirt-like mass of dead leaves dangling beneath.
Technical Description: Plants with short rhizomes and more or less developed caudex; petal spurs 1.6-2.3 mm long, not narrowed or upturned; blooms mid-May to August.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Closely allied to V. adunca, but differs in having the petal spur 1.6 - 2.3 mm long (vs. 3.5 - 7 mm long) and not narrowed or upturned (Utah Native Plant Society 2008). Differs from V. adunca as follows: lime-colored petal spur 1.6-2.3 mm long (vs. 3.5-7 mm long) not narrowed or upturned; white flowers, all purplish dorsally lower 3 with red-violet guidelines vs. normally blue to pale violet, the lower 3 white at base with purple guidelines; leaves broadly obcordate vs. ovate-cordate rounded at base; short stems (6.5 cm) not elongating nor becoming prostrate.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Bare rock/talus/scree, Cliff, Forest - Conifer, Forest/Woodland
Habitat Comments: One of the few rock-dwelling violets known in North America. It occurs on cracks and crevices in limestone and dolomite cliffs, mostly on cool, northerly exposures where the plants are often shaded by stands of Douglas-fir. 1645-2070 m elevation.

Endemic to cliffs and near-vertical outcrops of carbonate rock in Logan Canyon and its tributaries. Most of the known locations are on cool, northerly exposures which remain shaded for at least part of the day. Open to dense stands of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) are usually present on the adjoining canyon slopes, often with Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum) or bigtooth maple (A. grandidentatum) in the understory. This forest cover provides additional shading to the cliff bases where Frank Smith's violet seems to occur in greatest abundance. Within the confines of its rock outcrop habitat, other vascular plant species most commonly associated with Viola frank-smithii are (in decreasing order of frequency): Heuchera rubescens, Petrophyton caespitosum, Musineon lineare, Aster kingii var. kingii, Primula maguirei, Erigeron cronquistii, Cercocarpus ledifolius, Leptodactylon watsonii, Mertensia oblongifolia. Mosses are another frequent associate. It is not uncommon to find the violet on dry but cool and well-shaded cliff faces, the roots often tightly wedged into small cracks and crevices seemingly devoid of any soil material.

Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Monitor population trends. Further document the species' range, status, and threats. Any changes to the area should be carefully planned to avoid damaging plants or habitat. Prevent tree removal near plants, including fire suppression, if necessary. Prevent trampling and impacts to plants from recreational use (rock-climbing activity). Revisit sites to confirm status and level of threats.
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: 22Aug1995
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Doug Stone, rev. B. Franklin/K. Maybury (1996), rev. D. Stone (1997), rev. K. Gravuer (2009), rev. M. Russo (2011)
Management Information Edition Date: 22Sep2011
Management Information Edition Author: Russo, M.

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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  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2015. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 6. Magnoliophyta: Cucurbitaceae to Droserceae. Oxford University Press, New York. 496 pp + xxiv.

  • Franklin, M.A. 2005. Plant information compiled by the Utah Natural Heritage Program: A progress report. Publication Number 05-40. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Salt Lake City, Utah. 341 pp. [http://dwrcdc.nr.utah.gov/ucdc/ViewReports/plantrpt.htm]

  • Holmgren, N. H. 1992. Two new species of Viola (Violaceae) from the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Brittonia 44(3): 300-305.

  • Holmgren, N. H. 1992. Two new species of Viola (Violaceae) from the Intermountain West, U.S.A. Brittonia 44(3): 300-305.

  • 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.

  • Smith, F. 1990. Photographs of Viola frank-smithii.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1993. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; review of plant taxa for listing as endangered or threatened species. Federal Register, 50 CFR Part 17, 58(188):51144-51190.

  • Utah Native Plant Society. 2003-2008. Utah Rare Plant Guide. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Rare Plant Guide Home Page. Online. Available: http://www.utahrareplants.org (accessed 2009).

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