Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Considered collectively, Zigadenus elegans is distributed across much of the United States and Canada, ranging from Eastern Quebec to New York, disjunct in the southern Appalachian region, west to Arizona and New Mexico, north to Alaska. When broken down according to Gleason and Cronquist (1991) and Kartesz (1994) the subspecies have the following distributions:

Zigadenus elegans ssp. elegans: Alaska south to Arizona and New Mexico, eastward to Manitoba, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri (Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Gleason and Cronquist 1963, Fernald 1935).

Zigadenus elegans ssp. glaucus: Eastern Quebec to New York, west across the northern U.S. and adjacent Canada, occasionally in southern Ohio and northern Illinois, to the cordilleran region (grading into Z. elegans ssp. elegans in Minnesota and Iowa); disjunct in the southern Appalachian region (Virginia to North Carolina) and in the Ozarks (Missouri and Arkansas) (Gleason and Cronquist 1991, Gleason and Cronquist 1963, Fernald 1935).

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Alta., B.C., Man., N.W.T., Ont., Que., Sask., Yukon; Alaska, Ariz., Colo., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Md., Mich., Minn., Mo., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Oreg., Pa., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.; Mexico.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Plants 2–8 dm, from bulbs; bulbs not clumped, tunicate, narrowly ovoid, 1.5–3 × 1–2 cm. Stems without persistent leaf bases. Leaves: proximal blades 10–30 cm × 3–15 mm. Inflorescences loosely racemose to paniculate, 10–50-flowered, with 1–4 branches, 0.9–2.5 dm × 3–6 cm. Flowers: perianth perigynous, rotate to rotate-campanulate, 15–20 mm diam.; tepals persistent in fruit, cream colored to greenish, ovate, 7–12 × 4–5 mm, somewhat narrowed at base; gland 1, obcordate; pedicel erect at anthesis, 1–2.3 cm, bracts often tinged with purple or pink, ovate, 5–20 mm. Capsules narrowly conic, 10–20 mm. 2n = 32.
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Diagnostic Description

Gleason and Cronquist (1991) made the distinction between the subspecies as Z. elegans ssp. glaucus being the plant occurring in the eastern portion of North America grading into Z. elegans ssp. elegans, the mainly cordilleran and western subspecies.

Fernald (1950) separated the plants into two species, however, the descriptions given can be applied to the plants now considered subspecies of Zigadenus elegans:

Zigadenus elegans ssp. glaucus: "Bulbous, the outer bulb coats fibrous, very glaucous; STEMS 2.5-9 dm high, few-leaved; LEAVES chiefly basal, coriaceous, linear, channelled, elongate, obtuse to subacute, 0.5-2 cm broad; cauline reduced, becoming bracts; INFLORESCENCE a few-forked elongate-lanceolate to open ovoid panicle (rarely a simple raceme) 0.5-4.5 dm long; its BRACTS like the upper leaves, reduced, herbaceous, tapering to firm subulate tips; base of the PERIANTH coherent with ovary, the elliptic-oblong to narrowly ovate or obovate SEPALS and PETALS 7-15 mm long, creamy-white, strongly suffused on the back with green (or bronze or purplish), with the conspicuous basal greenish or bronze GLANDS obcordate or 2-lobed at summit and about half the length of blade; CAPSULE ovoid-conic, with recurving beaks, 1-1.4 cm long, 5-8 mm in diameter, barely exceeding the finally connivent perianth; SEEDS oblanceolate, 4-5 mm long." (Fernald 1950).

Z. elegans ssp. elegans: In Z. elegans, the "LEAVES more attenuate at tip, thinner (than Z. glaucus); INFLORESCENCE commonly a slender loose cylindric raceme, rarely a panicle; middle and upper bracts with scarious margins and summits, blunt to mucronate; PEDICELS usually more slender; PERIANTH paler, without or with only small darkened spot outside at base; CAPSULE lance-conic, 1.3-2.2 cm long, 4-6 mm in diameter, twice as long as perianth; SEEDS 5-6 mm long." (Fernald 1950).

A simple distinction between the plants is described by Gleason and Cronquist (1991): Z. elegans ssp. elegans... "...with yellower flowers, less consistently glaucus herbage, and often merely racemose inflorescence" ... than Z. elegans ssp. glaucus.

It is difficult, if at all possible, to distinguish Zigadenus glaucus from Zigadenus elegans in Minnesota (Ownbey and Morley 1991).

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Synonym

Anticlea alpina A. Heller; A. chlorantha (Richardson) Rydberg; A. coloradensis (Rydberg) Rydberg; A. elegans (Pursh) Rydberg; A. glauca (Nuttall) Kunth; A. gracilenta (Greene) R. R. Gates; A. longa (Greene) A. Heller; A. mohinorensis (Greenman) R. R. Gates; Melanthium glaucum Nuttall; Zigadenus alpinus Blankinship; Z. chloranthus Richardson; Z. coloradensis Rydberg; Z. dilatatus Greene; Z. elegans subsp. glaucus (Nuttall) Hultén; Z. elegans var. glaucus (Nuttall) Preece ex Cronquist; Z. glaucus (Nuttall) Nuttall; Z. gracilentus Greene; Z. longus Greene; Z. mohinorensis Greenman; Z. washakie A. Nelson
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Type Information

Isotype for Zigadenus longus Greene
Catalog Number: US 354787
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): W. C. Cusick
Locality: Eastern Oregon; alt. 4000-7000 ft., Oregon, United States, North America
Elevation (m): 1219 to 2134
  • Isotype: Greene, E. L. 1901. Pittonia. 4: 240.
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Type for Zigadenus dilatatus Greene
Catalog Number: US 337390
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. F. Baker
Year Collected: 1898
Locality: La Plata Mtns., Little Kate Mine., Colorado, United States, North America
  • Type: Greene, E. L. 1901. Pl. Bakerianae. 1: 51.
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Isotype for Zigadenus gracilentus Greene
Catalog Number: US 940687
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. G. Pringle
Year Collected: 1887
Locality: Slopes of Sierra Madre., Chihuahua, Mexico, North America
Elevation (m): 2743
  • Isotype: Greene, E. L. 1901. Pittonia. 4: 241.
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Isotype for Zigadenus mohinorensis Greenm.
Catalog Number: US 332922
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): E. W. Nelson
Year Collected: 1898
Locality: Mount Mohinora., Chihuahua, Mexico, North America
  • Isotype: Greenman, J. M. 1904. Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 39: 71.
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Isotype for Zigadenus gracilentus Greene
Catalog Number: US 154990
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): C. G. Pringle
Year Collected: 1887
Locality: Slopes of Sierra Madre., Chihuahua, Mexico, North America
Elevation (m): 2743 to 2743
  • Isotype: Greene, E. L. 1901. Pittonia. 4: 241.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Throughout the northern, northwest, and Great Plains portions of its range, Zigadenus elegans occurs in large populations in calcareous rocky areas and prairies. In the eastern midwest and eastern portion of its distribution, Zigadenus elegans is largely found in calcareous seeps and fens and cliff crevices.

Alberta occurrences have been recorded at 7330 ft, within an alpine meadow, and in a spruce forest (University of Minnesota Herbarium).

In regard to Zigadenus elegans in Alaska, a description by Porsild (1939a, 1939b) states that Zigadenus elegans is common in dry sandy areas on the interior mountains. In the Bering Sea region, Z. elegans appears to be restricted to unglaciated areas with elevations above 1000 feet. It is possible that two factors contribute to this: the volcanic soil is more likely to contain calcite and therefore be a more congenial soil than that of the acidic lowland tundra. Optimum temperatures could also be better for Zigadenus in higher altitudes during the arctic summer. Recent observations describe occurrences of Z. elegans on dry alpine and subalpine slopes, xeric river bluffs, and turfy patches on scree slopes. A few associated species are Populus tremuloides, Fetuca rubra, F. altaica, Poa gluaca, Potentilla hookeriana, Juniperus communis, and Rosa acicularis (Lipkin 1994).

Collections have been made in British Columbia from a woods at 2000 ft and from mountains slopes at 6000 and 4200 ft. (University of Minnesota Herbarium).

Colorado occurrences have been recorded in meadows at altitudes of 11,000 and 12,000 ft. (University of Minnesota Herbarium).

In Idaho, Zigadenus elegans commonly occurs in wet, calcareous areas between 5000 and 11,000 ft. It is often associated with sagebrush grass and sometimes occurs in Douglas fir and spruce communities. Other associated species are: Deschampsia cespitosa, Aquilegia spp., Carex nova, and Gentiana prostrata. Above 9500 ft., Z. elegans usually occurs in open meadow systems, open ledge communities, and sometimes alpine shattered rock areas (Mosely 1994).

Illinois populations are largely restricted to the northeast corner of the state where the plants are found in spring fed seeps within crevices on dolomite cliffs. In this community some associates are Eriophorum spp., Potentilla fruticosa, Primula mistassinica, and Solidago sciaphila. Historic records also place Zigadenus elegans in fens in northwestern Illinois but these populations have not been relocated (Schwegman 1994, IL NHD 1994).

In Indiana, the plant is found in moist limestone cliffs, wet meadows, and calcareous fens. Associate species in the prairie communities include Valeriana uliginosa, V. ciliata, Panicum leibergergii, P. boreale, Conioselinum chinense, and Cypripedium candidum (IN NHDC 1994).

In Iowa, the plant occurs infrequently in prairies within the northern third of the state (IA NAI 1994).

Populations of Zigadenus elegans in Michigan are found in dunes and sandy or rocky shores of the Great Lakes, on calcareous soils and banks, and in bogs and low ground (Voss 1972).

In Minnesota, this species occurs primarily in the western and southern parts of the state, coinciding with the prairie region (Ownbey and Morley 1991). Mostly found in calcareous fens and wet meadow communities, common associates include Calamagrostis sp., Carex sp., Phlox pilosa, Panicum virgatum, Sorghastrum nutans, solidago spp., and Andropogon gerardii (Chapman 1994, Smith 1994).

In Missouri, Zigadenus elegans is considered to be a relict species from the Pleistocene. It occurs mostly in soil pockets on north facing dolomite cliffs with seeps and crevices. Other relict species that are associated include Galium boreale, Berberis canadensis, and Campanula rotundifolia (Yatskievych 1994). Some general associates are Carex eburnea, Fraxinus americana, Cystopteris bulbifera, Hydrangea, Solidago drummondii, Augilegia sp., and Cypripedium reginae (MO NHD 1994).

In Montana, Zigadenus elegans occurs within variably sized montane meadows that are discontinuously scattered throughout the state (Heidel 1994).

In Nebraska, Zigadenus elegans was collected from a weedy, grassy area with sandy-clay soil. All occurrences in the state are historical (NE NHP 1994).

In New York Zigadenus elegans occurs in: grasslands on thin soil over limestone bedrock; a hard-packed stony ledge at the base of a slope, associated with Lythrum salicaria, Bromus ciliatus, Solidago juncea, Parnassia glauca, Equisetum hyemale, E. variegatum and Selayinella apoda; calcareous pavement barrens; rich graminoid fen and marl fen associated with Eleocharis rostellata, Scirpus cespitosus, Triglochin sp., Trifieldia sp., and Juniperus horizontalis; and moist limestone ledges associated with Campanula rotundifolia, Aquilegia canadensis, Thuja sp., Lonicera tatarica, and Cystopteris bulbifera (NY NHP 1992).

A New Mexico collection was made at 8600 ft. (University of Minnesota Herbarium).

The sole current record of Zigadenus elegans in North Carolina describes its habitat as "dolomite outcrops comprising very steep east-facing bluff... with numerous cracks, depressions, and ledges". Associated species are Asplenium resiliens, A. ruta-muraria, Cystopteris bulbifera, Bromus purgans, and Pellaea atropurpurea (NC HP 1994).

In eastern North Dakota Zigadenus elegans primarily occurs in short and tallgrass prairies in large populations associated with Lilium philadelphicum, Campanula rotundifolia, Schizachyrium scoparium, Sorghastrum nutans, and Panicum virgatum. In the western portion of the state, the plant is often found on north facing slopes of mixed-grass prairie and occasionally in woody draws with Juniperus sp. and Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Lenz 1994).

In the North West Territories, Z. elegans has been collected from shallow residual soil on a limestone outcrop associated with Populus balsamifera, P. tremuloides, Potentilla fruticosa, Rosa sp., Ribes oxycanthoides, Aster alpinus, and Plantago septata (University of Minnesota Herbarium).

Ohio, like neighboring states, has Zigadenus elegans populations in two habitats types: seeps in limestone cliffs and wet, marly prairies and fens. Associates are Potentilla fruticosa and Carex sterilis (OH NHP 1992).

In Ontario, occurrences are recorded in two prairies designated as Provincially significant sites (ONT CDC 1993).

A collection for Z. elegans in Saskatchewan is from a mossy turf site along the edge of a lake in an open willow thicket adjacent to a Picea mariana woods (Argus 1968).

South Dakota populations are common in a variety of tallgrass prairies, all wet or mesic with calcareous soils, and mostly in low areas. Associated plants include Zizia aurea, Z. aptera, and Andropogon gerardii (Ode 1994).

A single extant population in Tennessee exists in a calcareous seep in a wet, shaly cliff along the shoreline of a lake (Pyne 1994).

In Texas this plant is restricted to "wet ledges and seepage in canyons of the Guadalupe Mountains." (Correll & Johnston 1970).

An historic record in Vermont places a population on a bluff in a rocky headlands along the shores of Lake Champlain (VT NNHP 1994).

In Virginia, this plant occurs in two extant populations: one on steep limestone slopes and the other in a dry dolomite woodland. Associated plants include Clematis coactilis, Echinacea laevigata, Paxistima canbyi, Carex eburnea, and Thuja occidentalis (VA DNH 1992)

In West Virginia, Zigadenus elegans is found in dry openings in woods on limestone substrate associated with Carex eburnea, C. pensylvanica, C. platyphylla, Poa compressa, Solidago harrisii, and Monarda fistulosa ssp. brevis (WV NHP 1994).

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Moist grasslands, river and lake shores, bogs in coniferous forests; 0--3600m.
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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: Estimates of element occurrences probably number in the thousands. This species is common and abundant throughout much of its range. SSP. GLAUCUS is less abundant, but sufficiently common to remain untracked in the north-central portion of its range. However, it is relatively rare on the periphery of its range, occurring in relict prairie remnants in the east and southeast. Documented occurrences in: Illinois (two), Indiana (sixteen), Missouri (eight), New York (seven), North Carolina (one), Ohio (nineteen), Pennsylvania (one), and West Virginia (two).

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General Ecology



Chromosome number: 2n = 32 (Gleason and Cronquist 1991)

Phenology: June through September (Fernald 1935)

Most spring grassland ephemerals grow prostrate to the soil surface where the springtime microclimate is warm and they are least likely to be located by herbivores when little fresh forage is available. Members of the genus Zigadenus, however, produce a taller stalk and recurved basal grasslike leaves that are elevated above the soil surface. This habit may explain two distinct characteristics of the grassland members of this genus: (1) a very large bulb may provide the extra energy needed for the unfavorable spring microclimate in which the leaves are positioned; (2) the extreme toxicity of all plant parts presumably deters herbivores in the early spring when little nutritional forage is available (Knapp 1986).

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering Jun--Aug.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Comments: In the regions where Zigadenus elegans is rare, some states have reported declines in populations, largely due to habitat destruction. Ohio and Indiana have populations which have been damaged or destroyed by farming activities (OH NHP 1992, IN NHDC 1994). The sole population in Vermont has been lost due to habitat destruction (Zika 1994). Historic occurrences have not been relocated in Nebraska, and the plant may be extirpated from the state (NE NHP 1994). Illinois has stable populations in rocky, dolomite cliff habitat, but populations in calcareous fen habitat have not been successfully relocated (Schwegman 1994).

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Threats

Comments: Although Zigadenus elegans occurs in very different communities throughout its range, the primary threat to most populations is shading and competition from succession.

In the Great Plains region and portions of the Midwest, suitable habitats, wet meadows, calcareous fens, and tallgrass prairies have been drastically reduced from historic levels. This trend has slowed but conversion to agriculture continues to be a threat to these communities (Chapman 1994, Lenz 1994, Ode 1994, Smith 1994). When grazing occurs in prairie habitat, it appears that Zigadenus elegans populations suffer, although specific causes are not known (Lenz 1994).

Drainage and filling is an additional threat to populations in low, wet habitats. Drainage and clearing have been identified as threats to populations in Indiana (Homoya 1992); in Ohio, drainage of moist calcarious fens for farming has damaged or destroyed some populations (OH NHP 1992).

Another potential threat is the direct and indirect effects of grazing such as herbivory (herbivory does occur, although Zigadenus elegans is toxic to and avoided by most livestock), trampling, and soil compaction (Freeman 1994).

Most states with populations located in rocky cliffs and crevices report that they are largely stable due to their inaccessibility and successional stability (VA DNH 1992, Schwegman 1994, Yatskievych 1994, NC HP 1994). However, some of these populations do face threats. In Missouri, the paleorefugium where Z. elegans occurs may be threatened by logging activities, and plants on slopes could be trampled by canoeists (Yatskievych 1994). In New York, threats to cliff populations include trampling from foot traffic and invasion by exotic species (NY NHP 1992).

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Management

Restoration Potential: Restoration potential for Zigadenus elegans is largely unknown. Zigadenus elegans is not often found in areas with significant disturbance (Smith 1994) or in old field situations (Lenz 1994), which may suggest that the plant is somewhat fragile. The individualistic nature of the plant is likely to make reintroduction difficult, while the long lived nature of the plant may provide high potential for the recovery of damaged populations (Heidel 1994).

Preserve Selection and Design Considerations: Preserve design considerations will differ according to the habitat occupied by Zigadenus elegans. Various habitat types will require specific management tactics and therefore require different preserve designs.

When open, tallgrass prairie, calcareous fens, or wet meadows are the targeted habitats, areas large enough to support adequate fire management (including fire breaks, smoke buffer, etc.), control of hydrological processes (prevention of ditching and filling, etc.), and protection of site watersource integrity will be necessary.

When populations on calcareous cliffs and rocky slopes are to be targeted, an area large enough to protect hydrological processes will be necessary, and damage from invasives, grazing, and foot traffic impacts will have to be prevented.

Management Requirements: In areas where natural processes such as periodic burning have been disrupted, succession may eventually choke out populations of this plant. Fire management is likely to be the best tactic to maintain populations in tallgrass prairies, wet meadows, and fens; however, properly timed mowing may achieve the same effect (Chapman 1994, Lenz 1994, Smith 1994).

On rocky ledges, dolomite cliffs, and other similar habitats, very little active management is necessary as succession is not often a problem. Protection of local hydrology, prevention of trampling, and invasion by exotics will likely be the best management tactic in these situations. Removal of exotics or woody growth should be done with care as Zigadenus elegans seems to be sensitive to soil compaction and trampling (NY NHP 1992, Mosely 1994, Smith 1994).

Management Programs: Throughout its range there are no specific management programs for Zigadenus elegans. However, in the Midwest and Great Plains, management programs carried out for tallgrass prairies and fen communities are likely to incorporate Zigadenus elegans populations (Chapman 1994).

Monitoring Programs: No specific monitoring programs exist for Zigadenus elegans. However, it may be picked up as an incidental occurrence in monitoring programs targeting other species or communities in general.

Management Research Needs: Although there are no critical management research needs at this time for Zigadenus elegans, research into proper mowing and haying times would be useful (Smith 1994).

Possible research topics which would be useful for protection of Zigadenus elegans include demographics, response to fire management, timing impacts of seasonal cutting to control succession, usefulness as an indicator species (or member of a suite of indicator species), and studies of specific ground water conditions (alkalinity, etc.) which may be required by this plant (Chapman 1994, Schwegman 1994).

Biological Research Needs: Further study into the taxonomic problems with this plant are necessary in order to determine the true status and protection needs of the subspecies in the eastern portion of its range.

Additional research is needed to study the reproductive and population biology of the species (particularly seed set and germination requirements), examine the effects of fire and competition, and determine levels of shade tolerance.

Comments: Historically, Zigadenus glaucus and Zigadenus elegans have been collectively treated as both Zigadenus chloranthus and Anticlea chlorantha. Zigadenus elegans has also been treated as Anticlea elegans (Fernald 1935). In addition, the genus Zigadenus has been incorrectly spelled Zygadenus; the earlier spelling of Zigadenus is now considered correct (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).

"An alkaloid, zygadenine, contained in this and other species of the genus, is the source of a poison which may produce harmful effects on cattle, horses, and sheep, especially when the fresh leaves, stems, or flowers are eaten. The seeds are considered quite poisonous also. Poisoning may occur among children if the bulbs are eaten." (Steyermark 1963).

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: Pharmaceutical

Comments: Root considered strong medicine for sore heart. Small piece of root eaten raw, or boiled and 1 tsp. of juice extract taken

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Risks

Stewardship Overview: Zigadenus elegans is widespread across the United States and Canada. Throughout the northern, northwest, and Great Plains portions of its range where it occurs in calcareous rocky areas and tallgrass prairies, the plant occurs in large populations. In the parts of the midwest (Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana) and eastern portion of its distribution, Zigadenus elegans is more often found in smaller populations in calcareous seeps and fens and cliff crevices. The greatest threats to populations in general are shading and competition from successional growth. Other potential threats are indirect and direct impacts from grazing, disruption of hydrology by ditching and filling, and global climate change. Fire management, haying, or mowing when not in flower or fruit, is likely to be important to maximize positive results. Monitoring needs include examination of reproductive success and population trends. Surveys should be conducted in the eastern midwest and eastern portion of the plants' distribution to locate additional healthy populations. Research is needed to study the reproductive and population biology of the species (particularly seed set and germination requirements), examine the effects of fire and competition, and determine levels of shade tolerance.

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Wikipedia

Anticlea elegans

Mountain Deathcamas (Anticlea elegans, formerly Zigadenus elegans) is also known as Elegant Camas or "alkali grass". It is not a grass (though its leaves are grass-like), but belongs to the trillium family, Melanthiaceae.

It has white lily-like flowers and two-pronged, greenish-yellow glands on each petal (the shape of which can help in distinguishing it from other members of the genus). It is widely distributed throughout North America and occurs in many habitats. Plants on the western side of the continent tend to be smaller in size than their eastern counterparts, but have more densely clustered flowers. The flower is extremely poisonous.

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Notes

Comments

Zigadenus elegans has been treated previously as comprising two varieties, or two subspecies (W. B. Zomlefer 1997b). The western var. or subsp. elegans tends to be a smaller plant with a raceme or a 1–2-branched panicle and glabrous, sometimes glaucous leaves and stems; while the eastern var. or subsp. glaucus tends to be a larger plant with a paniculate inflorescence and glaucous leaves and stems. Because there is considerable evidence of intergradation between the two entities toward the middle of the range, including overlapping flowering times, they have not been formally distinguished here.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: This treatment of Zigadenus elegans is in the broad sense, including plants called Z. glaucus (=Z. elegans var. glaucus). This is the treatment accepted in Kartesz (1999) and FNA (2002, vol. 26); Kartesz accepts Z. glaucus as a variety of Z. elegans, while FNA says there is considerable evidence of intergradation between the two so varieties are not distinguished.

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