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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The geographic range of this species extends from central France to Belgium and western Ukraine (Govaerts et al. 2005-2007), and northwards to northern Germany (Bundesamt für Naturschutz 2012). As a popular garden plant it has sometimes also become naturalized in areas outside its native range. Records from just south of the Pyrenees in Spain require confirmation.
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Size

10-30 cm

  • 18. Auflage
  • Exkursionsflora von Deutschland, Gefäßpflanzen: Grundband
  • Rothmaler
  • Spektrum Akademischer Verlag
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This is a bulbous perennial of damp woodlands, scrub, hedges and meadows. It is often found in hilly areas on calcareous soils. It is frost hardy and a good early nectar source for bees as it flowers between February and April (Trias Blasi 2013).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Associations

Foodplant / spot causer
amphigenous colony of Ramularia anamorph of Ramularia vallisumbrosae causes spots on live stem of Leucojum vernum

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
Chadburn, H.

Reviewer/s
Allen, D.J.

Contributor/s

Justification
This endemic species has a wide distribution through Europe, where it is found in a variety of damp woodlands, scrub and grasslands over a range of altitudes and it is inferred that the area of occupancy (AOO) and population exceed the values needed for a threatened category. It occurs within numerous protected areas and in some parts of Europe is afforded legislative protection from collection from the wild. It is assessed as Least Concern in the European region and the EU27. However, in parts of the range it is suffering from declines associated with habitat loss and collection (Jovanović et al. 2009, Marossy 2006) and sample surveys to establish the current population status and periodic monitoring to detect significant declines may be needed.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Population

Population
There are a large number of specimen collections and observational records for this species (GBIF 2013). The majority are from the core countries central to its range and there are recent as well as historical records. This suggests that the population is large. Particularly high densities are noted in some areas, such as the Märzenbecherweisen nature reserve in Germany (Polentzal Tourist Information 2012). However, there is mass collection from the wild in some areas which may lead to local declines in population and also local habitat loss (Marossy 2006, Jovanović et al. 2009). The overall population trend is unknown.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
The species may be impacted in parts of its range by habitat loss such as conversion for agriculture and afforestation. In Serbia it is considered threatened by inappropriate management of old beech forests (Jovanović et al. 2009). As it has a preference for damp habitats it may also be affected by drainage activities.

It is noted be threatened by collection from the wild in parts of its range. In Romania it is reported to be mass harvested and sold in markets, particularly for spring festivals in March, leading to a gradual decrease in some local populations (Marossy 2006). In Serbia, for example, it is thought to be threatened by collection for the pharmaceutical trade (Jovanović et al. 2009).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is cultivated in botanic gardens and seeds have been collected and stored as part of ex situ conservation measures (Trias Blasi 2013). In Belgium, Austria and Liechtenstein this species is listed as being given protection against wild collection for trade (Lear 1998). In Germany wild populations have been specifically protected by the Federal Nature Conservation Act since 1980 (Floraweb 2012) and it has protected status within regions of France (Tela Botanica 2013).

The species is found within protected areas, and is recorded from nearly 150 Natura 2000 sites across its range (EUNIS 2014), such as Märzenbecherweisen nature reserve, where the largest occurrence of wild plants of this species in Saxony is found. It is a popular place to visit in the spring and the Saxon association for the preservation of local traditions has made efforts to protect this population since 1928 (Polentzal Tourist Information 2013). Further research is needed to establish the extent and impact of any collection from the wild. Numerical data in relation to current population status is not readily available, surveys and periodic monitoring to detect any significant declines are recommended.
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