Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Alabama - mostly on the Coastal Plain but also (rarely) in contiguous areas of Appalachian Alabama (Kral 1983). Also reported in Georgia (Georgia Natural Heritage Program and Kartesz 1999) and Florida (Linda Chafin pers. comm.).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Perennials, to 300 cm (rhizomatous, roots fibrous). Leaves green, oblong to elliptic or ovate to pandurate, herbaceous, margins crenate, dentate, entire or serrate, apices acute, faces scabrous, abaxial often glabrescent; basal petiolate, 20–65 × 8–20 cm, bases attenuate; cauline sessile, 15–40 × 4–15 cm, bases auriculate to truncate. Heads (usually 10+) in paniculiform arrays. Phyllaries to 1 cm. Receptacles conic to ovoid; paleae 4–6 mm, apices obtuse to acute, abaxial tips hairy. Ray florets 8–14; laminae oblanceolate, 18–30 × 4–8 mm, abaxially sparsely hairy. Discs 12–16 × 10–18 mm. Disc florets 150–200; corollas brown-purple, 3.5–4.2 mm; anther appendages glabrous or gland-dotted; style branches to ca. 1.8 mm, apices acute to obtuse. Cypselae 3.5–5 mm; pappi of 4–6, unequal scales, to 2 mm. 2n = 36.
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Diagnostic Description

The combination of eared leaves and large stature (to 3 m in height) serves to distinguish R. auriculata from others in the genus.

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Synonym

Rudbeckia fulgida Aiton var. auriculata Perdue, Rhodora 63: 119. 1961
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Type Information

Isotype for Rudbeckia fulgida var. auriculata Perdue
Catalog Number: US 2331679
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): R. E. Perdue
Year Collected: 1958
Locality: Along Alabama Hwy 55, 11 mi S of McKenzie, 2 mi N of Red Level., Covington, Alabama, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Perdue, R. E. 1961. Rhodora. 63: 119.
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Isotype for Rudbeckia fulgida var. auriculata Perdue
Catalog Number: US 2331681
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): R. E. Perdue
Year Collected: 1958
Locality: 11 mi S of McKenzie along Alabama Hwy 55, 2 mi N of Red Level., Covington, Alabama, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Perdue, R. E. 1961. Rhodora. 63: 119.
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Isotype for Rudbeckia fulgida var. auriculata Perdue
Catalog Number: US 2331680
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): R. E. Perdue
Year Collected: 1958
Locality: 11 mi S of McKenzie along Alabama Hwy 55, 2 mi N of Red Level., Covington, Alabama, United States, North America
  • Isotype: Perdue, R. E. 1961. Rhodora. 63: 119.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Full sun of open bogs, seeps, swamps, ditches, swales, and wet openings in woodlands. Sometimes in the partial shade at edges of hardwood swamps. Soils are typically highly organic. In bogs and seeps, it will appear in clearings amongst Alnus, Myrica, Cephalanthus, and Cyrilla in association with various sedges (particularly Rhynchospora) and wetland grasses, bog orchids and liliaceae. A logging of the low hardwood stands it often grows around or in would probably increase its habitat providing this was not accompanied by drainage. The same could be said of the pine flatwoods areas it is in. It would not survive under the closed canopy of pine plantation or dense hardwood regeneration.

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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: 21 - 80

Comments: Twenty-two extant occurrences are currently known: Alabama (19), Georgia (1), Florida (2).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G2 - Imperiled

Reasons: Reported in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida; and almost completely restricted to the Coastal Plain. Although over 20 occurrences are known to exist, the majority of these inhabit highly modified habitat conditions such as utility corridors, roadsides, and pastures. Only a small number of known occurrences inhabit good quality examples of native habitat. Herbicide application on roadside or powerline rights-of way is the biggest threat in these situations. Additional threats include grazing and silvicultural practices that would impact soil hydrology, and encroachment of woody species into the open habitat.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.

Comments: Requires mesic to wet soils, not specific to pH. Excessive shade and hydrological alterations are detrimental to species viability.

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Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-30%

Comments: Occurrences in natural habitats are declining as a result of incompatible forestry practices and agriculture. Given its preference for open, moist areas, however, the species has become well established in disturbed sites, particularly utility corridors and roadsides where woody vegetation is periodically mowed.

Global Long Term Trend: Unknown

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Threats

Comments: Highly threatened by land-use conversion, habitat fragmentation, and forest management practices (Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project 2002).

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Risks

Stewardship Overview: To ensure the long-term viability of R. auriculata, attention should focus on preserving populations occupying native, relatively undisturbed habitat. Sustaining such occurrences will require the following management practices:

1. Eradicate exotic species.

2. Carefully create canopy gaps through selective timber removal (hand thinning recommended) to promote growth and reproduction.

3. Prepare and implement monitoring protocols to assess the impacts of invasive competitors, drainage, and other threats toward maintaining the viability of existing occurrences.

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Notes

Comments

Rudbeckia auriculata is known from eight sites in Alabama, one in Florida, and one in Georgia.
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