Regularity: Regularly occurring
Within the southeastern United States, Viburnum bracteatum is similar to other viburnums in the "dentatum" group, but each of the following differ from V. bracteatum:
- V. dentatum does not have petiole and leaf blade pubescence which is red-glandular, its fruit is rounded (as opposed to elliptical) and the base of the style is pubescent
- V. molle has leaves which are toothed throughout (as opposed to the upper ¾), a longer petiole (>1.5 cm), and the bark of V. molle exfoliates while V. bracteatum has tighter bark
- V. rafinesquianum has petioles < 1 cm
(Kral 1983, Patrick et al. 1995, Wofford and Chester 2002).
Comments: The extant occurrences Viburnum bracteatum are limited to (rich) limestone woods usually along steep slopes or stream banks. The overstory component includes a variety of species such as Carya ovata var. australis, Quercus muehlenbergii, Q. shumardii, Q. rubra, Ulmus spp., etc. Some element occurrences list up to fourteen overstory species present. The herbaceous layer usually contains a diverse display of spring wildflowers.
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Life History and Behavior
Persistence: PERENNIAL, DECIDUOUS
The flowers are typically bisexual but the marginal blossoms in hobblebush and cranberry bush are sterile. The fruit are eaten by deer, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, mice, skunks, grouse, pheasants, turkeys and many species of songbirds.
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N1 - Critically Imperiled
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Based upon current data, the few populations in Georgia do not have many plants. However, as recently as 2003, new occurrences have been located in Tennessee and thus it is possible that more will be found. Based upon the few occurrences now known, relatively small numbers of individuals, and threats, Viburnum bracteatum is an imperiled species. If threats such as limestone quarries persists or worsen, a G1 rank would be justified.
Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Comments: Limestone quarrying was reported by Kral (1983) to be the major threat. Quarrying has destroyed an Alabama population and most of the type locality in Georgia.
Degree of Threat: High
Comments: A Georgia population is upslope from an active quarry (Patrick et al. 1995) (the type locality in Georgia was partially distroyed by quarrying in the past). In addition, as of 2006, there are plans for reactivating a limestone mine in one of the Tennessee counties were V. bracteatum occurs (Withers, pers. comm.).
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Stewardship Overview: "Avoid disturbance. At most this species [Viburnum bracteatum] will tolerate only hand thinning of shading trees in its vicinity, and only if done carefully" (Patrick et al. 1995).
Viburnum bracteatum is a species of flowering plant in the Adoxaceae known by the common names bracted arrowwood and limerock arrowwood. It is native to the southeastern United States, where it is limited to Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. Some authors include Viburnum ozarkense in this species, which would expand its distribution westward. Other authors include V. ozarkense in Viburnum molle, or retain it as a distinct species.
Viburnum bracteatum is a deciduous shrub with spreading and arching branches reaching up to 3 meters tall. The bark is smooth and gray in color. The oppositely arranged leaves have blades up to 12 centimeters long. They have toothed edges, with about one tooth per centimeter. The blades are borne on short petioles. The inflorescence is 4 to 6 centimeters wide with conspicuous bracts at the base. The flower has a circular corolla of five white petals about 8 millimeters across and five stamens tipped with yellow anthers. The fruit is a bluish black drupe about a centimeter wide. The fruits are eaten by birds, small mammals, and deer.
There are about eleven occurrences of this rare plant, but only five are considered to be viable. It is threatened by limestone mining. This activity has destroyed or partially destroyed populations in the past.
- Viburnum bracteatum. Center for Plant Conservation.
- Estes, D. (2010). Viburnum bracteatum (Adoxaceae) expanded to include Viburnum ozarkense. Castanea 75(2) 277-93.
- Weckman, T. J. (2002). Reinstatement of Viburnum ozarkense (Caprifoliaceae): An endemic taxon of the interior highlands of Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Sida 20(2) 849-60.
- Viburnum bracteatum. NatureServe.
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