Rare Plant Conservation-Purpledisk honeycombhead (Balduina atropurpurea) under biological assessment

The purpledisk honeycombhead (Balduina atropurpurea) is currently under biological assessment.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is performing a Species Status Assessment to determine if the species warrants listing.  This species occurs in wet pine savannas and pitcher-plant bogs in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.  The areas typically have poorly drained soils that are acidic, sandy, and nutrient-poor.  Balduina atropurpurea occurs in the low, wet areas where water emerges from the soil surface and creates seepage.  Prescribed fire has shaped and characterized the wet pine savannas, seepage slopes, and/or pitcherplant bogs where Balduina occurs, by maintaining open conditions and reducing woody competition.

Balduina atropurpurea inflorescence/flower, photo by April Punsalan

The species is self-incompatible and requires cross-pollination for seed set.  Currently, in South Carolina, only one population remains on Department of Defense land where prescribed fire is a frequent management tool.  Historic locations are known from Florence and Darlington Counties.  This species could occur along powerline rights-of-way that are maintained in an open condition.  Please keep your eyes open for this species in South Carolina.  If you have any information in regards to this species please contact: April Punsalan, april_punsalan@fws.gov, https://www.fws.gov/charleston/staff.html



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