The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Missouri Botanical Garden
Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens
The conservation of Geocarpon minimum is fully sponsored.
Kimberlie McCue, Ph.D. contributed to this Plant Profile.
If you want to see Geocarpon minimum you'll need good eyes and good knees! That's because this plant is TINY, and to find it often requires getting down on hands and knees. Growing between one and four centimeters tall, G. minimum is the only member of its genus, making it a very unique member of the Caryophyllaceae (Carnation) family.
Seeds of Geocarpon germinate in the winter and produce a small rosette. In spring the plant produces flowers and sets seed within about 4 weeks time. As the fruits mature, the plant turns from green to a striking magenta color.
Distribution & Occurrence
In Missouri, Geocarpon minimum grows on moist, sandy soils on exposed sandstone outcrops. It is limited to shallow depressions in slightly tilted sandstone strata within sandstone glade plant communities (Shepard et al. 1991). In Arkansas and Louisiana, Geocarpon is restricted to saline soils in plant communities classified as "saline soil prairies" (USFWS 1993).
In Missouri, Geocarpon is strongly associated with the lichen, Xanthoparmelia sp. (USFWS 1993). Also likely to occur with Geocarpon: Talinum sp., and Polytrichum juniperinum.
In Arkansas and Louisiana, associates include: Scirpus koilolepsis, Aristida longespica, and Anemone caroliniana (USFWS 1993).
|Known from approximately 27 sites in AR, LA, and MO. The majority of sites occur in Missouri (USFWS 1993). The number of individual plants at each site varies from year to year, ranging from 0 to hundreds or occasionally even a few thousand.|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Research needs include determining the effects of disturbance factors (natural and man-made) and incorporating findings into management prescriptions, establishing experimental populations to determine the presence of habitat specific factors and understanding reproductive biology and ecology.
Behnke, H.D. 1982. Geocarpon-minimum sieve element plastids as additional evidence for its inclusion in the Caryophyllaceae. Taxon. 31, 1: 45-47.
Boetsch, J.R. 2002. The Aizoaceae and Molluginaceae of the southeastern United States. Castanea. 67: 42-53.
MacKenzie, K.K. 1914. A new genus from Missouri. Torreya. 14: 67.
McInnis, N.C. 1993. Geocarpon minimum (caryophyllaceae), New to Louisiana. Phytologia. 75, 2: 159.
Shepherd, W.M.; Preston, C.R.; Steinower, R. 1991. Five-year study of Geocarpon minimum at Warren Prairie Natural Area, Bradley County, Arkansas. Proceedings of the Arkansas Academy of Science.
Smith, T.; Ely, J.S. 2006. A demographic and ecological analysis of Geocarpon minimum (Caryophyllaceae): a federally threatened species in southwest Missouri. SIDA. 22, 2: 1145-1147.