The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
New England Wild Flower Society
The conservation of Geum peckii is fully sponsored.
Elizabeth J. Farnsworth contributed to this Plant Profile.
This alpine-boreal member of the Rose family can be found growing along mountain streams and rocky wet meadows, as well as bogs and sphagnum-moss depressions. Known from only two places in the world -- the Presidential Mountain Range of New Hampshire, and Digby County in Nova Scotia -- the species is considered something of a glacial relict. It is threatened by encroaching forest succession, and its habitat is likely to shrink further as the climate warms. Road ditching, an expanding gull rookery, and home-building along with a rising tide of ecotourism threaten the Canadian populations.
Research and Management Summary:
A number of individuals and institutions have studied a number of different aspects of this species. Management activities are planned for a Canada population of Geum peckii, but have yet to be implemented as of 2001. The New England Wild Flower Society monitors populations of this species.
Geum peckii is an herbaceous, compact perennial, growing only 20 to 40 cm tall. Several small, compound leaves, consisting of up to 6 tiny leaflets and one larger, rounded terminal leaflet, cluster around its base. The flowering stalk, appearing June to September, bears 1 to 5 spreading, yellow flowers 1 to 3 cm across.
Distribution & Occurrence
- New Hampshire
Geum peckii occupies two types of habitat: mountainous wet meadows and stream-sides in the high mountains of New Hampshire, and bogs and wet depressions at sea level along the coast of the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. Soils in both areas are damp, with only a shallow organic layer. In the mountains, snow and ice persist well into the growing season and high winds inhibit the growth of other vegetation (Harshberger 1929, Brackley-Tolman 2001). Montane populations grow at 1200-1830 m elevation; descending to sub-alpine elevations (425-760 m) along high-gradient streams, especially at open cascades (NatureServe 2001). This species is thought to have colonized open, mineral-soil habitats as the Pleistocene glaciers retreated, and now is restricted to cold, moist, exposed depressions where competition with other species is minimal (Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001). Geum peckii is classified as an obligate wetland plant of the northeast United States (USDA Plants National Database 2001).
| 28 extant populations in northern New Hampshire (9 others are historic; known before 1982 only); estimated as between 1000 to 3000 plants, according to G2 rank
2 extant populations in Nova Scotia, one on Brier Island (several hundred stems in several sub-populations) and one newly discovered on nearby Digby Neck with 300 to 500 stems.
Conservation, Ecology & Research
John Burger and Frankie Brackley-Tolman (University of New Hampshire) have identified flies as the primary pollinators of Geum peckii in the New Hampshire mountains. The plants are also capable of limited self-pollination, though seed set is boosted by insect pollination.
Geum peckii differs from other alpine perennials of the White Mountains in several aspects of its physiology (Hadley and Bliss 1964). Its photosynthetic efficiency increases at higher temperatures, and it shows little photosynthetic saturation at low light levels. It shows high respiration rates, and low shoot caloric and protein values relative to other species in the area. These features may help to explain why it needs comparatively high levels of light exposure, as well as its distribution in warm microenvironments of the alpine (Hadley and Bliss 1964).
Encroaching trees and shrubs threaten one bog on Br
Jenny Smedmark and Torston Eriksson of the University of Stockholm, Sweden, are studying nuclear ribosomal ITS and other sequences, as well as morphological characters, in hopes of resolving inter- and intra-generic taxonomic problems within the Geum clade and allied Rosaceae (Smedmark and Eriksson 1998).
Hadley and Bliss (1964) conducted extensive comparative studies of the ecophysiology of alpine species in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, including G. peckii.
Other studies of related alpine congeners may be helpful for understanding the biology of this rare plant (e.g., Baskin 1985, Chambers 1991, Manuel 1999).
The New England Wild Flower Society has also determined through germination trials that dried or refrigerated seed will germinate well when sowed outdoors. NEWFS has collected seed several times from various populations. This expands on the 1934 work of Nichols, who used found through seed germination trials that Geum peckii appears to require a period of exposure to winter temperatures. These trials also showed very low germination rates (<5% of 300 seeds tested).
Volunteer task forces of the New England Plant Conservation Program of The New England Wild Flower Society (Framingham, Massachusetts) monitor populations of Geum peckii in New Hampshire.
Plants of Geum peckii have been cultivated at Garden in the Woods (NEWFS, Framingham, Massachusetts) for approximately 20 years.
Effects of projected climate change (especially increased mean annual temperature, earlier snowmelt, and increased UV exposure) on plant ecophysiology and fitness
Trials in which the canopy over Geum peckii is opened by removing trees and shrubs
Methods of protecting plants from gull activity need to be devised
Smedmark, J.; Eriksson, T. Geum and relatives (Rosaceae, Rosoideae), probable cases of bi-directional concerted evolution following allopolyploid speciation -- an interpretation based on nuclear ribosomal ITS and preliminary morpholological data. Annual M