|highlands scrub hypericum, highlands scrub St. John's-wort, scrub Hypericum|
|(Small) P. Adams|
|Dorothy M. Brazis|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Bok Tower Gardens
The conservation of Hypericum cumulicola is fully sponsored.
Dorothy M. Brazis contributed to this Plant Profile.
As a member of the genus Hypericum, this plant may contain hypericin, which is a promising chemical compound that may help protect animals from viral diseases. (Duke 1989) This species was listed as federally endangered in 1987, and the main causes of its decline include habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and fire suppression.
This small, short-lived perennial herb can grow from 20 to 70 cm tall, and has 3 - 17 wiry, round stems that arise from a woody, fibrous root system. Its needle-like leaves are opposite, entire, and simple. Blooming from July to November, flowers occur in cymes are composed of five yellow petals that are shaped like the blades of a propeller. Mature seeds are pointed, opening into 3 curved, beaked segments, surrounded by 5 persistent sepals. This Hypericum is a prolific reproducer, and by the end of the season there can be as many as 1,600 reproductive structures (fruits, flowers, or buds) on an individual plant.
This species closest Florida relative is H. gentianoides. The two species are morphologically very similar, but can be distinguished by their branching form. H. gentianoides branches repeatedly above the base, while H. cumulicola branches only at the base. (USFWS 1999)
Distribution & Occurrence
This species is found almost exclusively in sunny openings in rosemary balds. It is limited to upland areas with well-drained, sterile, white patches of open, nutrient-poor sand within oak and rosemary scrub (FNAI 2000).
Associates often include Cladonia spp. and Eryngium cuneifolium (NatureServe 2001).
|Approximately 1250 plants known in 15 sites in Central Florida sites in Lake Wales Ridge of Highlands and southern Polk Counties. There are 70 known populations that range in size from 30 to 1,000,000 individuals (USFWS 1999).|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Flowers open in the morning and often close by noon. The primary pollinator appears to be native solitary bees, but a number of other insects have been observed on these flowers. Pollinator visitation occurs at the same rate, regardless of flowering plant density. (USFWS 1999)
Plants are capable of self-pollination, but this results in a lower seed-set than outcrossing. (USFWS 1999)
Seeds are likely dispersed primarily by gravity (USFWS 1999)
The plant lab at Archbold biological Station researches the demographics and genetics of this species as well as monitors it.
Bea Pace monitors this species at Saddle Blanket Preserve.
Ann Johnson conducts research on the response of this species to fire.
Protect and enhance existing populations.
Conduct research on life history characteristics, demographic, population viability and risk assessment analysis, and research management requirements.
Monitor existing populations of this species.
Educate the public.
Prevent habitat degradation and restore suitable habitat through the use of managed fire.
Continue habitat-level research projects.
Monitor habitat/ecological processes.
Hawkes, C.V. 2000. Interactions of soild crusts with four endangered herbs in xeric Florida shrub. In: Gordon, D.R.; Slapcinsky, J.L., editors. Annual Research Report: A Compilation of Research Conducted or Supported by The Nature Conservancy in Florida.