|paper nailwort, paper-like whitlow-wort, papery whitlow-wort|
|Dorothy M. Brazis|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Bok Tower Gardens
The conservation of Paronychia chartacea is fully sponsored.
Dorothy M. Brazis contributed to this Plant Profile.
There are two geographically isolated subspecies of Paronychia chartacea (ssp. chartacea and ssp. minima). Anderson (1991) describes the differences between these two subspecies. Both of these subspecies are listed as federally threatened due to habitat loss from agricultural, commercial, residential, and recreational purposes.
The papery whitlow-wort (Paronychia chartaceae ssp. chartacea) is a short-lived, dioecious herb. This species is mat forming, with its branches radiating horizontally from a central taproot. Male plants tend to be more spindly and forking than female plants, which are more dense and compact. Their wiry stems are yellowish-green and can grow from 5-20 cm long. Along them are tiny (1.5-3.0 mm long), opposite leaves that curl under at their ends. Numerous tiny cream-colored to greenish flowers form along these branches. (USFWS 1991 & 1999, Anderson 1991)
Distribution & Occurrence
P. chartacea ssp. chartacea is found in rosemary scrub or the rosemary phase of sand pine scrub communities where it colonizes disturbed, open, sandy sites. It prefers the well-drained, white sand of the St. Lucie or Archbold soil types (USFWS 1999).
P. charatacea is found with over three dozen vascular plants and 7 species of reindeer moss. P. chartacea (ssp. chartacea) occurs in association with Bonamia grandiflora, Hypericum cumulicola, Polygonella basaramia, Cladonia perforata, Eryngioum cuneifolium, and Liatris ohlingerae.
P. chartacea ssp. minima is found in the white sand margins of karst ponds in Bay and Washington Counties.
P. chartacea (ssp. minima) occurs with Amphicarpum muhlenbergianum, Bulbostylis barbata, B. ciliatifolia, Chrysopsis lanuginosa, Eriocaulon lineare, Hypericum lissophloeus, H. reductum, Lachnanthes carolinanum, Lachnocaulon anceps, Paronychia patula, Polypremum procumbens, Rhexia salicifolia, Phynchospora globularis, Sagittaria isoetiformis, and Xyris longisepala (USFWS 1999).
|Paronychia chartacea ssp. chartacea is protected in several biological preserves of the Lake Wales Ridge in Highlands, Polk, and Lake. It is protected at the Crooked Lake site near Lake Louisa and in Orange County at Lakes Cain and Marsha Park in the southwest Orlando area (USFWS 1999).
Only nine populations of Paronychia chartacea ssp. minima are known, most on private lands in Bay and Washington Counties in the Panhandle.
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Menges & Gordon (1996) and Pace-Aldana et al. (2000) have conducted research and monitoring on this species.
McKently & Adams (1994) have successfully propagated this species using in vitro methods.
Protect and enhance existing populations.
Conduct research on its life history characteristics.
Educate the public.
Prevent degradation of existing habitat.
Restore areas to suitable habitat.
Conduct habitat-level projects.
Monitor habitat/ecological processes.
Maintain species in conservation garden.
Hall, David W. 1993. Illustrated plants of Florida and the coastal plain. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House. 431p.