|auriculate false foxglove, eared false foxglove, earleaf foxglove, earleaf gerardia|
The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
The Holden Arboretum
Missouri Botanical Garden
The conservation of Agalinis auriculata is fully sponsored.
Jim Locklear contributed to this Plant Profile.
Apparently it's not easy being an annual, disturbance-dependent hemiparasite. But such is the life of the earleaf foxglove, a fall-blooming wildflower that formerly occurred in prairie and prairie-like habitat from New Jersey to Minnesota, south to Texas, Mississippi and Alabama. As an annual that completes its life cycle in a single growing season, it requires open places in the vegetation for its seed to germinate - perhaps created in the past by herds of bison or elk, now both gone from the prairie. As a hemiparasite, it depends on root connections with other plants to obtain some of its nutrients. Today this unusual plant is found in only a scattering of sites across its formerly expansive range.
Distribution & Occurrence
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Historically known to occur in mesic to wet-mesic tallgrass prairie (IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, OK & WI), blackland prairie (AL, AR, MS & TX), and prairie-like glades, barrens, and openings (IN, KY, OH, SC, TN & VA). Historical occurrences in MD and PA (Pennell 1928 and 1935) appear to correspond with the distribution of serpentine rock outcrops and associated barrens and grassland vegetation (Tyndall and Hull 1999). Information on habitat and ecology of historical occurrences in DC, NJ, & WV is lacking. Habitat of extant occurrences typically exhibits disturbance, and often has woody vegetation encroaching. A number of extant occurrences are associated with degraded prairie pastures, formerly cultivated fields, roadsides and floodplains.
|About 40-50 known occurrences, most with small populations of only 25-250 individuals (Rawinski 1990). Largest populations are found in AR, MS & MO. Recently discovered in KY (White 2001). Presumed extirpated in MI, NJ & TX. Possibly extirpated in AL, DC & WV. Typical of an annual plant species, extant populations fluctuate in number of individuals from year-to-year.|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Appears to be dependent on habitat disturbance to open up areas for seed germination. Observed colonizing soil mounds created by pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius) activity in St. Louis County, MO (Orzell and Summers 1983).
Succession of open habitat to woody vegetation.
Summer haying of prairie habitat before seed is ripened and released.
Seed is dormant when dispersed; requires light to germinate; remains viable in the soil for at least 4 years (Baskin et al. 1991).
Successfully propagated from seed using three month cold-moist stratification (Nebraska Statewide Arboretum).
Effects of burning and other methods of disturbance.
Roll of soil seed bank in ecology.
Coffin, B.; Pfannmuller, L. 1988. Minnesota's endangered flora and fauna. Minneapolis: Univ. Minnesota Press. 473p.
Gleason, H.A. 1952. New Britton & Brown. Illustrated Flora. Lancaster, Pa.: Lancaster Press Inc.
Mohlenbrock, R.H.; Ladd, D.M. 1978. Distribution of Illinois Vascular Plants. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 282p.