The San Antonio Botanical Garden is helping to save the Longflower Tuberose. Also known as Runyon’s huaco, Amole de Río and St. Joseph’s Staff (Manfreda longiflora), this is a small fleshy plant that looks a lot like an aloe with interesting reddish-brown markings. It is also commonly known as Tuberose because of its fragrant white to pink flowers which bloom on a flower stalk that sometimes reaches a height of 20 inches. The leaves do wither in drought conditions, and are often subject to herbivory, but will return after rain events (Eason, pers. comm. 2017).
There are only 4 known populations of this taxon as its imperiled by threats such as highway and pipeline construction, maintenance, overgrazing, brush clearing, and non-native grasses. Low population numbers and low numbers of individuals could lead to extinction through any number of chance events (Damude and Poole 1990).
Known from fewer than 15 occurrences in south Texas and northern Tamaulipas, Mexico. Threatened by brush clearing and other pasture improvement techniques, over-collection for commercial sale, highway and pipeline construction and maintenance, overgrazing, and non-native grasses (Damude and Poole 1990 cited by Barrrett n.d.). A lack of pollinators could be a limiting factor, but this needs to be studied.
The San Antonio Botanical Garden is dedicated to education, conservation, research and display of plants and plant communities of local, regional, and worldwide significance.
The conservation experts at CPC participating institutions such as the San Antonio Botanical Garden share their in-depth conservation expertise about rare plants through CPC’s National Collection Plant Profiles.
Learn more about Longflower Tuberose.
Longflower Tuberose photo credit: Michael Eason © 2015