A narrow endemic of two adjacent counties in western North Carolina, where it is restricted to local, unusually dry habitats. There are seven known populations, five of them along the rim of a single Blue Ridge Escarpment gorge. Barring regional or global climate change, and provided the populations are reasonably protected from rock climbers and hikers (a proposed trail, since re-routed, would have cut directly through two of the populations), the species could persist indefinitely at these few sites. However, historical fire suppression and visitor impacts continue to be threats.
Trampling by hikers and rock-climbers
(Nature Serve Explorer 2002)
34 plants at Table Rock, Burke County, NC unknown number of plants at Chimneys, Burke County, NC unknown number of plants at Chimney Gap, Burke County, NC unknown number of plants at Shortoff Mountain, Burke County, NC 20 plants at Woods Mountain, McDowell County, NC 4 plants at Singecat Ridge, McDowell County, NC
There are seven known populations, five of them are along the rim of a single Blue Ridge Escarpment gorge, and they contain a total of 2,000 to 2500 individuals. (Nature Serve Explorer 2002, paper in file dated 2/91)
Gross et al. (1998) have researched ways to reduce the threats to this species while developing management protocols for it.
Critical habitat was established in Burk Co., NC at the time of listing (F.R. 1980)
Paths have been rerouted to avoid fragmenting populations and to keep foot traffic away from the plants (2/91 paper)
Monitoring of the remaining populations to determine the population status at each site and to learn more about the natural history of this species and how potential threats may impact various life history stages. (F.R. 1980)
Shrub removal from habitat (F.R. 1980)
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