This species is propagated by cuttings, divisions or seed germination as investigated by Greg Wieland (1995) at Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens and Dr. David Creech, staff and students of Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas (SFA 2002). These propagation efforts are performed for reintroduction efforts and to maintain plants for the gene bank. Plants produced for educational display gardens or for specific restoration and reintroduction projects are produced within Mercers nursery greenhouses and within our Conservation Area. The Conservation Area provides secure, raised beds for mass propagation of plants/seeds. Each bed is provided with independently controlled irrigation and substrates that meet the unique requirements for each species. Populations are propagated separately to insure genetic purity.
Mercer staff and volunteers maintain an expanding population of Phlox nivalis spp. texensis as a permanent educational exhibit within our Endangered Species Garden. These plants often bloom throughout the year and bloom most prolifically during the Spring. Plants self-sow and spread via rhizomes. The Endangered Species Garden, established in 1994 with support from Star Enterprises, displays rare native plants for the public to view year-round. In Spring 2002, the River Oaks Garden Club of Houston (ROGC), TX provided a generous gift to begin the expansion and renovation of Mercers Endangered Species Garden. ROGC also completed the full CPC sponsorship for Phlox nivalis spp. texensis. Mercer and ROGC hope to organize a work day(s) at the Big Thicket reintroduction site this Fall(2002) or Spring of 2003. Mercers veteran native plant volunteer, Carol Kobb, initiated the CPC sponsorship in memory of her friend Millie Gaudino of Conroe, TX.
Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens maintains wild collected seeds for Phlox nivalis spp. texensis dating to 1993. Mercer also banks subsets of rare seeds collected from field surveys and from propagation work with our collaborating CPC institution, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin, TX and the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) in Ft. Collins, CO (formerly called the National Seed Storage Laboratories). As this species is a listed federally endangered species, maintenance of genetic integrity, documentation of provenance and gene banking is essential.
The 1995 reintroduction project in the Turkey Creek Unit of the Big Thicket Preserve in Hardin County showed a loss of 18 in 1999 from the original 40 set out in in December of 1995 (Wieland 1999). This 1995 reintroduction was a cooperative effort between Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, Paula Whitefield and Ricky Maxey (now with Texas Parks and Wildlife) of Big Thicket National Preserve and Kathy Nemec of The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dr. Phillip Malnassey from Lamar University, Dr. Michael Warnock formerly with Sam Houston State Univ., Guy Nesom of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth Texas, Wendy Ledbetter of the Texas Nature Conservancy, and assisted by volunteers from Garden Clubs of America's Partners in Plants: Garden Club of Houston, The River Oaks Garden Club of Houston and Magnolia Garden Club of Beaumont, TX (Ledbetter 1996). Ike McWhorter, formerly the East Texas Land Steward for the Texas Nature Conservancy at Sandylands Preserve, was the habitat and management specialist for the species at that time.