CPC Plant Profile: Pale False Foxglove
Search / Plant Profile / Agalinis skinneriana
Plant Profile

Pale False Foxglove (Agalinis skinneriana)

This shot shows a closeup of the short-lived, pink flowers. Photo Credit: Thomas Antonio
Description
  • Global Rank: N/A
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Orobanchaceae
  • State: MD, MI, MO, MS, OH, OK, TN, WI, AL, AR, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, ON
  • Nature Serve ID: 160503
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 10/17/2021

Agalinis skinneriana can grow up to 65 cm tall producing pale pink flowers during its flowering season from August to September. This rare annual forb is a hemiparasite, meaning that it attains some of its nutrients by attaching its roots to those of other nearby species. Agalinis skinneriana generally occurs in small scattered populations throughout its range, which extends south from Ontario and Ohio to Missouri and Louisiana. It can be found in a number of different habitats, from sand to mesic prairies, and from rocky open glades to moist thickets. While it appears that this species has always been rare throughout its range, the number of populations appears to have declined since the 1800's (Kercher et. al. 2000). It is currently not federally protected, but is listed as threatened or endangered in 5 of the 12 states where it is currently found.  A number of studies have recently been performed on this species, as well as on other closely related species in the genus Agalinis. Management for this species, however, is lacking throughout most of its range.

Participating Institutions
Updates
Center for Plant Conservation
  • 08/16/2021
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

In 2021, CPC contracted the Chicago Botanic Garden to recollect seed from a population currently held in long term orthodox seed storage as part of an IMLS-funded seed longevity experiment. The National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation will evaluate how germination tested viability and RNA Integrity of seed lots decline over time in storage.

  • 08/26/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Continue to maintain seeds in seed banks, and be sure that these seeds represent the full potential genetic diversity of the species.

  • 08/16/2020
  • Reproductive Research

Dieringer (1999) studied the reproductive biology of A. skinneriana in two different populations (one with over 1000 individual plants and another with only a few hundred individual plants) in Illinois. He found that not only is this species capable of self-pollination, but that the rate of self-pollination among plants was higher in the small population than the large.

  • 08/16/2020
  • Reproductive Research

Hannelore Artiomow, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is studying the influence of population size and plant density on pollinator visitation in this species (advisor Jeff Karron) (Artiomow ongoing 2002).

  • 08/16/2020
  • Genetic Research

Judith Canne-Hilliker, at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, has extensively studied the genus Agalinis, including the taxon A. skinneriana. Her studies include work on the chromosome numbers and taxonomy of Agalinis in North America, including A. skinneriana (haploid number n=13) (Canne 1983a).

  • 08/16/2020
  • Genetic Research

Genetic analysis (using RAPD markers) of seven populations revealed low genetic diversity within populations (Kercher and Sytsma 2000). The same study also found that these genetic results did not reveal as many differences between populations as morphological data did.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

This species is widespread, ranging through much of the Midwestern and South-central U.S. states, and barely reaching Ontario, yet most populations are quite small, with about 50 or fewer plants. The species is easily overlooked when you have other Agalinis flowering at the same time in the same habitats; it is likely undercollected for that reason (T. Smith, pers. comm. 2006). The number of distinct occurrences may exceed 100.

Andrea Tietmeyer
  • 01/01/2010

According to Trick (1995), threats include: Encroachment of woody vegetation on prairie habitats due to fire suppression Habitat conversion for agriculture and urban development Inappropriately timed mowing Trampling and agricultural activity

Andrea Tietmeyer
  • 01/01/2010

Currently, this species is found in: 7 Illinois counties (Robertson and Phillipe 1993) 26 Arkansas counties (Smith 1988) 7 sites in Indiana (Hedge et al. 1992) 3 sites in Kansas (Kansas Biological Survey 1994) 2-5 sites in Kentucky, 6 counties in Louisiana, 1-2 sites in Tennessee (Ostlie 1990) 1 site in Maryland , 1-4 sites in Michigan, 24 locations in Missouri, & 5 sites in Wisconsin (Trick 1995) 3 populations in Ohio (Cusick 1993) 13 sites in southwestern Ontario (Canne-Hilliker 1987) Trick (1995) reports that populations of Agalinis skinneriana are either in jeopardy, declining, or their status is unknown in every state where the plant is found except Arkansas, where the populations are apparently stable and not currently a concern.

Andrea Tietmeyer
  • 01/01/2010

Genetic analysis (using RAPD markers) of seven populations revealed low genetic diversity within populations (Kercher and Sytsma 2000). The same study also found that these genetic results did not reveal as many differences between populations as morphological data did. Hannelore Artiomow, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is studying the influence of population size and plant density on pollinator visitation in this species (advisor Jeff Karron) (Artiomow ongoing 2002). Dieringer (1999) studied the reproductive biology of A. skinneriana in two different populations (one with over 1000 individual plants and another with only a few hundred individual plants) in Illinois. He found that not only is this species capable of self-pollination, but that the rate of self-pollination among plants was higher in the small population than the large. Judith Canne-Hilliker, at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, has extensively studied the genus Agalinis, including the taxon A. skinneriana. Her studies include work on the chromosome numbers and taxonomy of Agalinis in North America, including A. skinneriana (haploid number n=13) (Canne 1983a).

Andrea Tietmeyer
  • 01/01/2010

In Indiana, Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve has a management plan for A. skinneriana (Trick 1995) Most known populations of A. skinneriana are located on private land, and so in many cases they are not monitored, managed for, or protected. (Trick 1995)

Andrea Tietmeyer
  • 01/01/2010

Information on population status needs to be collected, and the long-term health of known populations needs to be monitored. Loss of genetic diversity and potential levels of inbreeding depression need to be further investigated. Seed banking and seedling recruitment are also areas of research that need attention. A comprehensive plan to protect populations of this species throughout its range is necessary to protect any genetic variation that remains in the species.

Andrea Tietmeyer
  • 01/01/2010

Continue to maintain seeds in seed banks, and be sure that these seeds represent the full potential genetic diversity of the species.

MORE

Be the first to post an update!

Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Agalinis skinneriana
Authority (Wood) Britt.
Family Orobanchaceae
CPC Number 6012
ITIS 33033
USDA AGSK
Common Names Pale False Foxglove | Pale Gerardia | Skinner's False Foxglove
Associated Scientific Names Gerardia skinneriana | Tomanthera skinneriana | Agalinis skinneriana
Distribution Agalinis skinneriana has historically been reported from 16 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennesee, and Wisconsin.
State Rank
State State Rank
Alabama SNR
Arkansas SH
Iowa S1
Illinois S2
Indiana S1
Kansas S1
Kentucky SH
Louisiana S1S2
Maryland S1
Michigan S1
Missouri S3S4
Mississippi S1
Ohio S1
Oklahoma SH
Ontario S1
Tennessee S1S2
Wisconsin S2
Habitat

In general, Agalinis skinneriana is described as a species found in the prairie. However, because it has a large geographical distribution, it can be found in a wide range of habitats, including but not limited to: dry to mesic prairies, open woods in shallow rocky soils, bluffs, barrens, pockets among dunes, sandy woods, and moist thickets (Canne-Hilliker 1987, Trick 1995).

Ecological Relationships

The flowers of Agalinis skinneriana are capable of pollinating themselves if they are not successfully pollinated by visiting insects during the short time (from 3-7 hours) that their pink corollas are open. (Dieringer 1999) Visiting insects include bumblebees (Bombus pennsylvanicus, Bombus impatiens), solitary bees (Hymenoptera sp.) (Dieringer 1999), sulphur butterflies (Colias eurytheme) and honeybees (Apis sp.) (Trick 1995).

All species of Agalinis appear to be hemiparasites, meaning that their leaves perform photosynthesis while their roots form parasitic attachments to the roots of nearby species. Studies of Agalinis purpurea, a common associate and close relative of Agalinis skinneriana, have revealed no host specificity for these parasitic connections (Trick 1995, Baird et. al. 1984, Riopel et. al. 1979).

Plants that are often associated with this species include Agalinis purpurea, Aletris farinosa, Andropogon gerardii, Aster ptarmicoides, Calopogon tuberosus, Liatris spicata, Lobelia kalmii, Pycnanthemum virginianum, and Solidago ohioensis (Swink et. al. 1994).

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

Donate to CPC to Save this Species

Fall fundraising drive has begun! We're looking for 2,500 people to protect our planet. With you by our side, we will build a future where people live in harmony with nature. Come help and become a CPC donor today.

Donate Today