CPC Plant Profile: Bigpod Lady's-nightcap
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Plant Profile

Bigpod Lady's-nightcap (Bonamia ovalifolia)

The decidious stems of this morning glory grow to 30-40 cm tall and have blueish-green, round leaves Photo Credit: Kathy Rice
Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Convolvulaceae
  • State: MX, TX
  • Nature Serve ID: 142118
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/09/1992

Bonamia ovalifolia is a very attractive herbaceous perennial growing from a woody crown. Stems are deciduous, dying back to the crowns in November, and re-emerging in April. Leaves are round, about 1 cm in diameter, and are silvery blue-green, on stems that reach 30-40 cm in height. Plants are generally unbranched, with many single stems emerging from a woody crown. They may also be clonal, connected by rhizomes. Flowers are ca 2 cm in diameter, lavender-blue, rotate, and open at the terminal ends of stems in May-June. Fruits are pods or round capsules, containing 4 ovules in early fruit, but developing only 1-2 seeds to maturity in late July. Dispersal appears to be facilitated by wind, gravity (seeds rolling downhill), and water from the occasional strong summer rains. Bonamia ovalifolia has no legal protection under the Endangered Species Act, although globally it is considered to be in danger of extinction.

Participating Institutions
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Updates
Center for Plant Conservation
  • 08/17/2021
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

In 2021, CPC contracted the Desert Botanical 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.

  • 08/31/2020
  • Reproductive Research

The Garden has formed a cooperative agreement with Dr. Bonnie Amos of San Angelo University, San Angelo, Texas to investigate germination requirements for this species. Dr. Amos and a graduate student gathered a sufficient number of seeds during 1998 to conduct germination tests. With Dr. Amos, the Garden has developed a germination experiment protocol, and will soon begin the experiment. Plants grown from these seeds could be used for reintroduction, under a carefully planned regimen developed in conjunction with personnel from Big Bend National Park. Other plants from the study could be used to study reproductive biology of Bonamia in greater detail.

  • 08/31/2020
  • Seed Collection

The Garden has formed a cooperative agreement with Dr. Bonnie Amos of San Angelo University, San Angelo, Texas to investigate germination requirements for this species. Dr. Amos and a graduate student gathered a sufficient number of seeds during 1998 to conduct germination tests. With Dr. Amos, the Garden has developed a germination experiment protocol, and will soon begin the experiment. Plants grown from these seeds could be used for reintroduction, under a carefully planned regimen developed in conjunction with personnel from Big Bend National Park. Other plants from the study could be used to study reproductive biology of Bonamia in greater detail.

  • 08/31/2020
  • Propagation Research

The Garden has formed a cooperative agreement with Dr. Bonnie Amos of San Angelo University, San Angelo, Texas to investigate germination requirements for this species. Dr. Amos and a graduate student gathered a sufficient number of seeds during 1998 to conduct germination tests. With Dr. Amos, the Garden has developed a germination experiment protocol, and will soon begin the experiment. Plants grown from these seeds could be used for reintroduction, under a carefully planned regimen developed in conjunction with personnel from Big Bend National Park. Other plants from the study could be used to study reproductive biology of Bonamia in greater detail.

  • 08/31/2020
  • Reintroduction

The Garden has formed a cooperative agreement with Dr. Bonnie Amos of San Angelo University, San Angelo, Texas to investigate germination requirements for this species. Dr. Amos and a graduate student gathered a sufficient number of seeds during 1998 to conduct germination tests. With Dr. Amos, the Garden has developed a germination experiment protocol, and will soon begin the experiment. Plants grown from these seeds could be used for reintroduction, under a carefully planned regimen developed in conjunction with personnel from Big Bend National Park. Other plants from the study could be used to study reproductive biology of Bonamia in greater detail.

  • 08/31/2020
  • Propagation Research

Desert Botanical Garden has small, inadequate collections from both populations. The Garden visits west Texas 2 to 4 times annually, and has been fortunate enough to be able to collect seeds from Bonamia from three good years (years having adequate rainfall to allow flowers to form). We currently have 953 seeds from the larger population, and 103 seeds from the other site. A germination test conducted in 1993 produced 6 plants, which finally produced a single flower in 1994. In the fall of 1994, plants went dormant, but never emerged with new growth in the spring.

  • 08/31/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Desert Botanical Garden has small, inadequate collections from both populations. The Garden visits west Texas 2 to 4 times annually, and has been fortunate enough to be able to collect seeds from Bonamia from three good years (years having adequate rainfall to allow flowers to form). We currently have 953 seeds from the larger population, and 103 seeds from the other site. A germination test conducted in 1993 produced 6 plants, which finally produced a single flower in 1994. In the fall of 1994, plants went dormant, but never emerged with new growth in the spring.

  • 08/31/2020
  • Seed Collection

Desert Botanical Garden has small, inadequate collections from both populations. The Garden visits west Texas 2 to 4 times annually, and has been fortunate enough to be able to collect seeds from Bonamia from three good years (years having adequate rainfall to allow flowers to form). We currently have 953 seeds from the larger population, and 103 seeds from the other site. A germination test conducted in 1993 produced 6 plants, which finally produced a single flower in 1994. In the fall of 1994, plants went dormant, but never emerged with new growth in the spring.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

There are only two known occurrences, one each in Brewster County, Texas and in immediately adjacent Coahuila, Mexico.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Threats at this site include trampling by hikers trying to get to the cave, trampling or grazing by horses fording the Rio Grande from Mexico, and the transitory nature of the site itself, with blowing and rain scattered sand moving over and around plants

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Only 2 populations are known within U.S. boundaries, but there may be more in Mexico (USFWS 1984, Austin 1988). There are undocumented reports of occurrences in Mexico.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

The Garden has formed a cooperative agreement with Dr. Bonnie Amos of San Angelo University, San Angelo, Texas to investigate germination requirements for this species. Dr. Amos and a graduate student gathered a sufficient number of seeds during 1998 to conduct germination tests. With Dr. Amos, the Garden has developed a germination experiment protocol, and will soon begin the experiment. Plants grown from these seeds could be used for reintroduction, under a carefully planned regimen developed in conjunction with personnel from Big Bend National Park. Other plants from the study could be used to study reproductive biology of Bonamia in greater detail.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Big Bend National Park is currently working with Dr. Bonnie Amos of San Angelo University to study the reproductive biology of this species.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Regular, seasonal checking for Buffel Grass invasion at Bouquillas Canyon is needed. Immediate removal is mandatory, as the Bonamia population there is small enough in numbers of plants that it could be decimated by this exotic invasive grass.

Kathleen C. Rice
  • 01/01/2010

Desert Botanical Garden has small, inadequate collections from both populations. The Garden visits west Texas 2 to 4 times annually, and has been fortunate enough to be able to collect seeds from Bonamia from three good years (years having adequate rainfall to allow flowers to form). We currently have 953 seeds from the larger population, and 103 seeds from the other site. A germination test conducted in 1993 produced 6 plants, which finally produced a single flower in 1994. In the fall of 1994, plants went dormant, but never emerged with new growth in the spring.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Bonamia ovalifolia
Authority (Torr.) Hallier f.
Family Convolvulaceae
CPC Number 607
ITIS 30827
USDA BOOV2
Common Names bigpod bonamia | bonamia | convolvula big pod | bigpod lady's nightcap
Associated Scientific Names Bonamia ovalifolia | Evolvulus ovalifolius | Breweria ovalifolia
Distribution The known occurrences are located directly on the Mexican border, within 50 yards or less, of the Rio Grande (Austin 1988).
State Rank
State State Rank
Mexico *FR85
Texas S1
Habitat

The habitat is generally on sandy substrates. Both sites are within 50 yards of the Rio Grande River, with one occurring on a steep sandslide located just below a large cave that attracts hikers. The other, smaller population grows in the middle of a flat, sandy wash, on sandbars stabilized by Prosopis and Acacia (USFWS 1985). Population size in terms of numbers of individuals is difficult to ascertain, as plants grow in clumps, and without digging between them, it is difficult to determine whether plants are clonal or not (USFWS 1985, Austin 1988). The estimated number of plants at the steep site is ca 200-300 (USFWS 1985).

Ecological Relationships

Unknown.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Reintroduction
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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