Endemic to the upper Piedmont of North Carolina, where the populations are restricted to basic soils. As recently as 1942 the species was reported to be fairly common, but suppression of natural disturbances and rapid, widespread development have drastically reduced the amount of suitable habitat within its range. Much of the species' habitat is also being encroached upon by non-native kudzu (Pueraria lobata) and Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica). There are currently about 30 occurrences believed extant; 2 of these are protected within the boundaries of Chimney Rock Park. Some populations are surviving in power line and road rights-of-way, where they are vulnerable to herbicide application and other maintenance activities.
Erosion along steep roadbanks
Natural succession due to fire suppression
Residential and industrial development
Removal of the tree canopy
Trampling by tourists
Highway expansion and improvements
There are only four sites left consisting of less than 1400 individuals. (USFWS 1990) 1 population of < 100 individuals (Chimney Rock, NC) 1 population of ca. 100 individuals (Pacolet River, NC) 1 population of ca. 200 individuals (Sugarloaf Mountain, NC) population of ca. 1000 individuals (White Oak Mountain, NC)
A recovery plan was written in 1995.
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