Currently known from 44 populations in the southern Appalachian mountains, but this species has been overlooked in the field and more populations may be found (Smith et al. 2006). On the other hand, population census data are not available in many places and most documented populations are small.
Fungal damage to cultivated plants (Fusarium crown rot) has kept North Carolina Arboretum from maintaining individual plants beyond two years of age (NCA 1996).
There are six small populations: four in Tennessee (one in Unicoi Co., two in Carter Co. and one on Roan Mountain), one in North Carolina and one in Georgia. It is also known to exist in Virginia, where it is less rare. (Chester et al. 1993; NatureServe 2001)
The North Carolina Arboretum is working on improving cultivation techniques for this species.
Three of the Carter Co. populations are located on U.S. Forest Service property and are being monitored along with the species habitat by officials of Cherokee National Forest (NCA 1996).
Additional taxonomic research to clarify the status of this species so that it can be listed.
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