Get to know an endangered plant – Harper’s beauty

Harper’s beauty at first glance may appear common, but a closer look reviles a an elegant beauty that inspired it’s name. It is a member of the lily family. This plant’s flower is typical of plants in the lily family with 6 petals, 6 stamens, and superior ovary. Each plant bears a single yellow flower, which distinguishes it from all other members of the family in the area, on a stalk much longer than the leaves. The petals are 9 to 15 mm long, spreading when the plant is in flower, erect when if fruit.

Harper’s beauty only occurs in Florida, it is endemic to Franklin and Liberty Counties in the Florida Panhandle. It occurs is a small area within the Apalachicola National Forest and vicinity where 15 small populations are known. The range has remained essentially the same as when the plant was first discovered in 1965.

Harper’s beauty occurs in wet prairies, seepage slopes, pitcherplant bogs, especially in transitions to shrub zones, and it is sometimes seen in nearby moist roadside ditches. It is found in a small area within the Apalachicola National Forest and vicinity. Harperocallis flava occurs in acidic boggy areas in full sun with soil high in sand and peat. It grows more abundantly in places where some degree of soil disturbance has prevented a grass mat from forming.

Harper’s beauty has been federally listed as Endangered since 1979, but the few remaining populations have been decreasing since then, due to fire suppression, right of way mowing and altering site hydrology.

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If you do spot one please note were it is (your phones GPS can really come in handy for this) and tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as soon as you can.

Find out more where I did. . .

ww.eol.org
www.usbg.gov
www.centerforplantconservation.org

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