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Platanthera chapmanii 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Orchidales Orchidaceae

Scientific Name: Platanthera chapmanii
Species Authority: (Small) Luer
Common Name(s):
English Chapman’s Fringed Orchid
Synonym(s):
Blephariglotis chapmanii Small
Habenaria chapmanii (Small) Ames
Taxonomic Notes: Folsom (1984) indicates that Chapman’s Fringed Orchid (Platanthera chapmanii ) was described as a hybrid between the Orange Crested Orchid (Plantanthera cristata) and the Orange Fringed Orchid (Plantantherea ciliaris) erroneously. Folsom (1984) concludes that Chapman’s Fringed Orchid is not a hybrid, meaning Plantanthera x chapmanii, but a distinct taxon for several reasons including, it is “morphologically pure”, grows from seed, exists in areas independent of the other two taxon, etc. Chapman’s Fringed Orchid does hybridize with both of these species readily where they coexist; hybrids from these three closely related species are: Platanthera x apalachicola, Platanthera x channellii, Platanthera x osceola (Brown 2003, Brown and Stewart 2003). This hybridization does cause some confusion when distinguishing the species in areas where hybrids occur (Brown 2003).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-08-21
Assessor(s): Goedeke, T., Sharma, J., Treher, A., Frances, A. & Poff, K.
Reviewer(s): Rankou, H.
Justification:
Chapman’s Fringed Orchid is restricted to a narrow range of habitat in three states, where it is only patchily distributed. All but one site across Texas and Georgia host between one and 40 mature individuals. Based on recent data, 409 mature individual are documented across the two states where known subpopulations exist. This total population size is <1,000, which qualifies this species to be assessed as Vulnerable under criterion D1. This taxon should be reassessed when quantitative data from Florida become available.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Chapman’s Fringed Orchid occurred historically in southeast Texas, northern Florida and in one small area of southeast Georgia. Populations were known to occur in four east-Texas counties, including Tyler, Hardin, Orange and Jefferson (United States Department of Agriculture 2014). In recent years, a total of 324 flowering plants have been documented at five sites across three counties in Texas (J. Sharma pers. obs., Richards and Sharma 2014). According to Brown (2003), Chapman’s Fringed Orchid is found mostly in north Florida in the Apalachicola and Osceola National Forests, although small subpopulations can be found at other sites outside of national forests as well. Subpopulations of the species have been noted in the following Florida counties: Liberty, Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Columbia, Union, Baker, Duval, Clay and Marion (United States Department of Agriculture 2014). Information on the exact number of sites or plants per site in Florida is not available. Brown (2004) suggested, however, that perhaps >90% of all known Chapman’s Orchid plants are located in Florida. Although quantitative data are not available to support this claim. After nearly a century of believing that the orchid was extirpated from its range in south Georgia, two subpopulations of the species were documented again in 2006 and several more subpopulations have been located since (Richards and Cruse-Sanders 2010,  M. Richards pers. comm.). The species has been documented in Camden, Charlton, and Brantley Counties in Georgia (Richards and Sharma 2014). Most recently, 85 flowering plants have been documented at six localities across three counties in Georgia (M. Richards pers. comm.). We estimated the extent of occurrence (EOO) to be 45,000 km2.

Countries occurrence:
Native:
United States (Florida, Georgia, Texas)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):UnknownEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:45000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:Unknown
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:

On average, the number plants found per site is reported to be small. For example, Richards and Sharma (2014) report several sites in Georgia where the species has been located, yet the number of plants reported per site was generally less than twenty and often less than ten. Recent observations of the number of flowering plants at the six known localities of habitation in Georgia were: 36, 2, 1, 0, 2 and 44 (M. Richards pers. comm.). Localities where Chapman’s Fringed Orchids have been documented in Georgia are often roadside where the risk of destruction and disturbance is significant (Richards and Sharma 2014). In Texas, a total of 324 flowering plants have been documented across five localities (J. Sharma pers. obs.). At one site, 267 flowering plants were counted, while the numbers of flowering plants at the remaining four locations were: 25, 30, 1 and 1. The total number of mature individuals known in Georgia and Texas is 409. Information on the exact number of sites or plants per site in Florida is not available. Brown (2004) suggested, however, that perhaps >90% of all known Chapman’s Orchids plants are located in Florida. Although quantitative data are not available to support this prediction.

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:UnknownAll individuals in one subpopulation:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Chapman’s Fringed Orchid is found in open wet meadows and savannas in the southern U.S., pine flatwoods, as well as in roadside ditches and on hillside seeps (Brown 2005, Richards and Sharma 2014).
Systems:Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no documented use or trade of Chapman’s Fringed Orchid. While there is no evidence that the species is subject to collection at present, it is a showy and attractive orchid species and, consequently, the possibility exists that local collection of the species occurs but goes undetected or that collection could become an issue in the future.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The primary threat to Chapman’s Fringed Orchid is related to its narrow range, small subpopulations, habitat preference/location and patchy distribution; the risk of extirpation of the plant from sites or even states from urban development activities and/or catastrophic events is high. For example, subpopulations growing roadside are often injured or destroyed by mowing, herbicide application or crushing by heavy machinery (Richards and Sharma 2014). On public forestland, logging and recreational activities (for example, use of off-road bikes, motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles), as well as ditching and draining of land, can harm individual plants and their habitat. As most subpopulations of Chapman’s Fringed Orchid are on public forestland in Florida or roadsides in Georgia and Texas, the threat of injury or destruction of individual plants or their habitat is substantial and present. Injury of plants due to destructive land management practices has been documented during plant surveys in Georgia (Richards and Sharma 2014). Finally, while there is no evidence that the species is subject to collection at present, it is a showy orchid species and, consequently, this circumstance could change.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Chapman’s Fringed Orchid does not have federal protection in the United States. This orchid has a G2/S1 rarity status ranking in Texas and Georgia. This species is not protected in Florida. In terms of conservation actions, each subpopulation of this species should be protected from harmful land management practices and uses (Richards and Sharma 2014). Additionally, in the absence of fire, woody species and/or invasive species should be manually removed to reduce the risk of succession of plant communities in prime habitat (Richards and Sharma 2014). In Texas, the largest subpopulation of Chapman’s Fringed Orchid occurs on a native plant preserve where it is protected and managed. In Georgia, the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Georgia Department of Natural Resources are collaborating to develop management strategies to improve land management practices in areas where orchids are known to exist, such as the erection of signage to prohibit mowing and spraying of herbicides (Richards and Sharma 2014). In both Texas and Georgia, propagation and transplantation efforts are being implemented to augment wild subpopulations (Richards and Sharma 2014). For Florida, the nature or extent of conservation activities are not known. Finally, while there is no evidence that the species is subject to collection at present, it is a showy orchid species and, consequently, this circumstance could change. Therefore, this species should be protected from collection or trade. This species is listed on CITES Appendix II (CITES 2015).


Citation: Goedeke, T., Sharma, J., Treher, A., Frances, A. & Poff, K. 2015. Platanthera chapmanii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T64176634A64176638. . Downloaded on 19 August 2017.
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