Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Schwalbea americana
Family: Scrophulariaceae

Protection Status:
State Status:  H
USFWS Status: LE

Global Rank: G2G3
State Rank: SH

Edges (usually) of moist to dry pinelands, oak woods, or clearings (Fernald 1970); moist sandy soil (Gleason & Cronquist 1991).

Species Description:
An erect finely hairy perennial with simple alterante leaves that are progressively smaller up the stem. The plants are 3-6 dm tall. Flowers are solitary, two-lipped, yellow and purplish or reddish in the upper leaf axils.

Flowering Period: Early May to late June.
Fruiting Period: Early August to late August.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
This species is distinguished by a 3-6 dm unbranched stem with alternate leaves, largest at the base, gradually diminishing upwards; two-lipped flowers, 3-3.5 cm long, yellow suffused with purple near the open end; hairy stems and leaves; and a posterior sepal and two bractlets subtending each flower. (Medley 1993).

Woody plant invasion may need to be controlled using periodic prescribed fire, mowing or other means to maintain the open character of the habitat for this species. Hand removal of trees in the vicinity of the species is necessary. Soil disturbance resulting from activities such as ATV trails, timber removal or any activity that results in increased erosion and weed invasion will be detrimental. Exotic pest plants are a threat to this species and should be removed.

Global Range:
Historically known from Massachusetts and New York south along the East Coast to Florida and west along the Gulf Coast states to Texas. Currently not found north of the Carolinas except in New Jersey. Historic or extirpated in several southern states as well.

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

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Data last updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
801 Teton Trail
Frankfort,KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2886
Fax: (502) 573-2355
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