Title

Status of the known populations of the Virginia bunchflower (Melanthium virginicum) in Illinois

Abstract

Virginia bunchflower (Melanthium virginicum L.) is known historically from wet-mesic prairie in 17 counties located primarily in west-central Illinois. Due to the loss of wet-mesic prairie, plants within six counties were extirpated during the 1800s, and populations within an additional six counties were extirpated within the last 15 years. This taxon is currently known from thirteen populations in three counties. These populations were studied over a three year period, beginning in 1998 and ending in 2000. Flowering varied considerably from year to year. Although large bunchflower colonies remain that contain over 800 plants, only two populations are currently protected. Population loss is expected to continue, documenting the need for greater protection and the introduction of this plant into suitable wet-mesic prairie restorations within its historic range.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-1-2002

Journal Title

Castanea

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