COSAM » Donald E. Davis Arboretum » Alabama Plant Conservation Alliance » Minutes of APCA Meetings » November 5, 2010

Minutes from November 5, 2010

APCA Fall 2010

Minutes from the APCA meeting November 5, 2010
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Minutes taken by Patrick Thompson


  • Wayne Barger (Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)
  • Bob Boyd (Biological Sciences, Auburn University)
  • John Clark (Biological Sciences, University of Alabama)
  • Ron Determann (Atlanta Botanical Garden)
  • Debbie Folkerts (Biological Sciences, Auburn University)
  • Steve Ginzbarg (Biological Sciences, University of Alabama)
  • Rebecca Godwin (Biological Sciences, Auburn University)
  • Shannon Holbrook (US Fish and Wildlife Service)
  • Brian Holt (Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)
  • Brian Keener (University of Western Alabama)
  • Nancy Loewenstein (Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University)
  • John Manion (Birmingham Botanical Gardens)
  • Dana McReynolds (Alabama Forestry Commission)
  • Mary Jo Modica (UA Arboretum, University of Alabama)
  • Kyle Paris (Biological Sciences, Auburn University)
  • Nathan Paris (Biological Sciences, Auburn University)
  • Al Schotz (AL Natural Heritage Program)
  • Ryan Shurette (US Forest Service) 
  • Dee Smith (Curator, Donald Davis Arboretum, Auburn University)
  • Kerry Smith (Horticulture, Auburn University)
  • Dan Spaulding (Anniston Museum of Natural History)
  • Fred Spicer (Birmingham Botanical Gardens)
  • Keith Tassin (The Nature Conservancy) 
  • Patrick Thompson (Donald Davis Arboretum, Auburn University) 

Welcome (hosts Mary Jo Modica and John Clark)

Update from GPCA: Ron Determann shared progress in propagation of APCA plant material in GA.

1) Xyris spathifolia has begun to successfully develop from shoot tip cuttings attended to by Dr. Jerry Pullman.

2) Dr. Pullman has also germinated Xerophyllum asphodeloides seeds from the AL population using a sulfuric acid treatment.

3) In the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (ABG) greenhouses, they have rooted 10 Lindera melissifolia cuttings that have begun to sprout. They were collected by Patrick Thompson from 1 of the 2 AL sites for this species in June.

4) ABG also has Sarracenia oreophila seedlings growing from the Serenity campground site in Dekalb County.  This recently discovered small population is under threat of development.

Fred Spicer delivered his talk entitled “Why Do We Botanize?” and received applause. 

Boyd News:

1) Boyd represented the APCA at the national meeting of the Association of the Public Gardens of America, at a workshop where GPCA helped people from around the country understand what it takes to start a state based plant conservation group. 

2) Webpage is up and running:    

Content continues to develop with the help of committees. Boyd will work on making webpage easier to find during Google searches.

3) Open call for APCA logo committee. Fred Spicer has offered to donate time from a BBG graphic designer that could help us generate a logo. Discussion since then suggested Asplenium tutwileraeCroton alabamensis var. alabamensis, and Hexastylis speciosa as 3 AL endemic plants that could share space on the logo (representing a fern, shrub, and herb). If you have ideas or images you would like to share please let us know. In the week since the meeting, it has been suggested that this committee also explore collecting images for a poster of AL endemic plants, based on the list on our webpage. 

Project reports……………………………………..

1) Sarracenia rubra subsp. alabamensis (Keith Tassin reporting)

Planting done Oct. ’09 at Camp Tuckabatchee at 2 sites. 1st site burned March and other early May 2010.  March’s burn site had May flowers.  A work party needs to be put on the agenda to further manage the sites.

Discussion ensued on the designation of S. alabamensis vs. S. rubra alabamensis.

2) Xerophyllum asphodeloides (Bob Boyd reporting for Jan Midgely, Ron Determan and Ryan Shurette reporting)

Another collection was made and distributed to Jan Midgely, Davis Arboretum and ABG which included soil from the site.

Dr. Pullman’s sulfuric acid treatment yields first successful germination for us of this difficult species.

Davis Arboretum’s seeds are set to undergo a simulated fall burn to hopefully encourage germination.

3) Asplenium tutwilerae (John Manion reporting)

Work day planned for Nov. 13 with hopes to: survey existing population, collect soil and rock samples, and exterminate invasives.

There is a continuing discussion with Forever Wild and Larry Davenport concerning the protection of the only site for the species.

There was a report of success germinating spores and development of sporophytes.

Species should be nominated for listing w/ USFWS. John Manion will follow up on it.

4) Xyris (Bob Boyd reporting)

X. tennesseensis  

Populations are winking out and being discovered, leaving their numbers relatively stable. Some of best sites need better protection and management.

X. spathifolia 

AL endemic seemingly extinct in the wild is being slowly propagated at 5 locations currently: ABG, Dr. Pullman’s lab, Chattahoochee Valley Nature Center, Davis Arboretum, and Mincy Moffett’s house.

Species deserves USFWS attention. Still getting no response from attempts to contact the timber company that owns the land near Alligator Glade West where it was found. A work day could encourage seedling germination, or yield discovery of more wild individuals.

5) Matalea alabamensis (Wayne Barger reporting)

Still no seeds being set by this species, so Patrick Thompson and Wayne Barger will go to collect cuttings under direction of Ron D. 

6) Sarracenia oreophilla (Patrick Thompson reporting)

ABG has seedlings to share back to AL. Forever Wild and Nature Conservancy are actively surveying AL’s populations.

7) Symphyotrichum georgiana (Ryan Shurette reporting)

600 one gallon plants (grown by AU Horticulture) were planted last year in Talladega National Forest from a seed collection made from a small population in TNF.  80% of the plants were blooming in mid October.  Original population suffered herbicide damage this year.

8) Quercus boyntonii (Patrick Thompson reporting)

AL endemic, 2 collections made at Hinds Road rock outcrop this year.  2 other sites visited, no acorns found.  Acorns being started at Mt. Cuba Center, and Davis Arboretum.  Large populations reported in St. Clair County: noted as target for next year’s acorn collection.

9) Helianthus verticillatus (Wayne Barger reporting)

Cherokee county population helped by protective signage in 2009 got up to 350 stems.  Late mowing and drought severely impacted population this year.  Handful of individuals collected May 2010 have set seed at safeguarding site that will be collected and grown by BBG and Davis Arboretum.

New project suggestions / other ideas………………………  

1) Haines Island Park cleanup in Monroe county Nov. 12. Followup of successful day in May 2010. Will continue invasive plant control and begin inventory of flowering plants.

2) John Manion stands and discusses:

BBG’s possible Course in Native Plants--Has been well attended elsewhere, would possibly be at multiple sites, hoping to draw on this group as a resource.  Would not overlap with Master Naturalist course.

Trying to gauge interest in a Botanical Society of Alabama, any takers?

Call for presentations, and suggestions for BBG’s Native Plant Conference Nov 2011.

Contact John regarding these opportunities.

John then brought up idea from lunch discussion regarding AL’s gardens focusing on AL’s Endemic plants.  Possibility of theft of rare plants was brought up, but the idea is for the horticultural protocols to be developed to propagate and grow all these species so well that it won’t matter if a few get nabbed.  Each garden could focus on one species at a time that’s easy for them to grow.

3) Patrick Thompson then distributed a “Proposal to replace the exotic Chinese Camellia with the Native Alabama Azalea as the Alabama State Flower”.  This proposal was written by R. Oneal Smitherman who could not attend the meeting due to health issues.  A copy of it will be attached.  Dr. Smitherman has been active in native azalea conservation efforts in the southeast for decades and plans to move forward with this campaign despite the obvious adversity it will face. Though the group generally supported this idea, they were not asked to formulate an official position. The next discussion revolved around what type of action is proper for the APCA to take on issues regarding native plants. The example that came up was aggressive forestry practices in State Parks around Lake Guntersville. One suggestion was that the group could write memos with opinions from the group.

4) The final topic was the spring meeting.  The Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center was agreed upon as a desirable location for the meeting. We thought we might have the meeting on a Friday and then have the opportunity to stay overnight and do a morning botanical field trip on Saturday.

5) Meeting was adjourned around 3 PM. Some attendees then remained for a tour of the UA Arboretum, led by Mary Jo Modica and John Clark. That was a great way to wrap up the day!

Last Updated: 05/03/2016