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New Reports of Geranium molle L. and Erodium cicutarium (L.) L‘Hér. ex Ait. (Geraniaceae) from Mississippi and Other Important Collections from the States
Lucas C. Majure

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 7, Number 2 (2008): 367–370

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New Reports of Geranium molle L. and Erodium cicutarium (L.) L‘Hér. ex Ait. (Geraniaceae) from Mississippi and Other Important Collections from the State Lucas C. Majure* Abstract - Geranium molle and Erodium cicutarium are reported here as new to the fl ora of Mississippi. Other collections representing new county records and disjunct populations also are reported. Several of these species are either rare or introduced, which make these findings significant for the Mississippi fl ora. Geranium molle L. (dovesfoot cranesbill; Geraniaceae) was collected on a roadside in east central Lauderdale County (Fig. 1) adjacent to a small fl oodplain, growing in slightly sandy soils associated with other ruderal species. This winter annual is naturalized as a weedy component of frequently disturbed habitats (Radford et al. 1968). According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Plants Database (NRCS 2007), this species occurs in all of the eastern states except for Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. It also inhabits several western-northwestern states (California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington) and Hawaii. This plant is not listed by Lowe (1921) or in the preliminary plant checklist for the state of Mississippi (McCook and Kartesz 2000), and no Mississippi specimens were found from the prominent state herbaria (IBE, MISS, MISSA, MMNS, SWSL, USMS; herbarium acronyms follow Holmgren and Holmgren 1998). It is reported here as a new state record. This plant, although introduced, is not listed as an invasive species by the Plants Database (NRCS 2007) or by the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (2007). Therefore, this species probably adds to the state’s naturalized fl ora and does not pose a threat to biodiversity. Populations of dovesfoot cranesbill possibly occur near the Tennessee–Mississippi border, as locality data for this species is available from Tennessee within the vicinity of Tishomingo County, MS, the state’s northeasternmost county (TENN). This species has been collected in Alabama near Tishomingo County, as well (C.T. Bryson, USDA-ARS, Stoneville, MS, pers. comm.), so it may occur near that area in Mississippi. Voucher specimens: Lauderdale County, Kewanee Road, 32.44156°N 88.44785°W, along roadside. Lucas C. Majure 2174, 31 March 2007 (MISSA, MMNS, USMS). Erodium cicutarium (L.) L‘Hér. ex Ait. (heronsbill; Geraniaceae) occurs in every state in the continental United States except for Florida and Mississippi according to the Plants Database (NRCS 2007), although Abbott and Carlsward (2004) reported it from Florida. Heronsbill is not listed as occurring in Mississippi by Lowe (1921), by McCook and Kartesz (2000), or by Leidolf et al. (2002). Howard (1992) includes Mississippi within the United States distribution of this species, but does not provide a citation for this information. Records of this species exist at the Mississippi State University Herbarium (MISSA) collected from Oktibbeha County in 1933, near the MSU campus, by two separate collectors. This species was collected from Cleveland in Bolivar County from the campus of Delta State University in 1996 and in Washington County at Stoneville (Fig. 1) in 1966 (C.T. Bryson, pers. comm.). Since reviewing the specimens at MISSA, efforts were made to relocate this species from Oktibbeha County around the campus of MSU, but no plants were found. Although this species exists in Mississippi, it has been collected infrequently. This species tends to occur or persist naturalized in slightly disturbed areas (Radford et al. 1968); Notes of the Southeastern Nat u ral ist, Issue 7/2, 2008 367 368 Southeastern Naturalist Notes Vol. 7, No. 2 thus, it is likely to be found in more locations around human dwellings, agricultural fields, and other anthropogenically disturbed areas in Mississippi. This finding is the first confirmed report of this species for Mississippi. Voucher specimens: Oktibbeha County, MS, State College, MS, T. Easley s.n., August 1933 (MISSA); State College, MS, T.D. Persons s.n., 1933 (MISSA); Bolivar County, MS, Cleveland, on campus of Delta State University, disturbed soil at base of small tree planted last year, possible introduction from nursery, Robert Stewart 5579 and Jessica Stewart, 29 May 1996 (SWSL); Washington County, MS, Stoneville, orchard, M.L. Laster s.n., 13 Apr 1966 (SWSL). Dryopteris ludoviciana (Kunze) Small (southern woodfern) (Dryopteridaceae) was found in Lauderdale County (Fig. 1) along a densely canopied acidic spring seep that grades into a marsh area. This population had been recorded previously in a Mississippi Natural Heritage Program report but was not vouchered (H. Sullivan, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Jackson, MS, pers. comm.). The population at this site is large, covering at least 30 m2 and reproducing sexually. This location represents one of three populations that have been found in the state (Sorrie and Leonard [1999] and Alford [2001] found this species in Perry and Amite counties, respectively; Fig. 1) and is disjunct from the nearest location (Perry County) by at least 145 km. Southern woodfern is tracked by the Mississippi Natural Heritage Program (2006) and ranked as an S1 for the state. Figure 1. Map of Mississippi illustrating the counties and locations in which specimens were collected. Amite and Perry counties are highlighted for reference to previous collections of Dryopteris ludoviciana. 2008 Southeastern Naturalist Notes 369 Voucher specimens: Lauderdale County, Beaverpond Road, SW of Lauderdale from Hwy. 45 S, along roadside and in springhead with Nyssa aquatica L., Woodwardia areolata (L.) T.Moore, Carex crinita Lam. var. brevicrinis Fern., Peltandra virginica (L.) Schott, Medeola virginiana L. Lucas C. Majure 2320, 5 May 2007 (MISSA, MMNS, SWSL, USMS). Nestronia umbellula Raf. (leechbrush; Santalaceae) was collected in Lauderdale County (Fig. 1) at the base of a sandhill under a large group of around 30–40 year old Pinus taeda L.(loblolly pine). Leechbrush is parasitic on the roots of pines (Radford et al. 1968). One large colony of approximately 100 stems was observed in the area growing in deep, dry sand adjacent to a small braided stream and acidic spring seep. Staminate and carpellate plants were in fl ower at the time of collection, but no fruit were observed. Leechbrush is ranked as an S1/S2 in Mississippi (Mississippi Natural Heritage Program 2006). It was known previously from Mississippi (McCook and Kartesz 2000) only from Neshoba County (Fig. 1) collected by T.E. Smith in 1985, northwest of the city of Philadelphia. This collection represents a new county record and a disjunct population by roughly 90 km to the south of the nearest known locality. More populations of this species should be found with intense searches throughout east-central and southern Mississippi, as this habitat type is not uncommon. The population northwest of Philadelphia was re-checked earlier this year and seems to be in good health, although it is threatened by erosion from an adjacent sand pit along the roadside. Voucher specimens: Lauderdale County, ca. 1.4km SW of Point-Wanita Lake Road down pipeline, one large colony growing in fine sandy soils under loblolly pine; males and females present, in flower; plants to 60 cm tall. Lucas C. Majure 2341, with T. Majure, 6 May 2007 (MISSA, MMNS, SWSL, TENN, USMS); Neshoba County, ca. 18 mi NW of Philadelphia along Highway. 19 N, W of Arlington; just S of intersection with Highway 25 and Winston County line, along huge sandhill above sandpit and along roadside; plants to 70 cm tall, 1000s of stems; assoc. w/ Pinus echinata P.Mill. (shortleaf pine), Vaccinium arboreum Marsh (farkleberry). Lucas C. Majure 2568, w/ C. Holly, N. Sonderman, 2 July 2007 (MISSA, MMNS, SWSL, TENN, USMS). Acknowledgments. This work was supported in part by funding from the USGS Biological Resources Discipline (#04HQAG0135) to Gary N. Ervin. I would like to thank Mac Alford (USMS), Heather Sullivan (MMNS), and Charles T. Bryson (SWSL) for providing information regarding Mississippi collections. Literature Cited Abbott, R.J., and B.S. Carlsward. 2004. Noteworthy collections: Florida. Castanea 69:324–327. Alford, M.H. 2001. The vascular fl ora of Amite County, Mississippi. Sida 19:645–699. Holmgren, P.K., and N.H. Holmgren. 1998 [continuously updated]. Index Herbariorum: A global directory of public herbaria and associated staff. New York Botanical Garden’s Virtual Herbarium. Available online at Accessed 20 November 2007. Howard, J.L. 1992. Erodium cicutarium. In Fire Effects Information System. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. Available online at Accessed September 6, 2007. Leidolf, A., S. McDaniel, and T. Nuttle. 2002. The fl ora of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi. Sida 20:691–765. Lowe, E.N. 1921. Plants of Mississippi. Mississippi State Geological Survey, Bulletin 17, Jackson, MS. 370 Southeastern Naturalist Notes Vol. 7, No. 2 McCook, L.M., and J. Kartesz. 2000. A preliminary checklist of the plants of Mississippi. Available online at Accessed 5 May 2007. Mississippi Natural Heritage Program. 2006. Special plants tracking list. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Jackson, MS. 8 pp. Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles, and C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 1183 pp. Sorrie, B.A., and S.W. Leonard. 1999. Noteworthy records of Mississippi vascular plants. Sida 18:889–908. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council. 2007. Invasive plants of the southeast. Available online at Accessed 20 November 2007. Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). 2007. The PLANTS Database. Available online at Accessed 18 August 2007. US Department of Argiculture, National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA. *Mississippi State University Herbarium (MISSA), Department of Biological Sciences, PO Box GY, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762. Current address - University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, PO Box 117800, Gainesville, FL 32611-7800; lmajure@ufl .edu.