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Natural Highlights: Bouquet Mudplantain

                       

The Bouquet Mudplantain (Heteranthera multiflora) is a rare wetland plant, quite beautiful especially when flowering, and picky about where it lives.  It was recently discovered on the Cornerstone property, the Conservancy's latest land conservation project.  This patch of Bouquet Mudplantain is now one of only three known locations for this species in the state of Tennessee, two of them in the Ghost River section of the Wolf River.

The Bouquet Mudplantain needs soil that is just right, not too wet and not too dry, conditions not likely to be replicated where wetlands have been damaged or destroyed.  The Cornerstone property at the western end of the Ghost River section near Bateman Bridge encompasses high quality wetlands on both sides of the Wolf River channel. These wetlands offer a diversity of habitats for specialist species such as the Bouquet Mudplantain.  Maintaining this plant population will require ongoing management and stewardship, neither of which would be possible without first protecting its habitat.

On the list of Tennessee rare plants, the Bouquet Mudplantain is ranked as a species of special concern, requiring careful monitoring.  It is also listed as extremely rare, a category of plants with 5 or fewer occurrences in the state.  Because this plant also occurs in several other states and in some South American countries, it has a global rank of G4, i.e., apparently secure but of long-term concern because of its rarity in parts of its range.  With your help, we will add the Cornerstone property to our portfolio of protected lands, thereby helping the Bouquet Mudplantain and many other sensitive species.

Very little has been written about the Bouquet Mudplantain; here are a few links for more information:

Tennessee Natural Heritage Program Rare Plant List

University of Tennessee Herbarium 

Flora of North America

Posted by Cathy Justis at 10:46 AM