Stephen M. Young


Stephen M. Young

Class
Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
Family
Crassulaceae (Stonecrop Family)
State Protection
Endangered
Listed as Endangered by New York State: in imminent danger of extirpation in New York. For animals, taking, importation, transportation, or possession is prohibited, except under license or permit. For plants, removal or damage without the consent of the landowner is prohibited.
Federal Protection
Threatened
Listed as Threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act
State Conservation Status Rank
S1
Critically Imperiled in New York - Especially vulnerable to disappearing from New York due to extreme rarity or other factors; typically 5 or fewer populations or locations in New York, very few individuals, very restricted range, very few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or very steep declines.
Global Conservation Status Rank
G5T1
Critically Imperiled globally - The subspecies/variety is at very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity or other factors; typically 5 or fewer populations or locations in the world, very few individuals, very restricted range, very few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or very steep declines. (The species as a whole is common globally.)

Summary

Did you know?

Leedy's roseroot was first collected at Watkins Glen collected in 1918 by L. F. Randolph, a botanist from Cornell University. He didn't say how many plants he saw there but he described its location as the same place where only one plant was rediscovered in 1991. That single plant continues to hang on today.

State Ranking Justification

There are three existing populations, of which two are small and one is very large. There are no other known historical populations.

Short-term Trends

All three populations continue to be fairly stable with no large fluctuations in numbers.

Long-term Trends

Two of the three populations have been known since the early 1800s and early 1900s. One new population was discovered in 1994.

Conservation and Management

Threats

One small population is threatened by the encroachment of woody vegetation. The large population is threatened by a growing swallowwort population and a large infestation of Japanese knotweed.

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices

Remove swallow-wort from areas near the populations and study the effect of knotweed on its growth and reproduction. Prevent new construction of docks and stairways that would cover existing plants.

Research Needs

Research is being performed on the effect of Japanese knotweed on the population at Seneca Lake. More research is needed on the spread of swallowwort into the population.

Habitat

Habitat

In New York Leedy's Roseroot is known only from mesic or seepy sandstone, siltstone and shale cliffs of circumenutral pH (New York Natural Heritage Program 2013). Cool seeps in rocks (FNA 2010). Calcareous cliffs (Fernald 1970).

Associated Ecological Communities

  • Cliff community (guide)
    A community that occurs on vertical exposures of resistant, non-calcareous bedrock (such as quartzite, sandstone, or schist) or consolidated material; these cliffs often include ledges and small areas of talus.
  • Shale cliff and talus community (guide)
    A community that occurs on nearly vertical exposures of shale bedrock and includes ledges and small areas of talus. Talus areas are composed of small fragments that are unstable and steeply sloping; the unstable nature of the shale results in uneven slopes and many rock crevices.

Associated Species

  • Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
  • Amelanchier arborea (downy shadbush)
  • Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine, red columbine)
  • Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
  • Cryptogramma stelleri (slender cliff-brake, Steller's cliff-brake)
  • Cystopteris bulbifera (bulblet fern)
  • Draba arabisans (rock whitlow-grass)
  • Geranium robertianum (herb-Robert)
  • Parietaria pensylvanica (Pennsylvania pellitory)
  • Parthenocissus vitacea
  • Penstemon hirsutus (hairy beard-tongue)
  • Poa compressa (flat-stemmed blue grass, Canada blue grass)
  • Rubus odoratus (purple-flowering raspberry)
  • Tussilago farfara (colts-foot)

Range

New York State Distribution

In New York Leedy's Roseroot is limited to cliff faces near the southern portion of Seneca Lake and the immediate vicinity.

Global Distribution

This subspecies is known only from two counties each in southeastern Minnesota and central New York.

Identification Comments

General Description

Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi is a distinctive-looking, moderately-sized, succulent, native perennial plant that reaches up to 45 cm tall. Its leaves are blue-green and narrowly lanceolate with their tapered end at the base (oblanceolate), and 3 to 5.5 cm long by 0.5 to 1.5 cm wide. The flowering stems appear annually with male and female flowers on separate plants (dioecious). The inflorescences are dense, flat-topped clusters up to 8 cm across, with up to 250 flowers, with those borne on the main axis and branch ends opening first. The petals are elliptic-oblong, dark red throughout or usually greenish yellow at their base, and 1.5 to 5mm long. They are erect in pistillate flowers, and spreading and hooded in staminate flowers. The seeds are winged, pear-shaped or lanceolate, have spreading beaks, and are borne in 4 to 9 mm dry pods (FNA 2010).

Identifying Characteristics

Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi is a distinctive looking, moderately sized, succulent, native perennial plant that reaches up to 45 cm tall. Its leaves are blue-green and narrowly lanceolate with their tapered end at the base (oblanceolate), and 3 to 5.5 cm long by 0.5 to 1.5 cm wide. The flowering stems appear annually with male and female flowers on separate plants (dioecious). The inflorescences are dense, flat-topped clusters up to 8 cm across, with up to 250 flowers, with those borne on the main axis and branch ends opening first (corymbose cyme). The petals are elliptic-oblong, dark red throughout or usually greenish yellow at their base and 1.5 to 5mm long. They are erect in pistillate flowers, and spreading and hooded in staminate flowers. The seeds are winged, pear-shaped or lanceolate with the tapered end at the base and spreading beaks, and are borne in 4 to 9 mm dry pods (FNA 2010).

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification

Do not collect this species for identification puposes. For positive identification the whole Plants with leaves, flowering stem and intact mature flowers should be observed. In addition, a description of the habitat and location should be made, and a picture of the plant should be taken.

Similar Species

Rhodiola rosea (sensu stricto) has narrow petals (about 1 mm or less) that are usually yellow or yellowish, but are sometimes red towards the tip, and pale green, usually glacuous leaf baldes. In contrast Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi's petals are 1 to 1.8 mm wide, dark red throughout or greenish yellow at their bases. Rhodiola rosea is also restricted to the Catskills, Hudson Valley, and Adirondacks, while R intergrifolia ssp. leedyi occurs only in central New York. There are also escaped cultivars of Rhodiola and Sedum which may invade rocky habitats near settlement. The common escaped Sedum species can be distinguished by their yellow to golden yellow flowers and bright green leaves.

Best Time to See

Flowers mid-May through August, fruits may persist through the summer into frost.

  • Vegetative
  • Flowering
  • Fruiting

The time of year you would expect to find Leedy's Roseroot vegetative, flowering, and fruiting in New York.

Leedy's Roseroot Images

Taxonomy

Leedy's Roseroot
Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi (Rosendahl & Moore) Kartesz

  • Kingdom Plantae
    • Phylum Anthophyta
      • Class Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
        • Order Rosales
          • Family Crassulaceae (Stonecrop Family)

Additional Common Names

  • Rose Sedum

Synonyms

  • Sedum rosea ssp. integrifolium (Raf.) Berger [in part.]
  • Sedum integrifolium ssp. leedyi (Rosendahl & Moore) Clausen
  • Rhodiola integrifolia Raf. [in part.]
  • Sedum rosea var. leedyi Rosendahl & Moore

Comments on the Classification

The taxonomy of this plant may be questioned. It is currently aligned with Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi, a very rare and local plant known from southeastern Minnesota. There is a strong possibility that our plants are something different, but undescribed. Many authors have lumped this under Rhodiola rosea or placed it as a variety of Rhodiola rosea.

Additional Resources

Best Identification Reference

Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2010. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 08. Magnoliophyta: Paeoniaceae to Ericaceae. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxiv + 585 pp.

Other References

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. 1997. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants. Contributions to a Flora of New York State. Checklist IV. Bulletin No. 490. New York State Museum. Albany, NY. 400 pp.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/, Albany, New York

Zaremba, Robert E. 1991. Corrections to phenology list of April 9, 1991.

Links

About This Guide

This guide was authored by: Stephen M. Young, Elizabeth Spencer, Richard M. Ring.

Information for this guide was last updated on: April 2, 2013

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2019. Online Conservation Guide for Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi. Available from: https://guides.nynhp.org/leedys-roseroot/. Accessed July 19, 2019.

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