Geocarpon minimum

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Listing Status:   


General Information

Geocarpon MacKenzie is a monotypic genus originally described by K.K. MacKenzie (1914). It is placed in the family Caryophyllaceae. Currently no studies describe the genetic variability among geographically isolated populations and populations that occur in differing habitats (sandstone glades vs. saline prairies/barrens). Researchers at the Missouri Botanical Gardens have begun the process of extracting DNA and developing protocols for genetic analysis using existing material in their collection. Additional tissue samples and analysis are needed to characterize the genetic variability among distinct populations.

  • States/US Territories in which the Geocarpon minimum, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:  Arkansas , Louisiana , Missouri , Texas
  • US Counties in which the Geocarpon minimum, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:  View All
  • Countries in which the the Geocarpon minimum, Wherever found is known to occur:  United States
Current Listing Status Summary
Status Date Listed Lead Region Where Listed
1987-06-16 Southeast Region (Region 4) Wherever found

» Federal Register Documents

Federal Register Documents
Date Citation Page Title
2014-09-23 00:00:00.0 79 FR 56821 56823 5-Year Status Reviews of 27 Southeastern Species; Notice of initiation of reviews; request for information
1986-04-10 00:00:00.0 51 FR 12460 12463 Thr. Status Proposed for Geocarpon minimum; 51 FR 12460-12463
2005-07-26 00:00:00.0 70 FR 43171 43173 5-Year Review of 13 Southeastern Species
1987-06-16 00:00:00.0 52 FR 22930 22933 Thr. Status for Geocarpon minimum; 52 FR 22930-22933

» Recovery

Current Recovery Plan(s)
Date Title Plan Action Status Plan Status
1993-07-26 Geocarpon minimum View Implementation Progress Final
Other Recovery Documents
Date Citation Page Title Document Type
2014-09-23 79 FR 56821 56823 5-Year Status Reviews of 27 Southeastern Species; Notice of initiation of reviews; request for information
  • Notice 5-year Review, Initiation
2005-07-26 70 FR 43171 43173 5-Year Review of 13 Southeastern Species
  • Notice 5-year Review
Five Year Review
Date Title
2016-07-20 Geocarpon minimum (Geocarpon): 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation
2009-07-01 Geocarpon minimum (no common name) 5-Year Review

» Critical Habitat

No critical habitat rules have been published for the .

» Conservation Plans

No conservation plans have been created for .

» Petitions

» Life History

Habitat Requirements

The range of Geocarpon has been extended into northwestern Louisiana and eastern Texas and the habitat at these sites appears similar to that described in the recovery plan for known sites in Arkansas and northcentral Louisiana. All populations outside Missouri are associated with “slick spots” within saline soil prairies. In Missouri sandstone glades it colonizes shallow depressions within rocks that provide poor habitat for most other herbaceous species. No populations have been found in sandstone glades outside of Missouri.

Food Habits


Movement / Home Range


Reproductive Strategy

Geocarpon is an annual that is usually easily visible for only three to six weeks during the spring. The flowering and fruiting period when the plant is usually most visible ranges from late February to early June. The flowering date appears to be earlier in the southern range presumably due to milder temperatures. March and April are the most common survey dates reported throughout the range and this likely corresponds to the peak flowering period. The factors affecting the timing and success of germination are not fully understood, although many researchers suggest that temperature and weather conditions are the two primary factors. During dry years, the number of observed plants often plummets to few or none only to return to previous numbers in subsequent wet years. This indicates that seeds remain viable for several years or more. The factor that appears to most affect the long-term reproductive success and persistence of Geocarpon populations is competition with and shading by other native or invasive plants. This is attributed by some researchers to a lack of slick spot or sandstone glade disturbance by fire, large mammals, or other erosive forces. The amount of disturbance required to maintain suitable Geocarpon habitat without negatively impacting the long-term viability of populations is unclear.

» Other Resources

NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.

ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.