American chaffseed, Schwalbea americana

1992 CEEast Coast, United States

Schwalbea americana is a hemiparisitic perennial, feeding partially from the roots of other plants, particularly narrowleaf silkgrass, in southeastern United States. It is among many plants adapted to a disturbance regime of forest fires, a regime that was suppressed over the past two centuries. Roughly one third of its existing population lies within the military base of Fort Bragg, where routine live ammunition trainings often spark fire, fueling the disturbance regimen the Schwalbea needs to survive.

Townsend, John F. “An Unusual Concentration of the Federally Endangered Schwalbea Americana L. (Scrophulariaceae) in South Carolina.” Castanea, vol. 62, no. 4, 1997, pp. 281–282.

image: Schwalbea americana. NC State University.