Alberta Native Plant Council

Fringe-cups

Rare Plant Profile – Fringe-cups, Tellima grandiflora (Pursh) Dougl. ex Lindl [1]

Fringe-cups (Tellima grandiflora (Pursh) Dougl. ex Lindl.) is a perennial herb in the Saxifrage Family. It has fragrant flowers that are fringed with 5-10 thread-like segments, and heart-shaped to kidney-shaped leaves similar to alumroot (Heuchera species). Fringe-cups grow in moist, rich soil and thrive in sites with a high nitrogen content [1].

In Canada, fringe-cups are found in moist forests, streambanks and thickets in the lowland and montane zones of Western Alberta and BC.[2] [3]. In British Columbia its conservation status rank is S5, or Secure, and in Alberta its conservation status rank is S1, or Critically Imperiled [4], where it is likely at the eastern edge of its range. This status is given to species that are at very high risk of extirpation due to any number of reasons, including very low population numbers, small available/accessible habitat, or severe threats [5], and as a result fringe-cups are tracked by the Alberta government [6], in part, due to the small area of Montane habitat that exists in Alberta.

Fringe-cups were first discovered in Alberta in the South Castle River valley in 1986 [7]. This discovery occurred within the Big Sagebrush Candidate Natural Area (BSCNA) [8], which is one of ANPC’s stewardship sites. The plant communities within the BSCNA are unlike other Big Sagebrush plant communities and the presence of fringe-cups demonstrates that plant species in this area are not typical of the rocky mountains in Alberta [9]. Click here for more information on Big Sagebrush Stewardship Site.

To learn more about rare plants of Alberta, visit the links provided in the footnotes, and stay tuned for the ANPC’s second edition of the Rare Vascular Plants of Alberta book. This is one of many conservation initiatives that ANPC is working on. Please remember to renew your 2021 membership, as ANPC relies on membership dues and donations to support this and other conservation and education initiatives.

                     

Tellima grandiflora flowers                                           Tellima grandiflora     (photos by L. Allen)

 

Footnotes:

[1] Kershaw, L.; Gould, J.; Johnson, D.; Lancaster, J. 2001. Rare vascular plants of Alberta. Univ. Alberta Press, Edmonton, Alberta and Nat. Resour. Can., Can. For. Serv., North. For. Cent., Edmonton, Alberta

[2] https://explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.152849/Tellima_grandiflora

[3] https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Tellima%20grandiflora

[4] Ibid.

[5] https://explorer.natureserve.org/AboutTheData/Statuses/#National

[6] https://www.albertaparks.ca/albertaparksca/management-land-use/alberta-conservation-information-management-system-acims/download-data/#trackedWatch

[7] Kershaw, L.; Gould, J.; Johnson, D.; Lancaster, J. 2001. Rare vascular plants of Alberta. Univ. Alberta Press, Edmonton, Alberta and Nat. Resour. Can., Can. For. Serv., North. For. Cent., Edmonton, Alberta

[8] https://anpc.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Iris_02.pdf

[9] Ibid.

 

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