Listings: Threatened, Federal Endangered Species Act; Endangered in 17 States; Endangered, Canada
The Plant’s Story
Although widely distributed in the eastern US, the small whorled pagonia is considered imperiled throughout its range and has disappeared from several states where it historically occurred. Since its colonies tend to be small, an entire site can be lost with the construction of one rural home. In addition to residential and commercial development, some logging practices, and off-road vehicle damage are its main threats. Ranging from Canada south to Georgia, about 80% of Isotria medeoloides’s population occurs in New Hampshire and Maine. There has been no sign of it in recent history in New York, Maryland, Missouri, and Vermont. Thanks to federal and other funding sources, considerable information has been gathered on the status and life history of the small whorled pagonia by groups such as the New England Wild Flower Society. Volunteers collect data and monitor rare plants in the field, remove invasive species, perform plant surveys, and work to raise awareness of rare plants.
The Artist’s Story: Beverly Simone
David VanLuven, Hudson River Estuary Landscape Director of The Nature Conservancy was kind enough to put me in touch with Sara Cairns, Ph.D. Sara, Data Manager and Biologist for the New Hampshire Natural Heritage Bureau in Concord. She has done extensive research on Isotria medeoloides, and not only generously shared her knowledge and photos, but graciously answered my many questions. With her help, I was able to bring my small whorled pagonia painting “alive”.
More of the plant’s story and the artist’s story can be found in the exhibit catalog, available at the exhibition venues or online from the ASBA.