Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
A perennial, yellow-flowered lily found in the Florida panhandle, Harper's beauty has been overcollected. Also, its numbers have suffered from human and animal trampling, off-road vehicle use, utility corridor and highway maintenance, and encroachment by other vegetation.
This lily's entire range is within Apalachicola National Forest, mostly in areas under Forest Service management but also on a few private inholdings. The species continues to spread along a highway right-of-way passing through the Forest, possibly as a result of mowing schedules that allow Harper's beauty seed formation and dispersal while controlling the encroachment of competing plants.
The recovery plan for Harper's beauty needs to be revised to incorporate 10 years of work on this species, much of it the result of Forest Service efforts to monitor the highway population and conduct searches elsewhere. The Forest Service draft management plan for the species identifies needs to monitor known populations, find additional populations, restore bog habitat through prescribed burning, ensure compatible roadside mowing methods, avoid timber harvest or stumping in bog habitats (stumping is the excavation of pine stumps from which turpentine products are distilled), prevent damage by off-road vehicles, and encourage the conservation of genetic diversity.
Forest Service: This Federal agency's new draft management guide renders the existing recovery plan (1983) incomplete if not obsolete. Recent reevaluations of prescribed burn practices may benefit this and other fire-dependent species. The Forest Service in Florida has increased its attention to conservation of the native flora, including Harper's beauty, in the past several years.
Florida Department of Transportation: The Department mows the State highway only at the time Harper's beauty is preparing to seed. Botanists attribute the lily's advance to this practice. However, to prevent encroachment of blackberries, this mowing regime may need to be modified.
Volunteers: Private citizens have volunteered time to help the Forest Service hand-cut encroaching shrubs from a Harper's beauty bog site, search for new populations, and assist with monitoring. Volunteers have provided continuity to species monitoring when Forest Service personnel have transferred to other assignments.
Plan approved 9/14/83.