Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
This species is threatened by collecting, vandalism, competition with weedy species, and predation by insects and feral goats.
Endemic to Virginia, this species is known from only one site, Peter's Mountain. When it was discovered in 1927, about 50 individuals existed; by 1986, when the species was listed, only 3 individuals remained, and these were not setting seed. Following Federal listing, botanists from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University found viable seeds in the leaf litter on Peter's Mountain and were able to germinate them. The Fish and Wildlife Service used these seedlings to establish a garden population that produced many more seeds, allowing study of the germination and seed set problems occurring in the natural population. Service research found that fire is necessary to stimulate germination. With the permission of The Nature Conservancy, which recently acquired the habitat, the Service conducted a small, carefully controlled burn at the population site in the spring of 1992. Since then, several mallow seedlings have germinated in the burned plots, dramatically improving the outlook for the species' survival.
The population on Peter's Mountain will need continued tending, including reducing competing vegetation, caging the plants to control browsing, and even watering the plants during prolonged droughts. Plants in the experimental gardens will also need maintenance, and when the ecology and fire history of the site have been evaluated, consideration should be given to establishing additional populations on Peter's Mountain.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services received $10,000 in FY 1991 and $6,000 in 1992 for site monitoring, germination studies, and experimental burning.
Forest Service: The Forest Service has participated in recovery meetings and provided technical assistance with controlled burns at the natural population site, which adjoins Jefferson National Forest.
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: As the authorized State agency to manage rare plants, the Department provided funding for site monitoring conducted by botanists from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
The Nature Conservancy: This private organization acquired the natural population site on Peter's Mountain, thus providing protection for the species.
Plan approved 9/28/90.