In response to petition, FWS considering listing of Oklahoma grass pink orchid
75 Fed. Reg. 51969 / Vol. 75, No. 163 / Tuesday, August 24, 2010 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service
50 CFR Part 17 / Docket No. FWS-R3-ES-2010-0034 / MO 92201-0-0008
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition to List the Oklahoma Grass Pink Orchid as Endangered or Threatened
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 90–day finding on a petition to list Calopogon oklahomensis (Oklahoma grass pink orchid) as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). Based on our review, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the plant species, C. oklahomensis, as endangered or threatened may be warranted. Therefore, with the publication of this notice, we are initiating a review of the status of the species to determine if listing C. oklahomensis as endangered or threatened is warranted. To ensure that this status review is comprehensive, we are requesting scientific and commercial data and other information regarding this species. Based on the status review, we will issue a 12–month finding on the petition, which will address whether the petitioned action is warranted, as provided in section 4(b)(3)(B) of the Act.
Calopogon oklahomensis has a forked corm (a modified underground stem), with the new corm at the base of the leaf and the inflorescence (a branching stem with flowers) rapidly growing distally at the time of anthesis (the period from flowering to fruiting). The flower buds are deeply grooved longitudinally, waxy and shiny, with elongated acuminate apices (narrowing to a point at the tip). The flowers are fragrant and open in succession. Calopogon oklahomensis occupies moist, loamy prairies, savannas, and sandy woodlands from central Minnesota southward to Texas, including the States of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida, with a few scattered populations further east in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. C. oklahomensis appears to prefer moist to seasonally dry-mesic prairies, prairiehaymeadows, savannas and open woodlands, avoiding the wetter habitats preferred by other species of Calopogon. This species appears to thrive under a frequent burning regime or haymeadow management where most or all of the above ground vegetation is effectively removed once every 1 to 2 years, with subsequent flowering within a year after the last burn or haymowing. Plant photo taken at at Roth Prairie in
central Arkansas, available online from Tennessee Native Plant Society