White irisette is a perennial herb that lives in areas with partial sun. An individual white irisette plant is typically defined as a cluster of stems arising from fibrous roots. It generally grows from 10 to 16 inches tall and has winged stems. There may be 10 or more stems on one plant. White irisette flowers from late May through July. The seeds are very small and black; and three to six seeds are contained in each capsule.
The species is found on mid‑elevation slopes, characterized by open, dry-to-moderate-moisture oak‑hickory forests. White irisette usually grows in shallow soils on regularly disturbed sites (such as woodland edges and roadsides) and over rocky, steep terrain.
White irisette is known from Henderson, Polk and Rutherford Counties, North Carolina; and Greenville County, South Carolina.
White irisette is threatened by many human‑caused disturbances, such as residential development, road construction, and possibly herbicide use. It is also indirectly affected by the disappearance of elk and bison, and possibly the suppression of fire. The elimination or suppression of these natural disturbances allows vegetative succession to occur, often accompanied by exotic invasive plants that out‑compete this native species.
White irisette will be considered for removal from the endangered species list when there are at least nine geographically distinct, self-sustaining populations that are protected to such a degree that the species no longer qualifies for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
- Survey suitable habitat for additional populations.
- Monitor and protect existing populations.
- Conduct research on the biology of the species.
- Establish new populations or rehabilitate marginal populations to the point where they are self-sustaining.
- Investigate and conduct necessary management activities at all key sites.
How you can help
- Tread lightly, and stay on designated trails. On some popular mountains, the vegetation has virtually been destroyed by human trampling.
- Visit arboretums, botanical gardens, and parks to learn all you can about endangered plants and the causes of their decline.
- Don’t collect or buy plants that have been gathered from wild populations.
- Participate in the protection of our remaining wild land and the restoration of damaged ecosystems.
- Be careful with the use and disposal of pesticides and other chemicals, especially near sensitive habitats.
Subject matter experts
- Rebekah Reid, email@example.com, (828) 258-3939, ext. 238
Designated critical habitat
Federal Register notices
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