Habitat and Search Criteria of the Rare Sandhills Lily, Lilium pyrophilum M. W. Skinner and Sorrie


Cheryl Gregory

Additional Authors:

Richard Braham Gary Blank Jon Stucky


June 2010


ABSTRACT Thirty populations of Sandhills lily (Lilium pyrophilum) in North Carolina and Virginia were studied to understand the habitat requirements and develop search criteria to find new populations. In each population a study plot containing lily individuals was compared with a nearby plot lacking the lily. Lilium pyrophilumhabitat occurred on floodplains and adjacent side slopes that supported four Coastal Plain plant community types and maintained rights-of-way and had an open canopy with an understory dominated by herbs and shrubs. Lily individuals occurred on a range of organic to mineral-organic soils but not on sandy soils and lily soils had higher sulfur levels. Relative to plots lacking lily individuals, Lilium pyrophilum plots had a higher wetness index. Since 97% of plots were in jurisdictional wetlands, a wetland indicator of FACW+ was recommended for L. pyrophilum. Search criteria for finding new populations were developed on the basis of the habitat features elucidated in this study.