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Eriocaulon parkeri (Parker’s pipewort) is a small, aquatic species in the family Eriocaulaceae (pipewort family). The species is native to tidal rivers and estuaries of eastern North America from Canada down through North Carolina. Parker’s pipewort is listed as vulnerable at the national (N3), and global (G3) levels. In Pennsylvania the species is listed as extirpated (SX). Eriocaulon parkeri was once quite abundant along the tidal marshes of the Delaware River and its tributaries, but due to extensive habitat destruction as a result of development, dredging, pollution, and climate change, the species is now confined to only a few of the River’s tributaries in New Jersey.
The purpose behind this project was to determine germination methods of Eriocaulon parkeri and the potential for reintroduction of the species in Pennsylvania. Plants were collected along the Maurice River in Millville, NJ and brought back to the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia. When the flower heads were mature, seeds were extracted under a microscope and placed in a growth chamber at 5˚C for four months. Following the four months, a portion of the seeds were moved to the greenhouse at ~19˚C in petri dishes filled with water. The seeds exhibited strong germination rates in water, with 92.1% of the seeds germinating. A germination study using sediment collected from the tidal freshwater marsh at Bristol Marsh along the Delaware River, and Neshaminy Creek was also conducted.
Botany | Horticulture
Date Posted: 06 May 2019