Species Factsheets

Elephantopus carolinianus

Elephant's Foot

View as PDF

State Status: Pennsylvania Endangered (PE)
PBS Status: WATCH
Federal Status:

Global Rank: G5 rank interpretation
State Rank: S4

Elephantopus carolinianus

Description

Elephant's foot (Elephantopus carolinianus) is a perennial herb with a variably hairy stem that may grow to 1m tall. The leaves are arranged alternately, broadly elliptic in shape, shallowly toothed on the margin, hairy below, and up to 25cm long. The small, whitish or purplish individual flowers are grouped in flower heads, each of which is subtended by several leaflike bracts that give the plant one of its distinctive features.

Rank Justification

Uncommon but not rare; some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors.

Habitat

It grows in open woodlands, woodland borders, and serpentine barrens, often in somewhat disturbed conditions.

Survey Dates

Flowers August - October

Distribution

In Pennsylvania, it represents a southerly species and occurs at a northern border of its range, and has been found in a few southern, particularly southeastern, counties.

Elephant's

Threats

Populations of elephant's-foot are threatened by human-related habitat loss, natural succession, and invasive species. Deer browsing may be a problem in some locations.

Management

Since the species may occupy disturbed habitats, active management may be required to create the proper successional stage and ecological conditions for the species to thrive.

Conservation Status Map

Elephant's

Map Legend

NatureServe. 2017. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org.

  • NatureServe. 2018. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available at http://www.natureserve.org/explorer
  • Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. 2018.
  • Rhoads, A.F. and W.M. Klein, Jr. 1993. The Vascular Flora of Pennsylvania. American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rhoads, A.F. and T.A. Block.
  • 2007. The Plants of Pennsylvania: An Illustrated Manual. 2nd edition. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
PNHP is a partnership between The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,
the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission,
and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
DCNR Home Page
PA Game Commission Home Page
PA Fish and Boat Commission Home Page
Western PA Conservancy Home Page
DCNR Home Page PNHP | Forestry Home | Contact Us | Search This Site
© 2019 PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
DCNR Home Page