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Lychnis (Lychnis flos-cuculi)

Present distribution


Scientific name:

Lychnis flos-cuculi L.
Common name(s):

lychnis
map showing the presentdistirbution of lychnis flos-cuculi
Map showing the present distribution of this weed.
Habitat:

“Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands… Most seeds of Lychnis flos-cuculi seem to require light to germinate during the summer” (Milberg 1994). “Moist rich meadows and pastures” (Muenscher 1980). “Marshes, fens and wet woods, avoiding acid soils…woodland garden” (PFAF 1996-2008). “Doesn’t tolerate the winter cold” (Aflowersgarden, undated). “Declining plant in the wild due to drainage of its natural
wetland habitats” (Natural England, undated). “Found on a range of damp grassland habitats including water meadows, rush pastures, fens, ditches and damp woodland margins” (Emorsgate Seeds, undated). “Is frost resistant but drought tender” (Bodkin 1986). “Common in moist grassland, fens, wet woodlands, etc.” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). Fully hardy (Brickell 1996). “Wet-tolerant…[In] moist soil at the edge of the pond margin or in the bog garden. It tolerates about a week of high water, as in drainage basins. Grows in sun to 10 inches tall or part shade to 24 inches…Not particularly cold-tolerant…The foliage is damaged below 10F” (Speichert and Speichert 2004). “Swamps, bogs and ditches” (Webb et al. 1988).


Potential distribution

Potential distribution produced from CLIMATE modelling refined by applying suitable landuse and vegetation type overlays with CMA boundaries

Map Overlays Used

Land Use:
Horticulture seasonal; pasture irrigation; water

Ecological Vegetation Divisions
Freshwater wetland (permanent); treed swampy wetland; forby forest; high altitude wetland; alpine treeless; riverine woodland/forest

Colours indicate possibility of Lychnis flos-cuculi infesting these areas.

In the non-coloured areas the plant is unlikely to establish as the climate, soil or landuse is not presently suitable.
map showing the potential distribution of lychnis flos-cuculi
Red= Very highOrange = Medium
Yellow = HighGreen = Likely

Impact

QUESTION
COMMENTS
RATING
CONFIDENCE
Social
1. Restrict human access?“Grows to a height of 1m with a spread of 0.5m. The stem is erect, reddish and sticky” (Bodkin 1986). Leaves are “rough to the touch” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). “Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands” (Milberg 1994). “Moist rich meadows and pastures” (Muenscher 1980). “Damp meadows, marshes, fens and wet woods, [or] woodland garden” (PFAF 1996-2008). “Found on a range of damp grassland habitats including water meadows, rush pastures, fens, ditches and damp woodland margins” (Emorsgate Seeds, undated). “Common in moist grassland, fens, wet woodlands, etc.” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). “Wet-tolerant…[In] moist soil at the edge of the pond margin or in the bog garden. It tolerates about a week of high water, as in drainage basins” (Speichert and Speichert 2004). “Swamps, bogs and ditches” (Webb et al. 1988).
Low nuisance value. Impedes individual access; unable to walk to waterways.
ML
M
2. Reduce tourism?“Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m. The stem is erect, reddish and sticky” (Bodkin 1986). Leaves are “rough to the touch” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). “Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands” (Milberg 1994). “Moist rich meadows and pastures” (Muenscher 1980). “Damp meadows, marshes, fens and wet woods, [or] woodland garden” (PFAF 1996-2008). “Found on a range of damp grassland habitats including water meadows, rush pastures, fens, ditches and damp woodland margins” (Emorsgate Seeds, undated). “Common in moist grassland, fens, wet woodlands, etc.” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). “Wet-tolerant…[In] moist soil at the edge of the pond margin or in the bog garden. It tolerates about a week of high water, as in drainage basins” (Speichert and Speichert 2004). “Swamps, bogs and ditches” (Webb et al. 1988).
Some recreational uses affected.
MH
M
3. Injurious to people?“This plant contains saponins. Although fairly toxic, these substances are poorly absorbed by the body, most passing straight through without any harm” (PFAF 1996-2008). Leaves are “rough to the touch” (Gibbson and Brough 1992).
No effect, no prickles, no injuries.
L
ML
4. Damage to cultural sites?“Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m. The stem is erect” (Bodkin 1986).
Moderate visual effect.
ML
M
Abiotic
5. Impact flow?“Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m. The stem is erect” (Bodkin 1986). “Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands” (Milberg 1994). “Damp meadows, marshes, fens and wet woods” (PFAF 1996-2008). “Declining plant in the wild due to drainage of its natural wetland habitats” (Natural England, undated). “Found on a range of damp grassland habitats including water meadows, rush pastures, fens and ditches” (Emorsgate Seeds, undated). “Wet-tolerant…[In] moist soil at the edge of the pond margin or in the bog garden. It tolerates about a week of high water, as in drainage basins” (Speichert and Speichert 2004). “Swamps, bogs and ditches” (Webb et al. 1988).
Minor impact on surface or subsurface flow either by roots or free floating aquatics.
ML
M
6. Impact water quality?“Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m. The stem is erect” (Bodkin 1986). “Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands” (Milberg 1994). “Damp meadows, marshes, fens and wet woods” (PFAF 1996-2008). “Declining plant in the wild due to drainage of its natural wetland habitats” (Natural England, undated). “Found on a range of damp grassland habitats including water meadows, rush pastures, fens and ditches” (Emorsgate Seeds, undated). “Wet-tolerant…[In] moist soil at the edge of the pond margin or in the bog garden. It tolerates about a week of high water, as in drainage basins” (Speichert and Speichert 2004). “Swamps, bogs and ditches” (Webb et al. 1988).
Light levels
ML
M
7. Increase soil erosion?“Successful germination in Lychnis flos-cuculi is dependent on the occurrence of vegetation gaps. In 1986, seedling emergence from seeds sown in the established vegetation early spring was less than 1%” (Biere 1991b).
Low probability of large scale soil movement; or decreases the probability of soil erosion.
L
ML
8. Reduce biomass?“Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m. The stem is erect, reddish and sticky” (Bodkin 1986). “A primary rosette and usually one or more side rosettes are formed” (Biere 1991a). “Successful germination in Lychnis flos-cuculi is dependent on the occurrence of vegetation gaps. In 1986, seedling emergence from seeds sown in the established vegetation early spring was less than 1%” (Biere 1991b).
Biomass may increase.
L
ML
9. Change fire regime?“Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m. The stem is erect, reddish and sticky” (Bodkin 1986).
Minor change to either frequency or intensity of fire risk.
ML
ML
Community Habitat
10. Impact on composition
(a) high value EVC
EVC = Plains Grassland/Plains Grassy Woodland (E); CMA = Corangamite; Bioregion = Victorian Volcanic Plain
VH CLIMATE potential.
“A primary rosette and usually one or more side rosettes are formed” (Biere 1991a). “Successful germination in Lychnis flos-cuculi is dependent on the occurrence of vegetation gaps. In 1986, seedling emergence from seeds sown in the established vegetation early spring was less than 1%” (Biere 1991b). “Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m” (Bodkin 1986).
Very little displacement of any indigenous species. Sparse/ scattered infestations.
L
ML
(b) medium value EVCEVC = Riverine Grassy Woodland/Sedgy Riverine (D); CMA =Goulburn Broken; Bioregion =Victorian Riverina;
VH CLIMATE potential.
“A primary rosette and usually one or more side rosettes are formed” (Biere 1991a). “Successful germination in Lychnis flos-cuculi is dependent on the occurrence of vegetation gaps. In 1986, seedling emergence from seeds sown in the established vegetation early spring was less than 1%” (Biere 1991b). “Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m” (Bodkin 1986).
Very little displacement of any indigenous species. Sparse/ scattered infestations.
L
ML
(c) low value EVCEVC = Damp Sands Herbrich Woodland (LC); CMA = Glenelg Hopkins; Bioregion =Greater Grampians;
VH CLIMATE potential.
“A primary rosette and usually one or more side rosettes are formed” (Biere 1991a). “Successful germination in Lychnis flos-cuculi is dependent on the occurrence of vegetation gaps. In 1986, seedling emergence from seeds sown in the established vegetation early spring was less than 1%” (Biere 1991b). “Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m” (Bodkin 1986).
Very little displacement of any indigenous species. Sparse/ scattered infestations.
L
ML
11. Impact on structure?“A primary rosette and usually one or more side rosettes are formed” (Biere 1991a). “Successful germination in Lychnis flos-cuculi is dependent on the occurrence of vegetation gaps. In 1986, seedling emergence from seeds sown in the established vegetation early spring was less than 1%” (Biere 1991b). “Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m” (Bodkin 1986).
Minor effect on 20-60% of the floral strata.
L
ML
12. Effect on threatened flora?No information found.
M
L
Fauna
13. Effect on threatened fauna?No information found.
M
L
14. Effect on non-threatened fauna?No information found.
M
L
15. Benefits fauna?“Pollinated by bees” (PFAF 1996-2008). “Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m. The stem is erect, reddish and sticky” (Bodkin 1986).
Provides very little support to desirable species.
H
ML
16. Injurious to fauna?“In previous phytochemical studies, several compounds have been identified and isolated [including]…saponins” (Tomczyk 2008). “Saponins can occur in all parts of plants, although their concentration is affected by variety and stage growth. Saponins are more poisonous by injection than by ingestion, and are generally harmless to mammals when ingested, although large quantities can be irritant and cause vomiting and diarrhoea. They are, however, highly toxic to fish and snails” (Cooper and Johnson 1984).
Large spines or burrs dangerous to fauna. Toxic, and/or causes allergies.
H
MH
Pest Animal
17. Food source to pests?No information found.
M
L
18. Provides harbour?“Grows to a height of 1 m with a spread of 0.5 m. The stem is erect, reddish and sticky” (Bodkin 1986).
Doesn’t provide harbour for serious pest spp, but may provide for minor pest spp.
M
ML
Agriculture
19. Impact yield?“Decreasing along with other plants of damp grassland due to agricultural ‘improvement’” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). “Moist rich meadows and pastures” (Muenscher 1980). “Declining plant in the wild due to drainage of its natural wetland habitats” (Natural England, undated). “Seeds of L. flos-cuculi are small (0.21 mg), near-spherical and have no structures to facilitate animal or wind dispersal” (Milberg 1994). “Successful germination in Lychnis flos-cuculi is dependent on the occurrence of vegetation gaps. In 1986, seedling emergence from seeds sown in the established vegetation early spring was less than 1%” (Biere 1991b).
Seems to not flourish in agricultural situations, detrimentally effected by human activity, does not seem contaminate/damage wool/pelts and does not seem highly competitive.
L
M
20. Impact quality?“Decreasing along with other plants of damp grassland due to agricultural ‘improvement’” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). “Moist rich meadows and pastures” (Muenscher 1980). “Declining plant in the wild due to drainage of its natural wetland habitats” (Natural England, undated). “Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands… Seeds of L. flos-cuculi are small (0.21 mg), near-spherical and have no structures to facilitate animal or wind dispersal” (Milberg 1994).
Seems to not flourish in agricultural situations, detrimentally effected by human activity, does not seem contaminate/damage wool/pelts and does not seem highly competitive.
L
M
21. Affect land value?“Decreasing along with other plants of damp grassland due to agricultural ‘improvement’” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). “Moist rich meadows and pastures” (Muenscher 1980). “Declining plant in the wild due to drainage of its natural wetland habitats” (Natural England, undated). “Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands… Seeds of L. flos-cuculi are small (0.21 mg), near-spherical and have no structures to facilitate animal or wind dispersal” (Milberg 1994).
Seems to not flourish in agricultural situations, detrimentally effected by human activity, does not seem contaminate/damage wool/pelts and does not seem highly competitive.
L
M
22. Change land use?“Decreasing along with other plants of damp grassland due to agricultural ‘improvement’” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). “Moist rich meadows and pastures” (Muenscher 1980). “Declining plant in the wild due to drainage of its natural wetland habitats” (Natural England, undated). “Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands… Seeds of L. flos-cuculi are small (0.21 mg), near-spherical and have no structures to facilitate animal or wind dispersal” (Milberg 1994).
Seems to not flourish in agricultural situations, detrimentally effected by human activity, does not seem contaminate/damage wool/pelts and does not seem highly competitive.
L
M
23. Increase harvest costs?“Decreasing along with other plants of damp grassland due to agricultural ‘improvement’” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). “Moist rich meadows and pastures” (Muenscher 1980). “Declining plant in the wild due to drainage of its natural wetland habitats” (Natural England, undated). “Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands… Seeds of L. flos-cuculi are small (0.21 mg), near-spherical and have no structures to facilitate animal or wind dispersal” (Milberg 1994).
Seems to not flourish in agricultural situations, detrimentally effected by human activity, does not seem contaminate/damage wool/pelts and does not seem highly competitive.
L
M
24. Disease host/vector?“Struck by black spot disease or by leaf curl disease” (Aflowersgarden, undated).
Provides host to minor (or common) pests, or diseases.
M
ML


Invasive

QUESTION
COMMENTS
RATING
CONFIDENCE
Establishment
1. Germination requirements?“The seeds possess no primary dormancy, but have been reported to require light to germinate…Seedling emergence in the field seems to be mainly in the spring…In this study, relatively few exhumed seeds of Lychnis flos-cucli germinated in darkness during the summer. During the winter when seeds are completely germinable in darkness, the temperature is too low to allow germination of buried seeds…It is possible that this species has a requirement for high temperatures to germinate…Most seeds of Lychnis flos-cuculi seem to require light to germinate during the summer” (Milberg 1994).
Requires natural seasonal disturbances such as seasonal rainfall, spring/summer temperatures for germination.
MH
MH
2. Establishment requirements?“The seeds possess no primary dormancy, but have been reported to require light to germinate…seeds of Lychnis flos-cuculi dry-stored for 30 months germinated to 36% in darkness (n=173; 3% dead seeds) and 94% in light (n=139; 2% dead seeds)…Seedlings will be recruited only from seeds on, or close to, the soil surface, and the dormancy changes at 15cm soil depth, might not be representative of those of seeds near the surface” (Milberg 1994). “Successful germination in Lychnis flos-cuculi is dependent on the occurrence of vegetation gaps. In 1986, seedling emergence from seeds sown in the established vegetation early spring was less than 1%” (Biere 1991b). “Needs to be exposed to direct sunrays” (Aflowersgarden, undated).
Requires more specific requirements to establish (eg. open space or bare ground with access to light and direct rainfall).
ML
MH
3. How much disturbance is required?“Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands” (Milberg 1994). “Moist rich meadows and pastures” (Muenscher 1980). “Damp meadows, marshes, fens and wet woods” (PFAF 1996-2008). “Found on a range of damp grassland habitats including water meadows, rush pastures, fens, ditches and damp woodland margins” (Emorsgate Seeds, undated). “Common in moist grassland, fens, wet woodlands, etc.” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). “Wet-tolerant…[In] moist soil at the edge of the pond margin or in the bog garden. It tolerates about a week of high water, as in drainage basins” (Speichert and Speichert 2004). “Swamps, bogs and ditches” (Webb et al. 1988).
Establishes in relatively intact or only minor disturbed natural ecosystems (eg. wetlands, riparian, riverine, grasslands, open woodlands); in vigorously growing crops or in well-established pastures.
MH
MH
Growth/Competitive
4. Life form?Herb (Tomczyk 2008).
Other.
L
MH
5. Allelopathic properties?Not described as allelopathic in Milberg (1994), (Aflowersgarden (undated), Muenscher (1980), Gibbson and Brough (1992), Emorsgate Seeds (undated), Speichert and Speichert (2004), Webb et al. (1988), Tomczyk (2008), PFAF (1996-2008), Brickell (1996), Bodkin (1986), Biere (1991a, 1991b) or Cooper and Johnson (1984).
None.
L
L
6. Tolerates herb pressure?No information found.
M
L
7. Normal growth rate?No information found.
M
L
8. Stress tolerance to frost, drought, w/logg, sal. etc?“Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands” (Milberg 1994). “Moist rich meadows and pastures” (Muenscher 1980). “Damp meadows, marshes, fens and wet woods” (PFAF 1996-2008). “Doesn’t tolerate the winter cold” (Aflowersgarden, undated). “Declining plant in the wild due to drainage of its natural wetland habitats” (Natural England, undated). “Found on a range of damp grassland habitats including water meadows, rush pastures, fens, ditches and damp woodland margins” (Emorsgate Seeds, undated). “Is frost resistant but drought tender” (Bodkin 1986). “Common in moist grassland, fens, wet woodlands, etc.” (Gibbson and Brough 1992). Fully hardy (Brickell 1996). “Wet-tolerant…[In] moist soil at the edge of the pond margin or in the bog garden. It tolerates about a week of high water, as in drainage basins…Not particularly cold-tolerant…The foliage is damaged below 10F” (Speichert and Speichert 2004). “Swamps, bogs and ditches” (Webb et al. 1988).
Highly tolerant of waterlogging, tolerant to frost. Not tolerant to drought and unlikely to tolerate salinity. Unknown to fire.
Tolerant to at least two and susceptible to at least one.
ML
M
Reproduction
9. Reproductive system“It can reproduce both sexually and by vegetative propagation” (Biere 1991a).
H
H
10. Number of propagules produced?Seeds per fruit, highest value 187 (Biere 1991). “7-15 flowered” (Webb et al 1988).
15 flowered x 187 seeds/fruit= 2,805.
Greater than 2000.
H
MH
11. Propagule longevity?“The seeds possess no primary dormancy” (Milberg 1994). Average days of germination 3.1-12.4 (Biere 1991a). “Seeds are able to germinate immediately after dissemination, autumn germination is generally low” (Biere 1991b). “It can reproduce both sexually and by vegetative propagation” (Biere 1991a).
Greater than 25% of seeds survive 5 years, or vegetatively reproduces.
L
ML
12. Reproductive period?“Sexual reproduction usually does not occur before the second year” (Biere 1991a). Perennial; reproducing by seeds and short rootstocks” (Muenscher 1980).
Mature plant produces viable propagules for 3–10 years.
MH
M
13. Time to reproductive maturity?“Sexual reproduction usually does not occur before the second year” (Biere 1991a).
2-5 years to reach sexual maturity, or for vegetative propagules to become separate individuals.
ML
H
Dispersal
14. Number of mechanisms?“Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands… Seeds of L. flos-cuculi are small (0.21 mg), near-spherical and have no structures to facilitate animal or wind dispersal” (Milberg 1994). “Damp meadows, marshes, fens and wet woods, avoiding acid soils…woodland garden” (PFAF 1996-2008). “Wet-tolerant…[In] moist soil at the edge of the pond margin or in the bog garden. It tolerates about a week of high water, as in drainage basins” (Speichert and Speichert 2004). “Swamps, bogs and ditches” (Webb et al. 1988).
Propagules spread by wind, water, attachment (humans, animals, or vehicles), or accidental human dispersal (ploughing).
MH
M
15. How far do they disperse?“Grows mainly in wet grasslands and marshlands… Seeds of L. flos-cuculi are small (0.21 mg), near-spherical and have no structures to facilitate animal or wind dispersal” (Milberg 1994). “Damp meadows, marshes, fens and wet woods, avoiding acid soils…woodland garden” (PFAF 1996-2008). “Wet-tolerant…[In] moist soil at the edge of the pond margin or in the bog garden. It tolerates about a week of high water, as in drainage basins” (Speichert and Speichert 2004). “Swamps, bogs and ditches” (Webb et al. 1988).
Very likely that at least one propagule will disperse greater one kilometre.
H
M


References

Aflowersgarden (Undated) Lychnis flos-cuculi-L. Ragged Robin. Available at: http://www.aflowersgarden.com/plants/lychnis-flos.asp (verified 04/06/2010).

Biere A. (1991a) Parental effects in Lychnis flos-cuculi. I: Seed size, germination and seedling performance in a controlled environment. J. evol. Biol. 3: 447-465.

Biere A. (1991b) Parental effects in Lychnis flos-cuculi. II: Selection on time of emergence and seedling performance in the field. J. evol. Biol. 3: 467-486.

Bodkin F. (1986) Encyclopaedia Botanica: The Essential Reference Guide to Native and Exotic Plants in Australia. Angus & Robertson.

Brickell C. (Ed.) (1996) A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. The Royal Horticultural Society. Covent Garden Books, London.

Cooper MR and Johnson AW. (1984) Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, London.

Emorsgate Seeds (Undated) Ragged Robin- Lychnis flos-cuculi L. Available at:
http://www.plantpress.com/wildlife/search.php?name=lychnis&pl=5&adv=1&ot=&r=0&g=0&p=1&o=737 (verified 04/06/2010).

Gibbons B and Brough P. (1992) The Hamlyn Photographic Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe. Octopus Publishing, London.

Milberg P. (1994) Annual dark dormancy [sic] cycle in buried seeds of Lychnis flos-cuculi. Annales Botanici Fennici. 31:163-167.

Muenscher W.C. (1980) Weeds. 2nd Edn. Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London.

PFAF (Plants for a future) (1996-2008) Lychnis flos-cuculi-L. Ragged Robin. Available at: http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Lychnis+flos-cuculi (verified 04/06/2010).

Speichert G. and Speichert S. (2004) Encyclopedia of Water Garden Plants. Timber Press, Portland.

Tomczyk (2008) Preliminary phytochemical investigation of Lychnis flos-cuculi herbs. J. Nat. Med. 62: 473-475.

Webb CJ, Sykes WR and Garnock-Jones PJ. (1988) Flora of New Zealand. Volume 4. Botany Division, Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Zealand.



Global present distribution data references

Australian National Herbarium (ANH) (2010) Australia’s Virtual Herbarium, Australian National Herbarium, Centre for Plant Diversity and Research, Available at http://www.anbg.gov.au/avh/ (verified 16/06/2010).

Department of the Environment and Heritage (Commonwealth of Australia). (1993 – On-going) Australian Plant Name Index (APNI) http://www.cpbr.gov.au/apni/index.html (verified 11/05/2010).

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) (2008) Global biodiversity information facility, Available at http://www.gbif.org/ (verified 11/05/2010).

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. (2009) Available at http://www.itis.gov/ (verified 11/05/2010).

Missouri Botanical Gardens (MBG) (2010) w3TROPICOS, Missouri Botanical Gardens Database, Available at http://mobot.mobot.org/W3T/Search/vast.html (verified 11/05/2010).

United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Research Service, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. Taxonomy Query. (2009) Available at http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxgenform.pl (verified 11/05/2010).

Walsh N and Stajsic V. (2007) A Census of the Vascular Plants of Victoria. 8th Edn. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.


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