Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Glycyrrhiza lepidota


Introductory

SPECIES: Glycyrrhiza lepidota
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Esser, Lora L. 1994. Glycyrrhiza lepidota. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [].

ABBREVIATION : GLYLEP SYNONYMS : Glycyrrhiza glutinosa Nutt. [51] SCS PLANT CODE : GLLE3 COMMON NAMES : wild licorice American licorice TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of wild licorice is Glycyrrhiza lepidota Pursh. [13,17,18,47]. It is a member of the Fabaceae family. There are no recognized infrataxa. LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Glycyrrhiza lepidota
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Wild licorice is native to temperate regions of western North America. It occurs from Ontario west to British Columbia, south to California, and east to Arkansas [13,18,24,27]. Disjunct populations of wild licorice occur in Maine, Rhode Island, New York, and Massachusetts [34]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES29 Sagebrush FRES30 Desert shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES39 Prairie STATES : AZ AR CA CO ID IL IA KS ME MA MN MO MT NE NV NM NY ND OK OR RI SD TX UT WA WY AB BC MB ON SK MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 2 Cascade Mountains 3 Southern Pacific Border 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 7 Lower Basin and Range 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 9 Middle Rocky Mountains 10 Wyoming Basin 11 Southern Rocky Mountains 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 14 Great Plains 15 Black Hills Uplift 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K011 Western ponderosa forest K016 Eastern ponderosa forest K017 Black Hills pine forest K018 Pine - Douglas-fir forest K019 Arizona pine forest K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K038 Great Basin sagebrush K039 Blackbrush K040 Saltbush - greasewood K041 Creosotebush K051 Wheatgrass - bluegrass K055 Sagebrush steppe K056 Wheatgrass - needlegrass shrubsteppe K063 Foothills prairie K064 Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass K065 Grama - buffalograss K066 Wheatgrass - needlegrass K067 Wheatgrass - bluestem - needlegrass K070 Sandsage - bluestem prairie K074 Bluestem prairie K081 Oak savanna K098 Northern floodplain forest SAF COVER TYPES : 42 Bur oak 63 Cottonwood 217 Aspen 220 Rocky Mountain juniper 235 Cottonwood - willow 236 Bur oak 237 Interior ponderosa pine 239 Pinyon - juniper SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Wild licorice occurs in a variety of habitats but is most often found in prairie and other grassland communities or riparian areas. On native tallgrass prairie in eastern North Dakota, wild licorice is a member of three community types: bluegrass-bluestem-needlegrass (Poa spp.-Andropogon spp.-Stipa spp.), bromegrass (Bromus spp.)-bluegrass, and bluegrass-sweetclover (Melilotus spp.). Associated plant species in these communities include Louisiana sagewort (Artemisia ludoviciana), western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis), field sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis), heath aster (Aster ericoides), and northern bedstraw (Galium boreale) [15]. On mixed-grass prairie in North Dakota, wild licorice occurs in two community types: big bluestem-Indian grass (Andropogon gerardii var. gerardii-Sorghastrum nutans) and a lowland forb community dominated by Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani), Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), and prairie dogbane (Apocynum sibericum) [26]. Wild licorice is a member of the plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides), quaking aspen-birch (P. tremuloides-Betula spp.), and Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) community types in western North Dakota [41]. In South Dakota, wild licorice occurs in grasslands of the Black Hills [40]. Wild licorice occurs in riparian areas dominated by plains cottonwood in Colorado, North Dakota, and Utah [25,29,41]. Some common plant associates in eastern Colorado include sandbar willow (Salix exigua), peachleaf willow (S. amygdaloides), saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima), Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii), eastern poison-ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), and western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii) [25,33].

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Glycyrrhiza lepidota
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Wild licorice is eaten by deer and pronghorn [7,37,42]. It is grazed in the summer and early fall by mule deer in Colorado [7]. In the Great Plains, wild licorice roots are eaten by plains pocket gophers, foliage is eaten by deer and pronghorn, and seeds are eaten by birds and rodents [7]. In Utah and Wyoming, wild licorice is eaten by deer, elk, pronghorn, upland game birds, passerine birds, waterfowl, and small mammals [46]. PALATABILITY : Palatability ratings for wild licorice from selected western states are as follows [45]: CO MT ND UT WY cattle poor poor poor poor poor sheep fair fair fair fair fair horses poor poor poor poor fair NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Wild licorice is rated poor in nutritional value for pronghorn and fair for elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, upland game birds, waterfowl, small nongame birds, and small mammals [45]. Energy rating is fair and protein content is poor [46]. COVER VALUE : Wild licorice cover values are as follows [46]: MT UT WY pronghorn poor poor elk poor poor mule deer poor poor white-tailed deer poor small mammals fair good small nongame birds fair good upland game birds poor fair waterfowl good poor fair In South Dakota, wild licorice is used for shade by sharp-tailed grouse during the brood season [14]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Wild licorice has good potential for revegation of disturbed and denuded lands [2,3,5,17], but may be difficult to establish due to restrictive habitat requirements [17]. It has good soil-binding capabilities and can be used for soil stabilization [6,20]. In North Dakota, wild licorice was directly seeded and container-grown seedlings were transplanted onto coal mine spoils. Both methods resulted in the production of successful stands of wild licorice, although the transplant method resulted in more rapid growth of seedlings. Estimated number of seedlings produced in one growing season on mine spoil plots was 22.3 per square foot (248/sq m) [1,2]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Native Americans of the Great Plains used wild licorice for medicinal and nutritional purposes. The Lakota used wild licorice as a fever remedy for children. Steeped leaves were used for earaches, and the roots were chewed and held in the mouth to relieve toothaches and sore throats. The roots were also eaten for nourishment [37,44]. The sweet roots of wild licorice contain glycyrrhizin, which is used by druggists and confectioners [22]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Wild licorice has potential as a valuable forage and conservation species throughout the Great Plains. However, three species of the bruchid beetle may have substantial impacts on seed production of wild licorice. The bruchid beetle seed predators are Acanthoscelides aureolus, A. fraterculus, and Bruchophagus grisselli [5,6,50]. In North and South Dakota, seed predation by A. fraterculus reduced viable seed production by 7 to 71 percent [6]. Wild licorice can become a serious weed on fertile soils in Arizona [20].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Glycyrrhiza lepidota
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Wild licorice is a native, perennial, leguminous forb that grows from 1 to 4 feet (0.3-1.2 m) tall [18,28,37,44]. It may form colonies by adventitious shoots from roots and deep-seated rhizomes [13,19,24,43,44]. Rhizomes are many-branched and may grow up to several feet long [42]. Leaves are 0.8 to 2.8 inches (2-7 cm) long and 0.16 to 0.8 inch (4-20 mm) wide [13,37]. Legumes are indehiscent, sessile, and bur-like with hooked prickles, and are O.4 to 0.6 inch (12-15 mm) long [16,28,37,43]. Seeds are 0.08 to 0.12 inch (2-3 mm) long [44]. In addition to rhizomes, wild licorice has an extensive system of deep, fleshy roots [42]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Hemicryptophyte Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Vegetative: Wild licorice spreads vigorously by sprouting from rhizomes [1,2,6,19,44]. Sexual: Wild licorice produces abundant seeds with relatively low germination rates, which can be increased with scarification [37]. Seeds were collected from native ranges in western North Dakota. Three storage treatments were applied to separate lots of seed. Germination results (in %) were [2]: room Temp storage dry cold storage wet cold storage Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jan Feb Mar Apr May 65 80 75 77 79 57 71 61 56 60 77 52 69 75 55 The hooked prickles of wild licorice seedpods adhere to animals so the fruits are widely dispersed [37]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Wild licorice occurs in fields, meadows, borrow ditches, and along roadsides [16,17,19,34,44]. It occurs in open, unshaded areas on disturbed soils [17,32,44]. It is a facultative wetland species, most commonly found in moist areas such as terraces, seeps, streambanks, wet meadows, floodplains, and along lakeshores [17,37,43,46,,47]. Wild licorice grows best on moist to semiwet soils with good drainage [13,15,17]. It grows best on loam, sandy loam, and clayey loam soils, but occurs on gravelly substrates as well [35,46]. Elevations for wild licorice for several states are as follows: feet meters Arizona 2,000-7,000 600-2,100 [20] California <7,500 <2,250 [28] Colorado 4,000-8,500 1,200-2,550 [16,46] Montana 6,600-7,500 1,980-2,250 [46] North Dakota 1,930-2,640 585-800 [41] Utah 3,300-8,100 990-2,430 [46] Wyoming 3,700-7,600 1,110-2,280 [46] SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Wild licorice is an aggressive colonizer of disturbed riparian habitats [5,17]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Wild licorice flowering dates for several states are as follows: Arizona May-July [20] California May-July [28] Colorado Jun-Aug [46] Great Plains July-Sep [47,48] Illinois Jun-Aug [27] Montana July [46] Nebraska June-July [34] North Dakota Jun-Aug [46] Utah Jun-Aug [46] Wyoming Jun-Sep [46]

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Glycyrrhiza lepidota
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Wild licorice probably survives fire by sprouting from rhizomes. It may also colonize from off-site seed. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil Geophyte, growing points deep in soil Secondary colonizer - off-site seed

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Glycyrrhiza lepidota
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Wild licorice is probably top-killed by fire. At the Woodworth Station in North Dakota, a mixed-grass prairie was burned in May 1970 to determine the effect of fire on wildlife populations. Wild licorice was a component of the prairie that was burned. During postfire year 1, wild licorice was reported as showing "no change" in percent cover, that is, cover change was between +99% and -49% [21]. In North Dakota, a bluegrass-sweetclover prairie containing wild licorice was burned in 1964; the following year, herbage production on burned and unburned plots was comparable [15]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Wild licorice probably sprouts from rhizomes following fire. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY

REFERENCES

SPECIES: Glycyrrhiza lepidota
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Reclamation, a global perspective: Proceedings of the conference; 1989 August 27-31; Calgary, AB. Edmonton, AB: Alberta Land Conservation and Reclamation Council: 255-262. [14354] 4. Blake, Abigail Kincaid. 1935. Viability and germination of seeds and early life history of prairie plants. Ecological Monographs. 5(4): 405-460. [22086] 5. Boe, A.; McDaniel, B.; Robins, K. 1988. Patterns of American licorice seed predation by Acanthoscelides aureolus (Horn) (Coleoptera: Bruchidae) in South Dakota. Journal of Range Management. 41(4): 342-345. [5220] 6. Boe, A.; Wynia, R. 1985. Seed predation, seedling emergence, and rhizome characteristics of American licorice. Journal of Range Management. 38(5): 400-402. [11153] 7. Dietz, Donald R.; Nagy, Julius G. 1976. Mule deer nutrition and plant utilization. In: Workman; Low, eds. Mule deer decline in the West: A symposium; [Date of conference unknown]; [Location of conference unknown]. 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