Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Thermopsis mollis


SPECIES: Thermopsis mollis
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Carey, Jennifer H. 1994. Thermopsis mollis. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : THEMOL SYNONYMS : Thermopsis fraxinifolia (Torr. & Gray) Isely [10] SCS PLANT CODE : THMO2 THMOF2 THMOM2 COMMON NAMES : soft bush pea Allegheny Mountain goldenbanner TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for soft bush pea is Thermopsis mollis (Michx.) M. A. Curtis (Fabaceae) [7,10,16,22]. The following two varities are recognized: T. m. var. mollis T. m. var. fraxinifolia (Torr. & Gray) Isely [10] LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Thermopsis mollis
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Soft bush pea occurs from southern Virginia south to northern Georgia. The typical variety is more common in the Piedmont, and T. m. var. fraxinifolia occurs primarily in the Appalachian Mountains [10]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES15 Oak - hickory STATES : GA NC SC TN VA BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : NO-ENTRY SAF COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Soft bush pea occurs in open woods and clearings [14,16,22]. No information is available on associated plant species.


SPECIES: Thermopsis mollis
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Thermopsis spp. contain quinolizidine alkaloids which discourage browsing by wildlife and livestock [1]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Thermopsis spp. of the western United States have been used for erosion control and rehabilitation of disturbed sites [1,4]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Thermopsis mollis
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Soft bush pea is a native, rhizomatous, perennial herb with moderately branched, erect stems that grow 1.0 to 4.9 feet (0.3-1.5 m) tall. The racemes are terminal. The fruit is a legume about 1.6 to 2.8 inches (4-7 cm) long [7,10,16,22]. Thermopsis spp. generally have deep, woody, creeping rhizomes [1]. In Saskatchewan, prairie thermopsis (T. rhombifolia) roots were 0.1 to 0.2 inch (0.3-0.5 cm) in diameter and 2.6 to 5.6 feet (0.8-1.7 m) deep [5]. Thermopsis spp. are drought resistant [1]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Hemicryptophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Soft bush pea regenerates vegetatively and by seed. Thermopsis spp. spread by underground rhizomes and form broad patches [1,5]. In California, the seeds of Santa Ynez false lupine (T. macrophylla var. agina) required scarification for laboratory germination [3]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Soft bush pea occurs on moist and dry sites in upland areas of the Piedmont and Appalachian Mountains [10]. It occurs on dry slopes, ridges, and roadsides [7,10,14,16,21]. Thermopsis mollis var. fraxinifolia occurs up to 5,000 feet (1,500 m) elevation [10]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Soft bush pea is probably intermediate in shade tolerance. It colonizes roadsides but also occurs on shady slopes [10]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : The typical variety flowers April through May and fruits ripen June through August. Thermopsis mollis var. fraxinifolia flowers May through July and fruits July through August [10,16].


SPECIES: Thermopsis mollis
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Thermopsis spp. of the western United States resist fire by sprouting from rhizomes [3,13]. Soft bush pea probably responds similarly, and buried seed may germinate after fire. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil


SPECIES: Thermopsis mollis
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Soft bush pea is probably top-killed by fire. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Information on the response of soft bush pea to fire is lacking in the literature. Santa Ynez false lupine sprouted after a prescibed fire in southern California, and the fire stimulated germination of seeds [3]. One year after a high-severity August fire in Alberta, there was no statistically significant difference in percent cover of prairie thermopsis on burned and unburned sites [13]. One year after a low-severity fire in Colorado, there was no statistically significant difference in percent cover or density of spreading thermopsis (T. divaricarpa) on burned and unburned sites [23]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Thermopsis mollis
REFERENCES : 1. Allen, O. N.; Allen, E. K. 1981. The Leguminesae, a source book of characteristics, uses, and nodulation. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 1981 p. [18260] 2. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434] 3. Borchert, Mark. 1989. Postfire demography of Thermopsis macrophylla H.A. var. agina J.T. Howell (Fabaceae), a rare perennial herb in chaparral. American Midland Naturalist. 122: 120-132. [7982] 4. Brown, Ray W.; Johnston, Robert S. 1979. Revegetation of disturbed alpine rangelands. In: Johnson, D. A., ed. Special management needs of alpine ecosystems. Range Science Series No. 5. Denver, CO: Society for Range Management: 76-94. [188] 5. Coupland, Robert T.; Johnson, R. E. 1965. Rooting characteristics of native grassland species of Saskatchewan. Journal of Ecology. 53: 475-507. [702] 6. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 7. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. 1632 p. (Dudley, Theodore R., gen. ed.; Biosystematics, Floristic & Phylogeny Series; vol. 2). [14935] 8. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 9. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329] 10. Isely, Duane. 1981. Leguminosae fo the United States: II. Subfamily Caesalpinioideae. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden. 25(2): 1-228. [23495] 11. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384] 12. Larisey, Mary Maxine. 1940. A revision of the North American species of the genus Thermopsis. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden. 27: 245-264. [23496] 13. Mowat, Catherine. 1990. Fire effects study for Quail Flats Fire, Dinosaur Provincial Park. Calgary, AB: Alberta Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation, Dinosaur National Park. 37 p. [+]. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [17454] 14. Rogers, C. Leland; Mullens, Nora E.; Shiflet, George W., Jr. 1974. Rare South Carolina plants. Castanea. 39(3): 287-290. [23493] 15. Oswald, Brian P.; Covington, W. Wallace. 1984. Effect of a prescribed fire on herbage production in southwestern ponderosa pine on sedimentary soils. Forest Science. 30(1): 22-25. [2805] 16. Radford, Albert E.; Ahles, Harry E.; Bell, C. Ritchie. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 1183 p. [7606] 17. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 18. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 19. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1994. Plants of the U.S.--alphabetical listing. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 954 p. [23104] 20. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Biological Survey. [n.d.]. NP Flora [Data base]. Davis, CA: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Biological Survey. [23119] 21. Ware, Donna M. Eggers. 1973. Floristic survey of the Thompson River watershed. Castanea. 38(4): 349-377. [23494] 22. Wofford, B. Eugene. 1989. Guide to the vascular plants of the Blue Ridge. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press. 384 p. [12908] 23. Smith, Jane K.; Laven, Richard D.; Omi, Philip N. 1985. Vegetation changes in aspen stands resulting from prescribed burning in recreation areas of the Front Range of Colorado. Final Report. Contract Nos. RM-80-112-GR and RM-81-162-GR (EC-367): Eisenhower Consortium for Western Environmental Forestry Research. 53 p. On file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [23491]

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