Ecologists find rare plant in southern Indiana state forest

Copyright 2001 Associated Press 
October 26, 2001

CORYDON, Ind. - State ecologists documenting wildlife within the Harrison-Crawford State Forest have discovered a species of goldenrod that is considered among the rarest plants in the world.

Three ecologists recognized the plant, called Short's goldenrod, because they had seen it in 1995 at the Falls of the Ohio State Park, where the state had tried to re-establish seven clumps, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said. Flooding killed those plants within a year.

The site at the Harrison-Crawford State Forest harbors one of only two known living wild populations of Short's goldenrod.

Short's goldenrod is named after its discoverer, Charles Short of Louisville, who found it in 1840 growing on a limestone outcrop in Kentucky known as Rock Island. The spot is located within the Falls of the Ohio.

Short's goldenrod was last collected from Rock Island in 1860. The plant was considered extinct until an ecologist found a population in 1939 in eastern Kentucky.

Short's goldenrod is one of only two plant species found in Indiana that are on the federal list of endangered species, the DNR said.

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