Dwarf jellico (Sium burchellii)

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Dwarf jellico, showing detail of the flowers and leaves
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Dwarf jellico fact file

Dwarf jellico description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumTracheophyta
ClassMagnoliopsida
OrderApiales
FamilyUmbelliferae
GenusSium (1)

Dwarf jellico is a rare low-growing herbaceous plant confined to St Helena Island in the South Atlantic (1) (2). It has fleshy, hollow green stems and compound leaves made up of acutely toothed leaflets. The inflorescence comprises a flat-topped umbel of white flowers that develop into small green fruit (2).

Size
Height: 60 cm (2)
Leaves: up to 30 cm (2)
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Dwarf jellico biology

Little is known about the natural history of dwarf jellico except that it normally flowers during the southern hemisphere summer, from December to January (1)

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Dwarf jellico range

Restricted to small and fragmented subpopulations on St Helena (1).

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Dwarf jellico habitat

Grows on steep cliffs and rocky ledges amongst cabbage trees and tree ferns (1).

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Dwarf jellico status

Classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

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Dwarf jellico threats

The threat of alien plants outcompeting remaining subpopulations of dwarf jellico on St Helena is one of the primary concerns for this species. All the sub-populations grow on rocky outcrops where they face the additional threat of landslides. Concerns have also been raised that dwarf jellico is under threat from hybridisation with another St Helena endemic, large jellico (Sium bracteatum) (1).

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Dwarf jellico conservation

Some dwarf jellico subpopulations are protected within the Diana’s Peak National Park, which is protected by a management plan (1). In the past, efforts have been made to ensure survival of this species by collecting seeds and planting seedlings in suitable habitat (1) (2). Currently, the St Helena National Trust is involved in efforts to control invasive plants and to conduct further research into additional conservation measures for the endemic fauna and flora (3).

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Find out more

To find out more about conservation on St Helena see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
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Glossary

Umbel
In plants, a usually umbrella-shaped flower cluster in which the individual flower stalks originate at roughly the same point.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (October, 2008)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. Steiner, S. and Liston, R. (2007) St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Second Edition. Bradt Travel Guides, UK.
  3. St Helena National Trust (February, 2008)
    http://www.nationaltrust.org.sh/projects.html
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Image credit

Dwarf jellico, showing detail of the flowers and leaves  
Dwarf jellico, showing detail of the flowers and leaves

© Andrew Darlow

Andrew Darlow
a_darlow@hotmail.com

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