Swamp-pink

Helonias bullata

Habitat and Facts

Swamp pink was federally listed as a threatened species in 1988. It is a perennial member of the lily family, swamp pink has smooth, oblong, dark green leaves that form an evergreen rosette. In spring, some rosettes produce a flowering stalk that can grow over 3 feet tall. The stalk is topped by a 1 to 3-inch-long cluster of 30 to 50 small, fragrant, pink flowers dotted with pale blue anthers. The evergreen leaves of swamp pink can be seen year round, and flowering occurs between March and May. New Jersey is the stronghold for swamp pink. An obligate wetland species, swamp pink occurs in a variety of palustrine forested wetlands including swampy forested wetlands bordering meandering streamlets, headwater wetlands, sphagnous Atlantic white-cedar swamps, and spring seepage areas. Specific hydrologic requirements of swamp pink limit its occurrence within these wetlands to areas that are perennially saturated, but not inundated, by floodwater. The water table must be at or near the surface, fluctuating only slightly during spring and summer months. Groundwater seepage with lateral groundwater movement are common hydrologic characteristics of swamp pink habitat.
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Endangered Because

Loss of Swamp Pink's forested wetland habitat and the plant's subsequent decline in distribution prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate Swamp Pink as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act in September 1988. For exception resources such as swamp pink a buffer of 150' is required by the State Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act. Within the Pinelands National Preserve a buffer of 300' is required. Because of wetland degradation and hydrological conditions these buffers may prove inadequate to sustain populations of this species. The swamp-pink is very picky in its living conditions, it can't have to much or to less water for it to stay healthy and grow.