Maryland State Rare (S2) Species
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) officially recognizes 607 species and subspecies as endangered, threatened, in need of conservation, or endangered extirpated in Maryland which are often referred to as Rate, Threatened or Endangered (RTE) species. While out on a stream restoration site in Glen Burnie, MD, Dave noticed a potential RTE. The 45-foot by 20-foot aggregate of Giant Cane Arundinaria gigantea (FACW) was indeed a Maryland State Rare (S2) grass species. A native bamboo species to Maryland, this plant has 144 records on file with Maryland Biodiversity, with occurrences in seven counties, all but two within the coastal plain.
Giant Cane Arundinaria gigantea (FACW)
This wasn’t the first time ESA spotted this species. Previously Dave and Mark saw the plant on a job site in Fort Meade, Maryland along a tributary of the Little Patuxent River. Giant Cane is a woody perennial with hard, tough rhizomes, forming open to dense colonies. The species spreads by creeping branched rhizomes as well as floating rhizome segments that spread by water current to new locations. Maryland is the upper extent of this southern species as it may die from sub-zero temperatures. Individual canes have an estimated life span of 10-years, and may only flower once every 40-years.
Keep an eye out for RTEs. If you think you have spotted one, contact MD DNR by filling out the Rare Species Reporting Form at the bottom of DNR’s RTE website. More than 500 species and subspecies have become extinct since the 1600’s, you can help play a part in preserving rare, threatened or endangered species!