The endangered pondberry (Lindera melissifolia [Walt] Blume, Lauraceae)
Pondberry (Lindera melissifolia) is an endangered plant species that occurs in seven southern states. It is a rhizomatous, clonal shrub that usually grows in colonies and has numerous stems with few branches and drooping leaves that give off a spicy odor when crushed. Pondberry is dioecious, with small yellow flowers that bloom in spring and have scarlet drupes that mature in late summer or fall. The species grows in low areas within bottomland hardwood forests in the western part of its range and on the margins of limestone sinks and wet depressions in pine forests in the eastern part. Pondberry has probably always been a rare species, but its distribution and abundance have been affected by habitat destruction and alteration, such as timber cutting, clearing of land, and local drainage or flooding of wetlands. Until recently research on pondberry has been sparse; but because of proposed flood control measures for the area in which the species occurs in Mississippi, interest in research has increased. This review will be helpful to land managers and scientists because it provides information about all known current research on the species.