TNC-NC Stewardship Assistant Mamie Colburn produced a short video about a fire-adapted plant, mountain golden heather (Hudsonia montana), that was found to be thriving after wildfires on Shortoff Mountain in the Grandfather Ranger District.
In the video, FLN partners, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and The Nature Conservancy documented their persistence following spring fires. This scrubby little plant clings to the rocks almost as close to the edge of a cliff as one can get.
Shortoff Mountain has burned on average at least once every decade for hundreds of years. Its prominent rock outcrops, Table Mountain pine, and bunchgrasses are adapted to the frequent lightning-ignited fires. The little plant they were looking for, Hudsonia, is no different. It thrives in this fire-adapted ecosystem and has found its niche, only growing in two counties in North Carolina. In past years there have been dramatic increases in the plants post-fire.