Thismia americana N.Pfeiff., 1914:123

Banded trinity



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Extinct (Humphreys et al., 2019; Knapp et al., 2020)

Last record: 1913



Illinois, USA


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Pfeiffer, N. E. (1914). Morphology of Thismia americana. Bot. Gaz. 57:122-135.


Other references:

Albani Rocchetti, G., Carta, A., Mondoni, A. et al. (2022). Selecting the best candidates for resurrecting extinct-in-the-wild plants from herbaria. Nature Plants 8: 1385-1393. [Supplementary Tables S1-S6]

CPC. (1990). Centre for plant conservation data for North American plants database. CPC, Centre for plant conservation.

Garrett, Natalie, Viruel, Juan, Klimpert, Nathaniel, Gomez, Marybel Soto, Lam, Vivienne K. Y., Merckx, Vincent S. F. T. and Graham, Sean W. (2023). Plastid phylogenomics and molecular evolution of Thismiaceae (Dioscoreales). American Journal of Botany 110(4): e16141.

Humphreys, Aelys M. et al. (2019). Global dataset shows geography and life form predict modern plant extinction and rediscovery. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3: 1043-1047. [Abstract] [Supplementary Dataset 1]

Jones, G. N. and Fuller, G. D. (1955). Vascular Plants of Illinois. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. [p. 142]

Jonker, F. P. (1938). A monograph of the Burmanniaceae. Meded Bot. Mus. Herb. Riijks Univ. Utrecht 51: 1-279.

Knapp, Wesley M. et al. (2020). Vascular plant extinction in the continental United States and Canada. Conservation Biology. doi:

Lucas, Gren L. l. and Synge, Hugh. (compilers). (1978). The IUCN Plant Red Data Book. Morges, Switzerland: IUCN.

Masters, L. (1995). Thismia americana N. E. Pfeiffer, a history. Erigenia 14: 8-14.

Merckx, V. S. F. T., S. I F. Gomes, M. Wapstra, C. Hunt, G. Steenbeeke, C. B. Mennes, N. Walsh, R. Smissen, Tsung-Hsin, E. F. Smets, and M. Bidartondo. (2017). The biogeographical history of the interaction between mycoheterotrophic Thismia (Thismiaceae) plants and mycorrhizal Rhizophagus (Glomeraceae) fungi. J. Biogeogr. 44:1869-1879.

Merckx, Vincent, Schols, Peter, Kamer, Hiltje Maas-van de, Maas, Paul, Huysmans, Suzy and Smets, Erik. (2006). Phylogeny and evolution of Burmanniaceae (Dioscoreales) based on nuclear and mitochondrial data. American Journal of Botany 93(11): 1684-1698.

Merckx, V. S. F. T. and E. F. Smets. (2014). Thismia americana, the 101st anniversary of a botanical mystery. Int. J. Plant Sci. 175: 165-175.

Mohlenbrock, R. H. (1970). The Illustrated Flora of Illinois. Flowering Plants: Lillies to Orchids. Carbondale & Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press. [p. 178, fig. 88]

Pfeiffer, N. E. (1918). The sporangia of Thismia americana. Bot. Gaz. 66: 354-363.

Walter, Kerry S. and Gillett, Harriet J. (eds.). (1998). 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants. Compiled by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Gland, Switzerland & Cambridge, UK: IUCN – The World Conservation Union. lxiv + 862 pp.

Wilhelm, Gerould and Rericha, Laura. (submitted). Thismia americana, a Chicago Endemic or an Elaborate Hoax? The Great Lakes Botanist.


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