It is in decline mainly because its habitat has been disturbed and destroyed by a number of processes.
By the 1960s the only known populations of the plant had disappeared and in the 1970s it was feared extinct.
The plant was rediscovered in the 1980s and for a while was presumed to be a rare North Carolina endemic; populations in Virginia have been confirmed since.
The plant was federally listed as an endangered species in 1989 when it was known from only four tiny populations on unprotected private land.
Today there are at least 20 occurrences for a total global population of at least 20,000 individuals.
These statistics do not include certain populations that have not been surveyed recently.