On top of that, a soilborne fungus called cotton root rot, with the scary scientific name of Phymatotrichopsis omnivora, has added Franklinia to its hit list of some 2,000 species of plants. Currently, Franklinia is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as extinct in the wild but not on the Endangered Species List, and there is no recovery plan. Low-lying areas along the Altamaha and other Southeast waterways are highly polluted by the cotton root rot sclerotia, which can lay dormant for decades and have been found in soils up to a depth of 12 feet.
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