Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Low Frostweed - Crocanthemum propinquum   (Bicknell) Bicknell
Members of Cistaceae:
Members of Crocanthemum with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Cistaceae
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Author(Bicknell) Bicknell
DistributionEssentially throughout the Mountains. Also barely into the western Piedmont, in the Sauratown Mountains (Stokes County).

This is a Northeastern species, primarily in the Appalachians but also on the northeastern Coastal Plain. It ranges from MA south to extreme northeastern GA and eastern TN.
AbundanceRare, but unlike the similar C. bicknellii, it ranges in higher elevations over most of the Mountains. Very rare in the Sauratown Mountains. This is a State Threatened species.
HabitatThis is a species of high elevations, usually rather exposed. It grows on rocky summits, open and rocky woods, and rarely in fields.
PhenologyBlooms in June and July, and fruits from August to October. Gleason (1952) says this species blooms earlier than does H. bicknellii, even though each is listed as having flowering periods of June and July; whether this holds in the NC mountains is not certain.
IdentificationThis is a typical Crocanthemum, with an erect stem and medium-sized yellow flowers. It is a shorter plant than is C. bicknellii -- this species averages about 8 inches tall, whereas the other averages 12 inches tall. This species has scattered flowers, not clustered as in C. bicknellii; and each stem has appressed pubescence. The numerous alternate leaves are generally ascending. The leaves are somewhat linear to oblong-linear, about 3/5-1-inch long, somewhat smaller than in the other species. Each has several flowers on terminal branches or the stem, each with 5 yellow petals and a spread of about 4/5-inch across. This species has the leaf bases narrowly cuneate to attenuate, whereas the leaf base in H. bicknellii is a bit wider and broadly cuneate.
Taxonomic CommentsAll NC species of Crocanthemum were formerly placed in the genus Helianthemum.
Other Common Name(s)Creeping Sunrose, Creeping Frostweed
State RankS1 [S1S2]
Global RankG4
State StatusT
US Status
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