Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Buckley's St. John's-wort - Hypericum buckleyi   M.A. Curtis
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Section 6 » Family Hypericaceae
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AuthorM.A. Curtis
DistributionRestricted to the southern mountains, ranging north only to Haywood and Buncombe counties; it is found only at high elevations, mostly above 4500 feet elevation.

This is a very narrow Southern Appalachian endemic, being found only in southwestern NC, northwestern SC, and northeastern GA.
AbundanceWithin its narrow elevation range, it is uncommon to locally common. Of course, overall for the state, this is a scarce species. It is an NC Watch List species.
HabitatThe species is restricted to high elevation rocky sites in full to partial sun, usually at seepages. It occurs around the tops of granitic domes, but also along rock outcrops and roadbanks, especially where there is some seepage coming from the rocks. It is rather easy to find along the southern portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, especially in spots wet by seepage.
PhenologyBlooms and fruits from June to July.
IdentificationThis is a decumbent/matted slightly woody shrub that grows less than a foot tall, but often much broader. The deciduous, opposite leaves are oblanceolate to elliptic and entire, with rounded tips and sessile bases; they reach only to 3/4” long. The 5-petaled yellow flowers are relatively large compared to the size of the plant, so in full bloom one often sees a low rounded mat of a plant with a large coverage of yellow flowers. Each flower is nearly 1” across. There are several other high elevation St. Johns’s-worts in the state – H. mitchellianum and H. graveolens, but these are not woody, are not matted, and have much broader leaves.
Taxonomic CommentsThere has been confusion about the nomenclature of this distinctive species. Although named after a Mr. Buckley, it was originally spelled “buckleii”, but the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature has reversed this awkward spelling (See Weakley 2018).

Other Common Name(s)Granite Dome St. John’s-wort, Mountain St. John’s-wort
State RankS3
Global RankG3
State StatusW1
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