Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Nettleleaf Noseburn - Tragia urticifolia   Michaux
Members of Euphorbiaceae:
Members of Tragia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Euphorbiales » Family Euphorbiaceae
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DistributionRestricted to the Piedmont, but lacking records for the northwestern portions. Ranges west and northwest only to Caswell, McDowell, and Polk counties.

Southern VA to MO and CO, south to central FL and AZ.
AbundanceUncommon over its NC range as a whole, though often encountered in its rather specialized habitats. Populations are typically small.
HabitatGlades and barrens, Piedmont "prairies", dry to mesic oak-hickory-dogwood woodlands and openings, rocky slopes, around rock outcrops, and powerline clearings -- always in higher pH soils. Perhaps most frequent over diabase rock in the Granville-Durham county area.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May-October.
IdentificationNettleleaf Noseburn is a small and relatively inconspicuous plant mostly less than a foot tall, with a few to several ascending branches and rather few broad based leaves (typically with a truncate base) containing abundant, sharp, marginal teeth. Leaves are sharp-pointed, triangular to ovate in shape. The whole plant has very short, translucent, stinging hairs. Wavyleaf Noseburn (T. urens) has narrower lance-shaped to broadly linear leaves that are untoothed or nearly so; the upper surfaces are darker green and leaves look leathery. That plant grows essentially in sandy soil, mostly in the Coastal Plain. Nettleleaf Noseburn is never to be expected when walking in a Piedmont glade or other site on high pH soil, but it can often be seen by carefully paying attention to small and inconspicuous plants. The numerous stinging hairs are easily noticed, especially on the rounded fruits, as are the broad-based, truncate leaves.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS3
Global RankG5
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B.A. SorriePicture Creek Diabase, Aug 2014. GranvillePhoto_natural
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