Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Ten-petal Anemone - Anemone berlandieri   Pritzel
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Section 6 » Order Ranunculales » Family Ranunculaceae
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AuthorPritzel
DistributionScattered over the Piedmont (only), though mainly limited to the central and southern portions of the province. Seemingly absent in the northwestern portions, as well as the northeastern portions, as well.

This is mainly a Southern Great Plains species (KS to southern TX), but it ranges eastward to southern VA, central NC and SC, GA, and northern FL.
AbundanceRare and quite local in the central and southern Piedmont (including in the Brushy Mountains of Alexander County). Very rare north of Randolph County, where recorded only from Orange County. This is a State Endangered species. Though "endangered", there are enough scattered, extant records (12-13) in the NCNHP database for them to give it a State Rank of S2 instead of S1.
HabitatThis species has about as rare and restricted habitat(s) of any in the Piedmont; it is limited to thin, dry, high pH soils, almost always in rocky or steep situations. It is not a "prairie plant", and it is found only around margins of granitic domes with circumneutral soil, calcareous cliffs, and a few other rocky places with special soils.
See also Habitat Account for Rich Dry-Mesic Hardwood Forests
PhenologyBlooms in March and April, and fruits shortly afterward.
IdentificationThis is a small herb, growing to about 1 foot tall; it is quite pubescent. It has a few basal leaves that are divided into three leaflets; and on the unbranched stem, just above the middle, grow about three narrowly divided leaves (in a whorl), each leaf typically with entire margins but about 5-9 segments/lobes. The key points are that the cauline (stem) leaves are above the midpoint of the stem, and these leaves are very different in shape from the wider basal leaves. In the somewhat similar A. caroliniana, the whorl of stem leaves are attached below the middle of the stem, and these stem leaves have fairly wide segments and look fairly close to the basal leaves. A. berlandieri has a large (for the size of the plant) and solitary flower at the top of the stem, facing upward, with around 10-12 narrow white sepals (which appear as petals), and producing a flower about 1 inch across, with a green "cone" in the middle. A. caroliniana tends to be quite a bit shorter in NC, and the flower is smaller and most importantly, the stem leaves are closer to the ground and are somewhat similar to the basal leaves. You are not likely to accidentally run across either of these two species, as both are very rare in the state. But, A. berlandieri is quite a striking species when in bloom in its "stark", dry and rocky slope habitats.
Taxonomic CommentsWhen RAB (1968) was published, apparently this species was simply unrecognized and was lumped into A. caroliniana. It is not clear if there even "was" a taxon named as A. berlandieri back in those days, as RAB (1968) give records for Anson, Orange, and Rowan counties, and the description clearly matches that of A. berlandieri.

Other Common Name(s)Eastern Prairie Anemone, Southern Anemone, Texas Anemone, Ten-petal Thimbleweed
State RankS2
Global RankG4?
State StatusE
US Status
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