Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Robin-runaway - Dalibarda repens   L.
Members of Rosaceae:
Only member of Dalibarda in NC.
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Section 6 » Order Rosales » Family Rosaceae
DistributionKnown from just four Mountain counties (Alleghany, Ashe, Henderson, and Transylvania).

This is a species of the Far North, mainly in Canada and New England, ranging south to much of PA and parts of MI. It occurs very locally down the Appalachians mainly to GA, with only two counties known for VA (both along the NC state line) and just four for NC.
AbundanceVery rare to locally rare, known from only about a dozen sites in the four counties. This is a State Endangered species.
HabitatThis species occurs in mostly shaded damp acidic soil, usually close to or under rhododendrons -- seepages, boggy areas, and montane swamps.
PhenologyFlowers from June to September, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is an evergreen herbaceous species that recently, if not disturbingly, had been moved from its own genus (Dalibarda) into the quite large group of blackberries (Rubus), but Weakley (2020) did move it back to its traditional genus. It is also quite small, with its rounded, crenate (wavy-edged) basal leaves barely 1-inch across and plants only several inches tall. It is easily identified in bloom by its solo white flowers, about 1/3-inch across, held on thin but longish pedicels, coupled with the leaves. However, when not in bloom, it can be confused with species in other genera, such as the exotic Ground-ivy (Glechoma hederacea), or possibly a violet (Viola spp.).
Taxonomic CommentsSome references consider the species is an aberrant member of Rubus. Weakley (2018) treats it as Rubus repens, as does the Flora of North America website, but Weakley (2020) reverts back to Dalibarda.

Other Common Name(s)As with the scientific name, there have been several popular common names for this unique species -- False Violet, Dewdrop, Star-violet
State RankS2
Global RankG5
State StatusE
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieGarden-in-the-Woods, Framingham, MA, 1967. Scan from slide. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
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