Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Southern Barren-strawberry - Geum donianum   (Trattinick) Weakley & Gandhi
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Section 6 » Family Rosaceae
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Author(Trattinick) Weakley & Gandhi
DistributionThis is a recently split-out species from Geum fragarioides -- formerly known as Waldsteinia fragarioides. This is basically a "southern taxon/form", and apparently nearly all records assigned to the "old" G. fragarioides now refer to G. donianum. However, as there appears to be little information on the exact distribution of the new G. fragarioides, a few of the counties mapped below might refer to that species and not to G. donianum. For now, the range includes nearly all of the Piedmont, but only very sparingly in the mountains, though the status in the latter region is confused by the potential presence of G. fragarioides. Casual in the eastern Coastal Plain in Jones County.

This "new" species occurs from VA and TN south to GA and AL, according to Weakley (2018).
AbundanceGenerally uncommon to at least locally infrequent across the Piedmont, but rare to possibly absent in the extreme northeastern portions. Very rare in the mountains, as well as in the Coastal Plain. Status in the mountains is complicated by the potential presence ofG. fragarioides there. The website editors suggest that a State Rank of S3 is more appropriate than S2S3, as assigned by NCNHP. Because NatureServe does not recognize this species, unlike Weakley (2018), the website editors have given a suggested Global Rank of G3G5Q.
HabitatThis is a species of usually moist, but often rocky, sites. It grows on forested stream banks, on shaded cliffs and bluffs, rocky woods, and less so in rich soil away from rocks.
PhenologyBlooms from late March into May; fruits from May to June.
IdentificationAs this species was formerly in a different genus, it is very different from the usual Geum species. This is a low species with evergreen leaves, barely reaching 1' long or tall. The several leaves are basal, on petioles about 2" long, and three-parted, cut to the base. Each leaflet is wedge-shaped or fan-shaped, about 1-1.2" long and across, toothed or scalloped on the margins (often incised), and quite shiny; they turn bronze in color in winter. The often several flower stalks are leafless, about 4-5" tall, and contain a few flowers at the tips. Each flower is bright yellow, with 5 petals that are somewhat elliptical, and the spread flower is about 1/3" across. The sepals are about as long as the petals. In the other similar species -- G. fragarioides -- the petals are 4-10 mm long, and longer than the sepals, as opposed to only 2.5-4 mm long in G. donianum; thus, the spread flower in that species is close to 3/4" across.
Taxonomic CommentsSee above. This species is now the southern portion of the original range of G. (= Waldsteinia) fragarioides. This species is more easily found in winter or very early spring, as its shiny, evergreen leaves on a rocky slope are quite easily spotted.

Other Common Name(s)None?
State RankS2S3 [S3]
Global RankGNR [G3G5]
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