Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Lobed Barren-strawberry - Waldsteinia lobata   (Baldwin ex Elliott) Torrey & A. Gray
Members of Rosaceae:
Members of Waldsteinia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Rosales » Family Rosaceae
Author(Baldwin ex Elliott) Torrey & A. Gray
DistributionKnown to occur only in the Gorges region of the southern Mountains, close to the SC and GA state lines. Probably not native as far north as Swain County. There is an iNat sighting and photo from Jackson County.

This is a Southern Appalachian species, ranging north to southwestern NC, and south to central GA and eastern AL. It is not known from TN, but it does occur in SC.
AbundanceHopefully still extant in NC, but the last record in Transylvania County was in 1999, according to the NCNHP database. Historical from central Jackson County, but as that record is from a Tennessee drainage and not an Atlantic drainage, its identity may be open to question. At any rate, if still present, it is extremely rare in NC now. This is a State Endangered species.
HabitatThis is a species of hardwood forests, generally near streamsides or in moist, rocky places, usually not far from a creek. It may occur in floodplain forests, or on rocky slopes.
PhenologyBlooms from March to May, and fruits from May to June.
IdentificationThis is a low-growing Waldsteinia species, with a basal rosette of leaves. Each leaf has a petiole of several inches, and each blade is dissected into several lobes, often three but up to four or five. However, these are not deeply cut into three separate leaflets as in W. doniana and W. fragarioides. The several naked flower stalks reach up to 6 inches tall, and each has several flowers near the top. The flower has 5 yellow petals, with a spread of about 1/3-inch across in bloom, but the 5 green sepals are slightly longer than the petals. Thus, the flowers are somewhat similar to those of W. doniana, but that species has 3 leaflets as opposed to a blade that can be deeply cut but not into separate leaflets. As the flowers are not strongly apparent when in bloom, owing to small petals, you are more likely to spot the species by the rosette of several fairly deeply cut leaves.
Taxonomic CommentsThe three Waldsteinia species had been moved by Weakley (2018) to the broad genus Geum, but has since moved them back to Waldsteinia (in 2020).

Other Common Name(s)Lobed Barren Strawberry. References are about evenly split on using Piedmont versus Lobed as the modifier name.
State RankS1
Global RankG3
State StatusE
US Status
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