Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Whitehead Bogbutton - Lachnocaulon anceps   (Walter) Morong
Members of Eriocaulaceae:
Members of Lachnocaulon with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Eriocaulales » Family Eriocaulaceae
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Author(Walter) Morong
DistributionThroughout the central and southern Coastal Plain, but scarce to absent in the northern and far eastern counties. Barely extends into the eastern edge of the Piedmont. As the species occurs throughout much of southeastern VA, its near absence in the northern part of NC is curious -- perhaps scarcity of collecting efforts for it or resulting from fire suppression.

This is a Coastal Plain species, ranging from eastern VA south to southern FL and west to eastern TX. There are only a few records away from the Coastal Plain, such as central TN. Also western Cuba.
AbundanceCommon in the southern and central Coastal Plain, at least where Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) stands are present. Seemingly very rare to rare in the northern counties and in the eastern Piedmont, but probably under-collected in the northern Coastal Plain (or extirpated due to fire-suppression). The State Rank of the species is clearly S5 and not S4.
HabitatThis is a wetland and seepage species found in acidic soils, usually in pinelands. It grows in pine savannas and flatwoods, ditches, scrapes, margins of pools and ponds, in streamhead ecotones and seepages, and other similar damp to wet places, usually in damp sand or moist peat.
PhenologyFlowers and fruits from May to October.
IdentificationThis is a familiar Coastal Plain wetland plant, with numerous short and linear basal leaves and typically a few flowering scapes. Each leaf is about 2-3 inches long and linear, barely 1/10-inch wide. The scapes are somewhat hairy, about 6 inches tall on average, with a white to grayish-white head atop each scape. Each head is about 4-7 mm (about 1/4-inch) across, somewhat flattened in appearance. It often grows with the equally common Eriocaulon decangulare, a taller plant with a glabrous scape and a bright white head that is quite hard. L. beyrichianum is quite similar, but it has a smaller head -- just 3.5-4 mm (about 1/6-inch) across -- and there are differences in the seeds, with L. anceps having dull seeds with noticeable striations and L. beyrichianum having shiny seeds with striations obscure. The latter species tends to grow in marginally damp soils, in dry to mesic flatwoods or upper margins of pools and ponds.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Common Bogbutton, Savanna Bogbutton
State RankS4 [S5]
Global RankG5
State StatusW6
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