Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Virginia Quillwort - Isoetes virginica   Pfeiffer
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Section 1 » Family Isoetaceae
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AuthorPfeiffer
DistributionPresent only in the eastern and central Piedmont, west to Caswell, Rowan, and Union counties, and east to Franklin County.

This is a highly limited species in overall range, occurring only in central VA and central NC.
AbundanceVey rare and declining. There are specimens from five counties, plus an extirpated report from another (Chatham County). However, only one site in Caswell County is still considered extant (at least though 2006) in the NCNHP database. Why this species is only listed by the NCNHP as Significantly Rare, and also not listed by the State and the USFWS as Endangered or Threatened is a puzzle and is quite disturbing. This species clearly needs to be listed as Endangered in NC, with only one currently known site.
HabitatThis species is found in damp to wet ground along wooded seepages and creeks, as well as in upland depression swamps.
PhenologyFruits from July to September.
IdentificationAll Isoetes species are quite grass-like, with numerous very slender and grass-like leaves growing from a common base. Most importantly, they are swollen at the base, where the megaspores are present, the key structure for separation of species. The leaves are terete (rounded) and hollow. For identification, see the key in Weakley (2018).
Taxonomic CommentsThis species was included within I. melanopoda in older references, such as in RAB (1968).

All Isoetes species are quite grass-like, with numerous very slender and grass-like leaves growing from a common base. Most importantly, they are swollen at the base, where the megaspores are present, the key structure for separation of species. The leaves are terete (rounded) and hollow. For identification, see the key in Weakley (2018).
Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS1
Global RankG1
State StatusSR-L
US Status
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