Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Shortleaf Sneezeweed - Helenium brevifolium   (Nuttall) A. Wood
Members of Helenium with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
Show/Hide Synonym
Author(Nuttall) A. Wood
DistributionScattered populations, mostly in the central and southern Piedmont. Absent from the Sandhills, most of the mountains, and most of the Coastal Plain.

Southern VA to TN, south to FL and LA, mostly on the Coastal Plain but with a number of scattered inland records.
AbundanceRare and strongly declining, especially in the Piedmont. Formerly numerous in a few "bogs" in Iredell County, but these are probably of historical occurrence now. The NCNHP database has 18 records, but half are clearly historical or gone, and many of the "extant" sites have not been surveyed in recent years. Only a few are actually better than "poor" viability, indicating the rather precarious situation of the species in NC now. Thus, the State Endangered status and S1 State Rank are deserving.
HabitatMoist to seasonally wet pine savannas, seepage bogs, riverside scour zones, and roadside ditches.
See also Habitat Account for General Herbaceous Peatlands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting May-June.
IdentificationThree of our species of sneezeweed (Helenium) bloom in mid-late spring, have well-developed basal leaves but few and small stem leaves, and can be testy to tell apart without attention to details. Leaves of Southeastern Sneezeweed (H. pinnatifidum) are not decurrent on the stem or at most 5 mm (there is no continuation of leaf tissue as a "wing" down the stem). In Shortleaf Sneezeweed, the stem just below the head is generally densely pubescent (vs. glabrate in Savanna Sneezeweed [H. vernale]). Note that these other two species are strictly lower Coastal Plain species, and only a few populations in the range of this species overlap them. The similar Purplehead Sneezeweed (H. flexuosum) blooms into summer, but it has numerous flowering heads (more than 5), whereas this species has only 1-5 flower heads.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Shortleaf Bitterweed
State RankS1
Global RankG4
State StatusE
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Select a source
AllHerbaria
Literature
Website
Select an occurrence type
AllCollection_naturalLiterature_natural