Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Savanna Sneezeweed - Helenium vernale   Walter
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Helenium with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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DistributionSouthern outer Coastal Plain only, known from just four counties.

Coastal Plain, NC to northern FL and southeastern LA.
AbundanceVery rare, known from just a handful of sites. The NCNHP database lists only five records, all still extant. This is a State Endangered species.
HabitatWet Longleaf Pine-Wiregrass savannas and flatwoods, pitcher-plant seepages, roadside ditches. The habitats are essentially the same as for the Southeastern Sneezeweed (H. pinnatifidum).
See also Habitat Account for Wet, Sandy, Fire-maintained Herblands
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting April-May.
IdentificationThree of our species of sneezeweed 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 are not decurrent on the stem or at most 5 mm long (there is no continuation of leaf tissue as a "wing" down the stem). Both Savanna Sneezeweed and Shortleaf Sneezeweed (H. brevifolium) are conspicuously winged. The latter differs in its glabrate stem just below the head (vs. densely pubescent). As with Southeastern Sneezeweed, this species has just one or two flowering heads, but each is large (2 inches across). In fact, at a distance these two species look nearly identical and can occur in similar habitats.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Spring Sneezeweed. Often spelled (misleadingly) as Savannah Sneezeweed.
State RankS1
Global RankG4?
State StatusE
US Status
USACE-agcpFACW link
USACE-empFACW link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorriePhoto taken 1997, Sandhill Crane Refuge, Jackson County, MS. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC

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