Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Florida Cottonweed - Froelichia floridana   (Nuttall) Moquin-Tandon
Members of Amaranthaceae:
Members of Froelichia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Caryophyllales » Family Amaranthaceae
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Author(Nuttall) Moquin-Tandon
DistributionPrimarily Sandhills and southern Coastal Plain; also Anson County in lower Piedmont. The gap in the range on the map will likely be filled in with additional collecting.

Coastal Plain, NC to southern FL, southeastern LA, eastern AR, and western TN. Disjunct to DE and MD, where likely adventive or introduced.
AbundanceFrequent to common, and locally abundant in the Sandhills; uncommon to locally common east to Sampson and Bladen counties, but rare near the coast. Can be a visually dominant forb in some abandoned sandy fields in the Sandhills. The editors suggest a State Rank of S4, instead of the NCNHP's S3?.
HabitatDry to xeric sandy soil of roadsides, fallow fields, clearings, along railroads.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June - October.
IdentificationFlorida Cottonweed is easy to recognize, due to its erect, simple to sparsely branched stems (often to 4-6 feet tall) and spikes of whitish flowers and fruits. Leaves are rather few, lance-shaped, and occur mostly in the lower 1/3 of the stem. All parts of the plant, especially inflorescences, are generally covered with cottony, white to brownish hairs. Slender Cottonweed (F. gracilis) is similar, but is branched from the base and sprawls on the ground with ascending outer branches. Florida Cottonweed is a striking yet odd plant (almost grass-like), with the white finger-sized spikes topping a tall and wand-like stem, waving in the breeze in a fallow field, often by the hundreds or thousands.
Taxonomic CommentsNone, though some references name varieties for it.

Other Common Name(s)Common Cottonweed, Large Cottonweed, Plains Snakecotton, Prairie Cottonweed. There is no reasonably predominant common name.
State RankS3? [S4]
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
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B.A. SorrieRoadside, US 1, Oct 2008. RichmondPhoto_natural

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