Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Sail-leaf Foamflower - Tiarella nautila   Nesom
Members of Saxifragaceae:
Members of Tiarella with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Family Saxifragaceae
DistributionThis is a newly described species, in 2021. Currently known just from Cherokee County. As its range lies mainly in northern GA, this species is limited only to the far southwestern Mountains in NC.

"Extreme sw. NC (Cherokee County), extreme se. TN (Monroe & Polk counties) south to nc. GA (Jackson, DeKalb, Cobb, and Floyd counties)" (Weakley 2022).
AbundanceLikely not overly rare in Cherokee County, though obviously limited in range in NC. The website editors suggest a State Rank of S1S2 for now, and a Watch List status.
HabitatAs with other Tiarella species, it occurs in rich hardwood forests, cove forests, etc. Habitat distinctions among the now four species of Tiarella in the state are not clarified.
PhenologyBlooms in April and May, and fruits into June.
IdentificationSee Tiarella cordifolia for the general description. As with that newly refined species, these two in NC are non-stoloniferous, and plants occur in clumps and not in extensive patches. From T. cordifolia, which has "Leaves usually about as long as wide, usually with obtuse to rounded lobes, terminal lobe not extended; sepals 2.5-3 mm long", the "new" T. nautila has "Leaves usually longer than wide, usually with acute-acuminate lobes, terminal lobe prominently extended; sepals 1.5-2 mm long" (Weakley 2022). Thus, this new species has leaves looking somewhat like a Red Maple (Acer rubrum), with the noticeably long terminal lobe.
Taxonomic CommentsNesom described this species in 2021, with a more readable (for the public) account of this and several other newly described species of Tiarella, in 2022.

Other Common Name(s)None? Note that Nesom's papers do not give a Common Name, but his 2022 paper mentions the small leaves on the stem resemble "sails billowing just below the flowers"; the Latin word nautica means "of the sea". The editors have coined the Common Name used on this website, to describe the resemblance of the small stem leaves that blow in the wind.
State Rank[S1S2]
Global RankGNR
State Status[W7]
US Status
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