Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Common Nipplewort - Lapsana communis   L.
Members of Asteraceae:
Only member of Lapsana in NC.
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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DistributionPrimarily the Mountains; recent sight records from the far northern Piedmont. First collected in 1938 in Haywood County, but not again until 1995 in Madison County, 2002 in Swain County, 2005 in Ashe County, and 2010 in Buncombe County.

Native of Europe; in N.A. recorded from most states and provinces.
AbundanceVery rare. Apparently it is slowly spreading, assuming that the number and dates of collections represent increasing populations in the Mountains and northern Piedmont.
HabitatDry to moist soils of trailsides, roadbanks.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting June-September.
IdentificationNipplewort looks in the field vaguely like a small Lactuca, but the details are all wrong. The basal and lower leaves may be lyrate-lobed, but NC specimens are not always lobed. The stem leaves are ovate and stalked, reduced in size up the stem. The inflorescence is of slender terminal and axillary branches, the heads small and narrow, the involucre bracts bicolored green and straw, the florets yellow. Plants vary from glabrate to glandular-pubescent.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
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US Status
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