Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Sandhill Golden-aster - Pityopsis pinifolia   (Elliott) Nuttall
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Pityopsis with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Elliott) Nuttall
DistributionPrimarily the Sandhills proper; also locally east to Wayne, Jones, and Pender counties.

Coastal Plain (mostly Sandhills region), NC to southeastern AL.
AbundanceCommon to locally abundant in the Sandhills. Can be locally common in a few places in Wayne and Pender counties. Though it is only known from 12 counties in the state, it is weedy and found in a great number of sites, often on roadsides; the editors recommend a State Rank of S4.
HabitatXeric sandy soil of Longleaf Pine-oak-Wiregrass uplands, pine-oak scrub, clearings, roadsides, and scrapes. Although associated with Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris), it seldom occurs within natural communities and prefers physically disturbed margins, roadsides, scraped areas, etc.
See also Habitat Account for Coastal Plain Dry-Xeric Sand Barrens
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting August - early October.
IdentificationUnlike our other silkgrasses, Sandhill Golden-aster has its basal leaves shorter than stem leaves, and the stem leaves -- which look like pine needles --are gradually (and not much) reduced upward. Leaves and stems are not nearly as silvery-silky with hairs as our other species. Large numbers can be seen on roadbanks while you are driving in the Sandhills, even along busy US 1.
Taxonomic CommentsFormerly treated as Chrysopsis pinifolia, and before that as Heterotheca pinifolia.

In the understanding of the genus Pityopsis, great strides were made in the monograph by Semple and Bowers (1985, with keys, drawings and maps). Very recently, Bridges and Orzell (2018) revised some of the Florida taxa, based on examination of type specimens and lengthy field work (includes keys, maps). Finally, Nesom (2019) produced a synopsis of the genus (with full synonymy, keys and maps). Note that the taxonomic concepts of these authors, Weakley (2020, 2022), and us do not always agree; therefore, readers are encouraged to get familiar with these works and also get to know well your local plants.
Other Common Name(s)Taylor County Golden-aster, Pine-leaved Golden-aster, Taylor County Silkgrass
State RankS3S4 [S4]
Global RankG4
State Status
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieSame data. HokePhoto_natural
B.A. SorrieCalloway Preserve, xeric disturbed upland, Sept 2019. HokePhoto_natural

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