Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Sun-facing Coneflower - Rudbeckia heliopsidis   Torrey & A. Gray
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Rudbeckia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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AuthorTorrey & A. Gray
DistributionSandhills and adjacent lower Piedmont. Known historically from a few sites in Harnett and Moore counties, but currently known from a single site in Moore.

Disjunctly distributed in VA, NC, SC, GA, and AL. Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and low Mountains.
AbundanceCurrently very rare, known at present from a single site in northwestern Moore County. Thankfully, this population consists of several hundred individuals. It is State Endangered, and has been considered for Federal Listing in the past. With a Global Rank of just G2, Federal listing is certainly merited.
HabitatIn NC, the extant population occurs on a roadside adjacent to a creek crossing, in quartz sand/clay, and also in a narrow powerline in clayey sand soil. An interesting associate here is Hypericum lloydii. Roadside mowing is an issue that needs to happen to keep the population viable, but the timing of mowing needs to be improved.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting late July-mid September.
IdentificationSun-facing Coneflower tends to form patches of basal leaves from horizontal rhizomes; these and lower stem leaves are ovate and toothed. Stems grow 2-3 feet tall, the leaves rapidly becoming smaller upwards. Flower heads have dark brown or purple-brown disks and bright yellow rays and are extremely similar to those of Black-eyed Susan (R. hirta). Both stems and leaves are smooth (glabrous), vs. rough-hairy in Black-eyed Susan. As the name implies, the flowers tend to face upward, but so do flowers of a great many other sunflower-like species, and thus this is hardly a field mark!
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Pineywoods Coneflower
State RankS1
Global RankG2
State StatusE
US Status
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B.A. SorrieMoore County, 2009, Pine Grove Church Road near Cabin Creek. MoorePhoto_natural

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