Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Woolly Ragwort - Packera tomentosa   (Michaux) C. Jeffrey
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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Author(Michaux) C. Jeffrey
DistributionCoastal Plain, but absent from the Sandhills proper (a specimen from Scotland County at NCU is actually P anonyma); ranges barely into the northeastern edge of the Piedmont. Disjunct to three places in the central Piedmont in Rowan County: Dunn's Mountain, Gold Hill mine, and "granite flatrock southwest of Shuping's Mill." A specimen from Rutherford County (at GA) is from an "abandoned granite quarry" and thus of uncertain provenance.

Coastal Plain, NJ to FL and TX and AR; scattered inland to Piedmont of NC, SC, and GA.
AbundanceFrequent to often common (at least locally) in the northeastern half of the Coastal Plain, but uncommon in the southeastern Coastal Plain and in the northeastern edge of the Piedmont; extremely rare farther west. Where found, often occurs in very dense stands of hundreds of plants.
HabitatSandy and open woods, roadsides, and especially mesic grassy edges and powerline clearings; favors damp sands. In the Piedmont, on granitic flatrocks and a few other types of rock outcrops, typically near pools or mossy rivulets.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting April - early June.
IdentificationBasal leaves of Woolly Ragwort are broadly lance-shape or elliptical, toothless or with tiny blunt teeth, and grayish to very pale green color due to the coating of short, whitish, woolly hairs. Note that the leaves also stand upright! As it can occur in very dense stands, a blooming stand along a grassy roadside is quite spectacular.
Taxonomic CommentsFormerly named as Senecio tomentosus.

Other Common Name(s)Hairy Ragwort, Hairy Groundsel
State RankS4
Global RankG4G5
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