Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Yadkin River Goldenrod - Solidago plumosa   Small
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
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DistributionRestricted to Stanly and Montgomery counties, only along the Yadkin River. This rare species was thought lost until independently rediscovered by A. Weakley and S. Leonard in the same week a few decades ago. It was first collected by Small in 1894, and described as a new species shortly thereafter; but later botanists assigned it to another species, not surprisingly, as who would figure a goldenrod species could be endemic to a tiny strip of river shoreline in central NC?!

Endemic to the central Piedmont of NC.
AbundanceKnown only from a short stretch on both east and west sides of the river, though the populations are in good to excellent condition. Normally, a species with a tiny range should and would be Federally listed, but as there is a management agreement among Alcoa and various Federal and state agencies, no such listing is forthcoming -- in part in an attempt not to draw attention of collectors to it.
HabitatDry (but periodically inundated) sand of rocky, ledgey, and bouldery, river-scoured margins of the Yadkin River. Currently the species is restricted to a few places below hydroelectric dams.
See also Habitat Account for Piedmont and General Rocky Rivers
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-October, depending on water levels.
IdentificationYadkin River Goldenrod grows 1-3 feet tall and has slender (linear to narrowly elliptic) leaves and a long, slender inflorescence of upright branches (i.e., narrowly conical or steeple-shaped). The lowermost stem leaves and basal leaves form a conspicuous tuft. It cannot be misidentified in its specialist habitat, amid rocks along the Yadkin River.
Taxonomic CommentsNone. Even though it had been named over a century ago by Small, hardly any references accepted this species until a few decades ago -- owing to general skepticism of acceptance to species level of any vascular plant limited to only a few acres of habitat.

Other Common Name(s)Plumed Goldenrod, Plumose Goldenrod
State RankS1
Global RankG1
State StatusT
US Status
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