Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for White Crownbeard - Verbesina virginica   L.
Members of Asteraceae:
Members of Verbesina with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Asterales » Family Asteraceae
DistributionSouthern Mountains, central and eastern Piedmont, and outer Coastal Plain. Large gaps exist; some of those areas will likely be filled with additional field work.

Southeastern VA to eastern KS, south to northern FL and TX. Interestingly, there are numerous records from southeastern VA, yet there are hardly any NC Coastal Plain records.
AbundanceDespite the number of county records, this species is seldom encountered, and there are relatively few SERNEC specimens despite its obvious stature and identification. (One of the editors -- LeGrand -- conducted a Piedmont Mafic survey in the mid-1990s and never saw the species, despite coverage in all counties where specimens have been reported.) Rare in the southern Piedmont, but very rare to rare in the southern Mountains and the northern half of the Piedmont. Extremely rare in the Coastal Plain (two records). This is a Watch List species, though the status should be moved from W7 to W1, as the species is not overlooked or poorly surveyed.
HabitatOpenings in mesic to dry woodlands and forests, clearcuts, powerlines, roadsides, stream borders -- but strictly over mafic/calcareous rocks. It is an obligate species of high pH soils in the region.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting July - early October.
IdentificationWhite Crownbeard is a robust herb that grows to 6 or 7 feet tall, with alternate, stalked, elliptical leaves that are taper-pointed and that have short, dull teeth (crenate). Stems are pubescent throughout. The inflorescence is open, with clusters of heads at ends of branches; rays are broad, relatively short, and white, while disks are dull grayish. The hairy stem and not sharply toothed leaves will separate it from V. alternifolia when neither is in flower. Despite its occurrence being reported from at least 19 counties, this is a quite scarce species in the state, with few biologists being familiar with it. Thankfully, it is much more common in states to our south and west.
Taxonomic CommentsThe only certain variety in the state is the nominate one. A second variety, laciniata, occurs along the Atlantic Coast. Its leaves are 3-5 lobed. There are no known records for NC, but is to be looked for. Most references lump it.

Other Common Name(s)Common Frostweed, Frostweed
State RankS2? [S2]
Global RankG5?
State Status[W7]
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empUPL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
Herb AmyxE. Carroll Joyner Park, Wake Forest, Wake County, 11 September 2011 WakePhoto_natural
Herb AmyxE. Carroll Joyner Park, Wake Forest, Wake County, 11 September 2011 WakePhoto_natural
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