Prenanthes alba L.

Locations ofPrenanthes alba L. in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Prenanthes alba L.
Common Name
White Rattlesnake-root
Nabalus albus (Linnaeus) Hooker
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Nabalus albus (L.) Hook.
This species, along with our other Prenanthes, may be better placed in the genus Nabalus, as Weakley (2012 Draft Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States) and the Flora of Virginia have done. However, the original molecular work of Kim (1996, Syst. Bot. 21: 417–432) suggesting that Prenanthes as traditionally circumscribed is polyphyletic is rather old and preliminary, prompting Bogler in FNA (Vol. 19, 2006) to retain Prenanthes, stating that "additional sampling including North American taxa is needed to confirm the relationships of Prenanthes and recognition of Nabalus Cassini at the genus level." Given that the situation is still unsettled, we are following FNA until more definitive phylogenetic studies are completed.
Mesic to dry-mesic upland forests. Widely distributed but rather infrequent in the mountains and inner Piedmont; rare in the outer Piedmont and Coastal Plain.
Native Status

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