Helenium virginicum Blake

Locations ofHelenium virginicum Blake in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Helenium virginicum Blake
Common Name
Virginia Sneezeweed
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Helenium virginicum Blake
Helenium virginicum was long thought to be endemic to sinkhole ponds in wc. Virginia until genetic and morphological work by Dr. John Knox and others established that plants discovered in Missouri sinkhole ponds were conspecific; see J. Torrey Bot. Soc. 127:316-322 (2000). The species has also been recently found in a disturbed Indiana wetland, but it is unclear whether it is native there. In the Shenandoah Valley ponds, this species occurs with numerous Coastal Plain and northern disjuncts. The apparent "bi-modal" endemism of this species to 30 Virginia ponds and 30 Missouri ponds located about 700 miles apart is one of the great phytogeographic mysteries of the Eastern North American flora. Helenium virginicum was listed as a federal threatened species in 1998.
Seasonally flooded Shenandoah Valley sinkhole ponds and wet clearings where such ponds once existed. Rare, mountains, along the western foot of the Blue Ridge in Augusta, Rockbridge, and Rockingham counties. May be very abundant in its specialized habitat.
Native Status

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