Prenanthes serpentaria Pursh

Locations ofPrenanthes serpentaria Pursh in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Prenanthes serpentaria Pursh
Common Name
Lion's foot, Cankerweed
Nabalus serpentarius (Pursh) Hooker
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Nabalus serpentarius (Pursh) 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 upland forests and woodlands. Frequent in the Piedmont; infrequent in the Coastal Plain and mountains.
Native Status

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