Rudbeckia laciniata L. var. humilis Gray

Locations ofRudbeckia laciniata L. var. humilis Gray in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Rudbeckia laciniata L. var. humilis Gray
Common Name
Southeastern Cutleaf Coneflower
Rudbeckia laciniata L. var. digitata (Mill.) Fiori, in part
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Rudbeckia laciniata L. var digitata (Mill.) Fiori, in part
The concept of var. humilis varies between sources. According to Cronquist (1991), it is endemic to higher elevations of the Southern Appalachian mountains, reaching its northern limits in sw. Virginia. According to Urbatsch and Cox in FNA21, it is a more broadly distributed, southeastern taxon that subsumes plants described by Cronquist and Weakley (2020) as var. digitata (Mill.) Fiori. In Virginia, it has proven very difficult to distinguish these two vars. owing to extensive variability in vegetative characters (even within a single population), the clinal nature of differential characters, and the fragmentary condition of many herbarium specimens. In addition, the relationship is confounded by the fact that the holotype of Rudbeckia laciniata var. humilis was collected in Campbell County, Virginia (H.A. Curtis s.n. at GH), a location in the Piedmont, not the Southern Appalachians. An annotation on this specimen by Cox synonymizes it with R. laciniata var. digitata. The Curtis specimen is a good one, and does resemble plants that occur very widely at low elevations in Virginia. Further study to determine whether the Southern Appalachian populations are morphologically and genetically distinct is needed. At present, we are mapping this taxon sensu stricto until these issues are resolved.
Bogs, fens, seeps, and stream banks at higher elevations, the full range of habitats uncertain. Variety humilis (sensu stricto) occurs in the northern part of the southern Appalachians and is presumably restricted in Virginia to the sw. mountains; its full status is uncertain.
Native Status

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