Geocarpon groenlandicum (Retzius) E.E. Schilling

Locations ofGeocarpon groenlandicum (Retzius) E.E. Schilling in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Geocarpon groenlandicum (Retzius) E.E. Schilling
Common Name
Mountain Sandwort, Greenland Sandwort
Minuartia groenlandica (Retz.) Ostenf.; Arenaria groenlandica (Retzius) Sprengel var. groenlandica
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Minuartia groenlandica (Retz.) Ostenf.
Primarily a species of northern North America; the Virginia occurrences are part of a discontinuous scattering of populations in the Central and Southern Appalachians. This species is very similar to Geocarpon glabrum, but can be readily distinguished by its perennating basal leaf mats (see photo) and its higher-elevation habitats.

Schilling et al's (2022) molecular study of the Mononeuria segregate of Caryophyllaceae (including traditional Minuartia) showed that it was polyphyletic. The two clades formed in analyis now represent the genera Geocarpon and Sabulina. The work seems solid and suggests that "broader sampling of Sabulina and Geocarpon could lead to increased understanding of the timing and origins of occupation of calcareous glades and rock outcrop habitats in eastern North America."
Crevices and pavements of high-elevation outcrops; a component of barrens on granitic rocks, amphibolite, and sandstone. Rare; known from several widely separated mountain counties.
Native Status

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